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Vox on Makeover Movies

posted by Nell Minow

In my book, The Movie Mom’s Guide to Family Movies, there is a discussion of “makeover movies.” Little girls and bigger ones see a lot of what I call “makeover movies:” in a crucial scene Our Heroine gets a new […]

Amazon Will No Longer Sell “Boys Toys” and “Girls Toys” — Just “Toys”

posted by Nell Minow

There is only one person who should decide which toy is fun — the person who plays with it. Not the manufacturers or the retailers. President Obama wisely pointed this out by refusing to accept the labels on toys at […]

Native Americans Refuse to Work on Adam Sandler’s New Film

posted by Nell Minow

Adam Sandler is currently filming “The Ridiculous Six,” reportedly a comic version of the classic Western “The Magnificent Seven.” According to Indian Country Today Media, a group of Native American actors walked off the set because they were offended by […]

Marvel/Disney — Where are the Natasha Dolls?

posted by Nell Minow

Jenna Busch and the wonderful folks of Legion of Leia and Heroic Girls are asking an important question: #wheresnatasha? Remember last year when the #WheresGamora hashtag called out the lack of Gamora toys in the Guardians of the Galaxy toy […]

Meryl Streep Supports Women Screenwriters

posted by Nell Minow

Meryl Streep has made a contribution to a lab program for women over 40 who write movies. The only program of its kind, The Writers Lab evolved in recognition of the absence of the female voice in narrative film, along […]

Actress Speaks Up Against Absurd Hollywood Casting Conventions

posted by Nell Minow

Cheers to the understandably anonymous “Miss L,” an actress in Hollywood, for her Tumblr posting real-life casting information that shows how limited and misogynistic Hollywood casting is.  Casting Call Woe shows actual casting call notices, most of which require actresses […]

A New Alphabet Book for Women’s History Month: Rad American Women A-Z

posted by Nell Minow

Rad American Women A-Z: Rebels, Trailblazers, and Visionaries who Shaped Our History . . . and Our Future! is a wonderful new alphabet book to teach girls, boys, and their families about sounds and letters and stories about women who […]

Watch for#Askhermore Questions on the Red Carpet

posted by Nell Minow

The Representation Project, using the hashtag #askhermore, is urging reporters on the red carpet to ask women about more than their clothes, jewelry, and manicures. They’ll be live-tweeting tonight, and encourage everyone to tweet the questions we want to hear […]

Replacing Jon Stewart — And Why the New Daily Show Host Should Be a Woman

posted by Nell Minow

My friend Nell Scovell has an excellent piece in the New York Times about why the “host of possibilities” that Jon Stewart’s departure from “The Daily Show” opens up should focus on a woman as his replacement. [I]t will be […]

Women Talk About Making Movies

posted by Nell Minow

The New York Times talked to women in Hollywood about making movies. Some of the highlights: “What’s wrong with bossy? It’s O.K. for a man.” Barbra Streisand, Director (“The Prince of Tides”) It’s a conundrum: We can’t change it ourselves, […]

This Girl Can

posted by Nell Minow

I love this ad! What an invigorating, empowering, life-affirming video.  Thank you Sports England.

2015 Awards from the Alliance of Women Film Journalists

posted by Nell Minow

I am so proud to be a member of the Alliance of Women Film Journalists, and of our 2015 awards. AWFJ EDA ‘BEST OF’ AWARDS These awards are presented to females and/or males. Best Film BOYHOOD Best Director (Female or […]

What Even Heroine-Led Films for Kids Get Wrong About Women

posted by Nell Minow

I’m glad that we are seeing more spirited, strong female characters, especially in movies for kids, really I am. But we still have a long way to go, as discussed in an excellent analysis on Tor.com from Emily Asher-Perrin. She […]

Interview: Ava DuVernay of “Selma”

posted by Nell Minow

My favorite movie of the year is “Selma,” the story of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King’s march from Selma, Alabama to the state capital, Montgomery, to bring attention to the barriers the Southern states were using to prevent black […]

