Another wonderful “who knew” documentary. The focus this time is on Henrietta Boggs. Raised to be a decorous Southern Belle, Henrietta’s rebellious energy crashed up against convention. She fled her home in Alabama and went to visit relatives in Costa Rica where she met and eventually married someone even more wealthy and better connected than she was. However, Jose “Don… Continue reading FIRST LADY OF THE REVOLUTION


The daughter of her mother and the mother of her daughter, Nathalie examines herself anew at the cusp of middle age. What has she settled for? What would she change if she could? What does she want to do with the rest of her life? Profound meditation on the seasons of a woman’s life written and… Continue reading THINGS TO COME


Twentysomething at lose ends returns home (in this case the city of Strasbourg on the border between France and Germany) to visit the grandmother who has long been her anchor. Writer/director Rachel Lang succeeds in making Ana totally real and totally loveble. Although the action is jumpy with poor continuity between scenes, the tone of each episode is… Continue reading BADEN BADEN (2016)


Director Sydney Lumet released his first feature film, Twelve Angry Men, in 1957. He released his last feature film, Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead, in 2007. That’s fifty years! Furthermore, for all those years, he released a new film almost every year, films filled to the brim with some of the greatest actors in cinema history!!… Continue reading BY SIDNEY LUMET


Kelly Reichardt’s new film braids together the lives of three women living in and around a town in central Montana, not exactly the middle of nowhere… but close enough. This time, Reichardt-the-Writer has created a screenplay based on stories by award-winning author Maile Meloy, but Reichardt-the-Director has used many of her usual crew members (notably cinematographer Christopher Blauvelt and… Continue reading CERTAIN WOMEN (2016)

37 (Kitty Genovese)

Writer/Director Puk Grasten retells the infamous story of Kitty Genovese, the 28-year-old woman stabbed to death as 37 bystanders watched, listened and failed to intervene. Focusing on a handful of fictional characters, Grasten captures the eerie, stomach-churning atmosphere of the Kew Gardens (Queens) apartment complex on March 13, 1964. (BKP: 4/5) Review By Managing Editor… Continue reading 37 (Kitty Genovese)


Full Title: The Jazz Loft according to W. Eugene Smith It took twelve years of dedication to bring this phenomenal film to fruition, and every moment of the 87 minute runtime is pure perfection. WNYC New York public radio personality Sara Fishko achieves behind-the-camera immortality in her first at bat as a filmmaker (both writer and director).… Continue reading THE JAZZ LOFT ATWES


Bridget Jones’s Baby is pretty much everything you could ever want it to be, and a little bit more. From the fantastic cast and their wonderful performances, to the soundtrack that will bring you back, this film is a must see. It is the perfect film to wrap up the Bridget Jones franchise, with every… Continue reading BRIDGET JONES’S BABY


Catherine Corsini’s wonderful new film Summertime opens on a farm in rural Limousin (France) in 1971. Soon enough, though, the main character–Delphine–moves to Paris, where she falls in love with Carole (a woman who is older, better educated, and much more sophisticated). Carole is in a long-term heterosexual relationship, but as a committed feminist, she also feels compelled… Continue reading SUMMERTIME (2015)


Why is Ghostbusters 2016 so important? Thoughts from Peier Tracy Shen  There are of course more important reasons to watch GB16. And that’s kind of the elephant in the room, especially with the recent news about Leslie Jones, who was subjected to twitter abuses. The Internet trolling (rampant, in fact, ever since the movie was announced) only reflects… Continue reading GHOSTBUSTERS (2016)


Ghostbusters 2016 (aka GB16) is manna from heaven in the multiplex dessert. Most women don’t want to live in a world without men, or be “better” than men (whatever that might mean); we just want equality. Equality means telling our stories, making fools of ourselves, and cheering women on when they grab for the brass ring. Equality means more representation… Continue reading GHOSTBUSTERS NYC


Poland 1945: A French doctor working for the Red Cross is drawn into a crisis at a local convent. Basing her story on the real life of Madeleine Pauliac, filmmaker Anne Fontaine (working with screenwriters Sabrina B. Karine and Alice Vial) has crafted a multi-dimensional masterpiece. (JLH: 5/5) Top Photo: Agata Buzek as “Sister Maria” with Lou… Continue reading THE INNOCENTS


Anna Rose Holmer, already well-known as a documentary film director, hits a home run with this outstanding feature film debut. Made on a micro-budget, the story is tightly focused on an African-American kid named “Toni.” In her first screen performance, Royalty Hightower (a young dancer) carries the whole film on her slim but agile shoulders. Holmer directed The Fits and… Continue reading THE FITS


From director Thea Sharrock in her feature film directorial debut, and adapted for the screen by novelist Jojo Moyes, the romance of Me Before You is unexpectedly sweet. “Lou” (Emilia Clarke) takes a job as a caregiver to “Will” (Sam Claflin), who was recently paralyzed by a road accident. Lou discovers that her task is not… Continue reading ME BEFORE YOU


Excellent performance by young Israeli actress Shira Haas is undercut by filmmaker’s decision to create a story that is deliberately obfuscating. Adar is an adolescent girl on the edge of maturity who lives in a small apartment with her mother Alma and Alma’s lover Michael. Like most girls her age, Adar is straining for independence, even though she sometimes… Continue reading PRINCESS (2014)


Timely documentary about the implosion of Antony Weiner‘s promising political career, first as a Congressman from Brooklyn’s 9th District and then as a candidate for mayor of New York City. After six years as an aide to Chuck Schumer (then serving his own stint representing the 9th), Weiner became a member of the New York City Council… Continue reading WEINER


