Review: Mr. Jones

“Mr. Jones” tells the story of a young Welsh journalist named Gareth Jones who uncovered the truth of the Holodomor, a man-made famine in the Ukraine in the early 1930s. It is a socio-political thriller as Jones (James Norton) pursues the story despite threats to his own safety. Written by first-time screenwriter Andrea Chalupa and directed by Polish director Agnieszka Holland, the film stumbles along the way but is held up by great performances and a story that needs to be told. 

Review: “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” and Q&A with Céline Sciamma

“It’s done,” Céline Sciamma said through laughter, “I don’t need your approval!” Ten minutes earlier, a lengthy applause break punctuated the film screening and Sciamma was welcomed to the stage with a standing ovation. Sitting in a folding director’s chair on-stage in the sold-out Music Box Theater in Chicago, IL, Sciamma shared insights on the filmmaking process during a question and answer session with the audience. The early pre-screening of “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” (2019) was part of a press tour preceding the films wide release in the United States.

Review: Made in Auschwitz: The Untold Story of Block 10

It has been 75 years since Auschwitz was liberated by allied forces, but the horrors of what took place there still haunt the lives of so many survivors. While there has been many documentaries and literature exploring the monstrous Josef Mengele (the angel of death) and his deadly experiments on prisoners, there has been very little on another monster who operated in the camp, the gynecologist Carl Clauberg. "Made in Auschwitz" is a documentary from filmmakers Sonya Winterberg and Sylvia Nagel, and focuses on a very little-known aspect of the Nazis’ ghastly experiments, and details the efforts of Clauberg to find an efficient means of sterilizing women. It was a cold, inhumane move by the Nazis, who were trying to end the Jewish race completely. Perhaps, most disturbing is the fact that Clauberg’s “research” in birth control and fertility continues to be a part of the medical canon to this day.

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.

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. 

Best Actress of the Decade, Entry No.16: Margot Robbie

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. 16 is Margot Robbie, and writer Nicole Ackman discusses Robbie’s career over the last decade.

Best Actress of the Decade, Entry No. 17: Frances McDormand

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. 17 is Frances McDormand, and writer Akie Kutsunai discusses Frances McDormand Oscar Winning performance in "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri".

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