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Movie/Interview Review: “Women Talking” w/ Sarah Polley

This week in Feature Flix Susan discusses two films that are generating a lot of Oscar buzz. One of them is sure to get nominated in multiple categories and the other one might just take home the gold for Best Actor! Check out Susan’s thoughts on “Women Talking” and “The Whale” in this video.

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I got a chance to speak with Director/Writer, Sarah Polley about the film. Listen to our full discuss in the link below!

Sarah Polley Interview

“Women Talking” opens in theaters on December 23, 2022 and “The Whale” opens on December 9th.

Movie Review: “The Fabelmans” Brings out Michelle Williams Best Performance Yet

We already knew that Steven Spielberg hadn’t lost his touch after his remarkable remake of “West Side Story”. But in his newest drama, “The Fabelmans”, he pulls from his own personal experience as he digs at the family roots that helped shape him into the iconic filmmaker.

If I am being completely honest, as a little kid, the only director I knew of was Spielberg. His films are such a huge part of my upbringing. I don’t think I even understood completely what a director did until I put a face to the creator of “E.T.” and “Jaws”. As we all know, he has an amazing resume of monumental films. So, to get a chance to peep into what started his craft and an insight into his family, is a true honor.

In “The Fabelmans”, we follow Sammy Fabelman (Gabriel LaBelle) from a young boy through college as he navigates family drama while chasing his dream of making movies. Without giving too much away, the biggest drama stems from Sammy’s mother, Mitzi (Michelle Williams). She’s naturally the more melodramatic member of the family. She’s an artist/pianist who encourages Sammy to embrace his creativity. Her children adore her free-spirited, performative behavior, while also admiring their father’s (Paul Dano) intelligence. They actually come off as the perfect family, until Sammy takes a closer look through his lens and sees flaws in his parents’ marriage. This and other trials and tribulations will prove to mold Sammy into a stronger man and help him find solace in his films.

The story is told through fantastic performances by the entire cast.  The standout is LaBelle, who I expect we will be seeing plenty more of after such an authentic and vulnerable portrayal of the young director. And easily one of the best performances of the year, Williams as Mitzi. Your feelings about her may be conflicting at first, but by the end, she’s the one you won’t be able to stop thinking about. Such a layered character we have the pleasure of diving into. Mitzi is a loving, and at times erratic mother whose behavior is “unique”. However, she’s absolutely mesmerizing. Williams deserves an obvious nomination, if not a win for this role.

Now, I may sound like a broken record with this one negative, but the film could have been about 30 minutes shorter and been just as effective. However, the characters are engaging enough to distract you from the runtime.

“The Fabelmans” serves as an ode to the power of filmmaking. Movies have the ability to make people feel what you want them to, and through that you can ignite emotions of laughter, fear, joy, love, and so much more. Spielberg was gifting us with his movie-magic, while also using his art as a therapeutic escape. “The Fabelmans” is a rare gem for movie buffs and an enjoyable film for the whole family.

Rating: A-

Movie Review: “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”

This week I review the highly anticipated sequel to the critically acclaimed “Black Panther.” Find out if I think “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” holds up to the original.

“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” is currently playing in theaters.

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CHRISTMAS IN PARADISE Interview w/ Elizabeth Hurley

I got a chance to chat with the wonderful Elizabeth Hurley for her new holiday film, “Christmas in Paradise”. We discussed her favorite childhood Christmas movie, what kind of emotions Christmas stirs up for her, where she would escape to during a difficult time, and so much more! “Christmas in Paradise” opens in select theaters Friday, November 11th and on Digital, on Demand, Blu-ray and DVD Tuesday, November 15th.

Film Synopsis: Kelsey Grammer (“Frasier”), Elizabeth Hurley (Austin Powers franchise), and Billy Ray Cyrus (“Hannah Montana”) star in this charming tropical tale guaranteed to heat up your holidays. Three quirky sisters chase their estranged dad (Grammer) down to his beachside pad in the Caribbean and enjoy a little fun in the sun. But why did he disappear to the islands? Only Joanna (Hurley) knows for sure, and she’s sworn to secrecy! Love, laughter, and songs by Cyrus make this a Christmas to remember.

