Octavia Spencer

Film Review: Gifted

by Carrie Kahn on April 7, 2017

Talented cast is the real gift in otherwise predictable family drama

Young Mary (Mckenna Grace) embodies the title with her exceptional math prowess.

Director Marc Webb’s new film Gifted asks us to not only buy a 7-year-old girl as an MIT-level math genius, but also hunky Captain America star Chris Evans as a former Boston University philosophy professor; I’m not sure which characterization requires the greater suspension of disbelief, but there’s a post-film discussion point for you. While somewhat predictable, Webb’s picture pleasantly surprises by not being nearly as hokey as the trailer would lead you to believe, and by actually offering up some emotionally heartfelt sincerity.
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Film Review: Hidden Figures

by Carrie Kahn on December 25, 2016

Hidden figures brought to light in inspiring new film

Katherine (Taraji P. Henson) performs a calculation that will help NASA successfully launch manned capsules into space.

2016 hasn’t exactly been a stellar year in a lot of ways, but in terms of film, it’s been an exceptional year for girl power movies. This is a year in which we saw a brave 13-year-old stand strong against centuries of male-dominated tradition in The Eagle Huntress, a 14-year-old chess prodigy overcome tremendous odds in Queen of Katwe, and now, in Theodore Melfi’s new film Hidden Figures, we witness a trio of African-American women contribute to national success despite facing rampant and demoralizing sexism and racism in the segregated south of the early 1960s. There has never been a better time to be inspired at the movies.
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Film Review: Get on Up

by Carrie Kahn on August 1, 2014

 Fantastic funk fills flawed film

Chadwick Boseman channels James Brown in Get on Up.

Chadwick Boseman channels James Brown in Get on Up.

Director Tate Taylor, who most recently brought Kathryn Stockett’s best selling novel The Help to the big screen, tries his hand at true life material in Get on Up, a biopic of the Godfather of Soul himself, the legendary James Brown. The results are mixed; tonally, the picture is a bit uneven, but some fine performances elevate the proceedings, and the soundtrack alone is almost worth the price of admission. [read the whole post]

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Spinning Platters film critics Carrie Kahn and Chad Liffmann present their Top 10 Films of 2013.  Here’s Carrie’s list, presented in alphabetical order.

1.) All is Lost
Robert Refdord struggles against the elements in All is Lost.

Robert Redford struggles against the elements in All is Lost.

That a film with just a single actor and virtually no dialog can be absolutely riveting is a testament both to Robert Redford’s brilliant acting and to writer/director J.C. Chandor’s exceptional skill at his craft. Redford says more with his rugged face and worried eyes than most actors do with a wordy, five-star script. Not since Jaws and The Perfect Storm has a film so totally absorbed us in a man-against-sea survival story. And Chandor’s ambiguous ending lends itself to hours of debate and discussion; everyone who has seen this film has a strong opinion, and that a near-silent film can generate such passion makes it special and noteworthy. [read the whole post]

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Emma Stone, Octavia Spencer and Viola Davis in THE HELP

Emma Stone has a lot on her mind this summer. After a star-making and critically acclaimed turn in Easy A transformed the now 22-year-old into one of Hollywood’s most in-demand young actresses, Stone filmed three consecutive high-profile projects: Friends With Benefits (for her Easy A director Will Gluck), Crazy, Stupid, Love., and The Help. And now, as these things sometime happen, all three films have been released within just one month of each other, with Stone doing press for the latter two. Add in her Comic-Con duties promoting her role as Gwen Stacy opposite Andrew Garfield in next summer’s highly anticipated The Amazing Spider-Man, and you’ve got one hell of a busy summer.

But right now Emma Stone only has one thing on her mind: cookies. Specifically, the giant chocolate chip cookies available at the Four Seasons.

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