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Weekly Update for November 14: Women Centric, Directed and Written Films Playing Near You

Weekly Update for November 14: Women Centric, Directed and Written Films Playing Near You

Films About Women Opening

Beyond the Lights – Written and Directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood 

Writer-director Gina Prince-Bythewood (Love & Basketball and The Secret Life of Bees) humanizes the hypersexualized pop star in Beyond the Lights, an intelligent, moving, and never-schmaltzy romance set in the world of music videos. Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Belle) plays Noni, a young singer from England who finds herself exploited by her momager (Minnie Driver) and on the verge of ending it all on her hotel balcony when she’s rescued by a handsome and politically ambitious law-enforcement officer (Nate Parker). Beyond the Lights is simply one of the best women-directed films of the year — a keen exploration of race and gender in the music industry and the alienation artists can feel from their public images. (In other words, you need to see it.) (Inkoo Kang)

Read Women and Hollywood’s interview with Writer/Director Gina Prince-Bythewood.

Butter on the Latch – Directed by Josephine Decker

A deeply subjective, mysterious, and erotic portrait of a frantic young woman, Sarah (Sarah Small), who leaves the city for the apparent safety of a Balkan music camp hidden deep in the California woods. Once there, she reconnects with a former friend, Isolde (played by Korean-American puppeteer Isolde Chae-Lawrence), and does some hilariously foul-mouthed female bonding — until she finds herself growing attracted to a hunky male camper, Steph (Charlie Hewson). Gradually, her already frayed grip on reality starts to unravel. (Press materials)

Read Women and Hollywood’s interview with Josephine Decker about Butter on the Latch.

Delusions of Guinevere – Directed and Co-Written by Joanna Bowzer (Los Angeles)

Former child star, Guinevere James (Ariana Bernstein), is 29, overweight, and washed up. She spends night after lonely night on social media sites like Facebook in a vain attempt to make her life bigger than it seems. She also spends time “FaceStalking” her former co-star, Cadence Stone (Annalaina Marks), who has blossomed into a model-esque A-lister at the top of the game. When Guinevere receives an invitation to a 20th-anniversary special for her signature Gelee commercials, she heads to the event ready for her big comeback, only to have her hopes dashed when no one shows up. With that, Guinevere chooses to take any means necessary to get back on top. Finally, after uploading a series of Youtube videos in an attempt to gain new fans, Guinevere becomes a social-media darling when one of her videos goes viral and starts an Internet sensation called Breakfast at Guinevere’s. (Press materials)

Miss Meadows – Written and Directed by Karen Leigh Hopkins

Miss Meadows (Katie Holmes) is a schoolteacher who arrives in a new town every year. She may have impeccable manners and grace, but she is not entirely what she appears to be. Underneath the candy-sweet exterior hides a gun-toting vigilante. Her mission is to right the wrongs in this cruel world by whatever means necessary. (Press materials)

Read Women and Hollywood’s interview with Karen Leigh Hopkins about Miss Meadows.

The Homesman

When three women living on the edge of the American frontier are driven mad by harsh pioneer life, the task of saving them falls to the pious, independent-minded Mary Bee Cuddy (Hilary Swank). Transporting the women by covered wagon to Iowa, she soon realizes just how daunting the journey will be, and employs a low-life drifter, George Briggs, to join her. The unlikely pair and the three women head east, where a waiting minister and his wife have offered to take the women in. But the group first must traverse the harsh Nebraska Territories, marked by stark beauty, psychological peril, and constant threat. (Press materials)

Read Women and Hollywood’s take on Hilary Swank’s Oscar odds for The Homesman.

There’s Always Woodstock – Written and Directed by Rita Merson 

The film centers on a would-be songwriter (Allison Miller) who returns to her dead parents’ home in Woodstock, New York, for the summer.  When her life in New York City falls apart, she is forced to confront her past, learning that becoming successful means becoming your true self first. (Press materials)

Films About Women Currently Playing

Actress (docudrama) 


West – Written by Heidge Schwochow

The Outrageous Sophie Tucker (doc) 

Before I Go To Sleep 

Laggies – Directed by Lynn Shelton; Written by Andrea Seigel

Sleeping with the Fishes – Written and Directed by Nicole Gomez Fisher 

1,000 Times Good Night

White Bird in a Blizzard 

Dear White People 

The Golden Era – Directed by Ann Hui

Camp X-Ray

The Tale of the Princess Kaguya 

Addicted – Co-Written by Christina Welsh 

Gone Girl 




The Congress

Maleficent – Written by Linda Woolverton

Films Directed by Women Opening

Bad Hair – Directed and Written by Mariana Rondon (doc) – November 19

A touching and humorous coming-of-gender story, Bad Hair chronicles the life of nine-year-old Junior (Samuel Lange Zambrano), living in a bustling Caracas tenement with his widowed mother. Junior fears he has pelo malo — bad hair. For his school photo, he wants to iron his stubbornly curly mane straight to resemble one of his pop-star idols. His mother, unemployed and frazzled from the pressures of raising two children in an unforgiving city, has serious misgivings; she suspects her son is gay. Grandma is more accepting, teaching Junior how to dance to her favorite 1960s rock ‘n’ roll tunes. (Press materials)

The Playback Singer – Directed and Written by Suju Vijayan 

The Playback Singer tells the story of an aimless, would-be jungle-gym architect who finds his existence disrupted — and his marriage upended — when his prickly, Indian, B-movie playback-singer father-in-law comes to visit and overstays his welcome. (Press materials)

Thou Wast Mild and Lovely – Directed by Josephine Decker

Indie icon Joe Swanberg delivers a beautifully understated performance as Akin, a soft-spoken farmworker who takes a summer job working for the belligerent, domineering Jeremiah (Robert Longstreet), who lives in incestuous isolation with his daughter. Sophie Traub’s performance as the daughter, Sarah, has the sun-dappled quality of one of Andrew Wyeth’s Helga paintings: hers is a completely innocent and destructive sexuality, overripe to the point of bursting. Decker’s vision of Paradise Lost — dew clinging to a spider’s web, the insistent hum of insects, a young girl writhing on the grass — is unforgettably poetic and erotic, and seems to echo down from ages past. (Press materials)

Read Women and Hollywood’s interview with Josephine Decker about Thou Wast Mild and Lovely.

Films Directed by Women Currently Playing

Pelican Dreams (doc) – Directed by Julie Irving 

ABCs of Death 2 – Directed by Kristina Buozyte, Jen and Sylvia Soska 

Citizenfour (doc) – Directed by Laura Poitras

The Great Invisible (doc) – Directed by Margaret Brown

Awake: The Life of Yogananda (doc) – Directed by Paola di Florio and Lisa Leeman 

Art and Craft (doc) – Co-Directed by Jennifer Grausman

I Am Eleven (doc) – Directed by Genevieve Bailey

Land Ho! – Co-Directed by Martha Stephens

Films Written by Women Currently Playing

The Good Lie – Written by Margaret Nagle

Guardians of the Galaxy – Co-Written by Nicole Perlman

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes – Co-Written by Amanda Silver 


If I Stay – Written by Shauna Cross 

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