Reviews, News, & Interviews

Can You Ever Forgive Me? Movie Review: Why You Must See This Fantastic Forgery Flick

By Leslie Combemale | October 18, 2018 | 0 Comments

It’s hard to believe the story in new release Can You Ever Forgive Me?, based on writer Lee Israel’s memoir of the same name.  Starring Melissa McCarthy, it follows Israel’s experiences creating forgeries of letters by famous dead authors and playwrights, including Dorothy Parker, Noel Coward, and Katherine Hepburn. Director Marielle Heller’s film feels like a bit …

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The Hate U Give Review: Starr Power

By Leslie Combemale | October 11, 2018 | 0 Comments

Opening in wider release this weekend is the film adaptation of The Hate U Give, the bestselling novel by Angie Thomas.  Director George Tillman Jr (Soul Food, Barbershop) brings to the screen the story of Starr Carter (Amandla Stenberg), who is the only eye-witness to the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the …

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I AM NOT A WITCH Review: Rungano Nyoni’s Directorial Debut is Heartbreaking and Gorgeous

By Leslie Combemale | September 13, 2018 | 0 Comments

In limited release this weekend, but worth seeking out in your nearest arthouse theater, is I Am Not a Witch, the British submission for this year’s Oscars in the foreign film category. This multi-award winning directorial debut by Zambian-born Welsh writer-director Rungano Nyoni, through the collaboration with cinematographer David Gallego, uses the stunning backdrops of …

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Crazy Rich Asians movie review: Represention Matters but Charisma Sells

By Leslie Combemale | August 15, 2018 | 0 Comments

Coming to theaters is the much anticipated movie Crazy Rich Asians, the first all-Asian cast film sent into wide release since 1993’s Joy Luck Club has taken over the entertainment news, which may mean impressive box office numbers.  Great. It deserves them. Based on the best-selling Kevin Kwan novel, this Cinderella tale is filled with frothy …

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Women Rocking Hollywood Panel at San Diego Comic-Con 2018

By Leslie Combemale | August 10, 2018 | 0 Comments

The last year saw some forward movement for equality in front of and behind the camera. Women directors helmed more TV pilots than ever before. Will that trend continue? Will it result in more woman-directed and gender-balanced shows? In 2018, still only a fraction of studio films were directed by women, so how can lasting …

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The Miseducation of Cameron Post Review and Interviews: Real Life Horror with a Splash of John Hughes

By Leslie Combemale | August 9, 2018 | 0 Comments

The Miseducation of Cameron Post, a film based on the 2012 novel of the same name by Emily Danforth, is directed and co-written by queer American-Iranian filmmaker Desiree Akhavan.  This Sundance Grand Jury Prize-winning indie tells a story that takes place in 1993 chronicling the misadventures of Cameron (Chloe Grace Moretz), a teen placed in a gay …

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Half the Picture Documentary Review: The Struggle and Commitment of Female Filmmakers Beautifully Revealed

By Leslie Combemale | August 5, 2018 | 0 Comments

Documentarian Amy Adrion has created what amounts to a love letter to female filmmakers in her new film, Half the Picture, which supporters of women in film will love to know is now available on demand*. I was at San Diego Comic-Con last week preparing for and conducting the panel Women Rocking Hollywood, that features women …

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Night Comes On Review: A gorgeous study in loss and sisterhood

By Leslie Combemale | August 2, 2018 | 0 Comments

This weekend you can see the new release Night Comes On on demand.  The directorial debut of actress/writer/director Jordana Spiro (of the show Ozarks) is co-written by The Shade Room’s  Angelica Nwandu partly based on the experiences of Nwandu’s childhood. It would never had come to fruition without the Sundance Institute’s Directors Lab and other grants, showing once again …

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Female Filmmakers at the movies: Leave No Trace & Boundaries

By Leslie Combemale | June 28, 2018 | 0 Comments

This week in movies sees the release of two films directed by women that focus on family. More specifically, they focus on father/daughter relationships. Leave No Trace and Boundaries are both road films, albeit of different sorts. Cinema Siren reviews them here, revealing who might enjoy them and who might want to avoid them. REVIEW: Leave No Trace I …

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Nancy & Ocean’s 8 Movie Reviews: Women Rule these June Joints

By Leslie Combemale | June 5, 2018 | 0 Comments

Complicated, multi-dimensional female characters are rarely portrayed onscreen.  It is even less common to see one that leaves the audience conflicted.  Those making decisions in Hollywood think surprises in the form of complicated women can be bad for business.  The result is that the 51% of filmgoers, aka WOMEN, are mostly treated to some version of 3 or …

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