Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Awards Season "Girls Movie Nite" Considerations for 2017

 Now that the 2017 movie awards season is upon us, I have some special awards-worthy films for your "Girls Movie Nite" consideration.  

Girls Movie Night

Bookmark this page to be up on the awards buzz for movies revolving around women, romance and family values. Catch the flicks on this list when you have a special night out (or "in") with your friends.

This list is
in alphabetical order and should be considered a resource for your awards viewing convenience.

ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD movie poster
ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD -  Follows the kidnapping of 16-year-old John Paul Getty III (Charlie Plummer) and the desperate attempt by his devoted mother Gail (Michelle Williams) to convince his billionaire grandfather (Christopher Plummer) to pay the ransom.  When Getty Sr. refuses, Gail attempts to sway him as her son’s captors become increasingly volatile and brutal.  With her son’s life in the balance, Gail and Getty’s advisor (Mark Wahlberg) become unlikely allies in the race against time that ultimately reveals the true and lasting value of love over money.  -SPE
Janet's TAKE: Michelle Williams and Christopher Plummer are outstanding in the riveting #AllTheMoneyInTheWorld. B+
Director Ridley Scott did a remarkable job of re-shooting J. Paul Getty's scenes with Plummer in record time. The epic length slows the story down a bit but overall, a fascinating tale of the ultra-rich.
Trailer and more

BATTLE OF THE SEXES - In the wake of the sexual revolution and the rise of the women’s movement, the 1973 tennis match between women’s World #1 Billie Jean King (Emma Stone) and ex-men’s-champ and serial hustler Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell) was billed as the BATTLE OF THE SEXES and became one of the most watched televised sports events of all time, reaching 90 million viewers around the world.  As the rivalry between King and Riggs kicked into high gear, off-court each was fighting more personal and complex battles.  The fiercely private King was not only championing for equality, but also struggling to come to terms with her own sexuality, as her friendship with Marilyn Barnett (Andrea Riseborough) developed.  And Riggs, one of the first self-made media-age celebrities, wrestled with his gambling demons, at the expense of his family and wife Priscilla (Elisabeth Shue).  Together, Billie and Bobby served up a cultural spectacle that resonated far beyond the tennis court, sparking discussions in bedrooms and boardrooms that continue to reverberate today. -Fox Searchlight Trailer

DOWNSIZING movie poster
DOWNSIZING - When scientists discover how to shrink humans to five inches tall as a solution to over-population, Paul (Matt Damon) and his wife Audrey (Kristen Wiig) decide to abandon their stressed lives in order to get small and move to a new downsized community — a choice that triggers life-changing adventures. -Paramount Pictures
Janet's TAKE: #Downsizing has an interesting concept that only starts to fall apart near the end. B-
Matt Damon delivers a fine performance that's slightly overshadowed by Hong Chau as his activist friend who was shrunk against her will. Trailer and more

FIRST THEY KILLED MY FATHER- Loung Ung is 5 years old when the Khmer Rouge assumes power over Cambodia in 1975. They soon begin a four-year reign of terror and genocide in which nearly 2 million Cambodians die. Forced from her family's home in Phnom Penh, Ung is trained as a child soldier while her six siblings are sent to labor camps. -Netflix
Angelina Jolie directs this powerful film adaptation of the memoir First They Killed My Father by Loung Ung for Netflix, for which Jolie and Ung wrote the script. Trailer

GIFTED - Frank Adler (Chris Evans) is a single man raising a child prodigy - his spirited young niece Mary (Mckenna Grace) - in a coastal town in Florida. Frank's plans for a normal school life for Mary are foiled when the seven-year-old’s mathematical abilities come to the attention of Frank’s formidable mother Evelyn (Lindsay Duncan) whose plans for her granddaughter threaten to separate Frank and Mary. Octavia Spencer plays Roberta, Frank and Mary’s landlady and best friend. Jenny Slate is Mary’s teacher, Bonnie, a young woman whose concern for her student develops into a connection with her uncle as well. -Fox Searchlight  Trailer and Rog's Review

I, TONYA movie poster
I, TONYA - An absurd, irreverent, and piercing portrayal of Harding’s life and career in all of its unchecked––and checkered––glory. -NEON
Janet's TAKE: #ITonya is a great laugh-out-loud chronicle filmed mockumentary-style. A+
Margot Robbie is brilliant as Tonya Harding and the supporting cast does a fantastic job, especially Allison Janney as Hardy's mother. Trailer and more.

