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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.

Wednesday, July 8, 2020
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First Cow
  PG-13   2020
  [Opens July 10 for purchase on Premium VOD.] Kelly Reichardt’s visually impressive, original, unusual, well-acted, poignant, down-to-Earth, comedic, unpredictable, star-studded (Alia Shawkat, René Auberjonois, Scott Shepherd, Gary Farmer, Lily Gladstone, Ted Rooney, and Dylan Smith), 122-minute, 2019 film based on Jonathan Raymond’s novel “Half Life” and highlighted by wonderful sets in which a talented cook and baker (John Magaro) traveling with fur trappers in the Oregon Territory in the 1820s develops a friendship with a Chinese immigrant (Orion Lee) on the run from Russians he meets in the woods and together they start a profitable but precarious business in a ramshackle town selling delicious fried pastries to hungry townsfolk, but to make their prized dough they must steal milk from a cow that belongs to a wealthy aristocrat (Toby Jones) in the middle of the night in secret.

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Tobacconist, The
  NR   2020
  [Subtitled] [Opens July 10 in Virtual Cinema sponsored by MSP Film Society; for more information, log on to mspfilm.org.] Striking cinematography and period sets dominate this engaging, poignant, well-acted, gut-wrenching, coming-of-age, heartbreaking, tension-filled, 117-minute, 2018 film based on Robert Seethaler’s bestselling novel in which a seventeen-year-old teenager (Simon Morzé) leaves his widowed mother (Regina Fritsch) in the scenic countryside and travels to Vienna to work as an apprentice for a one-legged, tobacco shop owner (Johannes Krisch), falls hopelessly in love with a feisty Czech music-hall dancer (Emma Drogunova), and becomes unlikely friends with controversial, world-renown, cigar-loving psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud (Bruno Ganz) in late 1930s Nazi-occupied Austria who tries to give him advice about love, relationships, and purpose in life.

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Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga
  PG-13   2020
  [Netflix Only] A wacky, over-the-top, entertaining, intermittently funny, satirical, pratfall, star-dotted (Pierce Brosnan, Dan Stevens, Demi Lovato, Graham Morton, and Jóhannes Haukur Jóhannesson), romantic, predictable, 123-minute comedy in which two mediocre, Icelandic singers (Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams) aspire to compete in the popular European singing contest in Edinburgh, Scotland, but things get off to a rough start when groan-inducing accidents ensue and jealousy rears its ugly head.

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My Spy
  PG-13   2020
  [Plays on Amazon Prime.] When a burly, tattooed, kindhearted CIA agent (Dave Bautista) and his flirty, tech-savvy partner (Kristen Schaal) are assigned a surveillance mission in Chicago to keep watch over a widowed ER nurse (Parisa Fitz-Henley) and her precocious, smart, manipulative, 9-year-old daughter (Chloe Coleman) in this highly entertaining, funny, well-written, action-packed, star-dotted (Ken Jeong, Devere Rogers, Olivia Dépatie, Keller Viaene, Nicola Correia-Damude, Darrin Baker, and Ali Hassan), 99-minute comedy, the reluctant operative ends up being blackmailed by the bullied student to coerce him into teaching her about spying while she plays matchmaker for her mother and the CIA agents wait to take down a terrorist (Greg Bryk) trying to locate a destructive nuclear device.

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Women in Blue
  NR   2020
  [Plays on VOD platforms.] A timely, insightful, eye-opening, prophetic, educational, 85-minute, 2020 documentary that stresses changes that must be made in the male-dominated Minneapolis Police Department against the backdrop of the Black Lives Matter movement and high-profile, questionable killings of Jamar Clark and Justine Damond; focuses on African-American police officer Alice White who was successfully promoted to sergeant, medical crimes commander Melissa Chiodio who strived for equality and diversity in the department and eventually became captain of the Inver Grove Heights PD, and inspector Catherine ‘CJ’ Johnson who is the head of the 3rd precinct; and consists of news clips and commentary snippets with Assistant Police Chief Medaria ‘Rondo’ Arradondo who was promoted to chief after the firing of Police Chief Janeé L. Harteau, Mayor Betsy Hodges, police officers Erin Grabosky and Patrick Tinsley, and 4th precinct restaurant owner Sammy McDonald.


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©2020 by Wendy Schadewald

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