Summer brings more great news for those of us who long to see women-centric films in theaters.
Many of the biggest and most anticipated films of the season are about
women — and a fair portion are written and directed by them, too. Kicking
the month off, Melissa McCarthy takes center stage in “Spy” (June 5), in which
she plays a CIA analyst-turned-undercover agent infiltrating a world she
knows nothing about. Also on the comedy front is Pixar’s long-awaited
“Inside Out,” which focuses on the emotional landscape of a pre-teen girl as
she navigates the ins and outs of growing up. Of course, it wouldn’t be a Pixar
movie without a few tears.
For those of you who loved Carey Mulligan’s “Far From The Madding Crowd” as much as we did, you’ll be happy to know that June is jam-packed with period dramas. A new adaptation of the
classic “Madame Bovary” (June 12), starring the exquisitely talented Mia Wasikowska, comes to us from director Sophie Barthes. “A Little Chaos” (June 26) tells the story of Sabine (Kate Winslet), a gifted landscape designer who has been hired to build one of King Louis XIV’s gardens at his new palace in Versailles. And on June 5 comes “Testament of Youth” (June 5), a tale of loves lost and political awakening set during World War I.
On the documentary front,
we have Amy Berg’s “An Open Secret” (June 5), an in-depth look into the lives of children who have been taken advantage of by powerful men in the
entertainment industry. Also coming to us later in the month is Crystal
Moselle’s touching documentary “The Wolfpack” (June 12), which tells the story
of what happens when two children locked away from the outside world for the
majority of their lives manage to escape the confines of their apartment and
explore their surroundings.
is our list of women-centric, -directed, and -written June releases. All descriptions from
press materials unless otherwise noted.
Susan Cooper (Melissa McCarthy) is an unassuming, deskbound CIA analyst and the unsung hero behind the agency’s most dangerous missions. But when her partner (Jude Law) falls off the grid and another top agent (Jason Statham) is compromised, she volunteers to go deep undercover to infiltrate the world of a deadly arms dealer and prevent a global disaster.
Testament of Youth – Written by Juliette Towhidi
A searing story of love and war. Based on the classic First World War memoir, this is the incredible true story of one young woman’s (Alicia Vikander) struggle to survive the horrors of war, which robbed her of everyone and everything she held dear, but was ultimately unable to break her extraordinary spirit.
An Open Secret (doc) – Directed by Amy Berg
A look at the lives of children who were exploited and assaulted by some of Hollywood’s most powerful players.
Dawn Patrol – Co-written by Rachel Long
After the brutal murder of his beloved brother, a small-town surfer (Scott Eastwood) seeks revenge against the gang of merciless thugs he holds responsible. However, when another tragedy brings him face to face with the consequences of his actions, he must seek forgiveness from the very people he despises most.
Pearl – Co-Written by Dana M. Patton
Consumed by a horrific event in her past, a woman (Dana Patton) is driven to violent retribution and soon discovers that there can be no getting even. Her only ally: a meth-making genius who manipulates her for her own ends, while she wages a vigilante campaign against a powerful drug lord and his thug army. A detective, investigating a series of grisly homicides, begins to uncover the truth about her, and the role he himself played in her origins.
Madame Bovary – Directed and Co-Written by Sophie Barthes
Set in Normandy, France, this is the classic story of Emma Bovary (Mia Wasikowska), a young beauty who impulsively marries small-town doctor, Charles Bovary (Henry Lloyd-Hughes), to leave her father’s pig farm far behind. But after being introduced to the glamorous world of high society, she soon becomes bored with her stodgy husband and mundane life and seeks prestige and excitement outside the bonds of marriage.
L.A. Slasher – Co-Written by Abigail Wright and Elizabeth Morris
A biting, social satire of reality TV and the glorification of those who are “famous for being famous,” “L.A. Slasher” takes aim at the current state of the entertainment industry. Incensed by the tabloid culture that promotes this new breed of “celebrities,” the L.A. Slasher publicly abducts a series of reality TV stars, which leads the media and the general public to question if perhaps society is better off without them. Stars Mischa Barton.
Jurassic World – Co-Written by Amanda Silver
Visitors at the Jurassic World theme park run for their lives when the genetically engineered Indominus Rex and other dinosaurs go on a rampage. Stars Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard.
I Am Here
Maria (Kim Basinger) is a successful business executive, struggling to fulfill her greatest wish of all: to bring a child into the world. After suffering yet another miscarriage, a doctor informs Maria that she’s too old to carry a child, and her whole world comes crashing down. Devastated and unable to accept her fate, Maria sets out on a desperate and perilous quest to realize her dream of motherhood.
