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Bride Flight

Arriving locally a few weeks too late for Mother’s Day, Bride Flight is the kind of movie you can use your mother as an excuse to see. Or to put it another way, it’s made to order for those of you who feel guilty about watching made-for-TV movies on the Lifetime Channel, a story about female characters who struggle against adversity that doesn’t crush you with bad acting and exploitative scripting.

The First Grader

Inspired by a feature in the Los Angeles Times, The First Grader relates the struggle of Kimani N’gan’ga Maruge (Oliver Litondo), who at the age of 84 sought to learn to read and write at a rural Kenyan primary school. In 2002 Kenya’s central government guaranteed a free basic education for all Kenyans. Hearing of this, Maruge presented himself at the nearest primary school to avail himself of the instruction, but was promptly turned away because of his age and the scarcity of space for children. Dignified and partly disabled from torture by British colonial forces almost a half-century earlier, Maruge persevered. Limping miles along a country road from his ramshackle farm to the schoolhouse several times, he eventually wore down the reservations of the teacher-principal (Naomie Harris) and was admitted.

The Art of Getting By

Were I to suggest that the only reason director Gavin Wiesen found roles for Steven Spielberg’s daughter and Tom Hanks’ wife in The Art of Getting By was to make sure that those Hollywood movers and shakers saw this, his debut film, you might accuse me of being overly cynical. But you haven’t seen this movie, a contrived regurgitation of coming-of-age stories with barely a plausible moment in its brief running time.

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