Finally! A Terrific Hallmark Hanukkah Movie!

Finally! A Terrific Hallmark Hanukkah Movie!

Posted on December 13, 2023 at 10:47 pm

Hallmark has justifiably been criticized for its all-white, all-Christmas winter holiday movies, and then it was justifiably criticized for its first attempts at a Hanukkah movies, with problems that ranged from insensitivity and ignorance to outright failures (captioning describing a Hebrew prayer as Yiddish, for example).

Copyright Hallmark 2023

But “Round and Round,” written by Tamar Laddy of “Pretty Little Lies” is one of the best Hallmark movies ever, smart, funny, and romantic, with terrific chemistry between stars Vic Michaelis and Bryan Greenberg. The “Groundhog Day” story of a woman who gets stuck repeating the seventh night of Hanukkah is delightfully self-aware, with clever references to other time loop films and cultural touchstones. And the details of Hanukkah celebrations are grounded in experience and appreciation.

Highly recommended!

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Comedy Jewish Romance
Happy Passover 2022/5782

Happy Passover 2022/5782

Posted on April 15, 2022 at 8:42 am

Have a blessed Passover!  Whether you’re on Zoom or socially distant in person, enjoy the holiday devoted to family, freedom, and courage. Dayanu!

The story of the exodus to freedom is for all ages.

For family viewing: try It’s Passover Grover!, The Prince of Egypt, Rugrats Passover,  and The Ten Commandments

 

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Holidays Jewish Spiritual films
Interview: Michelle J. Li, Costume Designer for Shiva Baby

Interview: Michelle J. Li, Costume Designer for Shiva Baby

Posted on March 28, 2021 at 8:00 am

Copyright Neon Heart 2020
“Shiva Baby” mostly takes place at a reception following a Jewish funeral, which means costume designer Michelle J. Li had to find a way to make a lot of characters dressed in black look distinctive. An except from our interview for the Alliance of Women Film Journalists:

NM: It must be a challenge to do a movie where pretty much everybody is wearing black but you still have to make these characters distinctive and visually interesting.

MJL: Of course, at a shiva, the main color is going to be black. Emma and I spoke about it a lot. We as the consumer, think of black as one color. There are many, many different shades of black. There are warmer blacks, there are cooler blacks, and depending even upon the type of fabric, black absorbs light or reflects light.

When you put black in front of the lens, it becomes such a dark void, and you can lose a lot of definition from the silhouette of the character. I was really conscious about making sure that the texture and the pattern of whatever costume piece I was using really was the defining point that could help bring more interest into making it black, but interesting.

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Behind the Scenes Interview Jewish
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