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Seventh Annual Critics Choice Documentary Awards Winners

Good Night Oppy Brings Home the Gold for Best Documentary Feature at Seventh Annual Critics Choice Documentary Awards

Silver Awarded to Fire of Love

Bronze Awarded to Navalny

Winners Revealed at Gala Event on Sunday, November 13 at the Edison Ballroom in New York City

Barbara Kopple Received the D A Pennebaker Award 

Dawn Porter Received the Critics Choice Impact Award 

For the Very First Time, the Ceremony Was Live-Streamed on
THE CRITICS CHOICE ASSOCIATION WEBSITE 

Actor and Standup Comedian Wyatt Cenac Served as Host of the Event

Winners of the Seventh Annual Critics Choice Documentary Awards

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

Gold: Good Night Oppy (Amazon Studios)

Silver: Fire of Love (National Geographic Documentary Films/Neon)

Bronze: Navalny (HBO Max/CNN Films/Warner Bros. Pictures)

BEST DIRECTOR

Ryan White – Good Night Oppy (Amazon Studios)

BEST FIRST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

David Siev – Bad Axe (IFC Films)

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

The Cinematography Team – Our Great National Parks (Netflix)

BEST EDITING

Brett Morgen – Moonage Daydream (Neon/HBO Documentary Films)

BEST SCORE

Blake Neely – Good Night Oppy (Amazon Studios)

BEST NARRATION

Good Night Oppy (Amazon Studios)

   Written by Helen Kearns, Ryan White

   Performed by Angela Bassett

BEST ARCHIVAL DOCUMENTARY

Fire of Love (National Geographic Documentary Films/Neon)

BEST HISTORICAL DOCUMENTARY

Descendant (Netflix)

BEST BIOGRAPHICAL DOCUMENTARY

Sidney (Apple TV+)

BEST MUSIC DOCUMENTARY

The Beatles: Get Back (Disney+)

BEST POLITICAL DOCUMENTARY

Navalny (HBO Max/CNN Films/Warner Bros. Pictures)

BEST SCIENCE/NATURE DOCUMENTARY

Good Night Oppy (Amazon Studios)

BEST SPORTS DOCUMENTARY (TIE)

Citizen Ashe (HBO Max/CNN Films)

Welcome to Wrexham (FX)

BEST SHORT DOCUMENTARY

Nuisance Bear (The New Yorker Studios)

BEST LIMITED DOCUMENTARY SERIES

The Beatles: Get Back (Disney+)

BEST ONGOING DOCUMENTARY SERIES

30 for 30 (ESPN)


About the Critics Choice Awards

The Critics Choice Documentary Awards are an offshoot of the Critics Choice Awards, which are bestowed annually by the CCA to honor the finest in cinematic and television achievement. Historically, the Critics Choice Awards are the most accurate predictor of Academy Award nominations.

Movie Review: “Halloween Ends”

The newest “Halloween” trilogy comes to an end. This week I review reviews “Halloween Ends” and let audiences know if it’s worth the watch!

“Halloween Ends” is currently playing in theaters and streaming on Peacock.

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Movie Review: “Ticket to Paradise” is a Decent Trip w/ Scenic Sights

It’s kind of hard to say no to anything with George Clooney or Julia Roberts. But when they team up for a rom-com, I’m sold! 

“Ticket to Paradise” tells a predictable story about a divorced couple, David (Clooney) and Georgia (Roberts), who can barely tolerate sitting next to each other at their daughter’s law school graduation. But, when their daughter, Lily (played by Kaitlyn Dever) goes on what was supposed to be a summer trip to Bali and falls in love/gets engaged to a native named Gede (Maxime Bouttier); David and Georgia put their differences aside to stop the wedding.

Like most romantic comedies, I’m sure you see where this story is going. When it comes to rom-coms, it’s not the predictability that is the issue, it’s whether or not we are served a fresh perspective and/or a handful of laughs. “Ticket to Paradise” offers nothing new story wise and, sadly, not a whole lot of laughs.

The film’s runtime is around an hour and 40 minutes, but the pacing is a lot slower compared to other films in that genre. This is due to the lack of comedy. The best moments are when Clooney and Roberts are at each other’s throats. Their disdain for each other is funny, and the audience will crave more bitter banter as the two have wonderful comedic chemistry. I’m just shocked they didn’t utilize their humor more. We have seen Roberts go much bigger in past rom-coms, and it’s always a joy to see. That being said, it seems that, Director/Writer, OI Parker’s intentions with this film were to have more serious conversations with subtle humor verses the typical slapstick comedy tropes. I absolutely respect this choice, but also seems like a missed opportunity with these two stars.

What “Ticket to Paradise” does offer, is a stunning setting that’s its own character, and a charming, talented cast you can’t help but fall for. Dever and Billie Lourd team up again since “Booksmart” and continue to shine on-screen. Bouttier and the rest of the actors playing island natives are also a joy to watch. And of course, the whole purpose of this movie– George Clooney and Julia Roberts are magnetizing. I think we’d be entertained watching these two have a conversation about drywall.

There’s nothing wrong with the film, but in a year where there have been some fresh romantic comedies like, “Bros” or “I Want You Back”, it’s hard to get excited about this one.

However, with such a lovable cast, and beautiful location, “Ticket to Paradise” can be an enjoyable, lighthearted comedy to escape all the madness in our lives.

