The only online publication for women in Greater Cincinnati
Tags Posts tagged with "film"


by -

The best-selling book arrives in movie form this weekend in theaters, but is it worth getting a ticket or does the film go off the proverbial tracks? Click to see what our movie critic says.


“Man, I should have just taken an Uber to work … But then again, ‘The girl in the Uber’ just doesn’t have the same ring to it!” Rachel (Emily Blunt) peers out as she passes the home of the seemingly perfect couple … Only to discover something completely unexpected in a scene from director Tate Taylor’s take on the best-selling novel THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN. Credit: DreamWorks Pictures © 2016 Storyteller Distribution Co.


KEY CAST MEMBERS: Emily Blunt, Rebecca Ferguson, Haley Bennett, Justin Theroux, Luke Evans, Allison Janney, Edgar Ramirez, Lisa Kudrow and Laura Prepon

WRITER(S): Erin Cressida Wilson (screenplay); Paula Hawkins (based on the novel by)DIRECTOR(S): Tate Taylor

WEB SITE:’S THE STORY: Based on the book of the same name, The Girl on the Train stars Emily Blunt as Rachel, a divorcee who still not over her ex Tom (Justin Theroux), who has since moved on to marry and have a child with Anna (Rebecca Ferguson). A recovering alcoholic, Rachel has been staying with her friend Cathy (Laura Prepon) for the past 2 years trying to get back on her feet, which mostly consists of her riding the train from the suburbs into Manhattan Monday–Friday.

The most exciting part of Rachel’s existence, though, is the part of her train ride that passes by a seemingly perfect couple of Scott Hipwell (Luke Evans) and his wife Megan (Haley Bennett). Seeing Megan embrace Scott on weekly if not daily basis, Rachel is fascinated by the woman she sees as still having the life she lost in her divorce, a part of herself she can’t imagine ever getting back. Then, one day, she sees Megan kissing a different man who turns out to be Dr. Kamal Abdic (Edgar Ramirez), who also just so happens to be Megan’s therapist. Becoming more and more obsessed with Megan while trying to deal with losing her old relationship, Rachel finds herself in a precarious position once she sees Megan walking one day into a tunnel, determined to confront her about her apparent affair. 

But what Rachel doesn’t know is while she thinks the woman she has been obsessing over has such a perfect existence, the truth of Megan’s life is revealed one moment at a time … All of which comes to a head the moment Rachel decides to follow her into the tunnel …

WHO WILL LIKE THIS FILM THE MOST? Fans of thrillers; Emily Blunt fans; those who enjoy watching films that delve into the lives of damaged characters and watching how to they try to piece together their existence; people who like stories with twists

WHO WON’T (OR SHOULDN’T) LIKE THIS MOVIE? Recovering alcoholics; women in abusive relationships; depressed people who obsesses over strangers; people who hate films that have slow pacing; anyone who can’t buy into the film’s story

SO, IS IT GOOD, BAD OR ABSOLUTELY AWFUL? A film that could be best described in some way as a spiritual cousin to Gone Girl, The Girl on the Train is a thriller that delivers emotionally-strong performances to satisfy those looking for twisty “what’s going on here” tale … Even if there are times the film’s slow pace and twisty tale.

Blunt captures the essence of Rachel with skilled acumen, a necessity in a film of this type with so many slow reveals. Weaving between the present and the past, The Girl on the Train requires an actresses able to not only showcase the best and worst of times in Rachel’s life but also how she is unable to cope with her own life when she knows she’s being self-destructive. Blunt truly shows her skill as an actress in revealing and showing all of these various aspects of Rachel to bring out sympathy and empathy to her character as she tries to make sense of the world around her. 

