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Weekly Update for August 21: Women Centric, Directed and Written Films Playing Near You

Weekly Update for August 21: Women Centric, Directed and Written Films Playing Near You

Films About Women Opening This Week

Grandma – Women and Hollywood’s Pick of the Week 

It’s Lily Tomlin’s year: She received an Emmy nomination for the first season of her Netflix series “Grace and Frankie,” and now with “Grandma,” she plays the coolest, most progressive grandmother ever. Still reeling from the loss of her longtime partner a year ago, Tomlin breaks up with her younger lover (Judy Greer, who has more lines in this movie than all her others this summer), then receives an unexpected visit from her granddaughter (Julia Garner) who needs her grandma’s help to raise money to get an abortion that day. So begins their adventure in search of the money (don’t ask why she doesn’t have it). The journey reminds us how incredibly special an actress Lily Tomlin is. Aside from the great feminist story from Paul Weitz, seeing Lily Tomlin onscreen in every scene is one of the highlights of the summer. (Melissa Silverstein)

Read more about the five women we’re excited to see this August.

Learning to Drive – Directed by Isabel Coixet; Written by Sarah Kernochan

“Learning to Drive” is a lovely meditation on aging, expectations and learning to live life on your own terms. Patricia Clarkson stars as Wendy, a writer whose husband leaves her literally stranded as their daughter gets ready to head off to college. Wendy starts driving lessons with Darwan (Ben Kingsley), and the two develop a friendship through the lessons that help guide them both during the next phases of their lives. Based on the essay by Katha Pollitt, prolific Spanish director Isabel Coixet’s delicate drama was written by Sarah Kernochan. (Melissa Silverstein)

Read Women and Hollywood’s interview with Isabel Coixet.

She’s Funny That Way – Co-Written by Louise Stratten

A screwball comedy featuring the interconnected personal lives of the cast and crew of a Broadway production. When established director Arnold Albertson casts his call girl-turned-actress Isabella “Izzy” Patterson (Imogen Poots) in a new play to star alongside his wife Delta (Kathryn Hahn) and her ex-lover Seth Gilbert, a zany love tangle forms with hilarious twists. Jennifer Aniston plays Izzy’s therapist, Jane, who is consumed with her own failing relationship with Arnold’s playwright, Joshua Fleet, who is also developing a crush on Izzy. (Press materials)

Queen of Earth – Opens August 26

Two women (Elisabeth Moss and Katherine Waterston) who grew up together discover they have drifted apart when they retreat to a lake house together. (Press materials)

After Words (Also available on VOD)

A romantic adventure focusing on Jane (Marcia Gay Harden), a librarian who attempts to escape her mid-life crisis by traveling to Costa Rica. There she meets a younger man named Juan (Oscar Jaenada), who takes her on an unexpected journey filled with adventure and romance. (Press materials)

The Park Bench – Written and Directed by Ann LeSchander

Emily (Nicole Hayden), a librarian-to-be, is assigned to tutor Mateo (Walter Perez), a rogue Latino undergrad, in American Lit — but like any classic story, things grow complicated when they share more than a good book. (Press materials)

In The Game (Documentary) – Directed by Maria Finitzo – Opens August 22

Through the stories of a Hispanic girls’ soccer team at Kelly High School in Chicago, “In the Game” illustrates the enormous challenges facing inner-city girls in their quest for higher education and, most importantly, success in life. (Press materials) 

Read Women and Hollywood’s guest post by Maria Finitzo. 