Rating: B-

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7th Annual Critics Choice Documentary Awards Nominations

NOMINATIONS UNVEILED FOR THE SEVENTH ANNUAL CRITICS CHOICE DOCUMENTARY AWARDS PRESENTED BY NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC DOCUMENTARY FILMS
 

FIRE OF LOVE LEADS WITH SEVEN NOMINATIONS AND GOOD NIGHT OPPY RECEIVES SIX NOMINATIONS
 

GALA TO HONOR AWARD WINNERS ON NOVEMBER 13, 2022 AT THE EDISON BALLROOM IN MANHATTAN, MARKING A NEW VENUE FOR THE EVENT
 

ACTOR AND STANDUP COMEDIAN WYATT CENAC TO SERVE AS HOST
 

Acclaimed Documentarian Barbara Kopple to Receive The Pennebaker Award Presented by Chris Hegedus
 

For the Very First Time, the Ceremony Will Be Live-Streamed Through Facebook Live and Instagram Live at 7:00 PM ET on Sunday, November 13

The nominees for the Seventh Annual Critics Choice Documentary Awards Presented by National Geographic Documentary Films are:

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

Aftershock (Hulu)

The Automat (A Slice of Pie Productions)

Descendant (Netflix)

Fire of Love (National Geographic Documentary Films/Neon)

Gabby Giffords Won’t Back Down (Briarcliff Entertainment)

Good Night Oppy (Amazon Studios)

The Janes (HBO)

Moonage Daydream (HBO/Neon)

Navalny (HBO/CNN/Warner Bros. Pictures)

Sidney (Apple TV+)

BEST DIRECTOR

Judd Apatow, Michael Bonfiglio – George Carlin’s American Dream (HBO)

Margaret Brown – Descendant (Netflix)

Sara Dosa – Fire of Love (National Geographic Documentary Films/Neon)

Reginald Hudlin – Sidney (Apple TV+)

Brett Morgen – Moonage Daydream (HBO/Neon)

Laura Poitras – All the Beauty and the Bloodshed (HBO/Neon)

Daniel Roher – Navalny (HBO/CNN/Warner Bros. Pictures)

Ryan White – Good Night Oppy (Amazon Studios)

BEST FIRST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

Andrea Arnold – Cow (IFC Films)

Lisa Hurwitz – The Automat (A Slice of Pie Productions)

Jono McLeod – My Old School (Magnolia Pictures)

Amy Poehler – Lucy and Desi (Amazon Studios)

Alex Pritz – The Territory (National Geographic Documentary Films)

David Siev – Bad Axe (IFC Films)

Bianca Stigter – Three Minutes: A Lengthening (Neon)

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Benjamin Bernhard, Riju Das – All That Breathes (HBO)

Magda Kowalczyk – Cow (IFC Films)

Lucas Tucknott – McEnroe (Showtime)

Gabriela Osio Vanden, Jack Weisman, Sam Holling – Nuisance Bear (The New Yorker)

The Cinematography Team – Our Great National Parks (Netflix)

Alex Pritz, Tangãi Uru-eu-wau-wau – The Territory (National Geographic Documentary Films)

BEST EDITING

Jabez Olssen – The Beatles: Get Back (Disney+)

Erin Casper, Jocelyne Chaput – Fire of Love (National Geographic Documentary Films/Neon)

Joe Beshenkovsky – George Carlin’s American Dream (HBO)

Helen Kearns, Rejh Cabrera – Good Night Oppy (Amazon Studios)

Brett Morgen – Moonage Daydream (HBO/Neon)

Langdon Page, Maya Daisy Hawke – Navalny (HBO/CNN/Warner Bros. Pictures)

Katharina Wartena – Three Minutes: A Lengthening (Neon)

BEST SCORE

Hummie Mann – The Automat (A Slice of Pie Productions)

Nicolas Godin – Fire of Love (National Geographic Documentary Films/Neon)

Blake Neely – Good Night Oppy (Amazon Studios)

Max Avery Lichtenstein – The Janes (HBO)

David Schwartz – Lucy and Desi (Amazon Studios)

Marius de Vries, Matt Robertson – Navalny (HBO/CNN/Warner Bros. Pictures)

BEST NARRATION

Deep in the Heart: A Texas Wildlife Story (Fin and Fur Films), Written by Ben Masters, Performed by Matthew McConaughey

Fire of Love (National Geographic Documentary Films/Neon), Written by Shane Boris, Erin Casper, Jocelyne Chaput, Sara Dosa, Performed by Miranda July

Good Night Oppy (Amazon Studios), Written by Helen Kearns, Ryan White, Performed by Angela Bassett

Our Great National Parks (Netflix), Performed by Barack Obama

Riotsville, U.S.A. (Magnolia Pictures), Written by Tobi Haslett, Performed by Charlene Modeste