Likewise, Bennett does an extraordinary job at stripping away the supposed perfect image that Blunt’s character constructs, bringing the “the grass is NOT always greener” cliché out to full blossom. While possessing all the physical attributes Rachel rambles about and wishes she still possessed, Bennett brings out a sadness in her character that shows how much in common the two women have. Of course, this helps act as fine balancing line between the two to keep the film’s emotional undercurrent steady. While Ferguson’s performance accomplishes what needs to be done to move the story forward, it isn’t exactly as memorable as Blunt or Bennett’s, which provide an emotionally necessary juxtaposition. The guys in the film fit in like jigsaw pieces to fill in the bigger picture, but they fit into the story well enough to hit all the necessary beats. 

The only problem is sometimes the beats take a bit too long to get to under director Tate Taylor (The Help, Winter’s Bone) as there are some scenes that feel a bit jumbled in terms of the timeline and fitting into the big reveal of the text. Other than that, the film hits more often than it misses and delivers tension, emotion and intrigue. If nothing else, The Girl on the Train will make you think twice about your daily commute, the people you see and the lives you believe they may or may not live.

It will also make a lot of dudes think twice about not protecting their passwords.


by -

A Cincinnatian turned Los Angeles filmmaker shares the story of his experience with a musician in Mexico who inspired the story for his film The Amateur. Read on for more.

The Amateur, written by Cincinnati native Carlton Sugarman, is based on a story about an encounter with a musician in Mexico. Image: Kickstarter
The Amateur, written by Cincinnati native Carlton Sugarman, is based on a story about an encounter with a musician in Mexico. Image: Kickstarter

If a tree falls in the woods and no one is around to hear it, does it still make a sound? While that’s a familiar question for many, and one that inspired Carlton Sugarman’s film The Amateur. “In the case of the phrase, the tree is the musician and the forest is Hollywood,” he explains.

Sugarman was on a 6-week road trip through Mexico when along the way he stopped in San Miguel de Allende. There, he met an architect who had been on the tail end of a beat movement and moved to San Francisco to join the psychedelic/Merry Prankster movement. “I immediately began bombarding him with questions about my literary and artistic heroes of those eras,” Sugarman recalls.

But there was one answer that stuck out to Sugarman: “The one thing that all of the people you’re asking me about share, is that they never gave up.”

Of course, when you hear of Hollywood, you think about all of those who move there with the dreams of becoming an actor, singer or musician but never quite make it. There are some, like the individual Sugarman spoke with, who give up on their dreams or give up on art for whatever reason.

“It reminded me of my circle of friends in Los Angeles,” he says. “Who will be remembered? I wanted to pay homage to them all—whether they’re conventionally successful or not, whether I agree or disagree with choices they make along the way—they have made my life richer and inspired me in ways I could’ve never imagined”

And it’s that inspiration that Sugarman hopes to bring to those who view his film. The Amateur: Or (Revenge of the Quadricom) is, according to Sugarman, a gritty, naturalistic musical drama exploring the chaotic journey of artistic pursuit in contemporary Los Angeles.

Joey, the film’s main character, takes his music very seriously. However, it’s the rest of his life that he isn’t quite as serious about.

The Amateur tells the tale of Joey, a broke and sometimes broken, artist trying to navigate the Los Angeles music scene. “Riding the highs and nursing the hangovers, his journey leads him through various experiences, both personal and professional, that shed new light on the things that really matter,” explains Sugarman.

Sugarman, who hails from Cincinnati, grew up in Clifton and attended Doherty and Seven Hills High School, is the writer, director and producer of the film, there are other Cincinnatians who helped him out along the way. Evan Boymel (also a Seven Hills alum) plays the role of the main character’s manager Barry Johnson. There’s also Scott Ivers (VFX and colorist who went to Sycamore High School) who also made significant contributions to the project.

The Amateur has shown at several film festivals around the world and was the closing film at the Dances With Films Festival in Los Angeles, where it sold 417 or 450 seats at the Chinese Theater Complex. It also showed at the Madrid International Film Festival, On Location Memphis Music and Film Festival, Underground Film Festival in Cork, Ireland, Lake Erie Arts and Film Festival and the Cincinnati Film Festival.

