Women Directors, Oh L

Reading over Little White Lies list of the 100 Greatest Films directed by women gave me an idea. I decided to start using the tag Women Directors on all my blog posts when I write about films or TV shows with women directors.

I went back through a lot of old posts and added the tag. (Hope I didn’t miss anything, but I probably did.) I had to add the tag to every one of my series of posts about the opening credits of The L Word and I realized that one of the revolutionary things nobody mentions when they continue to write about The L Word still today is the sheer number of women directors they used on that show.

Remarkable, indeed.

Watch This: Trailer for Addicted to Fresno

I don’t know when I’ve been quite this excited about a movie. Addicted to Fresno is so perfect!

Judy Greer and Natasha Lyonne are co-dependent sisters in "Addicted to Fresno."
Judy Greer and Natasha Lyonne are co-dependent sisters in “Addicted to Fresno.”

What exactly do I mean by perfect? Well, it stars Judy Greer and Natasha Lyonne as sisters who are completely nutso – funny already, that. Then there’s the rest of the cast: Molly Shannon, Aubrey Plaza, Clea DuVall, Allison Tolman and Jessica St. Clair. Don’t forget the writer Karey Dornetto and the director Jamie Babbitt. It’s an explosion of brilliant women. See? Perfect.

Oh, wait. I think there are some guys in the film, too. Maybe Ron Livingston, Fred Armisen, and Malcolm Barrett.

Lyonne’s character is a hotel maid. Her sister, Greer’s character, is a sex addict who blows into Fresno and gets a job in the hotel with her sister. They have a mishap of sorts with a dead body. It isn’t clear from the trailer what the mishap is or why a cart full of sex toys is the solution, but I cannot wait to find out.

Addicted to Fresno will be available on demand September 1 and will be released in theaters October 2. Laughter will be allowed.

Review: Your Sister’s Sister

Your Sister’s Sister stars Emily Blunt as Iris, Rosemarie DeWitt as Hannah, and Mark Duplass as Jack. It was written and directed by Lynn Shelton. She’s the blonde with the three actors in the photo above.

I’ve had it in my watch list on Netflix for a long time and never watched it. But after watching Laggies the other day, I decided it was time to have a Lynn Shelton week, so I hit play on Your Sister’s Sister.

Spoilers ahead. Continue reading “Review: Your Sister’s Sister”

Review: Laggies

Laggies tells the tale of Megan (Keira Knightley), who cannot grow up. She’s stuck in a high school mentality even though she has advanced degrees and has been out of high school for 10 years. She’s had the same boyfriend, Anthony (Mark Webber), since high school. Despite her college education, she’s working for her dad, standing on the sidewalk holding a sign advertising his tax business. She doesn’t have a clue about what she wants to do with her life.

Spoilers ahead. Continue reading “Review: Laggies”

Watch This: Trailer for The Dressmaker

First previews for The Dressmaker were released this week. The film stars Kate Winslet, Liam Hemsworth and the rather awesome Judy Davis. It’s set in Australia and looks to involve high fashion, old mysteries, revenge, and some potential action between the two lead characters.

Liam Hemsworth and Kate Winslet in a scene from The Dressmaker
Liam Hemsworth and Kate Winslet in a scene from The Dressmaker

Based on a novel by Rosalie Ham, the screenplay was written by Jocelyn Moorhouse, who also directs. Sue Maslin is the producer.

The setting and photography seemed perfect in this two minute preview. It should be a beautiful film. It was filmed on location in Australia. I haven’t read the book, but the story is that there are rumors that Tilly (Winslet) killed a boy when she was 10 years old and she’s come home to care for her mother and deal with the gossip.

Review: Little Accidents

Little Accidents is about huge, life-altering accidents. There are two such accidents in this grim tale about the interconnected life of a small coal-mining town.

Spoilers ahead. Continue reading “Review: Little Accidents”

Watch This: Trailer for Jenny’s Wedding

Jenny’s Wedding stars Katherine Heigl and Alexis Bledel as a gay couple who decide to get married. But Jenny’s (Heigl) parents don’t know she’s gay.

Now that the Supreme Court has made it possible for gay people in all 50 states to marry, I suspect we will see a lot of these types of films: coming out to the family, planning a wedding.

This version of the story has a particularly good cast, with Tom Wilkinson as Jenny’s father, Linda Emond as her mother and Grace Gummer as her sister. The film was written and directed by Mary Agnes Donoghue, who also wrote Beaches, White Oleander and Veronica Guerin.

Despite all that pedigree, the trailer looks like a highly sanitized version of a story. There isn’t much chemistry between the two women who are supposed to be in love, is there? I want to like it – women in the lead, a female writer and director. Maybe I’m coming at it from the wrong perspective. The story seems to be more about the way Jenny’s family reacts than it is about Jenny and Kitty. I’m looking for sparks in the wrong places – it’s not about two people in love, it’s about family acceptance.

The film is scheduled for a July 31 release. I’d love comments on what you thought of it after you’ve had a chance to see it on the big screen.

Review: Advantageous

Advantageous is a beautiful film. Every frame is a work of art. It’s visually stunning in every possible way and worth seeing for that alone.

This science fiction drama is slow and quiet and doesn’t have a lot of exciting action. Yet, it vibrates with fear and tension in the quiet moments. It’s a film about hard choices. How does a mother give her daughter a chance at success in a world full of both extreme wealth and extreme hardship?

Spoilers ahead. Continue reading “Review: Advantageous”

Review: Sense8

Sense8 is a Netflix original created, written and directed by J. Michael Straczynski, Andy Wachowski and Lana Wachowski, among others. It’s strange and disjointed and hard to grasp, but it’s also fascinating and intriguing and compelling. The series is an ambitious attempt at epic storytelling.

Spoilers ahead. Continue reading “Review: Sense8”

Review: Beyond the Lights

I can’t say enough great things about Beyond the Lights. It is an exceptionally good film. If you haven’t seen it yet, I encourage you to do so. I had the idea that it would merely be a love story. It was a love story, but it has so much more depth than that, which delighted me.

Spoilers ahead. Continue reading “Review: Beyond the Lights”