Margo Page on a Broader Bechdel Test

posted by Nell Minow

I’ve written more than once about the Bechdel test for movies: Are there at least two named female characters who have lines and do they talk to each other about anything other than men? And I’ve written about some of […]

List: YA Books About Coming Out and Same-Sex Relationships

posted by Nell Minow

My good friend Sandie is my go-to for YA literature as she is not only very knowledgeable but also very insightful, with superb taste. As a part of her series of books that explore issues of diversity, understanding, and identity, […]

Another #Epicfail for Barbie — And a Non-Barbie Alternative

posted by Nell Minow

Remember when Teen Talk Barbie got in trouble for saying “Math is hard?” Well, Mattel did not get the memo because a new Barbie book intended to encourage girls’ interest in STEM subjects like computer programming completely misses the point. […]

Susan Wloszczyna on the Prospects for Women at the Oscars

posted by Nell Minow

My friend and fellow critic Susan Wloszczyna is covering the run-up to the Oscars for Women and Hollywood, and I particularly appreciated her thoughtful essay on the prospects for women nominees this year. Noting that only one woman has ever […]

Interview: Gina Prince-Bythewood of “Beyond the Lights”

posted by Nell Minow

It was an honor to speak to one of my favorite filmmakers, Gina Prince-Bythewood, writer/director of one of this year’s best romantic dramas, “Beyond the Lights.” As I spoke to her, she had just received word that Gugu Mbatha-Raw, who […]

Beyond the Lights

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sexual content including suggestive gestures, partial nudity, language and thematic elements
Movie Release Date:November 14, 2014
DVD Release Date:February 23, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sexual content including suggestive gestures, partial nudity, language and thematic elements
Movie Release Date: November 14, 2014
DVD Release Date: February 23, 2015

“Beyond the Lights” is a welcome return to the grand traditions of movie romance, with sizzling chemistry between gorgeous, fabulously charismatic stars Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Nate Parker. And it also has some very astute insights about family, ambition, and the […]

Are Romantic Comedies About Love or Money?

posted by Nell Minow

I really enjoyed this essay by Meredith Haggerty at Medium about the way that romantic comedies have dealt with money issues through the years. Of course, all movies reflect the economic environment of their eras — the eras in which […]

Trailer: She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry — The Women’s Movement 1966-71

posted by Nell Minow

Nell Scovell Pays Tribute to the Under-Used Women Alumnae of SNL

posted by Nell Minow

The wonderful Nell Scovell, who helped Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg write Lean In and is now working on a screenplay based on the book, has an excellent essay in Time about the talented women who appeared on “Saturday Night Live” but […]

Dear White People

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language, sexual content and drug use
Movie Release Date:October 17, 2014
DVD Release Date:February 2, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language, sexual content and drug use
Movie Release Date: October 17, 2014
DVD Release Date: February 2, 2015

Before I turn to whitesplaining this film, I will begin by suggesting that you read what Aisha Harris at Slate and what my friends and fellow critics Travis Hopson and Stephen Boone have to say first. If I did not […]

Second Global Symposium on Gender in Media

posted by Nell Minow

Yesterday, I was honored to attend the Second Global Symposium on Gender in Media, held a the United States Institute of Peace in Washington, D.C.  The keynote was delivered by Oscar-winning actress Geena Davis, founder of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in […]

Interview: Bo Svenson

posted by Nell Minow

Bo Svenson is an actor, writer, director, judo champion, and, as I was lucky enough to find out, an enthralling guy to talk to, turning an interview into a wide-ranging conversation. Svenson was born in Sweden. His family emigrated to […]

April O’Neil: Feminist Progress or Passive Object?

posted by Nell Minow

Could it be possible that Megan Fox as April O’Neil is the strongest heroine in any of the big summer blockbusters? Despite the title, April is in many ways the main character in “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.” The film starts […]

Guardians of the Galaxy Merch: Where’s Gamora???? Sigh.

posted by Nell Minow

Guardians of the Galaxy is enormous fun and a huge box-office hit, with loveable characters and a refreshing sense of humor about itself. Who wouldn’t want to extend the pleasures of the film with some merch, perhaps an action figure […]

Girl in a Country Song — Maddie and Tae Reverse the Gender Roles

posted by Nell Minow

“Can I put on some real clothes now?”

