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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.

Saturday, September 26, 2020
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Dark Divide, The
  NR   2020
  [Opened Sept. 18 in theaters and virtual cinema, played on Sept. 25 as part of AARP’s Movies for Grownups, and available Nov. 10 on DVD and VOD platforms.] Terrific cinematography and scenery highlight this quirky, moving, factually inspired, poignant, humor-dotted, star-studded (David Koechner, Gary Farmer, Cameron Esposito, Kimberly Guerrero, and Olivia Ritchie), 107-minute film based on Robert Michael Pyle’s novel Where Bigfoot Walks: Crossing the Dark Divide that chronicles renowned, grieving lepidopterist Dr. Pyle’s (David Cross) solo, arduous, dangerous, six-week journey in 1995 through Washington’s Gifford Pinchot National Forest after the tragic death of his beloved wife (Debra Messing) due to ovarian cancer by using a Guggenheim grant in the hopes of discovering new species of butterflies.

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RBG
  PG   2020
  [Rereleases Sept. 25 in theaters to honor Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg; it is also available to stream on Hulu.] An engaging, informative, insightful, candid, in-depth, 98-minute documentary that focuses on the life and career journey of brilliant, workaholic, 84-year-old Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg from her days growing up in Brooklyn, marrying her supportive tax attorney husband Martin Ginsberg, raising children Jane and James, facing discrimination at Harvard and Columbia Law Schools, working as a law professor at Rutgers University, and eventually landing the top job as a Supreme Court Justice where she continues to fight for gender equality and consists of black-and-white photographs, footage of her 1993 Supreme Court Confirmation Hearing, film clips, and interview snippets with NPR commentator Nina Totenberg, lawyers Sharron Frontier Cohen and Ted Olson, Director of the Women’s Rights Project Kathleen Peratis, Director of American Civil Liberties Union Aryeh Neier, judge Harry Edwards and Helen Alvaré, Notorious R.B.G.: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg authors Shana Knizhnik and Irin Carmon, former law clerks Lisa Beattie Frelinghuysen and Aaron Saiger, President Bill Clinton, senator Orrin Hatch, former stenographers Mary Hartnett and Wendy Williams, writer and activist Gloria Steinem, plaintiffs Lily Ledbetter and Stephen Wiesenfeld, Harvard Law School graduate Brenda Feigen, writer Arthur R. Miller, strategist Frank Chi, fitness trainer Bryant Johnson, actor Robert Longbottom, and family members, including husband Marty, son James, daughter Jane, and granddaughter Clara Spera.

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On the Basis of Sex
  PG-13   2020
  [Rereleases Sept. 25 in theaters to honor Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg; it is also available on Showtime and for purchase from various digital retailers.] Terrific acting dominates this captivating, inspirational, insightful, critically acclaimed, factually based, star-studded (Justin Theroux, Kathy Bates, Stephen Root, Jack Reynor, Sam Waterson, and Wendy Crewson), 2-hour biographical film that follows the life and illustrious career of Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Felicity Jones), who raised two children (Cailee Spaeny and Callum Shoniker), from her discrimination days at Harvard Law School in the 1950s, working as a law professor, litigating a landmark case of Moritz v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue with her supportive tax attorney husband (Armie Hammer) before the U. S. Court of Appeals in 1972 in which a bachelor Colorado man (Chris Mulkey) was discriminated against by the IRS tax law, and eventually rising to the position of U.S. Supreme Court Justice in 1993.

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Kajillionaire
  R   2020
  [Opens Sept. 25 in theaters.] Wacky characters highlight Miranda July’s oddball, quirky, melancholy, original, well-acted, star-dotted (Patton Oswalt, Mark Ivanir, Rachel Redleaf, Adam Bartley, and Da’Vine Joy Randolph), 106-minute film in which two egotistical grifters (Richard Jenkins and Debra Winger) and their emotionally paralyzed, 26-year-old daughter (Evan Rachel Wood) spend their days eeking out an existence in Los Angeles by using various ill-conceived schemes, and when they invite a deft stranger (Gina Rodriguez) in on their swindling scams to up their take, surprises are in store for all of them.

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Stranger in Shanghai, A
  NR   2020
  [Available on VOD platforms.] Phenomenal cinematography against a vibrant, colorful backdrop dominates this captivating, well-acted, low-key, factually based, critically acclaimed, 80-minute, 2019 film in two parts that follows fragile, reserved, astute, famous Japanese writer Akutagawa Ryunosuke (Ryûhei Matsuda) when he travels in 1921 to China for four months as an Osaka Times’ journalist at the beginning of the politically volatile Chinese revolution.


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©2020 by Wendy Schadewald

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