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Archives for : You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah

Top 10 Best Films of 2023

10. The Persian Version

Director/writer Maryam Keshavarz pulls from her personal life to tell the story of an Iranian American woman, who has a strained relationship with her mom, until her unexpected pregnancy stirs up the past and reveals a big family secret. The film beautifully shows the strength, wisdom, and humor of Iranian women; while providing a compelling and entertaining portrayal of Persian culture.

9. Maestro

I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about this film, but it surprisingly hooked me from the start. Bradley Cooper directs, writes, and stars in the engaging love story of conductor-composer Leonard Bernstein and actress Felicia Montealegre Cohn Bernstein. Cooper pours his heart and soul into this project and Carey Mulligan leaves you breathless. Watch this one with no distractions and let yourself get fully immersed in this beautiful film.

8. Saltburn

Director/Writer Emerald Fennell won her first Oscar for my favorite film of 2020, the mystery and drama “Promising Young Woman”. Now she brings us another unique thriller; this time about a lower-class outsider, desperate to fit in with his rich classmates. “Saltburn” is not going to be for everyone. If you have a weak stomach, this probably isn’t the film for you. However, if you’re a fan of WTF moments, dry humor, and unpredictable twists and turns, you’ll love this film as much as I did.

7. The Holdovers

Quite possibly Alexander Payne’s best film yet. Paul Giamatti plays a cranky history teacher at a remote prep school who is forced to stay on campus over the holidays with troubled students who have nowhere to go. The biggest standout here is Da’Vine Joy Randolph’s performance as the witty cafeteria lady who’s still grieving the loss of her son. If she doesn’t win Best Supporting Actress this year I will riot! Giamatti is at his best and Dominic Sessa is a talent to watch out for. “The Holdovers” is a touching, bittersweet tale of complex and opposite characters who find family within each other.

6. Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret.

Based on Judy Blume’s best-selling novel, the film follows Margaret Simon, an 11 year-old going 12, who begins to learn more about herself as a friend, daughter, and grand-daughter. This film brilliantly stays wholesome and inclusive, while not shying away from sensitive subject matters like religion, racism, or sexual education. “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret” is a funny and charming, feel-good, coming of age movie the whole family can watch.

5. Barbie

Director/Writer/Actress Greta Gerwig is a force to be reckon with. Barbie broke box office records and held the #1 spot at the movies for weeks this past summer. Not only is the screenplay unbelievably clever but it’s hilarious, heartwarming, and shines an important light on gender roles in our society. Barbies were made to make women feel like they could do anything, and Ken’s were just their arm candy; but the same can’t be said for men and women in the real world. “Barbie” also features a brilliant production design, a scene stealing performance by Ryan Gosling, and an unforgettable monologue by America Ferrera.

4. American Fiction

Jeffry Wright plays a novelist who is fed up with the establishment profiting from “Black” entertainment and to prove his point, he uses a pen name to write a book that frustratingly becomes a success. Director/Writer Cord Jefferson’s script is hilarious, timely, and authentic. Wright outdoes himself in a comical yet emotional role we have yet to see from him. “American Fiction” is a smart and inventive story about the idea of selling out while touching on issues of racisms. It’s sarcastic and painfully awkward at times, but I loved it.

3. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3

“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” centers around the team working together to save Rocket and the world from a villain who’s looking to create what he defines as the “perfect” society. Out of all the Marvel characters, this group has always felt the most like family because they are each other’s chosen one. That bond is beautifully showcased in volume 3. We get to see Rocket’s backstory, which explains his attitude and why his family with the Guardians means so much. The entire cast lands the comedy and conveys the heart of the story exceptionally. “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” is a visually stunning perfect blend of humor, emotion, and fun!

2. May December

“May December” follows a married couple 20 years after their notorious tabloid romance gripped the nation, and an actress shows up to do research for a film about their past. This shocking plot is based on a true scandal where a 34-year-old teacher, who was married with kids had an affair with her 12-year-old student. Cringing, I know! I love how this film unpacks more of the psychology of this scandal and how those involved would be affected years later; while also digging into how a method actress would approach the role. The film is campy, uncomfortable, seductive, and haunting. Natalie Portman and Julianne Moore are of course great in this, but it’s Charles Melton who stands out with his breakthrough performance that should win Best Supporting Actor.

1. Air

This should come as no surprise since I haven’t been able to stop talking about my love for this movie. I don’t get why this isn’t showing up on more Best Picture lists or nominations. A big part of the reason why “Air” soars is because of the film’s authenticity. Ben Affleck wanted to do this story right. He met with Michael Jordan and made sure he approved of the facts, and what they would be portraying. Jordan’s only request was that Viola Davis play his mom. And who can blame him? She’s fantastic. Affleck continues to prove himself as a skilled director with his excellent focus and passion for storytelling. The film is an entertaining crowd-pleaser that moves quickly. It’s hilarious and has an inspiring message about following your instincts and taking risks. EVERYONE SHOULD WATCH!

The Rest of the Best:

11. You Are So Not Invited to my Bat Mitzvah

12. M3GAN

13. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem

14. Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse

15. Past Lives

16. Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves

17. Nimona

18. Priscilla

19. Talk to Me

20. Quiz Lady

21. Somebody I Used to Know

Top 5 Worst Films of 2023

5. You People – The fact that they had to CGI a kiss between the leads lets us know it must have been just as bad behind the scenes.

4. Maybe I Do – BORING!!!

3. What Happens Later – An underwhelming return for Meg Ryan, who lacked any chemistry with David Duchovny.

2. Paint- About as entertaining as watching paint dry.

1. Ferrari – How was this film approved to been seen by any human ever? To say this crashed & burned is an understatement.

Trevor’s Top 10

10. Priscilla
9. Blackberry
8. Maestro
7. Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
6. Dungeons & Dragons
5. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
4. Air
3. Oppenheimer
2. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem
1. American Fiction

YOU ARE SO NOT INVITED TO MY BAT MITZVAH Interview w/ Director Sammi Cohen

“You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah” follows Stacey Friedman as she prepares for her bat mitzvah, but her plans comedically unravel and threaten to ruin the event. I got a chance to speak with the director, Sammi Cohen to discuss this new coming-of-age film. We talked about friendships, hardest part of being a teenage girl, and more!

Check out the interview and movie when it streams on Netflix August 25th! It is easily one of my favorite films of the year.