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Maiden

This documentary is the story of the first-ever all-female crew to sail the Whitbread Round the World race in 1989. The film uses a combination of archival video footage montaged with the crew members, members of the press, and skippers of other boats in the race in the present day reflecting on their experience during that race. This is a fascinating and inspiring film of Tracy Edwards, who was in her 20’s at the time. She was a problem teenager who ran away from home at 16 and “never did finish anything she started”. She happened to get a job …

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Tell Me Who I Am

Netflix documentary about two twin brothers. Alex was in a serious motorcycle accident that caused him to lose all memory of anything before the event: the only thing he remembered was that Marcus was his brother. Marcus spent the next several years teaching Alex how to ride a bike, tie his shoes, and rebuilding Alex’s childhood. I won’t say too much more about the film as not to give anything away, as watching how the story unfolds is part of what makes the film so powerful. It is beautifully filmed, using archival video footage and family photographs interspersed with both …

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Long Shot

Fred (Seth Rogan) is an idealistic, free speech advocate who writes funny and sharp commentary. Because of his writing, he suddenly finds himself unwilling to work for the new management that expects him to “whitewash” his work. Charlotte (Charlize Theron) is Secretary of State who is positioning herself to be the first woman president. Charlotte used to be Fred’s babysitter. When she is advised that she needs to improve her sense of humor, she hires Fred to write her speeches. I liked the movie, mostly because of the great chemistry between Theron and Rogan – they both work well off …

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The Lighthouse

Willem Dafoe’s character Thomas is a lighthouse keeper, and Robert Pattinson’s Winslow is the new guy assigned to assist Dafoe for a 4-week duty period. This is Winslow’s first gig; he is a drifter who moves from job to job. Both men have histories, and as the weather turns nastier and both men become cooped up in their house on the island, both slowly slip into madness. This is an excellent film that is a credit to its craft. The film is shot in black and white and, combined with a great score, gives the overall film a moody, claustrophobic, …

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JoJo Rabbit

JoJo (played by Roman Griffin Davis, a young actor we will be paying attention to) is a young 10-year old boy who has joined the Hitler Youth. He is small and scrawny and lonely; he lives only with his mother, as his father is off at the war and his sister is no longer with them. He has the help and camaraderie of an imaginary friend to guide him to be the ideal German Nazi youth: Adolf Hitler, played by the director (Taika Waititi). When JoJo discovers his mother’s secret, JoJo sets off on a discovery of what it means …

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  • Midsommar

    Dani has just lost her parents and sister to a murder-suicide, and her relationship with her boyfriend Christian is on the brink of collapse. Christian and his friends, all of whom are working on their Ph.D. research, are going to Sweden to visit a family summer solstice celebration. Dani invites herself to join them. They arrive at the village in the land where the summer sun does not set, and after a magic mushroom trip among the young American visitors, things very slowly begin to turn creepy. I was fascinated and engrossed in this film. The director, who also created …

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  • Us

  • The House that Jack Built

  • Mandy

  • Teeth

  • The Shape of Water

    Set in the early 1960’s during the height of the Cold War, Eliza (Sally Hawkins), who is mute, and her friend Eliza (Octavia Spencer) work for a high-security government laboratory as cleaners. Strickland (Michael Shannon, doing his characteristically fantastic job of playing a creepy guy) has recently arrived to safeguard a high security “asset,” an amphibious, human-like creature. Eliza, who is lonely and lives with her gay friend Giles (Richard Jenkins), finds ways to communicate and strike a friendship with the asset through music and sign language. This is visually beautiful and is a beautiful love story as well – …

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