Neely Swanson

“A Woman’s Work: The NFL’s Cheerleader Problem” – And it’s never done [MOVIE REVIEW]

“A Woman’s Work: The NFL’s Cheerleader Problem” – And it’s never done [MOVIE REVIEW]

by Neely Swanson “A Woman’s Work: The NFL’s Cheerleader Problem” is a fine documentary directed by Yu Gu and written by Elizabeth Ai. Following the progress of lawsuits filed by two NFL cheerleaders from different teams, Gu and Ai clearly lay out the issues of illegal employment practices and sexual harassment that are rampant in […]

 Neely Swanson

“Flack” – Incoming [MOVIE REVIEW]

“Flack” – Incoming [MOVIE REVIEW]

by Neely Swanson “Flack,” the new dramedy on Amazon Prime, created by Oliver Lansley, nails the nasty, creative and thankless profession of the celebrity publicist. Lansley, a playwright and television writer, is also an established British actor with many episodic credits. He has, no doubt, over the years observed variations on the behaviors portrayed on […]

 Neely Swanson

“Acasa, My Home” – Is no longer [MOVIE REVIEW]

“Acasa, My Home” – Is no longer [MOVIE REVIEW]

by Neely Swanson “Acasa, My Home,” directed by Radu Ciorniciuc and co-written by Ciorniciuc and Lina Vdovii, is that rare film that seems to straddle the line of documentary and scripted feature. Perhaps hybrid cinema-verité would be more accurate. Ciorniciuc follows the travails of the Enache family through their transition from nature squatters to unnatural […]

 Neely Swanson

“My Little Sister” – An unbreakable bond

“My Little Sister” – An unbreakable bond

by Neely Swanson “My Little Sister,” written and directed by Stéphanie Cuat and Véronique Reymond is a thoughtful and deep look at the bonds both breakable and unbreakable in family. Lisa, played by the exquisite Nina Hoss (“Phoenix”), is first seen lying in a hospital bed, hooked up to interminable tubes and fluids. But it […]

 Neely Swanson

“Spiral” – The Maelstrom [MOVIE REVIEW]

“Spiral” – The Maelstrom [MOVIE REVIEW]

by Neely Swanson Still atop the New York Times list of must-see TV, “Spiral” (“Engrenages”), the police drama from France, launches its eighth and final season on January 5 on MHz Choice, with a release of a new episode each week. Marine Francou supervised the writing staff on what was her plotline for this season. […]

 Neely Swanson

“Louis van Beethoven” – A symphony [MOVIE REVIEW]

“Louis van Beethoven” – A symphony [MOVIE REVIEW]

by Neely Swanson “Louis van Beethoven,” written and directed by Niki Stein, is film biography of the composer better known as Ludwig. Made for German television, “Louis van Beethoven” has all the production values of a fine film. And a fine film it is, indeed. Stein has chosen to frame the history of one of […]

 Neely Swanson

“The Art of Political Murder” – Well crafted [MOVIE REVIEW]

by Neely Swanson “The Art of Political Murder,” directed by Paul Taylor, based on Francisco Goldman’s book of the same name, is filmmaking in its highest form. This documentary will leave you breathless from the breadth and depth of its storytelling. It is not an exaggeration to say that it is life-changing, revealing unheard of […]

 Neely Swanson

“Education” – A dulled Axe [MOVIE REVIEW]

“Education” – A dulled Axe [MOVIE REVIEW]

by Neely Swanson “Education,” the fifth in writer-director Steve McQueen’s “Small Axe” series about West Indian life in London, receives a failing grade. Co-written with Alastair Siddons, “Education” was intended to illustrate the segregation and prejudice that begins early in the British educational system. Revealing this systemic bias in the story of bright-eyed, exuberant, and […]

 Neely Swanson

“Yalda. A Night for Forgiveness” – Oh what a night! [MOVIE REVIEW]

“Yalda. A Night for Forgiveness” – Oh what a night! [MOVIE REVIEW]

by Neely Swanson “Yalda. A Night for Forgiveness,” masterfully written and directed by Massoud Bakhshi, is beyond imagination. Focusing on the aspect of Sharia law that legally sanctions “an eye for an eye; a tooth for a tooth,” Bakhshi brings us onto the set of “Joy of Forgiveness,” a reality show broadcast live that brings […]

 Neely Swanson

“Farewell Amor” – An end and a beginning [MOVIE REVIEW]

“Farewell Amor” – An end and a beginning [MOVIE REVIEW]

by Neely Swanson “Farewell Amor,” written and directed by Ekwa Msangi, is a thoughtful, deep dive into the meaning of family, separation, and cultural divides. It is an exquisite, slow unveiling of the collision of culture, belief structures, and familial chasms that develop over distances, both in miles and minds. Msangi, dipping into her own […]

 Neely Swanson

“The Weasels’ Tale” – Caught by the tail [MOVIE REVIEW]

“The Weasels’ Tale” – Caught by the tail [MOVIE REVIEW]

by Neely Swanson “The Weasels’ Tale,” a delightfully frothy film directed by Oscar winner Juan José Campanella (“The Secret in their Eyes”), co-writing with Darren Kloomok, is a high wire act in a circus of the expected and the surprising. Synopsizing this film would be impossible without revealing spoilers throughout, as this is a story […]

 Neely Swanson

“Alex Wheatle” – Swings a small but mighty axe [MOVIE REVIEW]

“Alex Wheatle” – Swings a small but mighty axe [MOVIE REVIEW]

by Neely Swanson Written and directed by Steve McQueen and cowritten by Alastair Siddons, “Alex Wheatle” is episode 4 out of 5 in McQueen’s small axe series. Like the other episodes in this series, it gets its inspiration from the African proverb upon which Bob Marley based his song, “Small Axe.” “So if you are […]

 Neely Swanson

“Heaven’s Gate: The Cult of Cults” – Another highway to Heaven [MOVIE REVIEW]

“Heaven’s Gate: The Cult of Cults” – Another highway to Heaven [MOVIE REVIEW]

by Neely Swanson “Heaven’s Gate: The Cult of Cults” is, as the publicity states, a thorough examination of the mysterious group that committed mass suicide in 1997 in a luxurious Rancho Santa Fe, California home. All were wearing identical Buster Brown haircuts, clothing adorned with badges that said “Heaven’s Gate Away Team,” and black Nike […]

 Neely Swanson

“The Accidental Wolf” – Knocking on her door [MOVIE REVIEW]

“The Accidental Wolf” – Knocking on her door [MOVIE REVIEW]

by Neely Swanson “The Accidental Wolf,” written and directed by Arian Moayed, is a hybrid in many ways. Part thriller, part psychological drama, part family crisis, part conspiracy theory, “The Accidental Wolf” explores all of these aspects through the eyes of Katie Bonner, a wealthy Manhattan housewife and new mother. The world of Katie and […]

 Neely Swanson

“A Chef’s Voyage” – Gourmet to go [MOVIE REVIEW]

by Neely Swanson “A Chef’s Voyage,” directed by Rémi Anfosso, is a culinary journey planned and executed by David Kinch, the chef and owner of Manresa, a Michelin three-star restaurant in Los Gatos, California. Kinch, who wanted to celebrate the 15th anniversary of his restaurant, decided to shut down Manresa for a month and take […]

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