Writer Laura Santullo has teamed with director Rodrigo Plá to create a superlative adaptation of her novel Un Monstruo de Mil Cabezas. Since it hasn’t been translated into English (yet), I am going to guess that the novel has interior monologues that get into the heads of her characters. Onscreen, however, Santullo and Plá go straight for… Continue reading A MONSTER WITH 1000 HEADS


Giddy comedy/horror mash-up from India has all the familiar Bollywood elements–gorgeous people dancing around sumptuous sets–so expect it to be what it is… and enjoy. (JLH: 3.5/5) Review by FF2 Managing Editor Jan Lisa Huttner  “Princess Shivangi” (Meera Chopra) arrives at her family home, runs up the stairs, and throws herself into the arms of her… Continue reading 1920 LONDON


Viktoria is a stunning film from Bulgaria which begins as a political parody and ends as a feminist parable. Kudos to filmmaker Maya Vitkova for her extraordinary vision and execution. (JLH: 5/5) Review by FF2 Managing Editor Jan Lisa Huttner The year is 1979 and “Boryana” (Irmena Chichikova) is deeply unhappy. Her mother “Dima” (Mariana Krumova) is… Continue reading VIKTORIA (2014)


Closing out another Women’s History Month at a performance of the fabulous new Broadway musical Waitress with my friend Ann Weil Feldman (from Livingston High School days) and our wonderfully accommodating spouses Rick and Rich. Waitress is based on the beloved film by Adrienne Shelly and has an all-female creative team lead by screenwriter/playwright Jessie Nelson, singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles,… Continue reading WAITRESS Musical


Ditzy, delightful new sequel to Nia Vardalos’ 2002 surprise hit My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Way back in the day Toula married her non-Greek dream boat Ian… then the years few by. Now their daughter Paris is getting ready to start college, prompting Toula to wonder what to do with the rest of her life. But not to… Continue reading MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING 2


Returning home after many years abroad, a French intellectual–now in middle age–finds himself bombarded by memories (with precious few actual face-to-face encounters). Unfortunately,  director Arnaud Desplechin’s film (which he co-wrote with screenwriter Julie Peyr) is solipsistic in the extreme, and since “Paul” (Mathieu Amalric) doesn’t really seem to care about anyone but himself, it becomes very hard… Continue reading MY GOLDEN DAYS


Resourceful teenager tries her best to care for self and sister in the absence of reliable adults, but there is only so much she can do… Until a young man–with personal problems and family problems all his own–arrives in town just in time to save the day. Wonderful characters are played by first-rate actors. Now… Continue reading ABOUT SCOUT


Ditzy comedy about a toxic mother/son relationship refreshingly told from the Mom’s POV. Written and directed by Julie Delpy (in collaboration with co-screenwriter Eugénie Grandval) who casts herself in a lead role that makes the most of all her considerable strengths. Violette is beautiful! Violette is smart!! Violette tries so hard!!! Violette is a mess 🙂 (JLH: 4/5)… Continue reading LOLO


New costume drama by French filmmaker Valérie Donzelli is gorgeous and passionate and I wanted to love it. But the meta-exercise has no follow-through, so ultimately it becomes more confusing than engaging. Too bad because all of the actors–most especially Anaïs Demoustier as “Marguerite” and Jérémie Elkaïm as “Julien”–certainly give it their all. (JLH: 3/5) Review by… Continue reading MARGUERITE & JULIEN


Jubilant new BioDoc about Chicago singer Mavis Staples. Her phenomenal career began in Gospel but her unique voice finds a home in multiple settings and her upbeat personality is embraced by every generation. Kudos to filmmaker Jessica Edwards and HBO for bring Mavis and the Staple Singers to the screen. (JLH: 4/5) Top Photo: Joe Alper/Courtesy of… Continue reading MAVIS!

AFF 2016 Begins

Ring the bells: The fifth annual Athena Film Festival opened at Barnard College in Manhattan last night under the magnificent leadership of Co-Founders Kathryn “Kitty” Kolbert and Melissa Silverstein. And this year, FF2 Media is a Silver Level Co-Sponsor 🙂 The first film was Dawn Porter’s Trapped about the consequences of new TRAP laws–Targeted Regulation… Continue reading AFF 2016 Begins

Waitress on Broadway

NYC Shout-Out: Celebrate the 9th annual International SWAN Day on Broadway! Join us on Sunday, March 27 for opening weekend at the new Broadway musical Waitress! Tony winner Jessie Mueller (Beautiful) stars as “Jenna” in this uplifting new musical celebrating female friendship, motherhood, and the magic of a well-made pie. Inspired by Adrienne Shelly’s beloved film,… Continue reading Waitress on Broadway


Diane Marshall-Green stars as “Samantha Trassler,” the daughter of a famous artist whose recent death kicks off the plot. After blowing off her respectable friend Josh–who may or may not have been the father’s assistant but definitely aspires to be the daughter’s lover–Sam takes up with a family of street people headed by a patriarchal junkie named P.K.… Continue reading OTHER PEOPLE’S CHILDREN


Three kids who share the same 5th grade classroom have portentous coming-of-age adventures vaguely connected to the growing presence of mountain lions on the outskirts of their upscale suburban community. OK, I get it: Boys will be boys… And filmmaker Gabrielle Demeestere–who both wrote and directed a screenplay based on stories by James Franco–doesn’t need permission from… Continue reading YOSEMITE