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Weekly Update for November 22: Women Centric, Directed and Written Films Playing Near You

Weekly Update for November 22: Women Centric, Directed and Written Films Playing Near You

Films About Women Opening This Weekend

Philomena – The wonderfully fierce Judi Dench gives a masterful performance in the stolen-children drama Philomena. In The Village Voice, I described it as “an affecting, impressively intelligent drama [that] follows one elderly woman’s search for her biological son, who was sold without her permission five decades earlier to a rich woman who pet the boy as she might a cat. Given that grim premise, Philomena is remarkably funny, with stars Judi Dench and Steeve Coogan amiably sharing the comic spotlight.” (Inkoo Kang) 

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire – I can’t say how big a game-changer this series of films are. This is the second film in the four-part film franchise based on Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games trilogy of books. These are big blockbuster movies — the budget was over $140 million — with a female lead, and they will go very far to prove that there can be a woman at the center of the story that will be successful at the box office. Jennifer Lawrence again takes up the lead of Katniss Everdeen, and I caught myself holding my breath during the opening image, which was a full-screen shot of Lawrence. It is so rare to see a full-on, beautiful shot of a young woman to open a film. And from that first moment, this young woman just commands the screen and leads this film in every way. This movie is action-packed, yet quite deep about the ravages that a long-term war plays out on the souls of the people. The film’s universe is a dystopia, but there are many things in it that reflect our lives. And it is visually riveting — the costumes are a particular joy — and you will be on the edge of your seat during the competition. Can’t wait for the next film. (Melissa Silverstein) 

Bettie Page Reveals All (doc) – The world’s greatest pin-up model and cult icon, Bettie Page, recounts the true story of how her free expression overcame government witch hunts to help launch America’s sexual revolution. (IMDB) 

Sugar – In the Los Angeles Times, I wrote, “Opening during Homeless Youth Awareness Month, [the film’s] snapshot of teenage boardwalk-dwellers eking out an existence on Venice Beach is more successful as an instructive tool than as a narrative feature. Shenae Grimes stars as Sugar, the sole girl in a makeshift family of down-and-out teens, which includes her Mormon-runaway boyfriend (Marshall Allman) and a 13-year-old foster kid (Austin Williams). As a whole, the film’s characters touchingly illustrate the tolls of living with unresolved trauma and chronic uncertainty, as well as the solidarity and relative freedom this community of outcasts enjoys.” (Inkoo Kang)

Films About Women Currently Playing

The Broken Circle Breakdown
Ass Backwards – Written by Casey Wilson and June Diane Raphael 
Reaching for the Moon – Co-Written by Julie Sayres, Carmen L. Oliveira
Go for Sisters
How I Live Now
The Book Thief
Running from Crazy – Directed by Barbara Kopple (doc)

Blue is the Warmest Color

Carrie – Directed by Kimberly Peirce 
Grace Unplugged 
Baggage Claim
Enough Said – Written and Directed by Nicole Holofcener

Wadjda – Written and Directed Haifaa Al-Mansour
Good Ol’ Freda
Short Term 12
Austenland – Written and Directed by Jerusha Hess, Adapted for the Screen by Jerusha Hess and Shannon Hale 
The Patience Stone
In A World… – Written and Directed by Lake Bell
Blue Jasmine

Films Directed by Women Opening This Weekend

Detroit Unleaded – Co-Written and Directed by Rola Nashef, Co-Written by Jennifer Ginzinger and Heather Kolf 

An ambitious Lebanese-American youth is forced to take over his family’s gas station after his father’s death. (IMDB)

Films Directed by Women Currently Playing

Sunlight Jr. – Directed by Laurie Collyer

A Case of You – Directed by Kat Coiro 

CinemAbility – Directed by Jenni Gold (doc)

Ghosts in Our Machine – Directed by Liz Marshall (doc)

The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology – Directed by Sophie Fiennes (doc)

American Promise – Co-Directed by Michele Stephenson

Films Written by Women Currently Playing

Dallas Buyers Club – Co-Written by Melissa Wallack 

Films By and About Women on DVD/And Or On Demand

Il Futuro (The Future) – Written and Directed by Alicia Scherson
Romeo and Juliet in Yiddish – Written and Directed by Eve Annenberg 
The To Do List – Written and Directed by Maggie Carey

On Women and Hollywood This Week

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