AGORA
: Dragged from her chariot by a mob of fanatical vigilante Christian monks, the revered astronomer was stripped naked, skinned to her bones with sharp oyster shells, stoned and burned alive as possibly the first executed witch in history. A kind of purge that was apparently big business back then.


CRITICAL WOMEN HEADLINES

12/20/10

The Women Film Critics Circle Awards 2010


The Women Film Critics Circle is an association of fifty-five women film critics and scholars from around the country and internationally, who are involved in print, radio, online and TV broadcast media. We came together in 2004 to form the first women critics organization in the United States, in the belief that women's perspectives and voices in film criticism need to be recognized fully.

BEST MOVIE ABOUT WOMEN

Mother And Child

BEST MOVIE BY A WOMAN
Winter's Bone

BEST WOMAN STORYTELLER [Screenwriting Award]
The Kids Are All Right: Lisa Cholodenko

BEST ACTRESS

Annette Bening/The Kids Are All Right

BEST ACTOR
Colin Firth/The King's Speech

BEST YOUNG ACTRESS

Jennifer Lawrence/Winter's Bone

BEST COMEDIC ACTRESS
Annette Bening/The Kids Are All Right

BEST FOREIGN FILM BY OR ABOUT WOMEN: *TIE*
Mother
Women Without Men

BEST FEMALE IMAGES IN A MOVIE

Conviction

WORST FEMALE IMAGES IN A MOVIE

Black Swan

BEST MALE IMAGES IN A MOVIE: *TIE*
Another Year
The King's Speech

WORST MALE IMAGES IN A MOVIE

Jackass 3D

BEST THEATRICALLY UNRELEASED MOVIE BY OR ABOUT WOMEN
[Includes films released on DVD or TV, or screened at film festivals, in recognition of the limited opportunities available for films by and about women on screen]
Temple Grandin

BEST EQUALITY OF THE SEXES:
*TIE
Another Year
Fair Game

BEST ANIMATED FEMALES

Despicable Me

BEST FAMILY FILM

Toy Story 3

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

Helen Mirren

ACTING AND ACTIVISM

Lena Horne [posthumous]: [6/30/17- 5/9/10] As an anti-racist activist, she refused to appear before racially segregated US Army audiences in WW2 Italy-since the army was officially segregated, the policy was to have one show solely for white troops and another show solely for black troops. Horne insisted on performing for mixed audiences, and since the US Army refused to allow integrated audiences, she wound up putting on a show for a mixed audience of black US soldiers and white German POWs. Horne was also branded a 'communist sympathizer' by many right-wing conservatives because of her association with Paul Robeson and her progressive political beliefs, which led her to be blacklisted in the 1950s. Lena Horne passed away on Mothers Day at the age of 92.

*ADRIENNE SHELLY AWARD:
For a film that most passionately opposes violence against women:
Winter's Bone

*JOSEPHINE BAKER AWARD:
For best expressing the woman of color experience in America
For Colored Girls

*KAREN MORLEY AWARD:
For best exemplifying a woman's place in history or society, and a courageous search for identity
Fair Game

COURAGE IN ACTING
[Taking on unconventional roles that radically redefine the images of women on screen]
Helen Mirren/The Tempest

THE INVISIBLE WOMAN AWARD
[Performance by a woman whose exceptional impact on the film dramatically, socially or historically, has been ignored]
Q'Orianka Kilcher/Princess Kaiulani

BEST DOCUMENTARY BY A WOMAN

A Film Unfinished

WOMEN'S WORK: BEST ENSEMBLE

Mother And Child

BEST SCREEN COUPLE

Another Year: Jim Broadbent/Ruth Sheen as Tom and Gerri.



*WFCC TOP TEN HALL OF SHAME*
*Please Note: The WFCC Top Ten Hall Of Shame represents the 'don't tell me to shut up' sidebar contribution of individual members, and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the entire Circle. Also, members may be objecting to particular characters in a film, and not the entire movie.


MOMMIE DEAREST WORST SCREEN MOMS OF THE YEAR AWARD:

*Melissa Leo
The Fighter

*Jacki Weaver
Animal Kingdom





BLACK SWAN

*For turning 'everything was beautiful at the ballet' into a horror venue populated by female stereotypes.

CATFISH
*The documentary exploits the woman who 'invents' Facebook personalities (if indeed this all is to be believed). It's a smarmy movie in every respect.

*For it's blatant audience manipulation without any honesty. These filmmakers clearly used a real family for personal gain.

I AM LOVE
*Did Tilda Swinton really need to stand up her dead son at his funeral in order to dash off like in a late for a date emergency, to lock lips with her lover? Mommie Dearest Award runner-up.

INCEPTION
*For making sure that one (& only one) 'good' female character is on hand for the express purpose of killing the one (& only one) 'bad' female character so none of the men have to do it.

JOLENE
*Based on a story by Doctorow, it's a flagrantly misogynistic story, an excellent example of how tales about abused women are turned into porn films.

*Ditto, THE KILLER INSIDE ME, see above.

KICK-ASS
*For the exploitation of a 12 year old girl.

 *I resent the film's implication that the best way to empower a girl is to portray her as a chirpily sadistic killing machine (and one who uses the 'c' word, to boot).

THE GHOST WRITER
*At large Polanski sets up Olivia Williams' Lady Macbeth spouse as not only the instigator of UK's collusion in Iraq, letting Blair off the hook. But the predatory extreme seductress aggressor nearly rapes the gullible Ghost as well, when cornering him in his tub with an offer of towels to dry his tush. The Female Made Me Do It defense.

TWILIGHT SAGA: ECLIPSE

*This film tells young girls, it's okay to sell your soul for a guy.

YOU AGAIN
*For perpetuation of the same-old same-old stereotypes of hysterical insecure women and reasonable, sage men.

The Women Film Critics Circle

Awards Season & Second Looks

SHELLEY WINTERS' PLACE IN THE SUN

By Penelope Andrew

Sixty years ago (1951 films competing for 1952 awards), Vivien Leigh -- who hadn't been nominated since her win for Gone With the Wind in 1939 -- won the Oscar for Best Actress in a Leading Role for A Streetcar Named Desire over actresses such as Katharine Hepburn and Shelley Winters for The African Queen and A Place in the Sun, respectively...

CONTINUE TO READ HUFFINGTON POST ARTICLE HERE


Penelope Andrew is a NYC-based writer who contributes to The Huffington Post, WestView News, and Critical Women on Film. She is a member of the Women Film Critics Circle.

