Back to IndieWire

Weekly Update for January 23: Women Centric, Directed and Written Films Playing Near You

Weekly Update for January 23: Women Centric, Directed and Written Films Playing Near You

Films About Women Opening This Week 

Song One – Written and Directed by Kate Barker-Froyland 

Song One begins with anthropology grad student Franny (Anne Hathaway) immersed in Moroccan culture. We witness her carefully observing local rituals and taking meticulous notes. The drama chronicles Franny’s evolution from a witness of others’ lives to the protagonist of her own after she is forced to return home to New York when her brother Henry (Ben Rosenfield) is rendered comatose after being hit by a car. Franny, who has become accustomed to looking at how others with academic detachment, finally turns her attention inward, exploring her own relationships with those closest to her. In an effort to deal with Henry’s accident — and the argument that prompted the siblings to stop speaking for months prior to it — Franny embarks on a mission of sorts. After reading her brother’s journal entries and listening to his music, she is inspired to visit the aspiring musician’s old haunts to connect with him. She ends up meeting Henry’s idol, singer-songwriter James Forester (Johnny Flynn), and the two strike an immediate, if uncomfortable, bond after Franny explains why she’s at his show. The rest is googly-eyed history. Franny and James bond over music and the cityscape, gradually letting down their defenses and opening themselves up to one another by revisiting their pasts and basking in the power and potential of the present. (Laura Berger)

Read Women and Hollywood’s interview with Kate Barker-Froyland.

The Boy Next Door – Written by Barbara Curry

Jennifer Lopez leads the cast in The Boy Next Door, a psychological thriller that explores a forbidden attraction that goes much too far. (Press materials)


Jennifer Aniston gives the performance of her career as a woman who is dealing with debilitating and chronic pain from a catastrophic car accident. The aftermath has caused the collapse of her marriage and she copes (barely) by popping pills and being extremely rude to all those around her. (Melissa Silverstein)


A feisty widowed single mom (Anne Dorval) finds herself burdened with the full-time custody of her unpredictable 15-year-old ADHD son (Antoine-Olivier Pilon). As they struggle to make ends meet, Kyla (Suzanne Clément), the peculiar new neighbor across the street, offers her help. Together, they find a new sense of balance. (Press materials)

The Duke of Burgundy

Day after day, Cynthia (Sidse Babett Knudsen) and Evelyn (Chiara D’Anna) act out a simple yet provocative ritual that ends with Evelyn’s punishment and pleasure. As Cynthia yearns for a more conventional relationship, Evelyn’s obsession with erotica quickly becomes an addiction that may push the relationship to a breaking point. (Press materials)

Big Muddy

An outlaw tale played out as a modern-day murder ballad, Big Muddy follows grifter Martha Barlow (Nadia Litz), who must come to terms with her dark past after her teenage son commits a horrible crime. On the run to survive, she must dodge her sociopathic revenge-seeking former flame, and attempt to reconcile with her son’s dangerous and long-forgotten father in order to protect her estranged family. (Press materials)

Miss Hill: Making Dance Matter (doc) 

In a career spanning most of the 20th century, Martha Hill became a behind-the-scenes leader of the dance world as the founding director of The Juilliard Dance Division, a position she held from 1952-85. Stylistically weaving together over 90 years of archival footage featuring Martha Graham, Doris Humphrey, Jose Limon, Pina Bausch, Merce Cunningham, George Balanchine, Antony Tudor, and more, the film is a celebration of dance and an examination of the passion required to keep it alive. (Press materials)

Films About Women Currently Playing

Appropriate Behavior – Written and Directed by Desiree Akhavan

Still Alice

Pretty Rosebud – Written by Chuti Tiu 

Veronika Decides to Die – Directed by Emily Young; Co-Written by Roberta Hanley 

Something, Anything

Beloved Sisters 

Annie – Co-Written by Aline Brosh McKenna 

Two Days, One Night 

Big Eyes


The Babadook – Written and Directed by Jennifer Kent

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

The Homesman

Dear White People 

Gone Girl 

Films Directed by Women Opening This Week 

We’ll Never Have Paris – Co-Directed by Jocelyn Towne

In a story based on true events, Quinn (Simon Helberg) has been in a devoted relationship with Devon (Melanie Lynskey) for several years and is ready to propose marriage until a gorgeous blonde co-worker reveals her love for him. Quinn immediately has second thoughts about matrimony and ends up terminating his relationship with his long-time better half. After a brief relationship with the blonde, Quinn quickly realizes he’s made the mistake of a lifetime, so he sets off to Paris, where his one and only true love has moved, to win her back. (Press materials)

Films Directed by Women Currently Playing

Little Accidents – Written and Directed by Sara Colangelo 

Druid Peak – Written and Directed by Marni Zelnick 

Farewell Herr Schwarz (doc) – Directed by Yael Reuveny  

Selma – Directed by Ava DuVernay (Opens wide)

Unbroken – Directed by Angelina Jolie 

Citizenfour (doc) – Directed by Laura Poitras

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

Films Written by Women Opening This Week 

Strange Magic – Co-Written by Irene Mecchi 

Strange Magic, a new animated film from Lucasfilm Ltd., is a madcap fairy-tale musical inspired by A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Popular songs from the past six decades help tell the tale of a colorful cast of goblins, elves, fairies, and imps, and their hilarious misadventures sparked by the battle over a powerful potion. Lucasfilm Animation Singapore and Industrial Light & Magic bring to life the fanciful forest turned upside-down with world-class animation and visual effects. (Press materials)

Films Written by Women Currently Playing

Spare Parts – Written by Elissa Matsueda 

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies – Co-Written by Philippa Boyens and Fran Walsh 

On DVD and VOD This Week 

Before I Go to Sleep
Born of War – Directed and Co-Written by Vicky Jewsom

Sign Up: Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! Sign up for our Email Newsletters here.

This Article is related to: Features and tagged