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Weekly Update for August 14: Women Centric, Directed and Written Films Playing Near You

Weekly Update for August 14: Women Centric, Directed and Written Films Playing Near You

Films About Women Opening This Week

Mistress America – Co-Written by Greta Gerwig – Women and Hollywood’s Pick of the Week 

As the titular character in 2012’s “Frances Ha,” Greta Gerwig nailed the feeling of frustration at being the last among your friends to move into “responsible adulthood” with an adorable mix of charm, wit, clumsiness and social awkwardness. In “Mistress America,” Gerwig has once again teamed up with director Noah Baumbach as co-writer and star for another millennial portrait centered on female friendship. “Mistress America” looks to be set in the same tone, but even more satirical and screwball-like. Gerwig is hilarious as the vivacious, self-aware and self-involved freelance interior designer who dazzles her soon-to-be stepsister (Lola Kirke) with her New York cool. Even though the character has multiple issues and neuroses lurking underneath her confident surface, we appreciate Gerwig’s celebration of smart, narcissistic women who are often deemed “too much” because they dream big, never shut up and don’t live according to other people’s expectations. (Freja Dam) 

Fort Tilden – Co-Directed by Sarah-Violet Bliss

We’ve gotta be pretty close to the hipster saturation point by now, but SXSW award-winning “Fort Tilden” actually has something new to say about over-privileged 20-somethings in Williamsburg. The aimless Harper and Allie (Bridey Elliott and Clare McNulty) just want to get to the beach, but they can’t stop getting in their own way. “The 26-year-olds’ matching rompers,” I wrote for TheWrap, “tell you pretty much everything about where they are in life.” Eventually, though, the film makes this “familiar and easily hateable pair into nuanced, melancholic and disastrously overcompensating individuals worth getting to know.” (Inkoo Kang)

Big Sky (Also available on VOD)

A teenage girl (Bella Thorne) who suffers a mortal fear of open spaces is enrolled in a high-end treatment facility by her mother (Kyra Sedgwick) in the hope that they can find a cure. When the van they are travelling in is suddenly attacked by two masked gunmen, she must confront her biggest fear and fight for her survival. (Press materials)

Final Girl 

Every night, four boys trick a young, blonde girl into meeting them in the forest for a date with the intention to hunt and kill her for sport. One night, Veronica (Abigail Breslin) is selected, and little do they know, she is a trained assassin with her own set of tricks for these boys. When the hunt begins, the boys soon realize that they messed with the wrong girl when she turns the tables on them. (Press materials)

Return to Sender (Also available on VOD) – Co-Written by Patricia Beauchamp

Miranda (Rosamund Pike) is a dedicated nurse, an exquisite cake maker and an impeccable friend. But when she agrees to a blind date and the wrong man comes to her door, her perfect world is shattered by a brutal assault. Even after her attacker, William, is convicted and locked away for the crime, Miranda can’t overcome the fear and trauma enough to put her orderly life back together. Desperate for closure, she reaches out to William — first through letters, then prison visits — and slowly builds a relationship with him. But when William is paroled and comes looking for her, Miranda seizes the opportunity to exact revenge. (Press materials)

Once I Was a Beehive

A faith-based film about Lane Speer (Paris Warner), a 16-year-old girl who spends her family vacations camping in the mountains. She takes the memories for granted until she loses her father to an unexpected bout with cancer. Only a year later, as Lane is still reeling from her father’s death, her mother remarries a guy that Lane hardly knows. Worst of all, he is a Mormon. To top it off, while they are on their honeymoon, they arrange to have her stay with her Mormon step-aunt, who takes her away to a Bible-themed girls camp with a bunch of young Mormon girls. Confronted with memories of camping with her family, she tries to find peace with her new surroundings and deal with the death of her father. (Press materials)

Molly Moon’s Incredible Book of Hypnotism – Co-Written by Georgia Byng

A young orphan girl, Molly Moon (Raffey Cassidy), comes across a book: “Hypnotism, An Ancient Art.” Learning its lessons, she hypnotizes her way to stardom in London and becomes rich and famous. But little does she know that an unscrupulous man wants her book. He tracks her to London, kidnaps her dog, Petula, and blackmails Molly. In order to get her dog back, she must rob Shorings Bank of all its jewels! And then she must find the friends she has lost from her hypnotic journey. (Press materials)

Paulette – Co-Written by Bianca Olsen and Laurie Aubanel 

After the death of her husband and the closing of her beloved bakery, the brash and opinionated Paulette (Bernadette Lafont) lives alone in a housing project in a run-down suburb of Paris, with a meager retirement pension that’s not enough to make ends meet. When, one night, she notices the curious goings-on outside her building, Paulette sees it as a sign of fate and embarks on a cheerful life of crime. Her gift for commerce and her cooking talents now offer so many opportunities for finding original solutions in the implementation of her new career. (Press materials)

Dangerous Company (Opening on August 15)

“Dangerous Company” follows Pauline Mitchell (Alicia Leigh Willis), a successful businesswoman whose life is seemingly in a good place. But when she finds herself misplacing things, losing track of time and unable to recognize her husband on one occasion, her biggest fear is that she has inherited Alzheimer’s disease, the same illness that killed her mother. However, all is not as it seems, and whether she’s really fallen prey to a debilitating disease or if something else is causing her memory lapses and other issues comes into question. Pauline is faced with a desperate fight to prove her sanity to the police, her doctor and even herself. (Press materials)

