My Days of Mercy has all the checkpoints I look for. Two female stars: Ellen Page and Kate Mara. A female director: Tali Shalom-Ezer. Check and check. But it’s taken two years for the film to get distribution since it debuted at TIFF.Continue reading “Watch This: Trailer for My Days of Mercy”
Comic book adaptation The Umbrella Academy is about 7 babies, all born on the same day in 1989. They were born to mothers who hadn’t been pregnant the day before. Sir Reginald Hargreeves (Colm Feore) raised them as his children. They became The Umbrella Academy. Hargreeves trained them to use their special abilities to learn how to save the world.Continue reading “Review: The Umbrella Academy”
What is it that separates us from forest dwellers foraging for food and living in hollow trees? According to Into the Forest the answer is a simple one: the electric grid. Beware the spoilers. Continue reading “Review: Into the Forest”
Tallulah is a fascinating character study of broken people and how they deal with their responsibilities and relationships. It features a neglected baby, a homeless woman, and a lonely writer. Continue reading “Review: Tallulah”
Tallulah, a Netflix movie, stars Ellen Page and Allison Janney in a motherhood themed story about a homeless woman and a kidnapped baby. Continue reading “Watch This: Trailer for Tallulah”
Friends Ellen Page and Ian Daniel went all around the world filming Gaycation. They talked with LGBT individuals from Japan to Brazil, Jamaica and here in America about their lives. The film they took will be a documentary series on a new A&E channel called VICE starting on February 29. Continue reading “Watch This: Trailer for Gaycation with Ellen Page and Ian Daniel”
Starring Ellen Page and Evan Rachel Wood and written and directed by Patricia Rozema, Into the Forest is the rare disaster movie told from a woman’s point of view.
The film is based on a novel by Jean Hegland. Also featured are Max Minghella, Callum Keith Rennie, and Michael Eklund.
Here’s a bit of the synopsis, which sounds tense and scary:
“In the not too distant future, two ambitious young women, Nell and Eva, live with their father in a lovely but run down home up in the mountains somewhere on the West Coast. Suddenly the power goes out. Over the following days, the radio reports a thousand theories: technical breakdowns, terrorism, disease and uncontrolled violence across the continent.
Then, one day, the radio stops broadcasting. To battle starvation, invasion and despair, Nell and Eva fall deeper into a primitive life that tests their endurance and bond.”
There is video of the two main characters and the director in a interview at the Toronto International Film Festival.
The director Patricia Rozema told Indiewire in response to a question about people changing in films, “In some movies, this is one, where the world around them changes a lot and that brings out something in them. I love that when Evan’s character says, “let’s use the gas,” you think she’s nuts. Everyone’s on Ellen’s side, but by the time they use the gas to watch the home movie and watch dance, we’re entirely convinced, or at least I am, that that’s the right thing to do. We need the nourishment of art.”
That part of the film reminds me of a story one of my uncles used to tell about riding the rails during the depression. He and his brother, another uncle, arrived in a town with 10 cents between them. One brother wanted to use it to buy food. The other wanted to go to a movie with it. Decades later, when I heard the story, there was still that conflict between them – one wanting the practical, one wanting to find some respite in art.
I’ve actually made a decision to do films with female leads now for the rest of my life.Another comment that Patricia Rozema made during her interview with Indiewire really struck a chord with me. She said, “I’ve actually made a decision to do films with female leads now for the rest of my life. The history of cinema is so horrifically unbalanced, that the little that I can do to rebalance it – I love seeing women be interested and complicated and strong. If the men are doing male characters and I am doing male characters, then who is going to do the female characters?”
Watch the Trailer for Into the Forest
Freeheld is an important story that I inadvertently never mentioned yet on the blog. I’m going to make up for that with a big catch-all post.
The film opens October 2, 2015. Julianne Moore, Ellen Page, Michael Shannon, and Steve Carell star in this true story. It’s based on an Oscar winning documentary about Laurel Hester (Julianne Moore) and Stacie Andree (Ellen Page). Peter Sollett directs.
It’s a love story, but it’s also a story about the couple’s fight for justice. I think the actual events surrounding Laurel’s fight with cancer and the county officials, Freeholders, took place in 2006 or 2007. Her fight to be treated as equal by the Freeholders is part of a direct line from then until the recent Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage.
The film description: “A decorated New Jersey police detective, Laurel is diagnosed with cancer and wants to leave her hard-earned pension to her domestic partner, Stacie. However the Freeholders conspire to prevent Laurel from doing this. Hard-nosed detective Dane Wells (Michael Shannon), and activist Steven Goldstein (Steve Carell), unite in Laurel and Stacie’s defense, rallying police officers and ordinary citizens to support their struggle for equality.”
The story of these two ordinary women who struggled for respect and justice mirrors so many more stories. It brings an important moment in history to a wide audience. I hope the film will be huge. I hope it makes a shit-ton of money and send the message to Hollywood decision-makers that a movie about two women – two gay women – can rock the world. Stacie Andree, the real woman who worked with the director and cast to make sure the movie told the truth, brings honor to her partner Laurel with this work. She deserves her spot in the history of the equality movement.
Here’s the first official trailer.
Another trailer with some of the same material, but shorter, features “Hands Of Love” performed by Miley Cyrus and written by Linda Perry.
Ellen Page describes her feelings about the importance of the story and about working with Julianne Moore.
Julianne Moore talks about the film and about working with Ellen Page.