12/19/10

Women's Work: Lubitsch & Chomet, Cluny Brown & The Illusionist

...Lubitsch's last film is a zany yet sophisticated satire on English manners laced with hilarious, sexual innuendo using every plumbing metaphor available. The English and their drains are just too damned stopped-up, which provide Boyer and Jones--her first, highly successful attempt at comedy--golden opportunities to delight us at every turn. When they can no longer deny their attraction, Belinski declares: "I would build you the most beautiful mansion, with the most exquisite and complicated plumbing, I would hand you a hammer, and say, Ladies and Gentlemen, Madame Cluny Belinksi is about to put the pipes in their place!"...

CONTINUE TO READ HUFFINGTON POST ARTICLE HERE


Penelope Andrew is a NYC-based writer who contributes to The Huffington Post, Westview News, and Critical Women on Film. She is a member of the Women Film Critics Circle.

11/11/10

Sally Hawkins Talks Female Ford Plant Struggles, In Made In Dagenham


Screening Women: Female Images Inscribed In History. Prairie Miller and Daily Challenge Newspaper's Marie Moore in a Women Film Critics Circle sitdown with actress Sally Hawkins, investigating the striking UK Ford Plant women machinists who made history in Made In Dagenham.




Hello Critical Women:
I was going to go to see the film about the women striking in the UK until I read your comments. I don't think I could stomach it now with your insightful comments. Thank you very much.
Best, Ramie Streng


P.S My mother, Mary Perry Stone, was a social protest ( former WPA ) artist who told me of the sit-ins and strikes she was part of in the Thirties in NYC. So I was lucky to grow up in a family that believed in unions.

Maryperrystone.com

"Art is What Makes Us Human" scenes from Mary's exhibit in Dayton, Ohio 2- 2010. Mary died in 2007.

10/28/10

Noomi Rapace Kicks The Hornets' Nest

Swedish actress Noomi Rapace talks tattoos, female empowerment, sexual healing and visiting dark places inside herself.

Listen To Noomi Rapace Interview Here:


'...The film begins in earnest as members of a long-dormant shadow conspiracy are roused into action...the elusive men of power who've been violating her for decades. Lisbeth, small of frame and strange of hair, is a figure of explosive violence and implosive psychic wounds.'

CONTINUE TO READ REVIEW HERE

Amy Biancolli
Houston Chronicle
San Antonio Express-News
Hearst Newspapers

10/27/10

Beyond The Sacrificial Good Woman: Black Feminism And Freethought

HE SAID....
BLACK VENUS (VENUS NOIRE) 'The film captures the dehumanization of this woman. Many of the scenes are tough to take in. Yahima Torres is magnificent in her portrayal of Sarah. She portrays Sarah's life as unbearable. Yet she shows the tender scenes as a humanized woman who was virtually regarded as an animal, according to the ideology of the day...' CONTINUE TO READ REVIEW HERE FAMILY AFFAIR
'I was hoping filmmaker Colvard would have more professional and/or clinical interviews to thoroughly explain and explore the problems these people unknowingly live with these issues, and how they can ultimately overcome the effects of broken lives...'
CONTINUE TO READ REVIEW HERE  Gerald Wright National Association of Black Journalists HDfest.com Film Showcase SHE SAID....

By Sikivu Hutchinson In the 1997 film The Apostle Robert Duvall plays a white Southern Christian fundamentalist preacher and murderer on the lam seeking redemption. The film is literally cluttered with images of devout blacks, from black women swaying in the breeze at a big tent church revival to a particularly indelible church scene of dozens of black men chanting “Jesus” in rapturous response to Duvall’s pulpit-pounding call. I found The Apostle perversely fascinating because it trotted out this totally revisionist romanticized narrative of black obeisance to yet another charismatic but flawed white renegade savior figure in Louisiana (where, contrary to Hollywood flim-flammery, most of the congregations are racially segregated). These popular fantasies of black religiosity always seem to revolve around images of good, matronly black women eternally quivering with a strategic “Amen” or “can I get a witness;” subject to break out into a Blues Brothers back flip down the church aisle at any moment.
CONTINUE TO READ ARTICLE HERE Sikivu Hutchinson is the editor of Blackfemlens, a journal of progressive commentary and literature, and the author of  Mortal Combat: Black Atheists, Gender Politics and Secular America. She is member of the Women Film Critics Circle, a commentator on Pacifica's Some Of Us Are Brave on KPFK 90.7FM, and a reporter for the LA Women's Desk of the WBAI Radio Women's Collective in NY. Listen to blackfemlens commentaries on Fridays, 6:25pm LA Time, at http://kpfk.org.

We visit two major Housing Crisis Hotspots. Jimmy McMillan [left of Andrew Cuomo], famously flamboyant founder of The Rent Is Too Damn High Party, stops by to share landlord from hell intrigue he's confronted in NYC. The Vietnam veteran, rapper and persistent candidate out of nowhere standing up to all those millionaire designer politicians, is now intent on taking his bid to the 2012 US presidential election, and he'll tell us how and why.

And...This week marks the 6th anniversary of the Hurricane Katrina disaster, and where homelessness, along with the ever looming threat of another hurricane to come, apparently continues in its wake. Famed SNL funnyman and the many voices of The Simpsons Harry Shearer turns serious, with his documentary The Big Uneasy, about the man-made Katrina cataclysm and coverups in his native New Orleans, while NPR refused to listen. And the suppressed history of a disaster that was not so natural after all.

Hosts: Mary Ann Miller and Prairie Miller

10/26/10

Conviction: Sisterhood Straightens Out The Criminal Justice System



JAN LISA HUTTNER ON OSCAR SNUB FOR CONVICTION

READ JAN LISA HUTTNER CONVICTION FILMMAKER INTERVIEWS HERE

'...As a narrative feature, the goal of a film like Conviction is to use the tools and techniques of cinema to go beyond fact in order to elucidate the human condition. This it does brilliantly, making Conviction one of the very best films I’ve seen so far in 2010.'

READ REVIEW HERE 

Jan Lisa Huttner is a member of The Women Film Critics Circle and The Chicago Film Critics Association. She writes for The Hot Pink Pen, WomenArts.org and Films For Two.


'...How can you not sympathize with a woman who isn't merely a figment of some screenwriter's imagination but an actual human being who displays such fortitude and faith? And though there's something a little mechanical in Swank's Best-Actress-y repertoire, she makes us forget that she's a Hollywood actress playing make-believe. Art imitates life, and what a powerful movie it made.'