Films About Women Currently Playing

Ricki and the Flash – Written by Diablo Cody 
The Diary of a Teenage Girl – Written and Directed by Marielle Heller 
The Falling – Written and Directed by Carol Morley
Dark Places 
Jenny’s Wedding – Written and Directed by Mary Agnes Donoghue 
The Kindergarten Teacher 
Phoenix
Trainwreck – Written by Amy Schumer
Lila & Eve (Also available on VOD)
Tangerine
Amy (Documentary)
Runoff – Written and Directed by Kimberly Levin 
Inside Out
Spy
Testament of Youth
Tomorrowland
Mad Max: Fury Road
I’ll See You In My Dreams
Aloft – Written and Directed by Claudia Llosa 
Far From the Madding Crowd 
Woman in Gold
Iris (Documentary)
Gemma Bovary – Directed by Anne Fontaine

Films Directed by Women Opening This Week

Rosenwald (Documentary) – Written and Directed by Aviva Kempner

The incredible and largely untold story of Julius Rosenwald, an entrepreneur who became President of Sears. He was deeply committed to civil rights and he was the primary funder and driving force behind the creation of the Rosenwald Schools that dotted the Jim Crow South. His legacy in educating African Americans is largely unknown, but is hugely influential. (Melissa Silverstein)

Ten Thousand Saints – Co-Directed by Shari Springer Berman

Jude (Asa Butterfield) is a teenage boy who is trying to reconnect with his father, Les (Ethan Hawke), in 1987 Manhattan. When Jude’s friend, Teddy, dies of a drug overdose, Jude finds himself befriending a group of friends who are against drugs, alcohol, profanity and sex and live for punk-style rock music. When he meets Eliza (Hailee Steinfeld), who is sixteen-years-old and is pregnant with Teddy’s child, he and Les are forced to be her rock as she struggles through her pregnancy and early motherhood, while Jude struggles with his feelings for her and his relationship with his father. (Press materials)

Read Women and Hollywood’s interview with Shari Springer Berman.

Slow Learners – Co-Directed by Sheena M. Joyce (Opening on August 19)

Jeff (Adam Pally) and Anne (Sarah Burns), two close friends and co-workers who are embarrassingly unlucky at love, hatch a plan to transform themselves over the course of a sex-and-alcohol-fueled summer. (Tribeca)

Meru (Documentary) – Co-Directed by Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi

In the high-stakes pursuit of big-wall climbing, the Shark’s Fin on Mount Meru may be the ultimate prize. Sitting 21,000 feet above the sacred Ganges River in Northern India, the mountain’s perversely stacked obstacles make it both a nightmare and an irresistible calling for some of the world’s toughest climbers. In October 2008, renowned alpinists Conrad Anker, Jimmy Chin and Renan Ozturk arrived in India to tackle Meru. (Press materials)

Read Women and Hollywood’s interview with Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi.

The Lost Key (Documentary) – Co-Directed by Belen Orsini; Co-Written by Fernanda Rossi and Sonia Chocron

After a traumatic divorce, Ricardo set out to discover how to attain a fulfilling and lasting marriage. His search took him to renowned author and marriage counselor Rabbi Manis Friedman, whose book “Doesn’t Anyone Blush Anymore?” boasts a cover quote by the legendary Bob Dylan. The film portrays the dramatic transformation of Ricardo’s new marriage, and the reactions of other couples to this revolutionary way to intimate connection. (Press materials)

Films Directed by Women Currently Playing

Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet – Co-Directed by Joan C. Gratz and Nina Paley 
How to Smell a Rose: A Visit with Ricky Leacock at his Farm in Normandy (Documentary) – Co-Directed by Gina Leibrecht 
Infinitely Polar Bear – Directed and Written by Maya Forbes
The Wolfpack (Documentary) – Directed by Crystal Mosell

Films Written by Women Opening This Week

Straight Outta Compton – Co-Written by Andrea Berloff

In the mid-1980s, the streets of Compton, California, were some of the most dangerous in the country. When five young men translated their experiences growing up into brutally honest music that rebelled against abusive authority, they gave an explosive voice to a silenced generation. Following the meteoric rise and fall of N.W.A., “Straight Outta Compton” tells the astonishing story of how these youngsters revolutionized music and pop culture forever the moment they told the world the truth about life in the hood — and ignited a cultural war. (Press materials) 

Amnesiac – Co-Written by Amy Kolquist

A man who wakes up in bed suffering from memory loss after being in an accident, only to begin to suspect that his wife (Kate Bosworth) may not be his real wife and that a web of lies and deceit deepen inside the house where he soon finds himself a prisoner. (Press materials)

Films Written by Women Currently Playing

Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation – Co-Written by Laeta Kalogridis 
Paulo Coelho’s Best Story – Written by Carolina Kotscho 
Terminator: Genisys – Co-Written by Laeta Kalogridis
Jurassic World – Co-Written by Amanda Silver

TV Premiering This Week

The Hotwives of Las Vegas (Hulu) – Created by Dannah Phirman and Danielle Schneider (August 18

This on-going parody of one of the most popular franchises in reality television moves to Las Vegas and brings a new cast of characters to the city where dreams and fortunes are made every day, and crushed every day. We’ll meet a fresh batch of Hotwives — loving and clawing their way through Sin City with smiling faces because the Botox won’t let them frown. Brace yourself for double the drama, triple the heartbreak and seven times the fake boobs. (Hulu)

VOD/DVD Releasing This Week 

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