This warm-hearted biography of Astrid Lindgren is less about the making-of-a-writer than the formation of the woman who would become the prolific writer of beloved children’s books.
The real Lee Israel, the celebrity profiler turned forger who died in 2014, was a more boastful figure than the sad-sack recluse Melissa McCarthy plays in Marielle Heller’s sympathetic biopic, especially when methodically detailing her brief, prolific criminal spree in the early 1990s.
Director Steve Loveridge has been a friend and collaborator with the rapper M.I.A. since they met as film students, but what saves his first documentary Matangi/Maya/M.I.A. from the pitfalls of an adoring, glossed-over portrayal is the simple decision to take her seriously.
The feverish pace of Gilles de Maistre’s The Quest of Alain Ducasse reflects its indefatigable subject, the French chef with a global presence. For eighteen months, de Maistre followed Ducasse to the outposts of his food empire.
There’s more enthusiasm than skill on display in Yadvi, a leaden biopic made by sisters Jyoti and Gauri Singh to honor their grandmother Rajmata Yadhuvansh Kumari. They use family history to illustrate the decline of Indian royalty during the twentieth century, when princely states were absorbed into the new democracy.