Dallas Buyers Club (2013) Dir. Jean-Marc Vallée


Ron Woodroof (Matthew McConaughey) takes drugs, sleeps with prostitutes, is verbally abusive, vulgar, and homophobic. Ron is also diagnosed with HIV virus. He has 30 days to live. We learn early on he brought it on himself. Can we have any sympathy for him?

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White Bird in a Blizzard (2014) Dir. Gregg Araki


Since we are young parents equip us with insecurities and complexes. And it is our lifetime job to get over them and become normal. What does an AWOL Mom equip her teenager daughter with? How does a young girl deal with everything from sex, desire, school, to parents fighting, sexual frustration, and mother gone missing?

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Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle (1994) Dir. Alan Rudolph


Dorothy Parker (Jennifer Jason Leigh) was a fascinating figure. She was an opinionated, passionate, witty and sharp writer. She was a member of the famous Algonquin Round Table, a New York group of writers, actors, and critics. The movie documents her life, loves, writing, and the Round Table. Yet, it doesn’t do them justice. It presents the facts, but lacks the intoxicated spark of the Roaring Twenties. Sadly, it copies straight from a documentary The Ten-Year Lunch: The Wit and Legend of the Algonquin Round Table (1987), while lacking interesting elements of a featured film.

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84 Charing Cross Road (1987) Dir. David Hugh Jones


The movie smells of dust, old paper, and cigarette smoke. It clicks and clacks with typewriter sounds. It shows how to order out-of-print books, and look for antiquary bookstores. You can call it old or outdated. But it is a fascinating look at two cultures – British and American, two cities – London and New York, and two book lovers – Frank (Anthony Hopkins) and Helen (Anne Bancroft).

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Very Good Girls (2013) Dir. Naomi Foner


This movie boldly goes where very few movies have gone before. It focuses on women. Women of all ages, personalities, needs. Women young, undecided, searching. It centers around female attractions. Yet, there are no rules of attraction. The attraction rules. It rules people, and it shapes lives.

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…verbal abuse

Surviving Picasso (1996) Dir. James Ivory


Where is the line between love and abuse? Why does a young and intelligent woman let herself be trapped in an abusive relationship? How can an abuser be toxic to everyone around him and at the same time alluring? One woman’s journey through being put down and diminished to liberated and empowered.

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What Makes a Family (2001) Dir. Maggie Greenwald


Janine (Brooke Shields) is a weak person. She is vulnerable, fragile, afraid. She lets denial and depression take over. She is an introvert. She is not a fighter or a role model. But her story is the story of separation, the separation that shapes her into a winner.

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