3 items from 2015
Based on the true story of a low-income Texas school district on the Mexican border whose chess club has helped students gain the opportunity for a brighter future, “Endgame” follows the underdog tale of a middle-schooler for whom the game provides a way to fit in. Touching on weighty themes like immigration and alienation in ways that won’t overtax the young audience it targets, this sophomore effort from writer-producer-director Carmen Marron relies on predictable moves in serving up an underdog tale of a Hispanic family, similar to her urban dance-themed “Go for It.” Opening theatrically today in Los Angeles and expanding Oct. 2, the family film will do most of its business in homes, which is only appropriate, since it has the feel of an Afterschool Special.
- Bill Edelstein
When Caitlyn Jenner revealed her transgender truth to Diane Sawyer on primetime TV, Lgbt issues were thrown under an ever bigger spotlight than ever before. And while scripted series have sporadically featured gay characters, unscripted television embraced the Lgbt community a long time ago.
Certainly television, in general, is far from having evenly distributed representation, with GLAAD’s 2014 annual report of diversity in television calculating only 3.9% of primetime scripted series regulars as members of the Lgbt community.
On all sides of equation, scripted or otherwise, television is experiencing an influx of Lgbt awareness, including Jenner’s new docu-series “I Am Cait” on E!, Laverne Cox’s recurring role in the scripted series “Orange Is the New Black,” Oyxgen’s docu-series “The Prancing Elites Project,” above, which follows an African-American, gay and gender non-conforming dance team, and TLC’s upcoming show “I Am Jazz” about 14-year-old trans teenager Jazz Jennings.
- Seth Kelley
"Still Alice" is a moving film that showcases the immense talent of Julianne Moore; the movie is written and directed by Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland, a couple with a previous run of quirky Independent films like 2013's "The Last of Robin Hood" or 2008's "Pedro," which played the Toronto Film Festival that year.
The film is about characters dealing with early-onset Alzheimer's disease, a horrifying condition when a person loses not only their faculties, but a major part of who they are as they descend into dementia.
Well, this is indeed a tear-jerker, but to its credit the film isn't all about manipulation of emotions as we drive towards the inevitable conclusion. I can't speak to the source material, the 2007 book by Lisa Genova that Westomoreland and Glatzer based their script on, but the narrative does do more than engage in disease porn. There's some lovely character moments amongst the family members, »
- Jason Gorber
3 items from 2015
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