Lucy and the Box Office: The Good News and the Bad News

posted by Nell Minow

Last week, “Lucy” beat “Hercules” at the box office, good news for those who still think that women-led action films can’t make money. As blog The Mary Sue put it succinctly: “Today In Female-Led-Movies-Obviously-Don’t-Make-Money News, Lucy Beat Out Hercules This […]

Who Should Play Non-White Characters?

posted by Nell Minow

Amanda Scherker has an excellent piece in the Huffington Post about “whitewashing” in films — ethnically white actors playing non-white characters. We understand now how absurd it was to have John Wayne play Genghis Khan or Katharine Hepburn play “Dragon […]

John Legend Thinks All Women and Girls Are Beautiful

posted by Nell Minow

Colbie Caillat is not the only one paying tribute to the full range of female beauty with a new video. John Legend’s “You & I” is a deeply moving tribute to the woman he loves, who appears in the video […]

Colbie Caillat’s Wonderful New Video

posted by Nell Minow

The video for Colbie Caillat’s new song, “Try,” from Gypsy Heart Side A, shows her struggle to be true to herself in a world that expects women, especially performers, to conform to a narrow and highly polished idea of beauty. […]

What Does it Mean to “Throw Like a Girl?”

posted by Nell Minow

Always brought in Lauren Greenfield, is an award-winning American artist, and documentary photographer and filmmaker, to create their #likeagirl videos. What do we think of when we hear “throw like a girl,” “run like a girl,” or “fight like a girl?” […]

Movies Get Wiser About GLBT: How To Train Your Dragon 2 and 22 Jump Street

posted by Nell Minow

This week’s two big national releases are both sequels featuring Jonah Hill.  But they have something more important in common: Both reflect a wiser, kinder, more just treatment of GLBT characters.  It was only a few years ago that I […]

Interview: Legion of Leia Founder Jenna Busch

posted by Nell Minow

I’m a huge fan of Jenna Busch, co-host of Most Craved for CraveOnline. She co-hosted ‘Cocktails With Stan’ with the legendary Stan Lee and she’s written for sites like Zap2it, After Buzz TV, Fanhattan, Screen Crave, Inside Horror, Huffington Post, […]

How Many Movies by Woman Directors Have You Seen?

posted by Nell Minow

Here’s a great quiz from Indiewire on films by woman directors, covering more than 170 films going back to the silent era and covering every category and budget size.

Anita: Speaking Truth to Power

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Not rated
Movie Release Date:April 4, 2014
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Not rated
Movie Release Date: April 4, 2014

It was a galvanizing moment.  A divisive moment.  An iconic moment. President George H.W. Bush had just nominated Clarence Thomas to be the second black man and the first black Republican Supreme Court justice.  The Senate Judiciary Committee was conducting […]

Picture Lock: Women in Cinema, from the Bechdel Test to the Manic Pixie Dream Girl

posted by Nell Minow

Many thanks to Kevin Sampson for including me in the Picture Lock Women’s History Month special, a panel discussion about the state of women in film, on and off screen.  And many thanks to my fellow panelists, casting director Kimberly Skyrme, […]

All Children Need Books About All Children

posted by Nell Minow

Author Walter Dean Myers, former Library of Congress National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, wrote about a troubling issue in the New York Times: the lack of diversity in books for children. “Of 3,200 children’s books published in 2013, just […]

What! No Female Superhero Movies?

posted by Nell Minow

On top of the distressing news that Halle Berry’s Storm character in the new X-Men movie has been cut down to one scene — possibly just one line — and Anna Pacquin’s Rogue removed entirely, comes some more bad news. […]

New Report: Female Characters Still Under-Represented in Films

posted by Nell Minow

Despite the critical and financial success of “Gravity” and “The Hunger Games,” it is still hard to find movies with strong leading female characters.  A new report from Women in TV and Film shows little progress.  The title is pointed: […]

Women’s History Month: American Masters Tribute

posted by Nell Minow

The PBS series “American Masters” pays tribute to 10 great American women in honor of Women’s History Month.  Here is one of my favorites, about Aretha Franklin.

