Review: Brain on Fire

Brain on Fire is the true story of Susannah Cahalan, who underwent a frightening series of physical and behavioral changes at the age of 24. She was a reporter at the New York Post and should have been at the peak of her health and working hard to advance her career. Continue reading “Review: Brain on Fire”

Review: Clouds of Sils Maria

Clouds of Sils Maria is a reflection on youth and aging with outstanding performances from Juliette Binoche as actress Maria Enders and Kristen Stewart as her personal assistant Val. Continue reading “Review: Clouds of Sils Maria”

Review: If I Stay

If I Stay tells the story of Mia Hall (Chloë Grace Moretz), who is in a coma after a car wreck. The story unfolds in a non-linear way, with Mia wandering untethered from her body in the hospital while we watch the story of her life retold. Continue reading “Review: If I Stay”

Review: Dark Places

Dark Places is a haunting tale about recovering from childhood trauma and the lingering seduction of evil. I give it high marks. The acting was brilliant from all the cast, particularly Charlize Theron and Christina Hendricks. The plotting and story details were original and fascinating.

Spoilers ahead.

The film was based on a book by Gillian Flynn, who also wrote the novel Gone Girl, which was equally original in plotting. Gilles Paquet-Brenner wrote the screenplay and directed Dark Places. Continue reading “Review: Dark Places”

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”

7 Upcoming Films with Female Protagonists

Over the next few months there will be several films with women leading the cast coming to your theater. I celebrate every one! Here are a few – I probably missed some. Let me know in the comments if there’s something I missed that shouldn’t be missed.

Laggies

Keira Knightley and Chloë Grace Moretz head up the cast of Laggies.

You’re Not You

You’re Not You features Emmy Rossum and Hilary Swank with Josh Duhamel providing the male lead.

The Good Lie

The Good Lie belongs 100% to Reese Witherspoon.

Gone Girl

In Gone Girl, Rosamund Pike is the gone girl. We also get lots of Ben Affleck. Did you read this book? It must have been hard to adapt as a movie because of the unreliable narrator issue. Be interesting to see if they can make it work.

The Skeleton Twins

The twins in The Skeleton Twins are played by Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader. Luke Wilson is also in this one.

The Congress

Oh dear, some really serious stuff is going on with Robin Wright who is playing Robin Wright in The Congress. Is it too soon to start drawing interconnections with every woman on the planet?

The Last of Robin Hood

I hesitated to include The Last of Robin Hood because it’s really about Errol Flynn (played by Kevin Kline). And it’s about an old Errol Flynn taking a young woman as a lover. All kinds of YUK. But there seems to be enough of Dakota Fanning and Susan Sarandon justify it.

A Few More Films Mentioned Recently

Several more upcoming films featuring women in the leading roles have been mentioned here lately. Just as a reminder, they are:

Watch This: Trailer for Clouds of Sils Maria

When Clouds of Sils Maria showed at the Cannes Film Festival, the Hollywood Reporter dismissed the film with,

Given its narrow range of concerns, Clouds of Sils Maria will be mostly of interest to aficionados of theater, acting and the notion of how real and fictional lives can blur to those involved.

Based on what I’m seeing in descriptions of the film and the fact that Kristen Stewart is huge, I’m thinking it may draw in more viewers than that. The film stars Juliette Binoche, Kristen Stewart and Chloe Grace Moretz. I suppose it’s easy for some to dismiss a film with three female names at the top of the cast, but this attracts me.

Poster for Clouds of Sils Maria

The themes in the film deal with acting and how real life and fictional life intersect, but they also deal with aging, with relationships, with hubris, and with power.

The basic plot: a 40ish actress played by Juliette Binoche is offered a part in a play that made her famous 20 years ago. Only this time, she will play the older woman in the story, with her former part going to a tabloid-feeding ingenue played by Chloe Grace Moretz. Kristen Stewart is Binoche’s assistant. Binoche and Stewart go to a remote location in Switzerland called Sils-Maria during the process of deciding whether or not to take the part.

Juliette Binoche in Clouds of Sils Maria
Juliette Binoche in Clouds of Sils Maria

As I mentioned, part of the dilemma the Binoche character faces is accepting her age, but there is also a strong parallel between the plot of the play wherein  “an older woman falls in love with a scheming girl who has her wrapped around her little finger” and the relationship between Binoche and her assistant.

Any story about the relationships among women should be given a look, in my opinion. Here’s a preview.

If you’ve seen it already, or go see it, please share your reactions.