JANE - Drawing from never-before-seen footage that has been tucked away in the National Geographic archives, director Brett Morgen tells the story of Jane Goodall, a woman whose chimpanzee research revolutionized our understanding of the natural world. -National Geographic Studios Trailer

LADY BIRD - Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson (Saoirse Ronan) fights against but is exactly like her wildly loving, deeply opinionated and strong-willed mom (Laurie Metcalf), a nurse working tirelessly to keep her family afloat after Lady Bird's father (Tracy Letts) loses his job. Set in Sacramento, California in 2002, amidst a rapidly shifting American economic landscape, Lady Bird is an affecting look at the relationships that shape us, the beliefs that define us, and the unmatched beauty of a place called home. -A24
Greta Gerwig's directorial debut. Trailer

MOLLY'S GAME - Based on the true story of Molly Bloom (Jessica Chastain), an Olympic-class skier who ran the world's most exclusive high-stakes poker game for a decade before being arrested in the middle of the night by 17 FBI agents wielding automatic weapons. Her players included Hollywood royalty, sports stars, business titans and finally, unbeknownst to her, the Russian mob. Her only ally was her criminal defense lawyer Charlie Jaffey (Idris Elba), who learned that there was much more to Molly than the tabloids led us to believe. -STX Entertainment Trailer

NOVITIATE movie poster
NOVITIATE - Janet's TAKE: #Novitiate is an interesting look at feminism and faith during the radical changes in the Church by Vatican II. B-
An award-worthy performance by Melissa Leo as Reverend Mother helps raise this slow-moving, introspective story of a young girl's journey of faith and love within the Church to above-average. Trailer and more

STRONGER - The inspiring true story of Jeff Bauman, an ordinary man who captured the hearts of his city and the world to become the symbol of hope following the infamous 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. Jake Gyllenhaal stars as Jeff, a 27-year-old, working-class Boston man who was at the marathon to try and win back his ex-girlfriend Erin (Tatiana Maslany).  Waiting for her at the finish line when the blast occurs, he loses both his legs in the attack. After regaining consciousness in the hospital, Jeff is able to help law enforcement identify one of the bombers, but his own battle has just begun. He tackles months of physical and emotional rehabilitation with the unwavering support of Erin and his family.  It is Jeff’s deeply personal account of the heroic journey that tests a family’s bond, defines a community’s pride and inspires his inner courage to overcome devastating adversity. - Lionsgate Trailer

THE BIG SICK - Based on the real-life courtship between Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon, THE BIG SICK tells the story of Pakistan-born aspiring comedian Kumail (Nanjiani), who connects with grad student Emily (Kazan) after one of his standup sets. However, what they thought would be just a one-night stand blossoms into the real thing, which complicates the life that is expected of Kumail by his traditional Muslim parents. When Emily is beset with a mystery illness, it forces Kumail to navigate the medical crisis with her parents, Beth and Terry (Holly Hunter and Ray Romano) who he's never met, while dealing with the emotional tug-of-war between his family and his heart. -Amazon Studios Trailer

THE GREATEST SHOWMAN poster
THE GREATEST SHOWMAN - Inspired by the imagination of P.T. Barnum, The Greatest Showman is an original musical that celebrates the birth of show business & tells of a visionary who rose from nothing to create a spectacle that became a worldwide sensation. - 20th Century Fox
Trailer and Rog's Review

THE SHAPE OF WATER - Janet's TAKE: With #TheShapeOfWater Del Toro has crafted a wonderful melding of love-story, fantasy and sci-fi. A-
Sally Hawkins gives a knock-out performance greatly
supported by Richard Jenkins, Michael Shannon and Octavia Spencer. Trailer and more

THE POST -  Steven Spielberg directs Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks in The Post, a thrilling drama about the unlikely partnership between The Washington Post’s Katharine Graham (Streep), the first female publisher of a major American newspaper, and editor Ben Bradlee (Hanks), as they race to catch up with The New York Times to expose a massive cover-up of government secrets that spanned three decades and four U.S. Presidents. The two must overcome their differences as they risk their careers – and their very freedom – to help bring long-buried truths to light. - 20th Century Fox Trailer

THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI - After months have passed without a culprit in her daughter’s murder case, Mildred Hayes (Academy Award® winner Frances McDormand) makes a bold move, commissioning three signs leading into her town with a controversial message. -Fox Searchlight
Janet's TAKE: THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI hits all the right elements for this tragic comedy. A+
The powerhouse but rough characters add a sense of topical truth to this masterfully-crafted Martin McDonagh vision. Frances McDormand effectively carries this film, but there is also a great performance from Sam Rockwell. Trailer and more

VICTORIA AND ABDUL - The extraordinary true story of an unexpected friendship in the later years of Queen Victoria’s (Academy Award winner Judi Dench) remarkable rule. When Abdul Karim (Ali Fazal), a young clerk, travels from India to participate in the Queen’s Golden Jubilee, he is
surprised to find favor with the Queen herself. As the Queen questions the constrictions of her long-held position, the two forge an unlikely and devoted alliance with a loyalty to one another that her household and inner circle all attempt to destroy. As the friendship deepens, the Queen begins to see a changing world through new eyes and joyfully reclaims her humanity. -Focus Features Trailer

WONDER WOMAN - Janet's TAKE: #WonderWomanFilm has an action-packed story w/good character development and chemistry between the stars. A-
As one of my favorite superheroes growing up, this version - and Gal Gadot - do Wonder Woman justice. Kudos to Patty Jenkins for directing a winner. Trailer and Rog's Review