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Weekly Update for October 2: Women Centric, Directed and Written Films Playing Near You

Weekly Update for October 2: Women Centric, Directed and Written Films Playing Near You

Films About Women Opening This Week

Freeheld

“Freeheld” tells the story of Laurel Hester (Julianne Moore), a veteran police detective who is diagnosed with advanced lung cancer, and her fight to give her pension to her partner, Stacie Andree (Ellen Page). In some ways this movie feels a bit conventional and, because of the progress on gay marriage, dated, but the performances by the leads are terrific. Don’t forget the tissues: The film is a tearjerker. (Melissa Silverstein)

Addicted to Fresno – Directed by Jamie Babbit; Written by Karey Dornetto

There’s been a lot of talk lately about Judy Greer’s summer of tiny, thankless roles, in which she plays characters designed to be instantly forgettable in “Tomorrowland,” “Entourage,” “Jurassic World” and “Ant-Man.” But the beloved character actress finally gets to shine in a starring role worthy of her talents in the black comedy “Addicted to Fresno,” Jamie Babbit’s tale of two sisters in the blue-collar Californian city. Greer’s Shannon, a disgraced sex addict, returns to her dusty hometown to crash with her younger sibling Martha (Natasha Lyonne), a hotel maid who has her life pretty figured out, except for her habit of unrequited lesbian crushes. One of Shannon’s bedroom mishaps leads to the two women having to hide a dead body and come up with a whole bunch of cash fast, but their panicked hijinks seem to leave them with more dildos than dollars. (Inkoo Kang)

Read Women and Hollywood’s interview with Jamie Babbit.

He Named Me Malala (Documentary)

One of the year’s most anticipated documentary portraits — about 18-year-old Nobel Prize winner Malala Yousafzai — is finally out. In my my review for the Wrap, I wrote, “‘He Named Me Malala’ is an absorbingly emotional experience because of Malala and her father Ziauddin’s remarkable heroism, as well as [director Davis] Guggenheim’s passionate retelling of it using storybook animated scenes and white-lit slo-mo recreations. … And it’s a rousing example of male, or at least fatherly, feminism, a source of support all too crucial in the fight for girls’ and women’s equality.” (Inkoo Kang)

Shout Gladi Gladi (Documentary)

Narrated by Academy Award-winning actress Meryl Streep, “Shout Gladi Gladi” celebrates the extraordinary people who rescue African women and girls from obstetric fistula, a medical condition that can turn them into reviled outcasts. The film spotlights the quest of Ann Gloag, the indefatigable philanthropist and former nurse who drives the movement to save these vulnerable women, and presents the patients as they tell stirring tales of their struggles and triumphs. Everything culminates with the exuberant Gladi Gladi ceremony, a singing and dancing blowout that marks the day the women and girls return home cured. (Press materials)

Films About Women Currently Playing

The Keeping Room – Written by Julia Hart 

A Brave Heart: The Lizzie Velasquez Story (Documentary) – Directed by Sara Hirsh Bordo
Wildlike (Also available on VOD)
Misunderstood/Incompresa – Directed by Asia Argento; Written by Asia Argento Barbara Alberti
Sleepless in New York (Documentary)
Sicario
Breathe – Written and Directed by Mélanie Laurent
The Second Mother – Written and Directed by Anna Muylaert
Grandma
Learning to Drive – Directed by Isabel Coixet; Written by Sarah Kernochan
Mistress America – Co-Written by Greta Gerwig 
Ricki and the Flash – Written by Diablo Cody 
The Diary of a Teenage Girl – Written and Directed by Marielle Heller 
Phoenix
Trainwreck – Written by Amy Schumer
Inside Out
Spy
Tangerine
Testament of Youth – Written by Juliette Towhidi

Films Directed by Women Opening This Week

Sherpa (Documentary) – Directed by Jennifer Peedom

Mount Everest inspires numerous stories putting foreign climbers at the peak of attention. “Sherpa” shifts the focus to the Himalayan locals who do most of the heavy lifting on the mountain they call Chomolungma. Veteran director Jennifer Peedom follows an expedition with Phurba Tashi Sherpa, preparing for his world record-setting 22nd ascent as a guide. Shot in 2014, the film also documents unprecedented upheaval as an avalanche kills sixteen Sherpas and the tragedy incites others to challenge the status quo. (TIFF)

Read Women and Hollywood’s interview with Jennifer Peedom.