CONTINUE TO READ REVIEW HERE

S. Jhoanna Robledo
Common Sense Media

10/25/10

Female Film Icons Honored

Film Icons De Havilland, Bisset, O'Hara, Kerr & Caron Elevated By BFI, TCM & French Legion Of Honor

By Penelope Andrew

As late summer transformed into autumn, milestones in classic film, which focused primarily on iconic leading ladies, dominated the news and will be remembered as bittersweet. Some of international cinema's most important figures such as Patricia Neal, Claude Chabrol, Arthur Penn, and Tony Curtis passed away, while others were honored and celebrated.
 
O'Hara Turns 90

The indomitable Maureen O'Hara turned 90 on August 17, 2010. Like her contemporary Olivia de Havilland, 94, she appears to have sipped from the Fountain of Youth given the festive,  birthday photos published in the Irish press.

Penelope Andrewis a NYC-based writer who contributes to The Huffington Post, WestView News, and Critical Women on Film. She is a member of the Women Film Critics Circle.

9/30/10

Religion And Gender: Breaking Through Stained Glass Ceiling

SHE SAID...


Hildegard von Bingen was a medieval German pre-feminist nun who poked a few holes in the stained glass ceiling. And while Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt, Hildegard led the nuns out of a horny monastery...

LISTEN TO VISION COMMENTARY AND DIRECTOR MARGARETHE VON TROTTA INTERVIEW HERE:




HE SAID...

NORA'S WILL (Cinco dias sin Nora)

Directed by: Mariana Chenillo
Running time: 92 min.
Release date: October 15, 2010
Genre: Drama, Comedy, Religion and Art/Foreign
Distributor: Menemsha Films
MPAA Rating: Not rated

Filmmaker and screenplay writer Mariana Chenillo of the recent 2010 film Revolcion, orchestrates a marvelous bitter sweat dramedy that gives an undertone of romance set in a Jewish family relationship located in Mexico. The theme in question is why a bipolar passionate Jewish woman commits suicide, how a non practicing passive Jewish ex-husband deals with a same day Jewish burial tradition, and what calamity damages spark the family and friends to react to this situation?

Jose brilliantly portrayed by veteran Mexican actor Fernando Lujan, whose work dates back 50 years, is the ex-husband of Nora (Silvia Mariscal). She is the woman he'd been married to for 30 years and then divorced, who has committed suicide (after 14 tries). The timing is uncanny being that this death is right before Passover and Jewish custom dictates that the body has to be buried quickly. However, the holiday is followed by the Sabbath and this is almost 5 days of this religious orders.

Humorously and oddly enough, before dying Nora prepares her home for her funeral and arranges the home for an elegant dinner. The plan, that will culminate with the whole family gathered for the dinner celebration of Jewish Passover, is to have Jose, who lives directly across the street, to arrange everything according to her mapped-out schedule. This dark comedy, uses a host of characters, such as, non-responding Rabbis (Max Kerlow and Enrique Arreola), a bargain offering Christian burial serviceman with "wake-to-go" provisions, a son whose presence is a necessity but not actually present, and the psychiatrist who is linked romantically to Nora that Jose is angered about.

The plot is consistently and deliberately design to bring laughter. Amusing scenarios and provoking laughter by exaggerating the situations, the language (with one-liners, jokes, etc.), and the use of dark satirical relationships between characters makes this film work well. The plot driven presentations, portraying realistic characters, settings, life situations give great intense character development and interaction. Yet, the romantic theme is always hanging over head with use of flashback scenes, to keep the audiences' attention on the affairs of the heart that center on the passion and emotion young Nora and Jose ( Marina de Tavira and Juan Pablo Medina) shared.

The large ensemble cast includes Juan Carlos Colombo, Angelina Pelaez, Ari Brickman, Cecelia Suarez, Arantza Moreno, Vanya Moreno, Veronica Langer, Rodrigo Cachero, Jorge Eduardo Cardova and Martin LaSalle make a perfect fit for a hilarious take of a serious matter.

Gerald Wright
National Association of Black Journalists
HDfest.com
Film Showcase

9/13/10

Claude Chabrol [1930-2010]: Astute Dissection Of Sex, Class And Show Business


Chabrol masterfully focuses a keen eye on the misogynistic convergence of entrenched intimate emotional exploitation of women, and their objectification in public entertainment. Bravo, Claude, a rare man in profound touch with the darker impulses of his species.

CONTINUE TO READ REVIEW HERE

9/11/10

Katie Holmes Perfects Doormat Duty in The Romantics


'...Katie plays Laura, a character many women can relate to: a jilted lover. In the film, an independent release, she portrays a young woman cast aside by the love of her life in favor of her old college roommate and chum. Instead of being the bride at this wedding she is the maid-of-honor. The message: love, friendship and romance can be messy and angst-ridden.'

CONTINUE TO READ NEW YORK COOL ARTICLE HERE


Debra Wallace Forman
Newyorkcool.com
British Foreign Press Association
Direct TV Guide

9/4/10

Machete Plays Out In Houston: Blood, Race And Sex

Border Babe: 'She' Hawks Tacos And Revolution

SHE SAID...

"...On one side: murderous yahoos in cowboy hats. On the other: a network of illegal immigrants and sympathizers run by taco-saleswoman Michelle Rodriguez."

CONTINUE TO READ REVIEW HERE

Amy Biancolli
Houston Chronicle
San Antonio Express-News
Hearst Newspapers


HE SAID...

"...I for one welcome the puffery style dialogue and the quick tongue that pushes the envelope in today's women."

CONTINUE TO READ REVIEW HERE


Gerald Wright
National Association of Black Journalists
HDfest.com
Film Showcase

9/3/10

Valerie Plame Wilson Counts Down To Zero















Valerie Plame Wilson Exclusive: On life after being outed by Dick Cheney, and resurfacing in the doomsday doc, Countdown To Zero. And, is there such a thing as 'spy sexism'?

The CIA operative turned anti-nuke advocate tells all.


LISTEN TO THE INTERVIEW HERE:



WFCC Countdown To Zero Commentary

Another chilling doc from Participant Productions warning us that we still live in the shadow of the nuclear arms race. Sobering & yet too focused on dangers we already know, while never offering any realistic analysis or hinting at viable actions. OK, we get it... now what..?

