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
THE WOMEN FILM CRITICS CIRCLE TENTH ANNIVERSARY AWARDS CEREMONY 2014 BROADCAST

Listen to the show here

12/13/14

The Women Film Critics Circle Awards 2014



              Best Foreign Film: Two Days, One Night

The Women Film Critics Circle is an association of sixty-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. Here are our WFCC Tenth Anniversary Film Awards:

WOMEN FILM CRITICS CIRCLE AWARDS 2014

BEST MOVIE ABOUT WOMEN

Still Alice

BEST MOVIE BY A WOMAN

Selma: Ava Duvernay

BEST WOMAN STORYTELLER [Screenwriting Award]

Ida: Rebecca Lenkiewicz [Co-screenwriter]

BEST ACTRESS

Julianne Moore: Still Alice

BEST ACTOR

Eddie Redmayne: The Theory Of Everything

BEST YOUNG ACTRESS

 Mira Grosin: We Are The Best



 BEST COMEDIC ACTRESS
Jenny Slate: Obvious Child

BEST FOREIGN FILM BY OR ABOUT WOMEN

Two Days, One Night

BEST FEMALE IMAGES IN A MOVIE
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1

WORST FEMALE IMAGES IN A MOVIE
Horrible Bosses 2
       
BEST MALE IMAGES IN A MOVIE
  
Love Is Strange

WORST MALE IMAGES IN A MOVIE
   
Dumb And Dumber To

BEST DOCUMENTARY BY OR ABOUT WOMEN
Citizenfour

BEST SCREEN COUPLE
The Skeleton Twins

BEST THEATRICALLY UNRELEASED MOVIE BY OR ABOUT WOMEN

Girlhood

BEST EQUALITY OF THE SEXES

TIE: Life Itself, The Skeleton Twins

BEST ANIMATED FEMALE

Winnie: Boxtrolls

BEST FAMILY FILM
Big Hero 6

WOMEN'S WORK/BEST ENSEMBLE

The Homesman

*SPECIAL MENTION AWARDS*


COURAGE IN FILMMAKING
LAURA POITRAS: For bringing the Edward Snowden NSA revelations to light in Citizenfour, and driven into exile in Germany for doing so.

*ADRIENNE SHELLY AWARD:
A film that most passionately opposes violence against women
Frontera
Private Violence
 
*JOSEPHINE BAKER AWARD:
For best expressing the woman of color experience in America
Anita: Speaking Truth To Power

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

ACTING AND ACTIVISM AWARD
Rosario Dawson

For her work with The Lower East Side Girls Club; the environmental group Global Cool; the ONE Campaign; Oxfam; Amnesty International; Voto Latino; V-Day, a global non-profit movement that raises funds for women's anti-violence groups; RESPECT! Campaign, a movement aimed at preventing domestic violence; and countless other organizations.

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Oprah Winfrey

COURAGE IN ACTING: [Taking on unconventional roles that radically redefine the images of women on screen]
Julianne Moore: Still Alice

BEST FEMALE ACTION STAR
Oprah Winfrey: Selma


THE INVISIBLE WOMAN AWARD: [Performance by a woman whose exceptional impact on the film dramatically, socially or historically, has been ignored]
Felicity Jones: The Theory Of Everything

WOMAN'S RIGHT TO MALES ROLES IN MOVIES
Jessica Chastain: Interstellar

MOMMIE DEAREST WORST SCREEN MOM OF THE YEAR AWARD:


*TIE
  Charlotte Gainsbourg: Nymphomaniac

  Uma Thurman: Nymphomaniac
 










JUST KIDDING AWARDS

*Best Female Images: Nymphomaniac

*Forty-Plus Female Empowerment Award: For the producers who give women over forty  meaningful roles in movies on a regular basis, in an industry where forty is the new  ninety-five - and as other than maniacs and witches.

*Merry Macho Award: Seth Rogen and James Franco: For advancing the cause of world peace  with their presidential assassination comedy, The Interview. And who knows, while possibly mulling the  Interview II sequel comedy, the assassination of US President Obama. And for further extending  Hollywood as a wing of the US military and CIA, following leaked email revelations that the US State Department advocated Sony to use the film to help bring down the DPRK government.

BEST LINE IN A MOVIE:
Big Hero 6: 'Stop Whining. Woman Up!'