Films About Women Currently Playing

Mistress America – Co-Written by Greta Gerwig 
Fort Tilden – Co-Directed and Co-Written by Sarah-Violet Bliss
Big Sky (Also available on VOD)
Final Girl
Return to Sender (Also available on VOD) – Co-Written by Patricia Beauchamp 
Once I Was a Beehive
Molly Moon’s Incredible Book of Hypnotism – Co-Written by Georgia Byng 
Paulette – Co-Written by Bianca Olsen and Laurie Aubanel 
Dangerous Company
Ricki and the Flash – Written by Diablo Cody 
The Diary of a Teenage Girl – Written and Directed by Marielle Heller
Dark Places 
Phoenix
Trainwreck – Written by Amy Schumer
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
Iris (Documentary)
Gemma Bovary – Directed by Anne Fontaine

Films Directed by Women Opening This Week

Top Spin (Documentary) – Directed by Sara Newens and Mina T. Son

Set against the backdrop of one of the most under-appreciated sports in America, three teenagers battle their way through the world of competitive ping pong. While facing the unusual challenges coming of age in a niche sport, their journey reveals the passion it takes to pursue their Olympic-sized dreams. (Press materials) 

Read Women and Hollywood’s interview with Sara Newens and Mina T. Son.

Films Directed by Women Currently Playing

Rosenwald (Documentary) – Directed by Aviva Kempner 
Ten Thousand Saints – Co-Directed by Shari Springer Berman 
Slow Learners – Co-Directed by Sheena M. Joyce
Meru (Documentary) – Co-Directed by Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelvi 
The Lost Key (Documentary) – Co-Directed by Belen Orsini; Co-Written by Fernanda Rossi and Sonia Chocron 
Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet – Co-Directed by Joan C. Gratz and Nina Paley 
Infinitely Polar Bear – Directed and Written by Maya Forbes
The Wolfpack (Documentary) – Directed by Crystal Mosell

Films Written by Women Opening This Week

None

Films Written by Women Currently Playing

Straight Outta Compton – Co-Written by Andrea Berloff 
Amnesiac – Co-Written by Amy Kolquist 
Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation – Co-Written by Laeta Kalogridis 
Terminator: Genisys – Co-Written by Laeta Kalogridis
Jurassic World – Co-Written by Amanda Silver

TV Premiering This Week

Tig Notaro: Boyish Girl Interrupted (HBO) – Co-Directed by Tig Notaro (August 22)

The exclusive presentation will feature the Grammy nominee in an all-new performance taped in May before a live audience at the Wilbur Theatre in Boston, Massachusetts. Known for her distinctive storytelling and off-beat sense of humor, Notaro often draws on her highly personal experiences with no-holds-barred honesty. Over the course of her one-hour show, Notaro tells stories about a number of subjects, including: performing in Las Vegas; the search for the perfect Santa Claus; her favorite laugh noises; bringing her fiancée to meet her Mississippi family; TSA screening; flying in small planes; unusual public signs; standing ovations; and more. (HBO)

Switched at Birth (ABC Family) – Created by Lizzy Weiss (August 24)

Bay Kennish (Vanessa Marano) is a teenager who grew up in a wealthy family with two parents and a brother. Fellow teen Daphne Vasquez (Katie Leclerc), who lost her hearing at an early age, was raised by a single mother in a working-class neighborhood. One day in her high-school chemistry class, Bay discovers that her blood type doesn’t match either of her parents’. Official tests confirm that Bay is not her parents’ birth child. When the Kennish family meets Daphne and her mom, Regina (Constance Marie), they realize that the girls were switched at birth. The news prompts the Kennishes to allow Regina — who is experiencing financial difficulties — Daphne and Daphne’s grandmother to live in their guest house. The two polar-opposite families struggle to learn how to live together for the sake of the girls, who try to keep their footing in both the world they know and the new one into which they are thrown. (Press materials)

Vixen (CW Seed) (August 25)

Vixen (Megalyn Echikunwoke) uses animal powers to fight criminals. (IMDb)

Read Women of Hollywood’s take on why we wish “Vixen” was a a live-action series. 

VOD/DVD Releasing This Week 

6 Years (VOD) – Written and Directed by Hannah Fidell
The Pardon
October Gale (DVD) – Written and Directed by Ruba Nadda
After the Ball (DVD) – Co-Written by Kate Melville
Two Days, One Night (DVD)
Lila & Eve (DVD)
Citizenfour (Documentary) (DVD) – Directed by Laura Poitras

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