For more information on Sugarman or his film, visit and

by -

011915FEATUREAnita Altman of the UJA-Federation of New York in Manhattan wanted to create a national ReelAbilities Film Festival to help raise awareness of the common humanity and value of each person, regardless of his or her disability. That’s when she founded the ReelAbilities Film Festival.

The idea for a film festival was developed when Altman saw a film called “Praying with Lior” about a young man who has Down syndrome and how he prepared for a bar mitzvah. From there, she wanted the film festival to highlight moves that impact change while helping to expand and transform programming for people with disabilities.

The ReelAbilities Film Festival was founded in 2007 in New York City. Since then, the film festival has spread to 12 U.S. cities, including Cincinnati. In fact, Cincinnati’s ReelAbilities Film Festival launched in 2013 as the first city outside of New York to host the event. Today, it hosts the second largest festival nationwide, behind only New York.

In 2014, the festival’s national headquarters moved to the Queen City. It’s managed by the nonprofit Living Arrangements for Developmentally Disabled (LADD), Inc. For those who have never attended the film festival, all of the films screened during the event share the stories, lives and art of people who have disabilities.

insightly new_year_chic_publication

According to Festival Co-Chair and Accommodation Committee Chair Kara Ayers, PhD., the Cincinnati ReelAbilities Film Festival expects thousands of people to participate in the eight-day event that runs from February 27 to March 7. Presented by Macy’s, the region’s largest film festival includes a Premier Weekend Corporate Awards Luncheon, Red Carpet Gala and Gala Afterparty as well as more than 30 film screenings, speaking and other events for VIPs. “Each of our film screening events is hosted by and will benefit a local nonprofit organization whose work enriches the lives of people with disabilities,” says Ayers.


At this year’s Cincinnati ReelAbilities Film Festival, Oscar and Golden Globe Award Winning Actress Marlee Matlin will be the keynote speaker at the Corporate Awards Luncheon. Also in attendance will be respected actors Danny Woodburn, Daryl Chill Mitchell and Kurt Yaeger in addition to Richard Bernstein, the country’s first state Supreme Court Justice who is blind. Project Runway’s Justin LeBlanc and internationally acclaimed photographer Rick Guidotti of Positive Exposure will also be at the film festival as well as many who are featured in or part of the films will attend the Cincinnati ReelAbilities Film Festival.

Now that the Cincinnati ReelAbilities Film Festival is entering its third year, the event has grown more than four times in size, according to Ayers. “We have accomplished this because of how our entire region has supported our cause,” Ayers adds. “We have succeeded at bringing together government, academia, the business and arts community as well as social service to celebrate our region’s diversity and our shared humanity.”

The mission and message is resonating within the business community, too, says Ayers. “The region’s top employers are recognizing the importance of diversity and inclusion in recruiting and retaining strong workforces,” she adds.

In addition to these accomplishments, the Cincinnati ReelAbilities Film Festival is bringing nationally- and internationally-recognized Hollywood stars who want to come to Cincinnati and participate in the festivities. The national festival has grown so much this year that there were more than 500 films submitted from across the world to be juried for awards.

The Cincinnati ReelAbilities Film Festival will be held in several locations throughout the Cincinnati area. “Our Premier Weekend Corporate Awards Luncheon and Red Carpet Gala will be held at the Hyatt Regency in downtown,” says Ayers. “We will be holding film screenings at the Cincinnati Art Museum, Kenwood and Esquire Theatres, Cincinnati Museum Center, Great American Ball Park, Taylor High School and the Contemporary Arts Center.”

VIP guests are also invited to participate in a variety of speaking and other engagements that will take place throughout the city.

To see a list of nonprofit agencies benefiting from the film festival, click here. To learn more about the ReelAbilties Film Festival, visit the website at Here you can learn more about the events, watch Film Festival trailers, register to volunteer and purchase tickets. You can also follow along on Facebook Twitter and join in the conversation using the hashtag #DifferentLikeYou.