Jan Lisa Huttner
Movie Haiku

8/11/10

The Remarkable Life And Career Of Patricia Neal, Sassy Screen Goddess Extraordinaire


By Penelope Andrew

What sets artists apart from stars and competent actors is originality and authenticity. Patricia Neal had these and other rare qualities in spades. Like some of her contemporaries who achieved greatness, she rose above mediocre or even bad material and delivered performances that ranged from elegant and understated to bold and breathtaking. Her unique talents carried her from the traditional styles of post-WWII Hollywood through the enormous influence of the cutting-edge, New York Method on film acting...

CONTINUE TO READ HUFFINGTON POST ARTICLE HERE

Penelope Andrew is a member of the Women Film Critics Circle, and she writes for The Huffington Post, Critical Women and WBAI Arts News.

Note: Patricia Neal's deathbed last words: "I've had a lovely time."

7/30/10

From The Women's Desk

Taking Feminist Radio To The Next Level...


Hung: Sex, Detroit And Economic Hard Times. Radically subverting sexuality on the small screen.
Adelante Siempre! Sikivu Hutchinson, correspondent at our LA Women's Desk, in a roundtable with Chicana artists exploring class, race, sex and culture.
Feminists Gone Bad? Joy Rose takes on right wing feminism. A conversation with feminist psychologist and author, Phyllis Chesler.

LISTEN TO THE SHOW HERE


A presentation of the WBAI Women's Collective. Covering the entire spectrum of political and cultural issues crucial to women's lives, from revolutionary global sisterhood and movement building to critical aspects of the mind, body and yes, men.
Radio Goddesses In Session: Joy Rose, Sikivu Hutchinson, Prairie Miller, Laura Aguilar, Jacalyn Lopez Garcia. Music by Polly Wood.

7/12/10

The Concert Movie Review


A sentimental comic odyssey keen to wring tears and laughter from a script that can't sustain it, if you played classical music to your unborn child in the hopes of spawning a genius, this one's for you....

CONTINUE TO READ REVIEW HERE

Catherine Bray
Channel 4 Film, UK
Guardian, Observer, The New Statesman

7/11/10

Cyrus: Class Bonding and Man-Children in LA


By Kim Nicolini

We know this character from the world he lives in. He is a lonely, existential man, not poor, but too self-pitying to do anything but hide his head and his penis in the hovel of his home and his internet connection....

CONTINUE TO READ REVIEW HERE


Kim Nicolini
CounterPunch

Hung: The Punisher Puts A Price On His Head


...A delightfully brash, expectation defying, gender role reversal sex trade satire, from a mercilessly feminist point of view. While among the many unpleasant rude awakenings for this self-commodifed guy sex toy, are male expectations of erotic entitlement and exemptions not routinely extended to female sex workers; forced tolerance for far less than hottie demanding customers; a variety of on-the-job sexual humiliations; female screamers; and aggressive horny women who 'give orders like four star generals'....

CONTINUE TO READ DVD REVIEW HERE

7/10/10

Women Film Critics Circle's Jan Lisa Huttner Wins Top Honor


Feminist Film Critic Wins Top State Honor Plus National Recognition
 
Chicago film critic Jan Lisa Huttner recently earned her third Silver Feather Award for writing the most award-winning articles in the Illinois Woman's Press Association's annual Mate E. Palmer Communications Contest. Huttner made international news in 2009 when she questioned why Loveleen Tandan (the credited co-director of Slumdog Millionaire) became an “invisible woman” just as Slumdog began generating serious Oscar buzz, thereby setting the stage for March 7, 2010, when Kathryn Bigelow became the first woman in history to win an Oscar in the Best Director category. Huttner’s passionate posts about the “Slumdog Brouhaha” on her blog, The Hot Pink Pen, won first place in IWPA’s Website Development/Creation category, then placed third in national competition when IWPA passed it up to its parent organization, the National Federation of Press Women....

CONTINUE TO READ ARTICLE HERE

7/9/10

Who's Afraid Of Orlando?



Screening Room: Who's Afraid Of Orlando? Can an enduring Virginia Woolf screen classic hold its own amid the clutter of summer blockbusters and instant short shelf life of Hollywood movie culture? A conversation with Orlando writer/director Sally Potter and star Tilda Swinton about the re-release nearly two decades later of the page to screen adaptation of a woman journeying through the centuries. Or is it a man...

LISTEN TO THE CONVERSATION HERE

7/2/10

Emerging Female Directors From The Middle East


Agheleh Rezaie, At Five in the Afternoon

By Rose Capp

Predominantly low-budget, sometimes stylistically rudimentary, these films constituted a compelling, collective call to arms reminiscent of the forceful feminist polemic of Western female filmmakers in the 1970s and 80s....

CONTINUE TO READ ARTICLE HERE


Rose Capp
is a member of The Women Film Critics Circle. She is a critic at The Melbourne Times, RealTime Arts, Senses Of Cinema, Metro Magazine, on-air at ABC Radio 774, The Film Show and Film Buffs Forecast, and she has lectured in film studies at Monash University, RMIT and The Australian National University in Canberra.

6/3/10

I Am Love: Sex, Class And Seafood


HE SAID....

I am Love is a story of the wealthy Recci family in Milan, Italy. The film follows their lives during and after the year 2000. The movie takes on a dual approach to its plot with a sensual love affair between bourgeois characters and a Freudian love affair of food that links these same characters...

READ REVIEW HERE


Gerald Wright
HDFEST.com
Film Showcase

SHE SAID

...It is the aftermath of discovery and an ensuing tragedy that stuns; “frenzied” doesn’t begin to describe the take-the-clothes-and-run climax. “You don’t exist,” Tancredi informs his wife, and it’s true: Emma is dead. Thankfully, even in the pre-feminist realm of the Italian bourgeoisie, this neo-Bovary has a shot at an extra life.

READ REVIEW HERE


Michelle Orange
Movieline

6/2/10

The Politics Of The Female Pleasure Principle In Movies

Helen Mirren Soaks Up The Attention

HE SAID....


Love Ranch: I think it's great that this "young senior dame" can still get away with the hot and heavy sex scenes that the younger women tend to dominate on screen...

CONTINUE TO READ REVIEW HERE

Gerald Wright
National Association of Black Journalists
HDfest.com
Film Showcase

SHE SAID....

Sex, Senate Stings And Suicide: Call Girl Jeanette Maier exposes with raw commentary the sexual and class differences of johns, the erotic dark side of prominent politicians, and gender bias in prostitution laws in The Canal Street Madam....