Northern Soul – Written and Directed by Elaine Constantine 

Lancashire, 1974. Working-class teenager John (Elliot James Langridge) is an outsider even in his own family. “He’s becoming a weirdo,” complains his mother. Even John’s teacher (Steve Coogan) deems him worthy of humiliation, lambasting him at school for his earnest lyrics about unrequited love. But things start to turn around for John when he meets Matt (Joshua Whitehouse), an aspiring DJ with big dreams that will take him far from their dreary industrial town. Matt turns John on to American soul music, tutoring him in rare grooves and audacious dance steps. Matt also introduces John to amphetamines, which prompt the lyrics to fairly jump out of his fecund imagination. Soon the two young men are hosting their own club nights, and our former wallflower is flying high. But sooner or later, everyone has to come down. (TIFF)

Read Women and Hollywood’s interview with Elaine Constantine.

The Wine of Summer – Written and Directed by Maria Matteoli

James (Ethan Peck) quits his law career in pursuit of his childhood dream of becoming an actor. While studying acting under the tutelage of Shelley (Marcia Gay Harden), he becomes engrossed in Carlo Lucchesi’s play, “Tinto de Verano,” which is set in Spain. When James’ girlfriend leaves him, he spontaneously flies to Spain, where he encounters the misanthropic playwright Lucchesi (Bob Wells) at a bookstore in Barcelona. Lucchesi is in a relationship with a much younger woman, Veronica (Elsa Pataky), but still nurtures an old love for his long-lost muse, Eliza (Sonia Braga), a novelist, who happens to be visiting her son in Barcelona. In the golden backdrop of Spain, these characters find their fates intertwined. (Press materials)

(T)ERROR  (Documentary) – Co-Directed and Co-Written by Lyric R. Cabral (Opens October 7)

“(T)ERROR” is the first documentary to place filmmakers on the ground during an active FBI counterterrorism sting operation. Through the perspective of “Shariff,” a 63-year-old Black revolutionary turned informant, viewers get an unfettered glimpse of the government’s counterterrorism tactics and the murky justifications behind them. Taut, stark and controversial, “(T)ERROR” illuminates the fragile relationships between individual and surveillance state in modern America, and asks: who is watching the watchers? (Press materials)

Films Directed by Women Currently Playing

The Intern – Written and Directed by Nancy Meyers
Endgame – Directed and Co-Written by Carmen Marron
Mississippi Grind – Co-Directed and Co-Written by Anna Boden
Prophet’s Prey (Documentary) – Written and Directed by Amy J. Berg
Sleeping With Other People – Written and Directed by Leslye Headland
Meet the Patels (Documentary) – Co-Directed by Geeta Patel
Goodnight Mommy – Co-Directed and Co-Written by Veronika Franz
Rosenwald (Documentary) – Directed by Aviva Kempner 
Meru (Documentary) – Co-Directed by Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelvi
Infinitely Polar Bear – Written and Directed by Maya Forbes 
Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet – Co-Directed by Joan C. Gratz and Nina Paley 
The Wolfpack (Documentary) – Directed by Crystal Moselle

Films Written by Women Opening This Week

Partisan – Co-Written by Sarah Cyngler

Alexander (Jeremy Chabriel), a boy who has been raised in a sequestered commune, finds that his increasing unwillingness to fall in line puts him on a collision course with Gregori (Vincent Cassel), the society’s charismatic and domineering leader. (Press materials)

Films Written by Women Currently Playing

Labyrinth of Lies/Im Labyrinth des Schweigens – Co-Written by Elisabeth Bartel
Straight Outta Compton – Co-Written by Andrea Berloff 
Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation – Co-Written by Laeta Kalogridis 
Jurassic World – Co-Written by Amanda Silver

VOD/DVD Releasing This Week 

Summer (VOD) – Directed by Colette Bothof; Written by Marjolein Bierens
Final Girl (DVD)
Lies I Told My Little Sister (DVD) – Co-Written by Judy White
The Falling (DVD) – Directed and Written by Carol Morley
Apartment Troubles (DVD)- Directed by Jennifer Prediger and Jess Weixler; Written by Jennifer Prediger and Jess Weixler
She Lights Up Well (VOD) – Written and Directed by Joyce Wu

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