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Weekly Update for December 5: Women Centric, Directed and Written Films Playing Near You

Weekly Update for December 5: Women Centric, Directed and Written Films Playing Near You

Films About Women Opening This Week 


Based on Cheryl Strayed’s best-selling memoir, Wild finds Reese Witherspoon au natural and reminds us that she is one of the best actresses of her generation. As Cheryl, she gives us a full-blooded adult female heroine that you root for from the moment she comes on the screen. We are so used to seeing our heroines as teenagers (a la The Hunger Games and Divergent), but we rarely see adult women — women who have fucked up, women with life experience — as the hero of our stories. Wild is an important exception. (Melissa Silverstein) 

Read Melissa Silverstein’s piece on “The Renaissance of Reese Witherspoon.”

Listen to our podcast with Cheryl Strayed.

Still Alice

Alice Howland (Julianne Moore), happily married with three grown children, is a renowned linguistics professor who starts to forget words. When she receives a diagnosis of early-onset Alzheimer’s Disease, Alice and her family find their bonds thoroughly tested. Her struggle to stay connected to who she once was is frightening, heartbreaking, and inspiring. (Press materials)

Life Partners – Directed by Susanna Fogel; Written by Susanna Fogel and Joni Lefkowitz 

At 29, the most long-term relationship Sasha (Leighton Meester) and Paige (Gillian Jacobs) have ever been in is with each other, using their co-dependent friendship as an excuse not to venture out into the dating world alone. But when Paige meets nerdy Tim (Adam Brody) and starts to get serious for the first time, the nature of their friendship begins to shift. Fearing she’s being cast aside, Sasha tries to keep their relationship the same, but does growing up also mean growing apart? (Press materials)

Read Women and Hollywood’s interview with Writer/Director Susanna Fogel.

She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry (doc) – Directed by Mary Dore

She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry resurrects the buried history of the outrageous, often brilliant women who founded the modern women’s movement from 1966 to 1971. She’s Beautiful takes us from the founding of NOW, when ladies wore hats and gloves, to the emergence of more radical factions of women’s liberation; from intellectuals like Kate Millett to the street theatrics of WITCH (Women’s International Conspiracy from Hell!). (Press materials)

Read Women and Hollywood’s interview with Director Mary Dore.

Miss Julie – Written and Directed by Liv Ullmann

Miss Julie depicts a fierce battle between a man and a woman, a struggle for power and dominance enacted through a cruel and compulsive game of seduction and repulsion. A country estate in Ireland in 1880s. Over the course of one midsummer night, in an atmosphere of wild revelry and loosened social constraints, Miss Julie and John (Jessica Chastain and Colin Farrell), her father’s valet, dance and drink, charm and manipulate each other. She, all hauteur longing for abasement; he, polished but coarse — both united in mutual loathing and attraction. By turns seductive and bullying, savage and tender, their intimacy leads to desperate plans and vision of a life together. Unsure if the morning brings hope or hopelessness, Julie and John find their escape in a final act as sublime and horrific as anything in Greek tragedy. (Press materials)

Zero Motivation – Written and Directed by Talya Lavie

Private Benjamin meets M*A*S*H, speaks Hebrew, and keeps kosher. Set in a remote desert military base, a platoon of young women soldiers, all Israeli conscripts, serve out their time playing computer games, singing pop songs, and conspiring to get transferred to Tel Aviv– while endlessly serving coffee to the men who run the show. Here’s an Israeli film filled with funny, quick-witted, zany women who wield their staple guns like automatic weaponry. If there is a war going on, it’s one against boredom, bad uniforms, dopey rules, and doing everything in triplicate. Debut filmmaker Talya Lavie is Israel’s answer to Lena Dunham: Zero Motivation has had rave reviews and huge audiences and won the top prize for narrative world cinema at the Tribeca Film Festival. (Press Materials)

Read Women and Hollywood’s interview with writer-director Talya Lavie.

Take Care – Written and Directed by Liz Tuccillo

When a car crash leaves Frannie (Leslie Bibb) immobilized, she is brushed off by everyone she can count on. With nowhere else to turn, Frannie reluctantly calls her ex, Devon (Thomas Sadoski), for help. It isn’t before long that old wounds emerge — and are made worse when Devon’s crazy new girlfriend (Betty Gilpin) also shows up. (Press Materials)

Read Women and Hollywood’s interview with writer-director Liz Tuccillo.

