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Weekly Update for August 15: Women Centric, Directed and Written Films Playing Near You

Weekly Update for August 15: Women Centric, Directed and Written Films Playing Near You

Films About Women Opening

Abuse of Weakness – Written and Directed by Catherine Breillat

Isabelle Huppert stars as Maud, a film director who one morning wakes up and cannot feel one side of her body. She has had a stroke. While recovering, she falls under the spell of an awful con artist who she wants to star in her next film. She gets taken to the cleaners by him. The film was a bit frustrating because here was a woman who seemed totally lucid and was able to work with conviction, yet she continued to give him money. The film does redeem itself with a magnificent last scene where Maud talks about how she was there making these decisions and giving him the money, yet she was really not there at the same time. The film — though fictionalized — is highly autobiographical and is based on Breillat’s own stroke and recovery. Huppert, even while totally contorted and shaky due to the effects of the stroke, is still one of the most gorgeous women to look at on screen. (Melissa Silverstein)

Read Women and Hollywood’s interview with Catherine Breillat about Abuse of Weakness.

Films About Women Currently Playing

The Maid’s Room
Around the Block – Written and Directed by Sarah Spillane
War Story – Co-Written by Kristin Gore
Happy Christmas
A Five Star Life – Directed by Maria Sole Tognazzi; Co-Written by Francesca Marciano and Maria Sole Tognazzi
Tammy – Co-Written by Melissa McCarthy
Belle – Directed by Amma Asante; Written by Misan Sagay
Obvious Child – Written and Directed by Gillian Robespierre
The Fault in Our Stars 
Maleficent – Written by Linda Woolverton
We Are the Best!
Under the Skin

Films Directed by Women Opening

Fort McCoy – Written and Co-Directed by Kate Connor

“England ran out of room,” German-American Frank Stirn (Eric Stoltz) explains laconically to his family upon arrival at their new home in 1944 — a stone’s throw from a prisoner-of-war camp on the Fort McCoy army base in Wisconsin. Frank, who is barred from military service on medical grounds, is the camp’s new barber — a role he takes on partly to assuage his guilt at being unable to fight. The job brings him and his family into uneasy proximity with the camp’s inmates, while he and wife Ruby (Kate Connor) struggle to shield their young family from the brutal realities of life in wartime. 

“Co-director Kate Connor weaves an absorbing narrative around the Stirn family’s wartime existence in what is clearly a deeply personal film. The screenplay for Fort McCoy is based on her own grandparents’ experiences. The knowledge that Connor is, in effect, playing her grandmother adds a certain frisson to her portrayal of Ruby, just as her role as co-director adds a delightful edge to a scene in which Frank trains Ruby to use a gunsight by helping her find her “dominant eye.” It is little details like these that define the film’s appeal — details such as Frank allowing the family home to be used for target practice by bombers (dropping bags of flour instead of bombs), which could only have come from personal recollection. Because of its extremely personal nature, Fort McCoy can be forgiven the occasional drift towards sentimentality. It is well paced, boasts some great performances, and well-drawn female characters, and should provide welcome relief for older audiences after a blockbuster-heavy summer season. (Alice Thorpe)

Films Directed by Women Currently Playing

Rich Hill – Co-Directed by Tracy Droz Tragos
Land Ho! – Co-Directed by Martha Stephens
Fifi Howls from Happiness – Directed by Mitra Farahani
Step Up All In – Directed by Trish Sie
The Dog (doc) – Co-Directed by Allison Berg
Web Junkie (doc) – Directed by Hilla Medalia and Shosh Shlam
Citizen Koch (doc) – Co-Directed by Tia Lessin
Fed Up (doc) – Co-Written and Directed by Stephanie Soechtig

Films Written by Women Opening

Jealousy – Co-Written by Caroline Deruas-Garrel and Arlette Langmann

One of the major French filmmakers of the post-New Wave, Philippe Garrel has belatedly been recognized as a master in America, and Jealousy may be his most accessible film in nearly 50 years of filmmaking. Shot in lustrous, widescreen black and white by the great Willy Kurant (Masculin FemininUnder Satan’s Sun), the film opens with a man leaving his wife and daughter and, in a series of brief conversations, observed gestures, chance encounters, and impulsive acts, tells the story of the relationships that flounder and thrive in the wake of this decision. In an autobiographical nod to his actor father Maurice’s abandonment of himself and his mother, the director casts his son and frequent star Louis Garrel as the husband who moves into a garret apartment with his actress girlfriend (Anna Mouglalis) and struggles with fidelity and the temptation to give up their art for an easier life. Shot with Garrel’s celebrated sensitivity and attention to faces, bodies, hands, and the intricacies of the human heart, Jealousy is an especially intimate, deeply poignant, and never less than enthralling tale of love, temptation, and betrayal. (Distrib Films)

Films Written by Women Currently Playing

Guardians of the Galaxy – Co-Written by Nicole Perlman
Sex Tape – Co-Written by Kate Angelo
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes – Co-Written by Amanda Silver 


My So-Called Enemy (doc) – Directed by Lisa Gossels
Manakamana (doc) – Co-Directed by Stephanie Spray

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