CONTINUE TO READ REVIEW HERE

LISTEN TO JEANETTE MAIER ON THE WBAI ARTS MAGAZINE HERE

Prairie Miller

5/25/10

Reader Mailbag: SATC 2 And The Woman Question


Reviewer Resignation, Please

I read your review of the recent film Sex in the City 2, on Rotten Tomatoes. I have to say, to help with the quality of RT, can you please resign from your position?

You obviously have no real value of history, film, or plot if you thought SATC2 was even close to a decent film. The movie was pointless to the sex in the city story, was disrespectful and stereotyped middle east cultures, and was just flat out obnoxious. I will never read another one of your reviews again, for being so blatantly incompetent at your job.

Eli Joyce
Swashbuccaler@....

Hi Eli:
Sorry to hear. Thankfully, we don't live in a country where those of a different opinion should expect to be executed or resign from their positions. Not to mention the tens of millions of women flocking to the theaters to see the movie, who would have to do so as well in such a country.
Here's a different sort of response below that I received yesterday - from a man!
Prairie Miller


Prairie:
I am THRILLED to see your take on the movie, which is exactly the same as mine.
It rankles me to see all the ageist bullshit about how old the characters look and complaints about the insensitivity to the unemployed and celebration of wealth--as if the NY Times wasn't filled on every page with mammon-worshipping. I was planning to write something about this later and am feeling my oats after reading your review.

You are the greatest! My hero!

Lou


THE LAST STATION: DISSENTERS DISEMBARK


Having just watched the movie, I can say that his is an absurd, ridiculously exaggerated, review that bears no
relation to the excellent movie that I enjoyed.
Alan White

Hello Alan:
Can you tell me exactly what you found enjoyable that I didn't? That would be helpful in understanding your opinion, thank you.
Prairie Miller

Try reading other reviewers on Rotten Tomatoes. Helen Mirren was first class, the ambiguities & frustrations of Tolstoy's last years were accurately represented and he was well played. Also the visual representation of the Russia of that period was excellent and the drama was also good. Note that both Mirren & Plummer were Oscar nominated for their performance. I have not read any other reviews that you have written, but I find your perspective on a really good movie to be hopelessly off-base. I hope this is not typical.
Alan

Alan:
Yes, I see that Rotten Tomatoes has a 70 percent positive critic rating for the film, which is not exactly glowing. Nearly one third of the critics disliked the film, and anything less than 60 percent at RT gets a negative rating. But that hardly matters, really. What I find disturbing and troubling, is this tendency lately towards a kind of consensus fascism. Just as there are many potential critic opinions about any movie, so are there diverse tastes in the audience. And what's more invigorating than a diversity of thought. How tedious the world would be, if everyone has identical reactions to everything.
Movie criticism is not an election, where the one with the most critic votes or biggest box office receipts wins and everyone else loses. The suggestion that there should be only one opinion about a movie and any dissenters should be banished, makes me cringe.
Prairie

Frankly My Dear: Molly Haskell's Exploration Of Nation And Of Self


Haskell Captures the Dynamics Underlying an American Icon in Frankly, My Dear: Gone with the Wind Revisited

By Penelope Andrew

Film scholar Molly Haskell could not have been a more perfect choice for Yale University Press to tap for another volume in its Icons of America series that explicates the phenomenon—both novel and film—of Gone with the Wind. Its virtues and flaws are explored with an erudite, yet fresh perspective from a feminist who considers aesthetics before politics in her role as film critic. However, in Frankly, My Dear: Gone with the Wind Revisited, Haskell draws from France’s vanguard social theorist Alexis de Tocqueville as well the visual artistry of Hollywood’s William Cameron Menzies in analyzing the wonder of GWTW.

The author--a transplanted southerner raised in Richmond who now lives in NYC--never turns away from the fact that Margaret Mitchell’s story trivializes the enormous human tragedy of slavery, yet elevates Mammy, a slave, to a position of wisdom who often serves as the saga’s moral center. These fascinating dualities and ironies fuel the power of GWTW, and Haskell’s book itself. Exhaustive dichotomies in which Haskell poses Cukor next to Fleming, the delicate alongside the bold, the fussy with the sweeping—essentially every “yin and yang” firing up the strands of GWTW’s DNA--are explored.

CONTINUE TO READ ARTICLE HERE

Molly Haskell is a distinguished critic and author, and a member of the Women Film Critics Circle. More information is at: MollyHaskell.com

Penelope Andrew, a NY based writer who contributes to The Huffington Post and Critical Women on Film, is a member of the Women Film Critics Circle. A certified psychoanalytic psychotherapist and licensed clinical social worker, she maintains a private psychotherapy practice in NYC.

5/14/10

Hawaiian Historical Society Responds to Princess Kaiulani Review


Aloha e Ms. Miller...

I have read your review of Marc Forby's version of Princess Ka'iulani's life, and appreciated your comments about Hawai'i's submerged history. I assume, though, that you are aware that Mr. Forby takes considerable dramatic license with what Ka'iulani experienced in England (Great Harrowden Hall was anything but the miserable place/experience that he portrays it as, and the romance is also largely a fiction - I doubt Ke Ali'i Ka'iulani would have been pleased by either depiction).
I imagine you were aware of Ka'iulani as a historical/cultural figure before this film?

While I am waiting to see the finished film (I've read the script in its several drafts...save for the first, which elders in the Hawaiian community found so offensive in some of its content that Mr. Forby was forced to alter it), it remains a matter of ambivalence or controversy for members of both the Hawai'i history and ethnic/cultural communities...for a variety of reasons.

It is a pity that a "romance" had to be resorted to at all (but I suppose Hollywood formula dictates here)...since Ka'iulani did so many interesting things that I am assuming are not depicted in the film...as they are absent from the scripts. (From surfing to playing the violin...and she was quite a talented artist).

But of course "romance" - and naturally with a white man [one is unhappily reminded of the Pocahontas/John Smith convention, particularly with Ms. Kilcher in the lead] - takes precedence over the things an intelligent young woman might otherwise occupy her time with. Aue no ho'i e!

I hope the film truly awakens Americans to at least some of the issues centered on the theft of the Hawaiian nation from its people. I also hope that some gifted Hawai'i/indigenous documentary makers will in the near future make a fact-based documentary about Ka'iulani's real life...which is dramatic enough without an assortment of fictional baggage.