The Wolfpack (doc) – Directed by Crystal Moselle
Locked away from society in an apartment on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, the Angulo brothers learn about the outside world through the films that they watch. Nicknamed the Wolfpack, the brothers spend their childhood re-enacting their favorite films using elaborate homemade props and costumes. With no friends and living on welfare, they feed their curiosity, creativity and imagination with film, which allows them to escape their feelings of isolation and loneliness. Everything changes when one of the brothers escapes, and the power dynamics in the house are transformed. The Wolfpack must learn how to integrate into society without disbanding the brotherhood.
Growing up can be a bumpy road, and it’s no exception for Riley, who is uprooted from her Midwest life when her father starts a new job in San Francisco. Like all of us, Riley is guided by her emotions — Joy (Amy Poehler), Fear (Bill Hader), Anger (Lewis Black), Disgust (Mindy Kaling) and Sadness (Phyllis Smith). The emotions live in Headquarters, the control center inside Riley’s mind, where they help advise her through everyday life. As Riley and her emotions struggle to adjust to a new life in San Francisco, turmoil ensues in Headquarters. Although Joy, Riley’s main and most important emotion, tries to keep things positive, the emotions conflict on how best to navigate a new city, house and school.
Infinitely Polar Bear – Directed and Written by Maya Forbes
Maya Forbes’ autobiographically inflected “Infinitely Polar Bear” stars Mark Ruffalo as Cameron, a man who suffers from bipolar disorder. After a breakdown forces him to leave his family and move into a halfway house, he attempts to rebuild a relationship with his two daughters and win back the trust of his wife Maggie (Zoe Saldana). When Maggie decides to go to business school in New York, they decide that he will move back in and take care of the day-to-day care for the kids. Due to his mercurial nature, this leads to a series of quirky, funny and sometimes frightening episodes. (Perry Seibert, Rovi)
Phantom Halo – Directed and Co-Written by Antonia Bogdanovich; Co-Written by Anne Heffron
Brothers Samuel and Beckett Emerson (Thomas Brodie-Sangster and Luke Kleintank) are barely scraping by. Their father, Warren (Sebastian Roché), continues to gamble and drink away any money they bring home. With all the havoc that is constantly going on in their lives, the family members each find solace in his own way, through Shakespeare, comic books and impossible love affairs. Beckett seizes the opportunity to make some easy money by counterfeiting in hopes of repaying his father’s debts. When Beckett’s plan goes awry, the family must decide what’s most important or pay the ultimate price.
The Face of an Angel – Co-Written by Barbie Latza Nadeau
Both a journalist and a documentary filmmaker chase the story of a murder and its prime suspect. Stars Kate Beckinsale.
Eden – Directed and Co-Written by Mia Hansen-Løve
Based on the experiences of Mia Hansen-Løve’s brother Sven, the film follows Paul, a teenager in the underground scene of early-nineties Paris. Rave parties dominate that culture, but he’s drawn to the more soulful rhythms of Chicago’s garage house. He forms a DJ collective named Cheers, and together he and his friends plunge into the ephemeral nightlife of sex, drugs and endless music. Co-stars Greta Gerwig.
A Little Chaos – Co-Written by Alison Deegan
A romantic drama following Sabine (Kate Winslet), a strong-willed and talented landscape designer who is chosen to build one of the main gardens at King Louis XIV’s new palace at Versailles. In her new position of power, she challenges gender and class barriers while also becoming professionally and romantically entangled with the court’s renowned landscape artist André Le Notre (Matthias Schoenaerts).
Batkid Begins (doc) – Directed and Co-Written by Dana Nachman
On November 15th, 2013, a 5-year-old boy fighting leukemia transformed the city of San Francisco and the nation for a day. The Greater Bay Area Make-A-Wish Foundation helped Miles Scott become a superhero for a day — BatKid — and more than a billion people took to social media to cheer him on, including President Obama. This wish and this little caped crusader resonated with so many people and, there has never been anything quite like it in the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Felt – Co-Written by Amy Everson
Amy (Amy Everson) is hanging on by a thread. Struggling to cope with past sexual trauma and the daily aggressions of a male-dominated society, she creates grotesquely costumed alter egos that reappropriate the male form.
The Midnight Swim – Written and Directed by Sarah Adina Smith
Spirit Lake is unusually deep. No diver has ever managed to find the bottom, though many have tried. When Dr. Amelia Brooks (Beth Grant) disappears during a deep-water dive, her three daughters travel home to settle her affairs. They find themselves unable to let go of their mother and become drawn into the mysteries of the lake.
Runoff – Written and Directed by Kimberly Levin
The beauty of the land cannot mask the brutality of a farm town. As harvest draws near, Betty (Joanne Kelly) confronts a terrifying new reality and will go to desperate lengths to save her family when they are threatened with being forced from their land. An old friend, struggling to keep his own farm profitable by any means necessary, offers Betty a way out. She refuses to get involved, but as the pressures mount for her family and they are on the brink of eviction, her husband, Frank (Neal Huff), reveals that he is seriously ill. How far will one to go to take care of one’s own?