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Films to Watch for This Fall on the Film Fest Circuit: The Women

Films to Watch for This Fall on the Film Fest Circuit: The Women

The intrepid folks at IndieWIRE have put together a wish list for films they want to see this fall on the film fest circuit. Here are the women centric and women directed ones on the list. (all descriptions from IndieWIRE) On the list there are 7 films directed by women out of 50. My only other thought is that I would have added Angelina Jolie’s film In the Land of Blood and Honey.

Women Directed
”The Fields,” directed by Ami Canaan Mann
Ami Canaan Mann follows in the footsteps of her father Michael Mann (“Heat”) with her feature directorial debut. Based on true story, “The Fields” follows a pair of detectives investigating a series of unsolved murders near the oil refineries in coastal Texas. Jessica Chastain (what isn’t she in?) stars alongside Chloe Moretz, Sam Worthington and Jeffrey Dean Morgan. The film began shooting in April in Louisiana and is currently listed as in post-production. [Nigel M. Smith]

”For Ellen,” directed by So Yong Kim (USA)
Kim’s “Treeless Mountain” took the Netpac Award at the Pusan International Film Festival in 2008 and IMDb lists her latest, “For Ellen” in post, so perhaps it may head back to the South Korean festival or one of many others this fall. Starring Paul Dano (“Meek’s Cutoff”), Jon Heder (TV’s “Dead Grandma”) and Jena Malone (“Sucker Punch”), the drama is described as centering on a “struggling musician takes an overnight long-distance drive in order to fight his estranged wife for custody of their young daughter.” [Brian Brooks]

”The Iron Lady,” directed by Phyllida Lloyd
Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher is as safe an idea for Oscar inclusion as it gets, and audiences could end up getting their first glimpse of what Streep brings to the table on the fall festival circuit. Directed by Phyllida Lloyd (known best for helming “Mamma Mia!,” which definitely has a few folks concerned), the film is narrated through a series of flashbacks, including the 17 days leading up to the Falklands War in 1982. There’s definitely an argument that distributor The Weinstein Company could save the film from audiences until its December 16 theatrical release (especially if its not going to be a critic’s darling), but one never knows. [Peter Knegt]

“The Moth Diaries,” directed by Mary Harron
Vampires and teenagers have proved to be a winning combination at the multiplex, but how would they fare on the festival circuit? Mary Harron (“American Psycho”) directs this film about an elite girls’ boarding school where the newest pupil might (or might not!) be a vampire. English model Lily Cole (“The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus”) and Scott Speedman (“Barney’s Version”) headline the cast. Variety reported that the film has indeed been submitted to Venice. [Daniel Loria]

”Take This Waltz,” directed by Sarah Polley
Sarah Polley’s directorial follow-up to “Away From Her,” “Take This Waltz” is a romantic comedy that stars Michelle Williams as a woman torn between her loving husband (Seth Rogen) and a sexy new dude she meets during a “steamy Toronto summer” (Luke Kirby). The film finished shooting last fall, and a hometown debut for Polley’s film seems all but assured. The script (also written by Polley) made the Blacklist a few years back and is truly fantastic, so it will be looking to win over critics (and buyers, as the film does not have a U.S. distributor) come September. It would also mark potential fall fest double dips for both Williams (“My Week With Marilyn”) and Rogen (“50/50”). [Peter Knegt]

”W.E.,” directed by Madonna
Early anticipation had Madonna presenting her sophomore directorial effort—which stars Abbie Cornish and Oscar Isaac and follows parallel stories of the early 20th century love affair between Wallis Simpson and King Edward VIII and a modern romance—at Cannes. That didn’t happen, but now that Madonna’s teaming up with The Weinstein Company to release the film this December, it’ll be hard to resist making a few red carpet splashes. Whether that involves Venice, Telluride and/or Toronto remains to be seen (as does whether or not Madonna can direct a good movie). But one thing’s for sure: Any festival would clearly love the publicity Madge would bring with her. Variety reported that the film has indeed been submitted to Venice. [Peter Knegt]

”Wuthering Heights,” directed by Andrea Arnold
A departure from her “Red Road” and “Fish Tank,” British director Andrea Arnold is back with her Emily Brontë adaptatiion “Wuthering Heights.” Starring unknown actors Kaya Scodelario, James Howson and Oliver Milburn, the film concluded principal photography last November. With Arnold behind it, the film promises to put a unique spin on the gothic classic and should provide any festival with a definite touch of class. [Peter Knegt]

Women Centric
“Margaret,” directed by Kenneth Lonergan
Kenneth Lonergan’s intensely delayed follow-up to “You Can Count On Me” apparently has been completed, but history is against hedging any bets on it. Starring Anna Paquin, Matt Damon, Mark Ruffalo, Matthew Broderick, Kieran Culkin and Rosemarie DeWitt, the film follows a 17-year-old (Paquin, who was 23 at the time of shooting, is 28 now) upset with the potential role she played in a traffic accident. If it were to premiere this year, it would appropriately be during the 10-year anniversary of “You Can Count On Me.” [Peter Knegt]

”The Lady,” directed by Luc Besson
Luc Besson (“The Professional,” “Arthur and the Invisibles”) takes a break from his action and kiddie fare with “The Lady,” an epic love story concerning Burmese democratic leader Aung San Suu Kyi (Michelle Yeoh), who opposed military rule in Burma and spent 20 years under house arrest as a result. David Thewlis plays her husband, Michael Aris. The screenplay by Rebecca Frayn was penned after 18 months of interviews with Suu Kyi’s relatives and friends. The film is slated to hit Germany on October 27, so a fall festival rollout seems very likely. [Nigel M. Smith]

My Week With Marilyn,” directed by Simon Curtis
Another of The Weinstein Company’s 2011 Oscar bait slate, “My Week With Marilyn” is a British-produced film that depicts the making of the 1957 film “The Prince and the Showgirl,” which starred Marilyn Monroe and Laurence Olivier. Starring Michelle Williams (as Monroe), Kenneth Branagh (as Olivier), Emma Watson, Eddie Redmayne and Judi Dench, buzz is strong and Harvey and Co. might want to put the Oscar wheels in motion in Toronto, as they did for “The King’s Speech.” [Peter Knegt]

”Paradise,” directed by Ulrich Seidl
Ulrich Seidl’s seems to be continuing his disturbing, documentary-style techniques with “Paradise.” The film follows three women: one who travels to Kenya as a sex tourist, one who spends time at a weight-loss camp, and one who tries to propagate Catholicism. Production took place from late 2009 through 2010 in Kenya and Vienna, and is currently listed as in post-production. [Alena Chinault]

”Young Adult,” directed by Jason Reitman, written by Diablo Cody
Jason Reitman films premiere at Toronto. That’s just the way it goes and it’s unlikely to be any different for “Young Adult,” which reteams him with “Juno” screenwriter Diablo Cody. The film stars Charlize Theron as Mavis Gary, a writer of teen literature who returns to her small hometown to relive her glory days and attempt to reclaim her happily married high school sweetheart (Patrick Wilson). When returning home proves more difficult than she thought, Mavis forms an unusual bond with a former classmate (Patton Oswalt) who hasn’t quite gotten over high school, either. Come September, we’ll see if Reitman’s fourth film has what it takes to his third consecutive best picture nominee. [Peter Knegt]
George Clooney, Madonna, Steven Soderbergh and More: This Fall’s Festival Wishlist (IndieWIRE)

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