All the best,
Mindi Reid
Hawaiian Historical Society

READ PRINCESS KAIULANI MOVIE REVIEW HERE

5/4/10

Human Rights Watch Film Festival 2010


An annual spring event at the Film Society of Lincoln Center's Walter Reade Theater in New York City, the Human Rights Watch Film Festival 2010 will host thirty socially themed documentaries and dramatic features from twenty-five countries this year. Many of the directors will be present for discussion following the presentations, and twenty-eight of the films are NYC premieres. The Festival runs June 10th through 24th.

There are several features this year touching on a topic rarely explored in movies, the economic injustices inflicted upon a troubled world, and how economic issues permeate multiple aspects of society and individual lives of women and the poor, in significant ways...

CONTINUE TO READ ARTICLE HERE

More information about the Human Rights Watch Film Festival is online at: HRW.org and FilmLinc.com

5/3/10

Please Give Movie Review: The Supporting Leading Lady On Screen


Middle-aged, middle-class Manhattanite is overwhelmed by all the things in life she can't make better no matter how hard she tries. Keener steps up & gracefully allows herself to be the butt of every joke, & the rest of the cast provides great support. Jan gets this woman & LOVES this film...

READ REVIEW HERE

Jan Lisa Huttner
TheHotPinkPen
Films For Two
WomenArts.org

4/12/10

Arts Magazine Screening Room

Lily Tomlin On Call. The irreverent and unconventionally female comic phones in to the Arts Magazine with reflections on her numerous personas counting that nosy bill collector Ernestine and The Incredible Shrinking Woman; memories of Robert Altman on Nashville; the influence of her Detroit workingclass roots on her unique brand of humor; and how her characters change with the changing social issues through time.

And...
A conversation with Ethiopian born Sankofa director and Howard University Professor Haile Gerima, delving into an African filmmaker's perspective on race and class in African American cinema.

LISTEN TO THE SHOW HERE

4/7/10

TCM Film Fest 2010: Screen Goddesses Rule

Bette Davis: 'Getting Old Ain't For Sissies.'

By Penelope Andrew
Huffington Post


"I AM BIG, IT'S THE PICTURES THAT GOT SMALL."
----Norma Desmond (Gloria Swanson) in Sunset Boulevard


...Osborne remarked that classic films such as All About Eve were made to be seen on a large screen, but lamented that they seldom are. He enticed the audience with the April film festival by naming some of the classic films and actors who will be seen "three stories high" just as they were when the films debuted. Bette Davis, Sanders, and the All About Eve cast which also featured Celeste Holm, Anne Baxter, Gary Merrill (soon to become Davis' fourth and last husband), Marilyn Monroe (in one of her earliest credited roles), and the irrepressible, superb character actress Thelma Ritter did not disappoint and obviously remain giants of the silver screen to the enthusiastic, 2010 New York audience.

CONTINUE TO READ ARTICLE HERE

Like Casablanca (1942), All About Eve (1950) is one of those classic films one can watch over and over again without ever falling out of love with it. Part of its splendor is to be found in a “truly bravura performance by its star, Bette Davis, as a theatrical diva whose temper tantrums towards others are as much fun to watch as are her savage misgivings about herself,” wrote Kenneth L. Geist back in 2000 in a New York Times review of a book devoted entirely to the subject of the film....

CONTINUE TO READ PART II HERE

Penelope Andrew, a NYC-based writer who contributes to The Huffington Post and Critical Women on Film, is a member of the Women Film Critics Circle. A certified psychoanalytic psychotherapist and licensed clinical social worker, she maintains a private psychotherapy practice in NYC. Penelope Andrew is reporting from the Turner Classics Movies Film Festival in LA for The Huffington Post.

3/26/10

Generation Zero Doc Counterpunch Review: Tea Party Cinema A Weak Brew


...Invoking intimidating biblical scriptures that are fused visually with looming tornadoes, rotting fruit, paper money on fire, and a man versus lion beatdown, Generation Zero and its Tea Party animals get down to business on fast forward by blaming the current economic crisis retroactively on Lucifer, Woodstock, Dems, post-hippie yuppies lighting up cigars with burning Ben Franklins, Hollywood, Black Panthers, anti-war protesters and disrespectful post-WWII youth. Which might leave the marginalized left in this country scratching their collective heads while caught between pondering these neo-McCarthyite attacks, and shock that they seem to wield such enormous power over the course of history...

CONTINUE TO READ COUNTERPUNCH REVIEW HERE

Prairie Miller

Mob Rules: Tea Party's High Noon

By Sikivu Hutchinson

...Reveling in nightly PR infusions from the corporate lapdogs of American journalism, the freshly evangelized macho racist right has ensured that its charge of a socialist government expansion is now viewed as a “reasonable” critique of an overhaul that effectively concedes universal coverage to the insurance industry. Mining a deep strain of patriarchal backlash, the Tea Partiers have taken Christian fundamentalists’ language of “moral” panic and used it as a goad to a white nationalist uprising obsessed with the imagery of enslavement...


CONTINUE TO READ ARTICLE HERE

Sikivu Hutchinson is the editor of Blackfemlens, a journal of progressive commentary and literature, and the author of the forthcoming book Mortal Combat: Black Atheists, Gender Politics and Secular America. She is member of the Women Film Critics Circle, a commentator on Pacifica's Some Of Us Are Brave on KPFK 90.7FM, and a reporter for the LA Women's Desk of the WBAI Radio Women's Collective in NY.
Listen to blackfemlens commentaries on Fridays, 6:25pm LA Time, at http://kpfk.org.

3/25/10

From The Women's Desk


The Havana In NY Film Festival: Distinguished guests from the film world in Cuba, with discussion of how movies get made under socialism without commercial imperatives as the driving force, and women both in front of and behind the camera in Cuba.

Also...Redefining Marriage: What's wrong with marriage today, and do we need it.

LISTEN TO THE SHOW HERE

A Presentation of The WBAI Women's Collective, Taking Feminism To The Next Level.

Hosts: Eneida DelValle, Joy Rose, Prairie Miller, Alana Free.

3/24/10

Screening Room: Janet Jackson, Shirin Nashat

Janet Jackson on acting as a healing process. The performer turned actress on her latest movie, Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married Too, and how disappearing into a character with anger management issues, helped her through the tragedy of brother Michael Jackson's death.

