Femme Filmmakers Festival Review 7: Freedom Swimmer

Year: 2022 Runtime: 15 minutes Director: Olivia Martin-McGuire By Joan Amenn “Freedom Swimmer” (2022) is a gut-wrenching film about fleeing oppression as well as a lyrical visual poem. This ying yang of narration combined with montage and animation creates a unique and powerful documentary that will haunt you long after the last frame. As the film recounts, from 1950 to 1980 two million refugees swam … Continue reading Femme Filmmakers Festival Review 7: Freedom Swimmer

SXSW 2022 Review: Linoleum

Year: 2022 Runtime: 101 minutes Writer/Director: Colin West Cast: Jim Gaffigan, Rhea Seehorn, Tony Shaloub, Gabriel Rush, Amy Hargreaves, Michael Ian Black, Twinkle Burke, Katelyn Nacon, Elisabeth Henry, Roger Hendrickson By Joan Amenn Linoleum is a surface consisting of multiple compressed layers of linseed oil and sawdust, among other things. This might seem like a completely irrelevant title for this film but when you think … Continue reading SXSW 2022 Review: Linoleum

Should’ve Been a Contender: Myrna Loy for “Best Years of Our Lives”

 The recent Oscar buzz around Sam Mendes’ “1917” prompted a reviewing of one of the more famous war films of the 1940’s, “Best Years of Our Lives” (1946). Myrna Loy deserved a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role in this male dominated film as a much-needed representative of the women who welcomed their men home from WWII. To a lesser extent, Teresa Wright also deserved recognition, but it is Loy who helps tie the stories of three servicemen just returning home together into one powerfully moving story. Continue reading Should’ve Been a Contender: Myrna Loy for “Best Years of Our Lives”

Should’ve Been a Contender: Rebecca Hall for “Christine”

Hall does amazing work with this complex and easily dismissed person. She gives Chubbuck an air of confidence muddled with insecurity in several pivotal scenes. There is an authenticity to her portrayal. It is earnest, caring, and understanding. Something Chubbuck desperately needed. Continue reading Should’ve Been a Contender: Rebecca Hall for “Christine”

Should’ve Been a Contender: Marielle Heller for “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”

Marielle Heller’s “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” is a favourite among the ITOL team, I mean it landed at number 6 on our Top 50 Films of the Decade list for no reason.  And, while Heller made her debut with “The Diary of a Teenage Girl”, it is “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” where we see Heller shine as well as prove her capability as a director. It’s also worth mentioning that Heller latest film “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” is proof that she’s not just a one-hit-wonder. It’s clear that this is a filmmaker that is here to stay.

Despite garnering positive views and also picking up Oscar nominations for Melissa McCarthy, Richard E. Grant and best-adapted screenplay for Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty, Heller was completely ignored by the Academy for Best Director. Continue reading Should’ve Been a Contender: Marielle Heller for “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”

Should’ve Been a Contender: Ava DuVernay For “Selma”

Every year, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) holds an annual award show honouring the best and boldest in filmmaking. And every year, there is an extensive discourse on who was snubbed or overlooked or incorrectly nominated. I have those opinions each awards season but there is one snub that still gets me: Ava DuVernay.

When her film “Selma” premiered in 2014, it was staggering to see the level of detail put into every aspect of that film. The history, the acting, the cinematography, the set design, and so on. But the direction and momentum of the film rested solely with DuVernay. Continue reading Should’ve Been a Contender: Ava DuVernay For “Selma”

Should’ve Been a Contender: Gugu Mbatha-Raw for “Belle” (2013)

Looking back on the past decade, one of the best and most overlooked leading actress performances is Gugu Mbatha-Raw in “Belle” (2013). It was a strong year for leading ladies at the Oscars, with Amy Adams, Sandra Bullock, Judi Dench, and Meryl Streep nominated and Cate Blanchett taking home the award. And yet, Mbatha-Raw’s performance is one of those that sticks out to me the most when reflecting on the past decade in film. She certainly deserved to be a contender, but unfortunately, though the film garnered mostly positive reviews, it simply wasn’t widely seen.  Continue reading Should’ve Been a Contender: Gugu Mbatha-Raw for “Belle” (2013)

Editorial: Is This Male Director Good or Have Men in My Life Just Convinced Me to Put Up with Mediocrity?

Every year, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) hosts the Golden Globes.  The Golden Globes are used as a predictor for Oscar nominations. As always, there are only so many slots for each category.  Not every actor, filmmaker, or movie can be nominated. But the Golden Globes typically proves to be pretty white and male dominated.  This year, five male filmmakers were nominated for Best Director. Bong Joon-Ho, who directed “Parasite” (2019), is the only non-white person nominated.  The other nominees, Sam Mendes, Todd Phillips, Martin Scorsese, and Quentin Tarantino are all white dudes. And, in my frank and honest and personal opinion, it is comprised of mediocre white film bros. Sue me. (Actually, please don’t. I have lots of student loans.)  Continue reading Editorial: Is This Male Director Good or Have Men in My Life Just Convinced Me to Put Up with Mediocrity?

The 2019 Women’s Film Critic Circle (WFCC) awards winners

If you’re feeling disheartened by the latest Golden Globe nominations ignoring fantastic female filmmakers just take a look at the WFCC awards. Hopefully, you can find comfort in their celebration of women in film.

The Women’s Film Critic Circle is a group of 75 female critics and scholars. It was established 15 years ago in the belief that women’s perspectives in criticism need to be fully recognised. Continue reading The 2019 Women’s Film Critic Circle (WFCC) awards winners