Weekly Update for September 27: Women Centric, Directed, and Written Films Playing Near You

FILMS ABOUT WOMEN OPENING

Sister Aimee – Written and Directed by Samantha Buck and Marie Schlingmann (Available on VOD October 1) 

Aimee Semple McPherson was a hugely popular evangelist in 1926 when she went missing. In “Sister Aimee,” filmmakers Samantha Buck and Marie Schlingmann take many liberties and provide a great feminist story to the evangelist on the run from herself and from what she has fed the public. Aimee (Anna Margaret Hollyman) goes on the lam towards Mexico with her lover, then dumps him. Then meets a woman who becomes her lover. This film is a true adventure story about a woman struggling to find her identity and place in the world. (Melissa Silverstein)

Read Women and Hollywood’s interview with Samantha Buck and Marie Schlingmann.

Judy 

“Judy”

Whatever you have heard about Renée Zellweger’s turn as Judy Garland in “Judy” — it is true. She is incredible. It is exhilarating to watch. It’s one of those performances that people will be talking about for a long time. The issue is Zellweger is better than the movie itself. The film takes place in the last several months of Garland’s life, when she was doing London concerts because she was broke and had nowhere to live. She was struggling, trying to figure out how to take care of her kids, but as we know from years of movies and stories about Garland, she had no skill set to take care of herself. “Judy” reminds us that this woman was abused by the Hollywood system her whole life. It made me sad to remember that she died when she was 47. She had so much more to give. (MS)

Find screening info here.

The Laundromat 

“The Laundromat”

When her idyllic vacation takes an unthinkable turn, Ellen Martin (Meryl Streep) begins investigating a fake insurance policy, only to find herself down a rabbit hole of questionable dealings that can be linked to a Panama City law firm and its vested interest in helping the world’s wealthiest citizens amass even larger fortunes.

Extra Ordinary – Written by Maeve Higgins, Mike Ahern, Enda Loughman, and Demian Fox 

Rose (Maeve Higgins), a mostly sweet and mostly lonely Irish small-town driving instructor, must use her supernatural talents to save the daughter of Martin — also mostly sweet and lonely — from a washed-up rock star who is using her in a Satanic pact to reignite his fame.

Sitara: Let Girls Dream (Short) – Written and Directed by Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy (Playing Through September 30)

“Sitara”

“Sitara” takes the audience on a journey through the old city of Lahore in the 1970s, where a 14-year-old girl called Pari dreams of becoming a pilot. The limitless potential of Pari’s dream is embodied in the paper planes she so lovingly makes and launches into the sky, and in her book on Amelia Earhart which she reads in the evenings. Pari’s story is told through the perspective of her six-year-old sister, who like the audience is unaware of the traditions and barriers that lay in the paths of women from this family.

Bliss (Also Available on VOD) 

A brilliant painter (Dora Madison) facing the worst creative block of her life turns to anything she can to complete her masterpiece, spiraling into a hallucinatory hellscape of drugs, sex, and murder in the sleazy underbelly of Los Angeles.

Groupers 

A female grad student captures two homophobic high-school seniors to be a part of a controversial social experiment that takes place at the bottom of an empty pool.

Ready to Mingle – Written by Alejandra Olvera Avila and Luis Javier Henaine (Available on Netflix October 2) 

After the man she thought she’d marry breaks up with her, Ana (Cassandra Ciangherotti) joins a class for single women who are in search of a husband.

FILMS MADE BY WOMEN OPENING

Abominable – Directed by Jill Culton and Todd Wilderman; Written by Jill Culton  

“Abominable”

When teenage Yi (Chloe Bennet) encounters a young Yeti on the roof of her apartment building in a modern Chinese city, she and her mischievous friends, Jin (Tenzing Norgay Trainor) and Peng (Albert Tsai), name him “Everest” and embark on an epic quest to reunite the magical creature with his family at the highest point on Earth. But the trio of friends will have to stay one-step ahead of Burnish (Eddie Izzard), a wealthy man intent on capturing a Yeti, and zoologist Dr. Zara (Sarah Paulson) to help Everest get home.

