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Posts by Lesley Coffin

Interview: Smart Girl Meredith Walker

The cofounder and Executive Director of Smart Girls speaks to TMS!

While famous funny lady Amy Poehler became the public face of Smart Girls (and contributed plenty of hilarious and warmhearted material), Walker has been just as active as their executive director, and has become a highly respected spokesperson for the site and its mission. At SXSW this year, Walker was onsite not only to discuss the site (which just recently joined Legendary Digital Network), but to spread the word about combating online bullying—and speak exclusively with TMS.

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Review: Ma Ma Suffers From Melodrama Without Catharsis

2 out of 5 stars.

The sentimental, unapologetic melodrama is somewhat of a lost art form today at the movies. Julio Medem's Ma Ma feels so desperate to be a heartbreaking melodrama that it goes overboard with sentimentality and becomes something almost ridiculously sappy (and in a few moments, infuriating).

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Review: The Nice Guys, the First Great Comedy of Summer

5 out of 5 Stars

I know, we’re pretty much a month from the calendar’s official start of summer. But at this point in the movie release schedule, we’re about to be in full swing. And so far, we have three comedy films which will be competing for funniest comedy of the year

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Review: Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising Gets a C for Comedy

3 out of 5 stars.

It's worth noting that while it isn’t wholly original, Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising is far more creative and ambitious as a comedy than one would expect from the trailers, but its most interesting aspect is actually the seemingly sincere interest not only in giving equal comedic opportunities to women, but to make a movie about feminism as a topical comedy.

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Review: The Curse of Sleeping Beauty Is a Snooze-Fest

Fairy tales have been told, retold, modernized, and altered since falling into the cultural lexicon. The current trend seems to be returning (or claiming to return) to their original darkness. The one thing I can say in favor of Curse of Sleeping Beauty is that it commits to that Grimm darkness—but embracing the darkness doesn’t necessarily make everything better, and the darkness here doesn’t make up for how unbearably dull it turns out to be.

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Review: Whit Stillman’s Hilarious Love & Friendship Focuses on Jane Austen’s Humor

If you're a Whit Stillman fan (Metropolitan, Barcelona, Last Days of Disco, and Damsels in Distress), consider this high praise: Love & Friendship is exactly what you would expect from Stillman adapting Jane Austen, focusing on some of the period’s absurdities of love, marriage and inheritance.

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Tribeca Interview: Youth in Oregon’s Joel David Moore and Mary Kay Place

At the Tribeca film festival this year, actor Joel David Moore made his directing debut with the feature film Youth in Oregon. A Portland, Oregon native himself, his film addresses Oregon’s "right to die" laws through the lens of a family dramedy. I spoke with Joel and star Mary Kay Place, a veteran writer-director-actress herself, about their collaboration.

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Review: Average X-Men: Apocalypse Plays the Hits, Underwhelms

3 out of 5 stars.

We still have Suicide Squad in August (the classic untested film adaption to anchor the summer) and November’s Doctor Strange, but the big blockbusters came shockingly early this year. Now that I’ve seen X-Men: Apocalypse, I can wrap my head around this year’s trend of the war between superheroes. X-Men: Apocalypse is right alongside Batman v Superman and Civil War: overstuffed but underwhelming.

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Interview: The Night Manager Director Susanne Bier

Interview: The Night Manager Director Susanne Bier

Danish filmmaker Susanne Bier has already proven herself a force in films, becoming the first—and so far only—woman to direct two films nominated for the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film (she wrote and directed 2006’s After the Wedding and 2010’s In a Better World). Recently, she’s ventured into English language directing, first replacing Darren […]

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Review: Mother’s Day (the Movie) Is Not an Acceptable Gift

Review: Mother’s Day (the Movie) Is Not an Acceptable Gift

1/2 out of 5 stars. This weekend, the biggest cinematic franchise in history will put yet another installment notch on their belt. Basically, Captain America: Civil War is expected to take number one for at least a couple of weeks, but knowing more than a few people who will not be venturing to theaters to see […]

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Tribeca Interview: The Man Who Knew Infinity’s Writer-Director Matthew Brown

For those outside the mathematics world, you might only know the name Srinivasa Ramanujan when mentioned in a film like Good Will Hunting. He has appeared in a few novels and plays, but with the exception of mathematicians, his contributions to the field went under-appreciated due to racial prejudice and lack of formal education. Robert […]

