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Weekly Update for October 24: Women Centric, Directed and Written Films Playing Near You

Weekly Update for October 24: Women Centric, Directed and Written Films Playing Near You

Films About Women Opening

Laggies – Directed by Lynn Shelton; Written by Andrea Seigel 

“Suck it up, go with your gut.” That’s the advice Seattle late-twentysomething Megan (Keira Knightley) gives to adolescent Annika (Chloe Grace Moretz) at the end of Lynn Shelton’s most commercial movie yet, Laggies. Shelton herself has followed that mantra, pioneering a successful indie career by going with her gut. She’s a generous filmmaker, giving female characters dimension and detail without sacrificing the crispness of her men.

Shelton has created a cottage industry in Seattle making films that are cool, contemporary, and just a little bit angsty without being all tattooed-edgy. I loved the sibling issues raised, and the actresses engaged — Rosemarie DeWitt and Emily Blunt — in the prickly yet tender comedy Your Sister’s Sister. I sighed during the uneven masseuse dramedy Touchy Feely, also starring DeWitt, a yeasty bread that refused to rise. Everyone makes mistakes, though women directors often don’t get a second chance. (Thelma Adams) 

Read Women and Hollywood’s review of Laggies.

Sleeping with the Fishes – Written and Directed by Nicole Gomez Fisher

Family — love them, hate them, or the complicated in-between, they are rarely easy. In the semi-autobiographical Latino-Jewish comedy Sleeping with the Fishes, Lexie Fish (Gina Rodriguez, now starring on TV’s Jane the Virgin) returns to her hometown for a funeral and finds the rest of her family unchanged from when she last left, especially her fault-finding mother (Priscilla Lopez), who critiques Lexie’s makeup, weight, and dress sense. It doesn’t help that the recent death of Lexie’s unfaithful husband has left her broke and reduced to a dead-end job dancing in human-sized food costumes at a burger joint. Listless and unsatisfied, she relies on medication and self-help audiobooks to push her through her days. Understandably, staying with her family for any longer than necessary is the last thing Lexie wants — but staying with them might offer the chance for relationships old and new to flourish.With sparkling humor and delightful performances, Sleeping with the Fishes navigates the complicated terrain of familial relationships with impressive deftness and a sense of optimism. (Kelcie Mattson)

Read Women and Hollywood’s interview with writer-director Nicole Gomez Fisher about Sleeping with the Fishes.

1,000 Times Good Night 

1,000 Times Good Night has won accolades on the festival circuit and is getting a small release through Film Movement (writer/director Erik Poppe will be in NY this weekend for Q&As). Juliette Binoche plays Rebecca, one of the best war photographers in the world, who struggles to connect with her family when she returns home to spend time with her family. She is there, but not really there. The film begins with her being hurt in a bomb blast and her family’s desperation to keep her safe. But Rebecca isn’t sure that she wants to be with them more than she wants to get that next photo — an ambivalence that threatens to break up her family. 1,000 Times Good Night is a movie about a mother who doesn’t really know how to mother properly, which is a rare enough premise for a film. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Game of Thrones) plays her marine-biologist husband with the primary parenting responsibilities. He comes off as the good parent and she as the monster, because in what world what a woman would choose dangerous work over her kids? … Binoche is stellar, nuanced, and really interesting — and 1,000% worthy of Oscar consideration. (Melissa Silverstein)

Read Women and Hollywood’s full review of 1,000 Times Good Night.

White Bird in a Blizzard 

Kat Connors (Shailene Woodley) is 17-years-old when her perfect homemaker mother, Eve (Eva Green), a beautiful, enigmatic, and haunted woman, disappears, just as Kat is discovering and relishing her newfound sexuality. Having lived for so long in a stifled, emotionally repressed household, she barely registers her mother’s absence and certainly doesn’t blame her doormat of a father, Brock (Christopher Meloni), for the loss. In fact, it’s almost a relief. But as time passes, Kat begins to come to grips with how deeply Eve’s disappearance has affected her. Returning home on a break from college, she finds herself confronted with the truth about her mother’s departure, and her own denial about the events surrounding it. (Press materials)

Tiger Lily Road 

Two small-town women (Ilva Dulack and Karen Chamberlain) capture a handsome fugitive who breaks into their house trying to escape a snowstorm and the law. Pretty soon he wishes he had picked another line of work. (Temecula Valley International Film and Music Festival)

Films About Women Currently Playing 

Dear White People 

The Golden Era – Directed by Ann Hui

Camp X-Ray

The Tale of the Princess Kaguya 

You’re Not You – Co-Written by Shana Feste 

Addicted – Co-Written by Christina Welsh 

Gone Girl 

Annabelle

Bjork: Biophilia Live (doc)

Tracks 

No Good Deed – Written by Aimee Lagos

Wetlands

The Congress

If I Stay

Lucy

Maleficent – Written by Linda Woolverton

Films Directed by Women Opening

Citizenfour (doc) – Directed by Laura Poitras

Laura Poitras’ third film in her trilogy about the post-9/11 world. It is compelling, infuriating, and breathtaking in its scope. The film takes us behind the scenes as NSA Analyst Edward Snowden — who first contacted Poitras using the name “Citizenfour” — and reporter Glenn Greenwald release the documents that blew open the NSA Surveillance program we now know as Prism….While Poitras tries to document the story with as much distance as she can, it’s hard because the story is about her too. She’s the storyteller as well as one of the subjects, and it is a testament to her skill as a filmmaker that she is able to not make the story too personal about her, Greenwald or even Snowden. Rather, Citizenfour is really about the world we live in, and damn, it reminds you once again just how scary this world can be. (Melissa Silverstein)

Read Women and Hollywood’s full review of Citizenfour.

The Great Invisible (doc) – Directed by Margaret Brown (opens October 29)

On April 20, 2010, the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico in a blaze of fire that could be seen 35 miles away, killing 11 workers and causing the worst oil spill in American history. The Great Invisible, the first comprehensive overview of the incident and its aftermath, is the result of four years that Alabama-born Brown spent traveling in the small towns and major cities all around the Gulf, talking to those affected. With an eye for unforgettable characters, Brown gained the trust of a wide range of people, from industry insiders to small-town fishermen, from lawyers administering BP’s faulty compensation fund to the shell-shocked survivors of the initial blast (one of whom provides chilling first-person video taken onboard the Deepwater Horizon in the days leading up to the disaster). Together, their testimony adds up to a damning portrait of an industry whose lack of government oversight led to unthinkable catastrophe, a lack of oversight that has not changed, despite the widespread outrage at the time. (Press materials)

Read Women and Hollywood’s interview with director Margaret Brown.

Films Directed by Women Currently Playing

Life Inside Out – Directed by Jill D’Agnenica; Written by Maggie Baird and Lori Nasso

Watchers of the Sky (doc) – Directed by Edet Belzberg

The Hacker Wars (doc) – Directed by Vivien Lesnik Weisman

Awake: The Life of Yogananda (doc) – Directed by Paola di Florio and Lisa Leeman 

Art and Craft (doc) – Co-Directed by Jennifer Grausman 

Honeymoon – Written and Directed by Leigh Janiak 

I Am Eleven (doc) – Directed by Genevieve Bailey

Land Ho! – Co-Directed by Martha Stephens

Films Written by Women Currently Playing

The Good Lie – Written by Margaret Nagle

Men, Women & Children – Co-Written by Erin Cressida Wilson

The Hero of Color City – Co-Written by Jess Kedward and Kirsty Peart

Guardians of the Galaxy – Co-Written by Nicole Perlman

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes – Co-Written by Amanda Silver

 

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