Find screening info here.

Hero: Inspired by the Extraordinary Life and Times of Mr. Ulric Cross – Directed by Frances-Anne Solomon; Written by Frances-Anne Solomon, Akley Olton, and Nickolai Salcedo (Opens October 3 in the UK) 

“Hero”

In 1941, Ulric Cross (Nikolai Salcedo), a young man from Trinidad, leaves his island home to seek his fortune. He survives the War as the RAF’s most decorated West Indian. Then, his life takes another course and he becomes part of the movement of history. Cross’ long life spanned key moments of the 20th century, including independence in Africa and the Caribbean.

Find screening info here.

TV PREMIERES

Transparent: Musicale Finale (TV Movie) – Directed by Jill Soloway (Premieres September 27 on Amazon Prime)

It goes without saying that “Transparent” has changed our culture. The show was really the first time that a TV series centered on a trans character and how a family reacts to them. Since Jill Soloway has been blowing up many conventions over the last several years, it is not surprising that they do it again with the final, musical chapter of the Pfeffermans’ saga. Maura, who in previous seasons has been played by Jeffrey Tambor, has died and the family is having trouble coping. The kids (Amy Landecker, Jay Duplass, and Gaby Hoffman) have always been a bit much and, as expected, they are unmoored by this, as is Maura’s former wife, Shelly (Judith Light). The finale really brings Shelly into the light in a way that hasn’t happened before. It shows how she struggled to fit into her place as a woman and how she was sidelined from her family following the divorce. There are songs about boundaries. There are songs about why Sepulveda Boulevard is so long. Some are great. Some are a bit confusing. But the bottom line is that this show is about family and resiliency and also about love and acceptance. And that is why it resonates. (MS)

CMT Crossroads: Sheryl Crow & Friends (Music Special) (Premieres September 27 on CMT) 

When Sheryl Crow recently released her “Threads” album, full of collaborations with other legendary voices on a collection of new songs and covers, every Crow fan must’ve been thinking, “Wouldn’t it be cool to hear this live?” And now, we’ll find out exactly how cool it sounds. Crow and almost all of her friends from “Threads” have come together for a special edition of “CMT Crossroads.” Chris Stapleton, Emmylou Harris, Jason Isbell, Joe Walsh, Bonnie Raitt, and Lucius join Crow for an intimate one-hour special. (CMT)

Bless the Harts – Created by Emily Spivey (Premieres September 29 on Fox) 

Featuring an all-star voice cast of comedy stars, including Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, and Jillian Bell, “Bless the Harts” is a new half-hour animated comedy that follows the Harts, a Southern family that is always broke, and forever struggling to make ends meet. They one day hope to achieve the American dream, but they’re already rich — in friends, family, and laughter.

The Silence of Others (Documentary) – Directed by Almudena Carracedo and Robert Bahar; Written by Almudena Carracedo, Kim Roberts, Robert Bahar, and Ricardo Acosta (Premieres Sept 30 on PBS) 

“The Silence of Others”: Almudena Carracedo

Almudena Carracedo and Robert Bahar’s Berlinale award-winning “The Silence of Others” traces the fallout of Spain’s “pact of forgetting,” the amnesty law that went into effect after dictator Francisco Franco’s death in 1975. The political prisoners who resisted the Franco regime were pardoned, but so were Franco’s allies and supporters. People like torturer Antonio González Pacheco never had to answer for their crimes. Countless families were never able to properly mourn the loved ones who were executed and buried in mass graves. Single mothers and other “immoral” women never got the chance to meet the children the state took from them shortly after birth. Those who lived through Franco can never forget, yet the younger generations grew up in ignorance about their country’s past. Hopefully we can learn from “The Silence of Others.” Suppressing unpleasant memories or regrets doesn’t really solve anything — it just creates more problems. (Rachel Montpelier)

Read Women and Hollywood’s interview with Almudena Carracedo.

