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Darleen Ortega

Darleen Ortega has been a judge on the Oregon Court of Appeals since 2003 and is the first woman of color to serve in that capacity. She sees two to three films a week and has been writing about movies for well over a decade, including blogging two film festivals and publishing a list of the year's best films. You can find her movie blog at www.opinionatedjudge.blogspot.com.



Recent Stories

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Counterpoint to the Oscars

My top 10 films of 2014

Judge Darleen Ortega eschews the whitest Oscar's in recent history and chooses her own top 10 of year.

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World in Focus

My best to worst favorites at PIFF

Judge Darleen Ortega goes through what's hot and what's not at the 38th Portland International Film Festival.

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Savoring Cultures and Perspectives

International Film Festival an opening to the world

Every February, I travel the world--and so can you, or virtually so, because the Portland International Film Festival offers the most culturally diverse film event of the year, beginning this week.

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Riveting and Inspiring

‘Selma’ wisely depicts struggle for civil rights

What a treat, then, to watch “Selma”—and by a treat, I mean that I was riveted and inspired, and that I wept through most of it. For once, I found an insightful depiction of what working for social justice looks like. And what it looks like is broken bodies, fear, treachery, risk, mistakes, choices between terrible options, and unthinkable sacrifice. And it involves many heroes, not just one.

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Confronting Harsh Realities

Third world drama ‘Metro Manila’ one of the best films of 2014

I saw "Metro Manila" back in February at the Portland International Film Festival and was so blown away by it that I hoped, against hope, that this taut and carefully constructed tale of a Filipino family trying to survive the harsh realities of life in Manila might actually get a U.S. theatrical release, though the commercial prospects for a tale in Tagalog seemed doubtful. My hopes failed to materialize, but the film is now available on Netflix and iTunes and Amazon, and I'm determined that everyone should see it. It's one of the best films I saw in 2014.

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'Gone Girl' Dreadfully Disappoints

Film short on believability and promotes stereotypes

Is this a movie or an endurance test?

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Right Kind of Discomfort

“Dear White People’ takes on privilege, identity and race

When was the last time you saw a film that challenged your assumptions about identity? Or one that depicted anything like the variety and complexity of identity struggles and micro-aggressions experienced by people outside the dominant culture(s)? Or one that managed both to make you feel understood and to make you squirm?

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Misfits and Hidden Gifts

'A Wrinkle in Time' invites self-acceptance and discovery

Oregon Shakespeare Festival's "A Wrinkle in Time," invites audiences to travel through worlds of imagination and meaning.

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‘Calvary’ grasps for a World beyond Fairness

A priest’s faith is tested as life hangs in the balance

Our 'Opinionated Judge' Darleen Ortega on the film 'Calvary', "This film deals with the question of faith in a challenging way, which also involves dealing with the question of fairness."

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Right Kind of Reverence

Biopic on James Brown gets it right

From the sheer energy in the musical performances, to capturing some of the harder parts of the cultural icon, the biopic on James Brown, 'Get On Up' "makes you feel it," says our 'Opinionated Judge' Darleen Ortega.

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