A Small Section of the World (doc) – Directed by Lesley Chilcott (opens in LA)

A Small Section of the World is an inspirational story about a group of women from a remote farming region of Costa Rica whose ideas sparked a revolution in the coffee-growing world. After the men of the village left in search of work, the women came together to imagine a different future for themselves, their families, and their community. The film follows the impact of this remarkable story of perseverance as it touches lives around the globe. (Press materials)

Read Women and Hollywood’s interview with Director Lesley Chilcott.

Two-Bit Waltz – Written and Directed by Clara Mamet

In the wonderfully dysfunctional tradition of The Royal Tenenbaums, teenage years are always messy… but for Maude (Clara Mamet), things couldn’t seem more tragic. Within one week just prior to her 18th birthday, she is suspended from school, stranded by her best friend, dumped by the boy she “loves,” and Granny just died, leaving her an enormous amount of money under one condition: Maude must go to college, which she does not want to do. (Press materials)

The Foxy Merkins – Directed by Madeleine Olnek; Written by Lisa Haas, Jackie Monahan, and Madeleine Olnek 

The Foxy Merkins follows Margaret (Lisa Haas), a down-on-her-luck, asthmatic lesbian hooker-in-training, who meets Jo (Jackie Monahan), a beautiful grifter from a wealthy family who is an expert on picking up women, even as she considers herself a card-carrying heterosexual. The duo hit the streets, where they encounter bargain-hunting housewives and double-dealing conservative women, all the while trying to reconcile their differing feelings towards each other. (Press materials)

Read Women and Hollywood’s Interview with Madeleine Olnek.

The Barefoot Artist (doc) (opens in NYC) 

This documentary chronicles the long and colorful life of Lily Yeh, a Philadelphia-based artist who has committed herself to creating community-based art projects in some of the world’s most troubled areas. The film explores two sides of Lily’s life that are connected parts of the same journey: her international ventures helping to heal the weakened spirits in communities around the world, and a personal journey within to repair her own fractured family. (Press materials)

Films About Women Currently Playing

40 Weeks (doc)

The Babadook – Written and Directed by Jennifer Kent

Touch the Wall (doc)

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1

A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night – Written and Directed by Ana Lily Amirpour

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

Butter on the Latch – Directed by Josephine Decker 

Delusions of Guinevere – Directed and Co-Written by Joanna Bowzer 

The Homesman

White Bird in a Blizzard 

Dear White People 

Addicted – Co-Written by Christina Welsh 

Gone Girl 




Maleficent – Written by Linda Woolverton

Films Directed by Women Opening This Week 

Murder of a Cat – Directed by Gillian Greene 

Clinton Moisey (Fran Kranz) is an iconoclastic, artisanal action figure-designer who still lives in his mom’s basement and is, by the standards of the world, a full-blown loser. But Clinton doesn’t have time to care about what others think of him; he’s too busy running a yard sale where he promotes his hardboiled detective toy line with his pet cat and best friend, Mouser. When Clinton wakes up one morning to find Mouser impaled by a crossbow arrow, he is devastated. Realizing that the local sheriff is only interested in flirting with his mom, Clinton sets off on his own to find out who killed Mouser and why. As Clinton delves deeper into the case, he encounters a free-spirited weed dealer and part-time hair stylist to the elderly, a squeaky-clean Korean store clerk with a dark side, and a local celebrity on the verge of a nervous breakdown, ultimately uncovering a town-wide conspiracy far greater than he ever imagined. (Press materials)

Films Directed by Women Currently Playing

Remote Area Medical (doc) – Co-Directed by Farihah Zaman 

Stones in the Sun – Written and Directed by Patricia Benoit 

The Sleepwalker – Directed and Co-Written by Mona Fastvold 

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

Citizenfour (doc) – Directed by Laura Poitras

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

Films Written by Women Currently Playing

The Good Lie – Written by Margaret Nagle

On DVD and VOD This Week 

Fight Like a Girl (doc) – Directed by Jill Morley

Guardians of the Galaxy – Co-Written by Nicole Perlman

I’m Not a Rock Star  (doc) – Directed by Bobbi Jo Hart

Lily – Co-Written by Amy Grantham

The Last Impresario – Directed and Written by Gracie Otto

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