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Wendy
Short Redhead Reel Reviews date from 1986 to present. This main page lists the five most recent film reviews. To view a complete list of all films reviewed this month, see Previous Reviews on the right.

Thursday, August 6, 2020
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Burnt Orange Heresy, The
  R   2020
  [Opens Aug. 7 at select Emagine Theaters.] After a shady, ambitious, charming, well-known art critic (Claes Bang), who desires deep down to be a successful artist, accepts an invitation from a wealthy, pompous art collector (Mick Jagger) to visit his Italian summer estate on the shores of Lake Como with his new free-spirited, small-town, American teacher girlfriend (Elizabeth Debicki), who is from Duluth, Minn., in this engaging, dark, well-acted, unpredictable, 99-minute, 2019 neo-noir thriller adapted from Charles Willeford’s 1971 novel and highlighted by striking cinematography, he contemplates stealing a valuable painting from the art studio of a legendary, reclusive artist (Donald Sutherland) for the ruthless collector in exchange for heading up an art gallery, but his devious plan has unforeseen consequences.

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Meru
  R   2020
  [Plays on Aug. 7 as part of AARP's Movie for Grownups and available on Amazon Prime and other VOD platforms.] Striking photography and mountain scenery and brief commentary by “Into Thin Air” author Jon Krakauer highlight this intense, awe-inspiring, gut-wrenching, 90-minute, 2015 documentary that follows the initial harrowing ascent in 2008 and the equally treacherous second attempt in 2011 of three mountain climbers, including Montana-based Conrad Anker, Wyoming-based Jimmy Chin who miraculously survived an avalanche, and Utah-based Renan Ozturk who suffered a near-fatal traumatic brain injury after a climbing accident, as they use all of their skill, tenacity, and fortitude to climb the 4,000-foot wall known as the “Shark’s Fin” on India’s Mount Meru.

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Venus and Serena
  PG-13   2020
  [Available on DVD and Amazon Prime, YouTube, and various VOD platforms.] A fascinating, inspirational, informative, candid, insightful, 99-minute, 2012 documentary that focuses on the early careers of talented, influential, driven, close-knit, champion, Black sibling tennis players Venus and Serena Williams and their challenging 2011 tournament season that was filled with health concerns for both sisters and consists of tournament and interview excerpts and commentary snippets with family (such as father Richard Williams, mother Oracene Price, and sister Isha Price), tennis champion and commentator John McEnroe, former business advisor Leland Hardy, agents Jill Smoller and Carlos Fleming, former coach Rick Macci, tennis players Billie Jean King and Martina Hingis, sports journalists Peter Bodo and Mary Carillo, hitting partners Dave Rineberg and Sascha Bajin, author Gay Talese, President Bill Clinton, Vogue editor Anna Wintour, and comedian Chris Rock.

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Cuban, The
  NR   2020
  [Opens July 31 in Virtual Cinema sponsored by MSP Film Society; for more information, log on to mspfilm.org.] When a compassionate, kind-hearted, 19-year-old, Muslim pre-med student (Ana Golja), who lives with her controlling and strict Afghani aunt (Shohreh Aghdashloo), is assigned to care for an overmedicated, agitated, Alzheimer’s nursing home resident (Louis Gossett Jr.), who suffers from dementia and refuses to eat, in this captivating, touching, heartwarming, down-to-earth, well acted, star-dotted (Lauren Holly, Giacomo Gianniotti, and Shiva Negar), 109-minute, 2019 film highlighted by wonderful music and wonderful cinematography, she reignites her own passion for music after she decides to see whether she can help her charge through his love of music and Cuban food and in the process discovers that he is a legendary, talented jazz musician from Cuba.

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Fight, The
  PG-13   2020
  [Partially subtitled] [Opens July 31 in Virtual Cinema sponsored by MSP Film Society; for more information, log on to mspfilm.org.] An educational, critically acclaimed, ire-inducing, heartbreaking, inspirational, behind-the-scenes, 96-minute documentary that follows a group of committed, dedicated, heroic American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) attorneys, including ACLU Executive Director Anthony D. Romero, Voting Rights Project Director Dale Ho, Deputy Director of ACLU’s Reproductive Freedom Project Brigitte Amiri, senior staff lawyer Joshua Block at the LGBT & HIV Project, ACLU Deputy Director of Immigrants’ Rights Lee Gelernt, and Deputy Director Transgender Justice Chase Strangio, who represented a diverse group of clients during the Trump administration on unpopular, controversial cases involving abortion rights, immigrant rights and the separation of children from their parents who are seeking asylum in America, LGBT rights and the prohibition of transgenders serving in the military, the legality of the citizenship question in the census, and the Muslim travel ban that denies Muslims from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya, Sudan, and Somalia from entering the U.S. and consists of commentary by director of refugee resettlement Scott Lloyd, naval petty officer Brock Stone, ACLU legal directors Jeffrey Robinson and David Cole, and ACLU communications director Stacy Sullivan.


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©2020 by Wendy Schadewald

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