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Weekly Update for May 30: Women Centric, Directed and Written Films Playing Near You

Weekly Update for May 30: Women Centric, Directed and Written Films Playing Near You

Films
About Women Opening

Maleficent
– Written by Linda Woolverton 

We’ve
all been waiting a long time for Angelina Jolie to be back on the big screen.
She’s devoted her time to many worthy philanthropic and humanitarian causes,
and has developed her directing chops (her second film Unbroken will
be released this December and already is generating Oscar buzz), but aside from
voicing the Kung Fu Panda movies she hasn’t been onscreen
since 2010 in The Tourist with Johnny Depp, which did not do very well. Her
last leading role was Salt, also in 2010. That’s a long time to
wait for one of the biggest movies stars to actually be a movie star. She
returns to screens all across the world this weekend as Maleficent in
screenwriter Linda Woolverton’s re-imagination of the Sleeping Beauty fairy
tale. (Melissa Silverstein)

Read
more about Maleficent at Forbes.

Read
our interview with screenwriter Linda Woolverton.

We
Are the Best! 

This
joyfully rambunctious Swedish import is the best movie I’ve seen about girls —
scratch that, the best movie I’ve seen period — this year. Centered on a trio
of middle-school girls who embrace punk as a way of rebelling against the
indignities of adolescence and femininity in ABBA-crazed 1982 Stockholm, Lukas
Moodysson’s film — based on his wife Coco’s graphic novel — perfectly
captures the ups and downs of female friendship and the bursts of creativity of
youth. Nerdy Bobo, pushy Klara, and late-blooming Hedvig only ever manage to
write and perform one song, but the process of learning how to channel their
frustrations into music and figuring out how to prove to the world that punk
isn’t dead as long as there’s still battles to be fought is pure, unadulterated
pleasure. (Inkoo Kang) 

Read
our full review.
 

Lucky
Them – Directed by Megan Griffiths; Co-Written by Emily Wachtel 

Megan Griffiths’
rueful comedy Lucky Them stars Toni Collette as Ellie Klug, a
beloved rock journalist who has been covering the Seattle music scene for
decades. When her boss (Oliver Platt) orders her to look into the mysterious
disappearance of a one-time superstar on the scene, who also happened to be
romantically involved with Ellie, the jaded writer joins forces with a wannabe
documentary filmmaker (Thomas Haden Church) to hunt down the singer who may or
may not have killed himself. Complicating matters, Ellie finds herself falling
in love with a young singer-songwriter who is looking for his big break.
(Rotten Tomatoes) 

Read our interview with Megan Griffiths.

Emoticon
;) – Directed by Livia De Paolis; Written by Sarah Nerboso and Livia De Paolis

Technology
and modern family structures interact in unexpected ways in Emoticon ;),
a Manhattan-set tale about a thirtysomething woman who becomes close to her
older boyfriend’s teenage children. In my LA Times review, I wrote, “It’s
hard to imagine that there are many who lie awake at night panicked that the
humble emoticon represents yet another degeneration of human communication.
Nonetheless, director-star Livia De Paolis sets out to reassure everybody that
the Internet won’t destroy all relationships in her agreeable but unnecessary
family drama Emoticon ;).” (Inkoo Kang) 

Read Livia De Paolis’ guest post. 

Elena (doc) – Directed by Petra Costa 

Elena, a young Brazilian woman, moved to New York with the same dream her mother had: to become a film actress. She left behind a childhood spent in hiding during the years of the military dictatorship. She also left Petra, her beloved seven-year-old sister. Over time, Elena’s calls and letters home trailed off, until one day they stopped entirely. Years later, Petra also becomes an actress and heads to New York in search of her destiny, but also in search of her troubled sister. She remembers and imagines Elena through home movies, letters, a diary, and dreamlike sequences full of longing. As she tries to unravel the mystery of her sister, their stories overlap and begin to blur, challenging us to discover truths about forgiveness, loss, catharsis, and love. (Press materials)

The
Life and Crimes of Doris Payne (doc)

“Who
knew that being lied to for 75 minutes could be so agreeable — and revealing?
Matthew Pond and Kirck Marcolina’s knotty, crowd-pleasing doc dishes the
life of octogenarian jewel thief Doris Payne, a charming African-American
woman who credits her (alleged) $2 million haul over a half-century of ballsy
sleight-of-hand to the fact that, finely dressed and hewing to brittle
upper-crust mores, ‘I’m sure they didn’t see me as a black American
woman.'” (Village Voice)

Films
About Women Currently Playing

The
Immigrant 
Legends
of Oz: Dorothy’s Return – Co-Written by Randi Barnes 
Mom’s
Night Out – Co-Written by Andrea Gyertson Nasfell 
Stage
Fright
Belle – Directed by Amma Asante; Written by Misan Sagay
For
a Woman – Written and Directed by Diane Kurys
Ida
The
Other Woman – Directed by Melissa Stack 
Redwood
Highway
Nymphomaniac:
Part Two
Under
the Skin
Finding
Vivian Maier (doc)
Divergent
– Co-Written by Vanessa Taylor
It
Felt Like Love – Eliza Hittman

Films Directed by
Women Opening

Night
Moves – Directed and Co-Written by Kelly Reichardt

After
gaining notice for Wendy and Lucy and Meek’s Cutoff, her small
but critically acclaimed collaborations with actress Michelle Williams,
director Kelly Reichardt has made the biggest — and by far the most accessible
— film of her career in the eco-terrorist thriller Night Moves.
Starring Jesse Eisenberg, Dakota Fanning, and Peter Sarsgaard as a trio of
radical environmentalists from vastly different backgrounds, the film asks
complex questions about the destruction of the planet and whether violence can
and/or should have a role in fighting against climate change. (Melissa
Silverstein)

Read
our interview with Kelly Reichardt.

Films Directed by
Women Currently Playing

The
American Nurse – Directed by Carolyn Jones 
Palo
Alto – Written and Directed by Gia Coppola 
Fed
Up (doc) – Directed and Co-Written by Stephanie Soechtig
Cyber
Seniors (doc) – Directed by Saffron Cassaday
The German Doctor – Written and Dircted by Lucia Puenzo 
The
Galapagos Affair: Satan Came to Eden (doc) – Co-Directed by Dayna Goldfine and
Co-Written by Dayna Goldfine and Celeste Schaefer Snyder 
Beneath
the Harvest Sky – Co-Directed and Co-Written by Gita Pulapilly

Films
Written by Women Currently Playing

Blended
– Co-Written by Clare Sera
Stand
Clear of the Closing Doors – Co-Written by Rose Lichter-Marck
50
to 1 – Co-Written by Faith Conroy 

Films
by and About Women on DVD or on Demand


The Pretty One – Written and Directed by Jenee LaMarque
Child’s Pose
Saving Grace B. Jones

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