LISTEN TO THE SHOW HERE

And...Women Without Men: Iranian born NYC based director Shirin Neshat's disturbing, mystical portrayal of the haunting colonialist history Of Iran, as she addresses the hard questions. Including the origins of Middle Eastern rage against the West in the CIA backed destruction of Iranian democracy in 1953. And the dilemma of supporting protests in Iran while warding off the anti-government push by US imperialist wolves at the door.

3/21/10

Arts Magazine Screening Room

Shirtwaist Factory Workers prepare to strike.

Screening Room: The birth of television news and US documentary in radical underground filmmaking, and the misremembering of history. Filmmaker Tom Hurwitz on the legacy and impact of the Great Depression Workers Film And Photo League, the Red Channels purges, and a people's cinema movement born in vacant lots and union halls.
Also...Transplant take-out medical terrorism and recipients resistance uprising, in Repo Men.
And...Stephen Wolf, reads poetry commemorating the anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, March 25,1911

3/19/10

Women Without Men: Rape, Rebellion And Radio In Iran



...Rape, resistance and rebel radio in Iran, and a tormented girl forced into prostitution whose ravaged, anorexic body symbolizes women and a nation alike, plundered and depleted by avaricious forces feeding upon it, both foreign and conspiring from within...

CONTINUE TO READ REVIEW HERE

Interview With Director Shirin Nashat about Women Without Men:

LISTEN TO THE SHOW HERE

Prairie Miller

Women Without Men will debut at New Directors, New Films on 3/30 and 3/31. The film series runs 3/24 through 4/4 in NYC. More information is at: Newdirectors.org. Women Without Men will open theatrically in LA beginning April 9th, and in NYC in May.

Iran and The Global Struggle for Women

By Sikivu Hutchinson


...As many Middle Eastern activists have noted, U.S. occupation has been a major catalyst for the rise of Islamic fundamentalism. However, Gol cautioned, “Islamic fundamentalism hangs on its ‘death to America’” rhetoric as a means of legitimizing and reinforcing nationalism. In some regards, poor people in the region see no other viable alternative to Western imperialism besides Islamic fundamentalism. Tragically, some Iranian feminists and intellectuals also buy into this line. And it is for this reason that Gol faults the activists of the Iranian Green Movement for their failure to challenge its leaders on the issue of nationalism and women’s rights. Global women’s liberation is undermined by cultural binaries that weave a narrative of Western enlightenment versus Middle Eastern fundamentalism... I

CONTINUE TO READ ARTICLE HERE

Sikivu Hutchinson is the editor of blackfemlens.org, a journal of progressive commentary and literature, and the author of the forthcoming book Mortal Combat: Black Atheists, Gender Politics and Secular America. She is member of the Women Film Critics Circle, a commentator on Pacifica's Some Of Us Are Brave on KPFK 90.7FM, and a reporter for the LA Women's Desk of the WBAI Radio Women's Collective in NY.
Listen to blackfemlens commentaries on Fridays, 6:25pm LA Time, at http://kpfk.org.

3/13/10

Director Fay Ann Lee Talks Falling For Grace


Screening Room. Cinderella In Chinatown: The roots of class consciousness in female folklore, and neighborhood sweatshops in confrontation with divisive step-sisterhood. Director Fay Ann Lee talks the politics and economics of identity in Falling For Grace.

LISTEN TO INTERVIEW HERE

3/8/10

Children Of Invention: A Conversation With Director Tze Chun

Screening Room: Children Of Invention. While the Oscars heaped accolades on the eve of International Women's Day, on movies like Precious and The Blind Side that demonize ghetto mothers living in poverty, Asian American filmmaker Tze Chun in contrast conveys a candid yet compassionate dramatic portrait based on his own childhood with a struggling single undocumented immigrant working mother, under the impact of a brutal social system that could care less. And, while surviving foreclosure, homelessness, worker exploitation and the INS. A conversation with Tze Chun.


3/1/10

Hitchcock, Nixon And The Taliban

Screening Room: Documentary Fortnight at the Museum of Modern Art. Locating Hitchcock within the volatile historical currents his day, from the Cold War, the Cuban missile crisis, spectacle sparring between Nixon, JFK and Khrushchev, television versus radio, cinema versus television, consumerism, and suspect coffee commercials as sinister metaphor, to finally 'fear as commodity' in a catastrophe culture, within what seems like the ultimate reality film noir. And, whose Taliban? In Miscreants Of Talliwood. And more...

All About Her Mother

Cindy Kleine's Phyllis and Harold, And Actress Jean Simmons: Leading Lady in Her Final Film

2010-02-19-JeanSimmons33.jpg

By Penelope Andrew
The Huffington Post

Born nine years after Phyllis, the actress Jean Simmons shares some things in common with her....It's another film that tries to make sense of Friedan's feminine mystique--that awful, nagging sense that something in life is missing....

CONTINUE TO READ ARTICLE HERE

Penelope Andrew, a NYC-based writer who contributes to The Huffington Post and Critical Women on Film, is a member of the Women Film Critics Circle. A certified psychoanalytic psychotherapist and licensed clinical social worker, she maintains a private psychotherapy practice in NYC.

Racial Politics And The Black Image In Hollywood

By Sikivu Hutchinson
Our Weekly, Los Angeles

....Critical darling Precious (directed by African American filmmaker Lee Daniels) and audience favorite The Blind Side have both garnered Oscar nods for portrayals that some Black critics and moviegoers have dubbed condescending and stereotypical. The irony is not lost on novelist Ishmael Reed, author of the forthcoming Barack Obama and the Jim Crow Media. In a recent article in the New York Times Reed wrote, “The Blacks who are enraged by Precious have probably figured out that this film wasn’t meant for them. It was the enthusiastic response from white audiences and critics that culminated in the film being nominated for six Oscars by the Academy...an outfit whose 43 governors are all white and whose membership in terms of diversity is 40 years behind Mississippi”....

CONTINUE TO READ ARTICLE HERE

Sikivu Hutchinson is the editor of blackfemlens.org and the author of the forthcoming book Mortal Combat: Black Atheists, Gender Politics and Secular America. She writes for Our Weekly, is member of the Women Film Critics Circle, The James Agee Cinema Circle of political criticism, a commentator on Pacifica's KPFK 90.7FM. and a reporter for the LA Women's Desk of the WBAI Radio Women's Collective in NY.

Children Of Invention Movie Review: Motherhood Meltdown


...Heartbreak, regret and enormous compassion: The plight of immigrants, foreclosed families, moms and children on their own in an uncaring system and desperately reinventing themselves, and the way workers become hurtfully pitted against one another for survival.

