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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, August 14, 2019
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African Violet
  NR   2019
  [Plays Aug. 16 at 5 p.m. and Aug. 18 at 1 p.m. as part of MSP Film Society’s Iranian film festival at the St. Anthony on Main Theater; for information, log on to info@mspfilm.org or call 612/331-7563.] Striking cinematography dominates Mona Zandi Haghighi’s engaging, well-acted, poignant, down-to-earth, 93-minute, 2018 film in which a feisty, kindhearted, fifty-something Iranian yarn dyer (Fatemah Motamed-Aria) creates a stir within her gossip-prone community and increases tensions with her carpenter husband (Saeed Aghakhani) and other already-dysfunctional family members (Mehdi Hoseininia, Roya Javidnia, Neda Jebraeili, et al.) when she decides to take her sickly, backgammon-playing ex-husband (Reza Babak) to whom she was married for 15 years out of the nursing/retirement home and into her home to care for him.

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Blinded by the Light
  PG-13   2019
  A touching, engaging, well-acted and written, factually inspired, coming-of-age, humor-dotted, star-studded (Rob Brydon, Hayley Atwell, David Hayman, and Sally Phillips), 117-minute film based on Sarfraz Manzoor’s novel Greetings from Bury Park: Race, Religion, and Rock N' Roll in which a smart, ambitious, teenage, poetry-writing, Pakistani-Muslim student (Viveik Kalra), who lives with his hardworking seamstress mother (Meera Ganatra), his gorgeous sister (Nikita Mehta), and proud, traditional, rigid-thinking, middle-class father (Kulvinder Ghir) in England, dreams of being a writer, finds inspiration in the lyrics and songs of legendary Bruce Springsteen, and support from his friends (Aaron Phagura, Dean-Charles Chapman, and Nell Williams) amidst the economic, social, and racial turmoil in 1987.

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Fireflies
  NR   2019
  [Plays Aug. 17 at 2:30 p.m. and Aug. 21 at 7 p.m. as part of MSP Film Society’s Iranian film festival at the St. Anthony on Main Theater; for information, log on to info@mspfilm.org or call 612/331-7563.] After a tortured, persecuted, handsome, Iranian gay man (Arash Marandi) stows away on a cargo ship in Turkey and accidentally ends up in the seaside town of Vera Cruz, Mexico, in Bani Khoshnoudi’s dark, compelling, award-winning, well-acted, realistic, thought-provoking, 88-minute, 2018 film, the depressed illegal immigrant struggles with painful memories, loneliness, hopelessness, and isolation while befriended by a tense, gang member coworker (Luis Alberti) and a kindhearted hotel receptionist (Flor Eduarda Gurrola), who is dealing with her own problems, including her beer-drinking uncle (Eligio Melendez) and estranged boyfriend (Eduardo Mendizábal).

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Girls, The
  NR   2019
  [Plays Aug. 17 at 1 p.m. as part of MSP Film Society’s Iranian film festival at the St. Anthony on Main Theater; for information, log on to info@mspfilm.org or call 612/331-7563.] Stunning, wonderful photographs are the climax to Fery Malek-Madani’s uplifting, narrowly focused, enlightening, 52-minute, 2018 documentary film that was part of The Unexposed Project and reveals the surprising universality of the dreams, ambitions, and aspirations of an eclectic group of contemporary female students who the director and her team interviewed at private schools across Iran.

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Where'd You Go, Bernadette
  PG-13   2019
  Richard Linklater’s engaging, poignant, well-acted, star-dotted (Laurence Fishburne, Kristin Wiig, Judy Greer, Steve Zahn, David Paymer, James Urbaniak, Zoë Chao, and Haukur Jóhannesson), 130-minute film based on Maria Semple’s bestselling novel in which a creative, dysfunctional, reclusive, critically acclaimed, award-winning Seattle architect (Cate Blanchett) has lost her desire for taking on new projects or designing new buildings for the last twenty years and her worried, workaholic computer genius husband (Billy Crudup) and smart, headstrong daughter (Emma Nelson) try to help her find her inspiration when she suddenly disappears and heads to Antarctica as a last ditch attempt to find her passion and herself.


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©2019 by Wendy Schadewald

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