Nikki Glaser: Bangin’ (Comedy Special) – Written by Nikki Glaser (Premieres October 1 on Netflix) 

Following her popular set on Season 1 of Netflix’s “The Standups,” Nikki Glaser is back with her first hour-long Netflix original comedy special, “Bangin’.” See Nikki keep the audience at the edge of their seat as she delves into taboo topics like sex and… sex. The gloves are off as she pushes back at the unreal sexual expectations women face with her hilarious, no-holds-barred style.

Almost Family – Developed by Annie Weisman (Premieres October 2 on Fox) 

“Almost Family”

Only child Julia Bechley (Brittany Snow) finds her life turned upside down when her father, Leon Bechley (Timothy Hutton), reveals that, over the course of his prize-winning career as a pioneering fertility doctor, he used his own sperm to conceive upwards of a hundred children. Reeling from this explosive revelation, Julia discovers two new sisters: her former best friend, Edie Palmer (Megalyn Echikunwoke), and an ex-Olympic athlete, Roxy Doyle (Emily Osment). As these three young women begin to embrace their new reality, Julia must figure out what life is like without Leon by her side; Edie comes to grips with her burgeoning sexuality, as her marriage falters; and Roxy faces adulthood out of the spotlight.

VOD/STREAMING RELEASES

Maiden (Documentary) (VOD, October 1)
Toy Story 4 – Written by Stephany Folsom and Andrew Stanton (VOD, October 1)

WOMEN AND HOLLYWOOD IN THE NEWS

#MeToo Movement in the entertainment industry (This Morning with Alex Jensen Podcast)
The Plea in Michelle Williams’s Emmys Speech (The Atlantic)

JOIN THE W&H COMMUNITY AT THE 2019 POWER WOMEN SUMMIT

Eva Longoria will provide the keynote address: TheWrap

Women and Hollywood is proud to be on the Advisory Board for TheWrap’s 2019 Power Women Summit, which will be held on October 24 and 25 in Los Angeles. The summit will provide two days of education, mentorship, workshops, and networking to promote the goal of greater women’s leadership in this industry, and gender balance in media, entertainment, and technology overall.

Women and Hollywood has 25 tickets to offer for FREE to members of our community.

If you would like to be considered for one of the tickets, we need you to send a short essay by 11:59pm EST on September 30 on why coming to this summit will be beneficial to your life and your work.

Some things to keep in mind:

1. Please keep the essay under 500 words. Please submit it in a Word doc or a PDF to whleadershipsummit@gmail.com. Please make sure to include the following in the essay: your name, your address, your email, and your affiliation.

2. The ticket will cover attendance to the summit and meals during the summit. It does not cover travel or accommodations.

This promises to be a special event for members of the Women and Hollywood community. Eva Longoria will deliver the keynote address and the other confirmed speakers include Chrissy Metz, Stephanie Beatriz, Mayim Bialik, Diane Guerrero, and designer Rachel Zoe. Please check out the draft schedule on the event’s website.

The Women and Hollywood group will have a dinner together on the evening of October 24, and we will also gather together at the end of the summit to have a group closing discussion.

HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE BLOG

“Papicha”

Quote of the Day: Elizabeth Banks on Wanting to Tell a Story About Sisterhood in “Charlie’s Angels”
Laura Dern to Receive Actress Tribute at the Gotham Awards
May el-Toukhy’s “Queen of Hearts” Is Denmark’s Pick for International Feature Film Oscar
Algeria Cancels “Papicha” Screenings, Putting Its Oscar Chances at Risk
Canada Submits Sophie Deraspe’s “Antigone” for the International Feature Film Oscar
Julie Andrews to Receive AFI Life Achievement Award
New UCLA Study Offers Five Practices for Promoting Diversity in Hollywood
Michelle Williams and Phoebe Waller-Bridge Bring the House Down at the 2019 Emmy Awards
Céline Sciamma to Be Honored with 2019 Stockholm Visionary Award
Guest Post: We Should Prioritize Gender Equality on All Films — Not Just Ones About Women

Note: All descriptions are from press materials, unless otherwise noted.


Follow Women and Hollywood on Twitter @WomenaHollywood and Melissa Silverstein @melsil

To contact Women and Hollywood, email melissa@womenandhollywood.com.

Related posts

Leave a Reply