CONTINUE TO READ REVIEW HERE

2/18/10

THE JACC ANTI-OSCARS: Best Political Films 2009


THE JAMES AGEE CINEMA CIRCLE ANTI-OSCARS: BEST POLITICAL FILMS 2009

THE TRUMBO: The James Agee Cinema Circle Award for BEST PROGRESSIVE PICTURES is named after Oscar-winning screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, a member of the Hollywood Ten, who was imprisoned for his beliefs and refusing to inform. Trumbo helped break the Blacklist when he received screen credit for "Spartacus" and "Exodus" in 1960.
AMERICAN VIOLET
AVATAR
CAPITALISM: A LOVE STORY
INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS
THE MESSENGER
UP IN THE AIR

OUR DAILY BREAD AWARD: For the most positive and inspiring working class images in movies this year.
AMREEKA
BIG FAN
EVERLASTING MOMENTS
SUGAR
SUNSHINE CLEANING
UP IN THE AIR

THE ROBESON AWARD: Named after courageous performing legend, Paul Robeson. The award is for the movies that best express the people of color in light of the historically demeaning portrayal in films.
AMERCIAN VIOLET
AMREEKA
AVATAR

THE TOMAS GUTIERREZ ALEA AWARD: Named after the late legendary Cuban filmmaker. For best depicting mass popular uprising or revolutionary transformation in movies.
AVATAR
THE BAADER MENIHOF COMPLEX
EVERLASTING MOMENTS
INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS

THE SERGEI: The Award for Best Progressive LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT is named after the Soviet filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein, who created Russian revolutionary classics such as 1925's "Potemkin" and 1927's "10 Days That Shook the World."
KEN LOACH for class conscious moviemaking and activism
EMMA THOMPSON for movement building against sex trafficking

THE MODERN TIMES: The Award for Best Progressive Film SATIRES is named after Charlie Chaplin, who made 1936's "Modern Times" and 1940's "The Great Dictator."
BRUNO
CAPITALISM: A LOVE STORY
DRAG ME TO HELL
THE GOLDEN BOYS
PONTYPOOL
UP IN THE AIR
WHATEVER WORKS

THE ORSON: The Award for BEST OVERLOOKED OR THEATRICALLY UNRELEASED [seen at festivals, or on TV or DVD only] Progressive Films is named after actor/director Orson Welles. After he directed the masterpiece "Citizen Kane" Welles had difficulty getting most of his other movies made.
GREY GARDENS
TATTOED UNDER FIRE

BEST MOVIE LINE:
I Love You Because...'I LOVE THE WAY YOU FIGHT FOR WHAT YOU BELIEVE IN.' - A CHRISTMAS PROPOSAL

COURAGE IN FILM CRITICISM: ROGER FRIEDMAN SUES TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX FOR CRITIC ABUSE.

ELIA KAZAN HALL OF SHAME 2009: Citations for the worst anti-workingclass and right wing movies of the year is named after director Elia Kazan, who was Hollywood's 'King Rat.' Kazan not only informed on leftists to the House Un-American Activities Committee, he took out a New York Times ad justifying his self-serving treachery.

*The Elia Kazan Hall Of Shame represents the 'don't tell me to shut up' sidebar contribution of individual members, and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the entire Circle. Also, members may be objecting to particular characters in a film, and not the entire movie....

2/17/10

Legal Eagle Rose Byrne


By Winnie Bonelli

Actress Rose Byrne slept with Brad Pitt in “Troy,” and attempted to save the world with Nicholas Cage in “Knowing.” Yet her regular Emmy and Golden Globe nominated gig finds her verbally sparring with Glenn Close on F/X’s “Damages” that returns for a third season on Jan. 25th.

Backstabbing is an integral part of “Damages,” and more recently minted attorney Ellen, Byrne’s alter ego, still expresses a secret desire to duke it out with Patty Hewes, Glenn Close’s character, in the courtroom. Yet producer Glenn Kesseler expressed another priority, “At the end of season two, Patty and Ellen were very separate. Will they or won’t they encounter one another and interact? And if so, how will that go?”

Byrne added, “I think this season will be exploring the theme of family. You get to see Ellen with her parents and her sister and I think it reveals a lot about where she came from. It’s the polar opposite of her life with Patty and at the office. Ellen hasn’t spoken to Patty for six months and she’s really moved on in a real genuine kind of sense.

“The complexity of their relationship is definitely something that we still kind of end up exploring throughout the season.”

Also in the forefront is the investigation of a Bernie Madoff-esque situation, casting Len Cariou in the spotlight with Lily Tomlin playing his wife, while Martin Short appears as the formidable family attorney.

Despite the award nominations, Byrne’s career has managed to fly just below the radar. The native of Balmain, a suburb of Sydney, was only 12 when a talent agent landed her a role in Sandra Bernhard’s “Dallas Doll.” The native of Balmain, a suburb of Sydney, was next seen in the Australian soap “Echo Point.”

In hindsight, it was “a six month crash course in getting famous,” one that abruptly ended with the cancellation of the show.

Fortunately, Byrne rebounded three years later when director Gregor Jordan cast her opposite another relative unknown, Heath Ledger, in the crime caper “Two Hands.” Heating up beyond the screen, Byrne became romantically involved with Jordan, who took her to Los Angeles. As for Ledger, the subject remains off limits.

Seldom lacking for work, a partial list of credits include Sophia Coppola’s “Marie Antoinette,” the sci-fi thriller “28 Weeks Later” and Danny Boyle’s “Sunshine,” plus Paul McGuigan’s thriller “Wicker Park with Josh Hartnett.

Byrne recently wrapped the latest installment from Judd Apatow titled “Get Him to the Greek” with Russell Borand. Set for release by Universal in April, Byrne plays a pop star, a role that requires her to render a few tunes.

That wasn’t a problem, but the costumes were. “You really have to have a lot of confidence to wear them,” she laughed. Judging from the hype that’s already begun to build, “Get Him to the Greek” could be just the vehicle needed to officially propel Byrne to A-list status.

*Winnie Bonelli writes for the North Jersey Media Group, New Jersey Monthly Magazine, Coleman-Rayner LLC Celebrity Syndicate, (201) Magazine, Irish Connections, The Independent on Long Island, and Life & Style Magazine. She is a member of The Women Film Critics Circle.