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Interview: Actress Olivia Colman on The Night Manager

Interview: Actress Olivia Colman on The Night Manager

The talented actress Olivia Colman is as skilled at comedy as she is in drama, appearing in films as diverse as Hot Fuzz and Tyrannosaur. This year alone, she stars in the upcoming film The Lobster, the miniseries comedy Flowers (premiering this Friday), and is currently starring in AMC’s The Night Manager. As MI6 agent […]

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Tribeca Interview: Ingrid Jungermann on Women Who Kill

Brooklyn-based filmmaker Ingrid Jungermann has been one of the emerging voices in entertainment for the past five years. This year, she made her feature film with the debut, Women Who Kill, which won her the best screenplay award in the US Narrative Competition at the Tribeca Film Festival.

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Tribeca Interview: Director Domenica Cameron-Scorsese on Her Feature Debut, Almost Paris

When it came time to find a director for this intimate family drama, Michael Sorvino, who co-produced with Wally Marzano-Lesnevich, thought of childhood friend Domenica Cameron-Scorsese. The actress-turned-director makes her feature film debut, receiving a world premiere tonight at the Tribeca Film Festival. We spoke about making an intimate family drama that still looks cinematic, humanizing the world of finance, and her experiences juggling a life as a working mom.

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Tribeca Interview: Director Liza Johnson on Elvis & Nixon

Writer-director Liza Johnson's new movie, Elvis & Nixon, is a new kind of film for the writer-director. The story of the meeting of President Nixon and music icon Elvis has become almost mythical; the well-known photograph is the most requested in the history of the National Archive. Johnson spoke with me the night of the film's premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival on how she came to direct, working with her impressive cast, and her close collaboration with Jerry Schilling.

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Tribeca Interview: Actress Eve Lindley on All We Had

This year, the Tribeca Film Festival premiered the directorial debut of Katie Holmes with All We Had. Based on Annie Weatherwax’s novel, the film focuses on Rita (Holmes), a broke single mother, and her teenage daughter, Ruthie, who end up working at a small town diner alongside owner Mel and his transgender niece Pam (Eve Lindley), who works as a waitress and becomes Ruthie’s closest friend.

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Tribeca Interview: Filmmaker Lorene Scafaria on Her Personal Comedy, The Meddler

Filmmaker Lorene Scafaria premiered her new comedy, The Meddler, last September at the Toronto Film Festival, but the week before it began its theatrical run, Scafaria was still nervous about premiering it in New York at the Tribeca Film Festival. The New Jersey native claimed the build up was killing her, and considering the premiere would include most of her family in the audiences, it's understandable why she would have been nervous about publicly sharing such a personal film.

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Rachel Tunnard Wins 4th Annual Nora Ephron Prize for Her Movie Adult Life Skills

Adult Life Skills strikes a chord at the 15th Tribeca Film Festival.

Thursday night the juried award winners for the 15th Annual Tribeca Film Festival. For the fourth year, the Nora Ephron Award was announced, the annual award given to a female filmmaker with a narrative film in the festival. This year Rachel Tunnard, a professional editor making her feature debut, won for her comedy Adult Life Skills, a very funny and surprisingly uplifting story about a woman on the verge of turning 30 overcome by grief after the death of her twin brother.

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Tribeca Interview: Documentary Filmmaker Lydia Tenaglia

On her new film Jeremiah Tower: The Last Magnificent.

Emmy and Peabody Award winner Lydia Tenaglia has been at the forefront of recording the 21st century’s rise of food TV. Co-creating food/travel shows with her husband/producing partner Chris Collins and chef-turned-host Anthony Bourdain, they are responsible for Parts Unknown, The Mind of the Chef, and No Reservations. The three collaborated once again on Tenaglia’s new documentary, a biopic profiling Jeremiah Tower.

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Review: Visually Stunning The Jungle Book Is a Must-See

5 out of 5 stars.

When The Jungle Book first took off, I’ll admit to feeling a bit out of sorts, thinking about the effects rather than just giving into the world presented. It took a few minutes for me to settle in before I gave in and let the visuals just wash over and immerse me in this not-quite-real, not-quite-fantastical world, but once I my head settled and I felt acclimated, I found myself totally elated by what I’d just seen and eager to go back and see what I might have missed.

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