**ADRIENNE SHELLY AWARD: Adrienne Shelly was a promising actress and filmmaker who was brutally strangled in her apartment in 2006 at the age of forty by a construction worker in the building, after she complained about noise. Her killer tried to cover up his crime by hanging her from a shower rack in her bathroom, to make it look like a suicide. He later confessed that he was having a “bad day.” Shelly, who left behind a baby daughter, had just completed her film Waitress, which she also starred in, and which was honored at Sundance after her death.

**JOSEPHINE BAKER AWARD:
The daughter of a laundress and a musician, Baker overcame being born black, female and poor, and marriage at age fifteen, to become an internationally acclaimed legendary performer, starring in the films Princess Tam Tam, Moulin Rouge and Zou Zou. She also survived the race riots in East St. Louis, Illinois as a child, and later expatriated to France to escape US racism. After participating heroically in the underground French Resistance during WWII, Baker returned to the US where she was a crusader for racial equality. Her activism led to attacks against her by reporter Walter Winchell who denounced her as a communist, leading her to wage a battle against him. Baker was instrumental in ending segregation in many theaters and clubs, where she refused to perform unless integration was implemented.

**KAREN MORLEY AWARD: Karen Morley was a promising Hollywood star in the 1930s, in such films as Mata Hari and Our Daily Bread. She was driven out of Hollywood for her leftist political convictions by the Blacklist and for refusing to testify against other actors, while Robert Taylor and Sterling Hayden were informants against her. And also for daring to have a child and become a mother, unacceptable for female stars in those days. Morley maintained her militant political activism for the rest of her life, running for Lieutenant Governor on the American Labor Party ticket in 1954. She passed away in 2003, unrepentant to the end, at the age of 93.


CONTACT: Criticalwomen@gmail.com

12/9/14

The Women Film Critics Circle Award Nominations 2014

                  Kristen Stewart, Camp X-Ray

The Women Film Critics Circle has announced its 2O14 unique nominations for the best movies this year by and about women. And outstanding achievements by women, who rarely get to be honored historically in the film world.

The Women Film Critics Circle is an association of 65 women film critics and scholars from around the country and internationally, who are involved in print, radio, online and TV broadcast media.

They 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. And WFCC is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year. WFCC also prides itself on being the most culturally and racially diverse critics group in the country by far, and best reflecting the diversity of movie audiences.

Critical Women On Film, a presentation of The Women Film Critics Circle, is their journal of discussion and theory. And a gathering of women's voices expressing a fresh and differently experienced perspective from the primarily male dominated film criticism world.

BEST MOVIE ABOUT WOMEN
Camp X-Ray
The Homesman
Still Alice
Two Days, One Night


BEST MOVIE BY A WOMAN

Belle
Selma
The Babadook
The Pretty One


BEST WOMAN STORYTELLER [Screenwriting Award]

Belle: Misan Sagay
Ida: Rebecca Lenkiewicz
Obvious Child: Gillian Robespierre
The Babadook: Jennifer Kent


BEST ACTRESS
Marion Cotillard: Two Days, One Night
Carol Kane: Clutter
Julianne Moore: Still Alice
Kristen Stewart: Camp X-Ray


BEST ACTOR
Tom Hardy: Locke
Tommy Lee Jones: The Homesman
Eddie Redmayne: The Theory Of Everything
Jeremy Renner: Kill The Messenger


BEST YOUNG ACTRESS

Mira Grosin: We Are The Best
Lorelei Linklater: Boyhood
Saoirse Ronan: The Grand Budapest Hotel
Quvenzhane Wallis: Annie


BEST COMEDIC ACTRESS

Anna Kendrick: Happy Christmas
Helen Mirren: The Hundred-Foot Journey
Jenny Slate: Obvious Child
Kristen Wiig: Skeleton Twins


BEST FOREIGN FILM BY OR ABOUT WOMEN

Ida
Two Days, one Night
We Are The Best
Zero Motivation


BEST FEMALE IMAGES IN A MOVIE

Belle
Lucky Them
Obvious Child
1,000 Times Good Night


WORST FEMALE IMAGES IN A MOVIE

Gone Girl
Nymphomaniac
Sex Tape
Sin City: A Dame To Kill For


BEST MALE IMAGES IN A MOVIE

Cesar Chavez
Kill The Messenger
Love Is Strange
The Homesman


WORST MALE IMAGES IN A MOVIE

Bad Words
Big Eyes
Dumb And Dumber To
Listen Up Philip


BEST THEATRICALLY UNRELEASED MOVIE BY OR ABOUT WOMEN

Girlhood
Ukraine Is Not A Brothel


WOMEN'S WORK/BEST ENSEMBLE
The Homesman
Two Days, One Night
We're The Best
Zero Motivation


