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. 

Review: The Turning

“The Turning” starts off as a promising reimagining of an old classic, as it weaves itself down a winding road of mystery. But, once that mystery is unravelled...the film comes to an abrupt and unsatisfying halt.

Review: “Jezebel”

Numa Perrier’s feature debut “Jezebel” (2019) is a deeply personal film that makes viewers feel like they’re a part of the action. Perrier, the writer director, and co-star of the film, based the film on her experiences as a cam girl. The film is an important step in humanizing sex workers, a group of people who are often looked down on and disrespected. At its heart, “Jezebel” is about sisterhood and grief through the lens of two sex workers struggling financially and emotionally. 

Review: “Hail Satan?”

This provocative yet cheeky documentary by director Penny Lane follows the Satanic Temple through an incredible rise in popularity and details their aim of challenging the dominance of conservative Christianity. I can understand why some would be put off by the title and subject matter of this film but it might help to know that the question mark is important. So please stay with me on this.

Best Actress of the Decade, Entry No. 21: Jennifer Lawrence

To celebrate the last decade 2010-2019 we are counting down the best actresses and discussing some of their most notable and memorable performances of the last decade. With the help of Film Twitter, the ITOL team have selected 30 actresses. Entry No. 21 is Jennifer Lawrence, and writer Kristy Strouse discusses the actress and her work over the last decade.

Best Actress of the Decade, Entry No. 27 : Regina King

To celebrate the last decade 2010-2019 we are counting down the best actresses and discussing some of their most notable and memorable performances of the last decade. With the help of Film Twitter, the ITOL team have selected 30 actresses. Entry No. 27 is Regina King, and writer Michael Frank discusses her career over the last decade.

ITOL 2019 Round-up: Little Women

In the opening scene of “Little Women” (2019), when we see Saoirse Ronan’s character entering a publisher’s office to try to sell her work and get herself taken seriously as a writer, we’re not just seeing the character of Jo March. We’re also seeing Louisa May Alcott, who wrote the novel that the film is adapted from, and perhaps even the film’s writer and director Greta Gerwig herself.

Exclusive Interview with director Courtney Hope Thérond

During LFF 2019 I encountered many short films, there were many that I enjoyed but there was one that stayed with me long after the festival had ended. This film was "Rehearsal" written and directed by Courtney Hope Thérond, who very kindly agreed to talk to ITOL regarding her film and the it's production. During our interview we discussed what inspired her to make the film, the issues concerning consent and what filmmakers inspired her. We would like to extend our thanks to Courtney and wish all the best of her luck with her future projects!

ITOL 2019 Round-Up: Alice

I have quite a high bar for emotional reactions to film, whether that be laughing or crying. “Alice” had me crying in my seat all through the credits. The two key elements to Alice's story are commonplace and not particularly remarkable in themselves. A husband squanders the family money, has affairs and leaves his wife. On the other side a woman is so backed into a financial corner that she turns to sex work. Nothing especially unique about either of those elements.

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