Lupita Nyoung’o Made a Beautifully Gracious Statement

posted by Nell Minow

I hope Lupita Nyoung’o wins the Best Supporting Actress award tomorrow night.  She deserves it.  But there’s another reason: I want to hear her acceptance speech.  Her speech at the Essence Awards this week was beautifully heartfelt, gracious, and wise. […]

SNL Adds A New Cast Member: Sasheer Zamata

posted by Nell Minow

Saturday Night Live has added Sasheer Zamata to the cast.   She graduated from the University of Virginia and has performed with the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater.   SNL producer Lorne Michaels has been criticized for the lack of diversity in the […]

Geena Davis Can Fix Hollywood Gender Stereotypes in Two Steps

posted by Nell Minow

Oscar-winning actress Geena Davis has been a leader in understanding and improving the role of women in media.  The founder of her namesake Institute on Gender in Media wrote a piece for the Hollywood Reporter citing data showing that there are […]

Goldieblox Rocks! Hurray for Girls Who Think and Build

posted by Nell Minow

Hurray for Goldieblox for knowing that girls want to think and invent and problem solve and that they don’t always want everything to be pink and princessy!  The company was created by Debbie Sterling, a female engineer from Stanford University.  I […]

Geena Davis: The “Guess Who?” Educational Program

posted by Nell Minow

For more information: Institute on Gender in Media

Geena Davis: The Hyper-Sexualization of Girls in the Media

posted by Nell Minow

For more information: Institute on Gender and Media

Should Actresses Have To Strip?

posted by Nell Minow

Karen Valby has an excellent essay in the current issue of Entertainment Weekly about stripping scenes in recent movies, like Jennifer Aniston in “We’re the Millers” and Gwyneth Paltrow seducing her new boyfriend in “Thank You for Sharing.”  Both, of […]

Hijacking the Tooth Fairy

posted by Nell Minow

The tooth fairy is one of childhood’s most treasured myths, a lovely tribute to a bittersweet rite of passage that allows each family to crate their own traditions.  (Our tooth fairy left a book.)  There’s an awful movie with The […]

Previous Posts

Vacation
I didn't like the first one. I didn't like the sequels. Keep that in mind when I tell you that I really did not like this latest in the ...

posted 6:44:58pm Jul. 28, 2015 | read full post »

Bugs Bunny Turns 75
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kHpXle4NqWI A fascinating look at what made Warner Brothers cartoons work. Surprisingly, within these anarchic worlds, there were a lot of rules. This video has some very thoughtful commentary, including ...

posted 3:21:10pm Jul. 28, 2015 | read full post »

4 Family DVD Giveaway! A Little Game, Horse Camp, Justin and the Knights of Valor, and An Evergreen Christmas
This is a great time of year for families to share wonderful movies, and I am thrilled to have a terrific prize package of four great family movies to give away. To enter, send me an email at moviemom@moviemom.com with FOUR in the subject line ...

posted 12:00:12pm Jul. 28, 2015 | read full post »

Trailer: Nicole Kidman Plays Gertrude Bell in "Queen of the Desert"
Nicole Kidman plays Gertrude Bell, the first woman to earn top honors in history at Oxford, fluent in six languages, and one of the great adventurers and scholars of the 20th century. Her spiritual home was the Middle East, where she became a ...

posted 8:00:34am Jul. 28, 2015 | read full post »

Trailer: Mississippi Grind with Ryan Reynolds
[iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Ooca5idaNSk?rel=0&controls=0&showinfo=0" frameborder="0"] Ryan Reynolds and Ben Mendelsohn star in "Mississippi Grind," about two gamblers, one successful, one not, ...

posted 8:00:11am Jul. 27, 2015 | read full post »

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