SPECIAL MENTION AWARDS

*COURAGE IN FILMMAKING:
CitizenFour


*ADRIENNE SHELLY AWARD: For a film that most passionately opposes violence against women

Frontera
Private Violence

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

Anita: Speaking Truth To Power
The Maid's Room


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

Belle
Big Eyes

COURAGE IN ACTING [Taking on unconventional roles that radically redefine the images of women on screen]

Carla Juri: Wetlands
Julianne Moore: Still Alice
Hilary Swank: The Homesman
Reese Witherspoon: Wild


THE INVISIBLE WOMAN AWARD: [Performance by a woman whose exceptional impact on the film dramatically, socially or historically, has been ignored]

Amy Adams: Big Eyes
Patricia Arquette: Boyhood
Felicity Jones: The Theory Of Everything
Hilary Swank: The Homesman


BEST DOCUMENTARY BY OR ABOUT WOMEN
Anita: Speaking Truth To Power
CitizenFour
Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me
She's Beautiful When She's Angry


MOMMIE DEAREST WORST SCREEN MOM OF THE YEAR AWARD
Charlotte Gainsbourg: Nymphomaniac


BEST SCREEN COUPLE
Boyhood
Elsa & Fred
Obvious Child
Skeleton Twins

BEST LINE IN A MOVIE
Big Hero 6: “Stop whining. Woman up!”

A WOMAN'S RIGHT TO MALE ROLES IN MOVIES
Jessica Chastain: Interstellar

JUST KIDDING AWARDS:
 

*Forty-Plus Female Empowerment Award: For the producers who give women over forty meaningful roles in movies on a regular basis, in an industry where forty is the new ninety-five - and as other than maniacs and witches.

*Merry Macho Award: Seth Rogen and James Franco: For advancing the cause of world peace with their presidential assassination comedy, The Interview, and for further extending Hollywood as a wing of the US military and the CIA. And, while possibly mulling the Interview II sequel comedy -  the assassination of President Obama.

*ADRIENNE SHELLY AWARD: Adrienne Shelly was a promising actress and filmmaker who was brutally strangled in her apartment in 2006 at the age of forty by a construction worker in the building, after she complained about noise. Her killer tried to cover up his crime by hanging her from a shower20rack in her bathroom, to make it look like a suicide. He later confessed that he was having a "bad day." Shelly, who left behind a baby daughter, had just completed her film Waitress, which she also starred in, and which was honored at Sundance after her death.

*JOSEPHINE BAKER AWARD:
The daughter of a laundress and a musician, Baker overcame being born black, female and poor, and marriage at age fifteen, to become an internationally acclaimed legendary performer, starring in the films Princess Tam Tam, Moulin Rouge and Zou Zou. She also survived the race riots in East St. Louis, Illinois as a child, and later expatriated to France to escape US racism. After participating heroically in the underground French Resistance during WWII, Baker returned to the US where she was a crusader for racial equality. Her activism led to attacks against her by reporter Walter Winchell who denounced her as a communist, leading her to wage a battle against him. Baker was instrumental in ending segregation in many theaters and clubs, where she refused to perform unless integration was implemented.

*KAREN MORLEY AWARD:
Karen Morley was a promising Hollywood star in the 1930s, in such films as Mata Hari and Our Daily Bread. She was driven out of Hollywood for her leftist political convictions by the Blacklist and for refusing to testify against other actors, while Robert Taylor and Sterling Hayden were informants against her. And also for daring to have a child and become a mother, unacceptable for female stars in those days. Morley maintained her militant political activism for the rest of her life, running for Lieutenant Governor on the American Labor Party ticket in 1954. She passed away in 2003, unrepentant to the end, at the age of 93.

10/7/14

Gone Girl: Marriage, Murder And The Media


By Veronica Mixon

The literary buzz about Gillian Flynn’s novel and the anticipation of David Fincher’s film based on the author’s screenplay, is well worth the fuss by the news and social media.  Gone Girl is the most satisfying dramatic mystery that I’ve seen in many, many years.
 

Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike play Nick and Amy Dunne who are about to celebrate their fifth wedding anniversary, when Amy simply disappears.  Nick promptly calls the police to his elegant suburban home, and they look at a smashed glass coffee table and a tiny blood smear in the kitchen and begin to suspect foul play.  
 