Three Minutes: A Lengthening (Neon), Written by Bianca Stigter, Performed by Helena Bonham Carter

BEST ARCHIVAL DOCUMENTARY

The Beatles: Get Back (Disney+)

Fire of Love (National Geographic Documentary Films/Neon)

Moonage Daydream (HBO/Neon)

Nothing Compares (Showtime)

Riotsville, U.S.A. (Magnolia Pictures)

Three Minutes: A Lengthening (Neon)

BEST HISTORICAL DOCUMENTARY

The Automat (A Slice of Pie Productions)

Descendant (Netflix)

The Janes (HBO)

Lowndes County and the Road to Black Power (Peacock)

Still Working 9 to 5 (Mighty Fine Entertainment)

Three Minutes: A Lengthening (Neon)

The U.S. and the Holocaust (PBS)

BEST BIOGRAPHICAL DOCUMENTARY

George Carlin’s American Dream (HBO)

The Last Movie Stars (HBO Max)

Lucy and Desi (Amazon Studios)

The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks (Peacock)

Salvatore: Shoemaker of Dreams (Sony Pictures Classics)

Sidney (Apple TV+)

Sr. (Netflix)

BEST MUSIC DOCUMENTARY

The Beatles: Get Back (Disney+)

Hallelujah: Leonard Cohen, a Journey, a Song (Sony Pictures Classics)

If These Walls Could Sing (Disney Original Documentary)

Louis Armstrong’s Black & Blues (Apple TV+)

Moonage Daydream (HBO/Neon)

Nothing Compares (Showtime)

The Return of Tanya Tucker – Featuring Brandi Carlile (Sony Pictures Classics)

BEST POLITICAL DOCUMENTARY

Aftershock (Hulu)

All the Beauty and the Bloodshed (HBO/Neon)

Gabby Giffords Won’t Back Down (Briarcliff Entertainment)

The Janes (HBO)

Navalny (HBO/CNN/Warner Bros. Pictures)

Retrograde (National Geographic Documentary Films)

Freedom on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom (Netflix)

BEST SCIENCE/NATURE DOCUMENTARY

All That Breathes (HBO)

Cow (IFC Films)

Fire of Love (National Geographic Documentary Films/Neon)

Good Night Oppy (Amazon Studios)

Nuisance Bear (The New Yorker)

Return to Space (Netflix)

The Territory (National Geographic Documentary Films)

BEST SPORTS DOCUMENTARY

Citizen Ashe (Magnolia/HBO)

Hockeyland (Greenwich Entertainment)

Kaepernick & America (Dark Star Pictures)

McEnroe (Showtime)

The Redeem Team (Netflix)

Welcome to Wrexham (FX/Hulu)

BEST SHORT DOCUMENTARY

38 at the Garden (HBO)

Angola Do You Hear Us? Voices From a Plantation Prison (MTV Documentary Films)

The Flagmakers (National Geographic Documentary Films)

Four Seasons Total Documentary (MSNBC)

My Disability Roadmap (The New York Times Op Docs)

Nuisance Bear (The New Yorker)

Stranger at the Gate (The New Yorker)

BEST LIMITED DOCUMENTARY SERIES

The Beatles: Get Back (Disney+)

Hostages (HBO)

The Last Movie Stars (HBO Max)

The Lincoln Project (Showtime)

Our Great National Parks (Netflix)

The U.S. and the Holocaust (PBS)

We Need to Talk About Cosby (Showtime)

BEST ONGOING DOCUMENTARY SERIES

30 for 30 (ESPN)

American Masters (PBS)

Cheer (Netflix)

The Circus (Showtime)

Unsolved Mysteries (Netflix)

Welcome to Wrexham (FX/Hulu)

About the Critics Choice Awards

The Critics Choice Documentary Awards are an offshoot of the Critics Choice Awards, which are bestowed annually by the CCA to honor the finest in cinematic and television achievement. Historically, the Critics Choice Awards are the most accurate predictor of Academy Award nominations.

Movie Review: “Don’t Worry Darling”

This week I review one of the most talked about movies of the year. Drama has surrounded “Don’t Worry Darling” on and off the screen, but is there more to this movie than all the gossip? I share my thoughts on the thrilling new drama in the video below!

“Don’t Worry Darling” is currently playing in theaters.

Rating: B-

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“Bros” Interview w/ Billy Eichner and Luke MacFarlane

I got the chance to sit down with the stars of the new, groundbreaking romantic comedy, “Bros.” Billy Eichner and Luke MacFarlane discuss a time they tried to impress a significant other and what the representation in this film means to them. They also answer some rapid fire questions related to the movie in this hilarious and fun interview!

“Bros” opens in theaters on September 30, 2022.

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