As they search for Amy, who is well-known because her parents used her as a character in a series of children’s books, the media coverage surrounding this possible tragedy swells into a frenzy of neighbors, curiosity seekers and obsessed fans.  However, Nick’s cool, aloof manner wins him few friends.  While the police led by Detective Boney (Kim Dickens) and the public idolize the beautiful images of his blonde wife, Nick is demonized because he’s an unemployed writer desperate to be liked.  Also, the veneer of his not-so-perfect marriage begins to crumble, and the only support Nick receives is from his sister (Carrie Coon), who honestly confides, “whoever took her is bound to bring her back.”
 

Ms. Flynn has written a superb tale of narcissism in a marriage, and the fantasy and lurid fascination with celebrity constructed from the news.  Director Fincher, whose films include Seven, Zodiac and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, calls this public obsession ‘Tragedy Vampirism.’  He loves delving into the murky world of human folly and bad decisions, and he’s assembled an excellent cast to bring this story to light. 
 

Oscar winner (Argo), Ben Affleck is fearless in his portrayal of feckless Nick.  On and off screen, he’s no stranger to intense media scrutiny, and plays this part perfectly.  The lovely Rosamund Pike, best known for Pride & Prejudice, Die Another Day and Jack Reacher, astounds audiences with an intricate portrait of determined woman with many dark corners.  Watching these two people, you realize that the romantic notion of marriage is a fragile bubble. And, you wonder if underneath it all, how much of marriage is lying.
 

The cast also includes Tyler Perry as Nick’s smart media savvy attorney, and Neil Patrick Harris as Amy’s weird former beau. Boyd Holbrook and Lora Kirke are equally compelling as a menacing, trashy duo who dispense important life lessons to one of the principle character.
 

Together Ms. Flynn and Mr. Fincher have created a wonderfully twisted film about modern marriage. Whether you’re satisfied or not with the ending, you will not forget this film.

Veronica Mixon is film critic and editor of Film Gazette. She is a member of The Women Film Critics Circle.

10/6/14

White Bird In A Blizzard Review: Snow Job For Shailene Woodley

 By Jan Aaron

Fall 1988. Kat Connor (Shailene Woodley) is about to have her life turned upside down. Kat's mother, the flamboyant Eve (Eva Gram) has vanished.

Kat thinks her boyfriend Phil (Shiloh Fernandez) may know something more than he's telling.  Detective Scieziesciez (Thomas Jane) suspects Dad (Christopher Meloni).

But the mystery is never in the spotlight. (Well, it's in a dim light!). Kat wanders through the days after her disappearance. There are a few flashbacks, and then, kaboom! The film leaps to the present.

White Bird, written and directed by Gregg Araki, should be a mystery. We long for more: A few spine tingles. What we get is Sex in Suburbia.

Woodley is always great as she has been, ever since her breakthrough film, The Descendants. But what we see of Gram as her mother, is overacting that would have embarrassed Bette Davis.

Jan Aaron writes for Education Update. She is a member of The Women Film Critics Circle.

7/20/14

HE SAID, SHE SAID....Music, Mystique And Misogyny


                 A MACHO CRITIC FREE ZONE

HE SAID....

By Gerald Wright

'...What the film does explain is the misogyny of Fela Kuti.  His exploitation of women is exposed, but in many scenes of the documentary, interviewees tend to swipe this deplorable attitude under the rug.   Personally, I can not understand how a person who advocated for civil rights, not acknowledge the basic human rights of women.  This leads me to believe that this man of a privileged upper middle-class background used this Human Rights ideology as a scheme or scam, and only used this to encourage a popular trend that grabbed the unrest of a revolutionary era in global history for the marketing of his music.  The 1960s and 1970s were a time in history of protest movements, inherited by many.  Even the rich and famous were embracing this theory, although they wasn't affected by it.  When women were burning bras in support of women's rights and feminism, this man was exploiting them by supporting the lowest form of degradation, misogyny.'

CONTINUE TO READ FINDING FELA REVIEW HERE

Gerald Wright
HDFEST.com
Film Showcase


SHE SAID....

 By S. Jhoanna Robledo

'... the metamorphosis of a young woman who changes from being known as the girlfriend of her famous boyfriend into a musical talent in her own right.'

CONTINUE TO READ BEGIN AGAIN REVIEW HERE

S. Jhoanna Robledo writes for Common Sense Media, and is a member of The Women Film Critics Circle.