Watch This: White Bird in a Blizzard Previews and Interviews

White Bird in a Blizzard is now available on iTunes, Amazon Prime, Google Play and in theaters. The film stars Shailene Woodley, Christopher Meloni, Eva Green, Gabourey Sidibe, and many others.

Here’s the official description of the film.

Kat Connors is 17 years old when her perfect homemaker mother, Eve, a beautiful, enigmatic, and haunted woman, disappears – just as Kat is discovering and relishing her newfound sexuality. Having lived for so long in a stifled, emotionally repressed household, she barely registers her mother’s absence and certainly doesn’t blame her doormat of a father, Brock, for the loss. In fact, it’s almost a relief. But as time passes, Kat begins to come to grips with how deeply Eve’s disappearance has affected her. Returning home on a break from college, she finds herself confronted with the truth about her mother’s departure, and her own denial about the events surrounding it.

The official trailer:

The star, Shailene Woodley, and the director, Gregg Araki, recently talked on AOL about how the film is sex positive and the sexual scenes are written from a woman’s perspective. According to Araki, it’s one of the first films to bring this perspective to a young woman’s coming of age tale. You can see that interview on HuffPost Video.

If the sex scenes are truly filmed from the female perspective and not for the infamous male gaze, that’s a very good thing. We need a lot more movies with this approach.

I have not watched the film and reviews are all midrange in ratings. Not too bad, but not too good either. I often really like the films the reviewers don’t like. Make up your own mind. I think big fans of Shailene Woodley will want to watch it no matter what the reviewers have to say. If you see it, please share your reactions below.

New Preview for The Fall Season 2 Released by the BBC – UPDATED

Although we still don’t know an exact starting date for the 2nd season of The Fall on the BBC, it is definitely getting closer. Gillian Anderson herself mentioned the new preview on her Twitter account.

In addition to Gillian Anderson as a detective, the series also stars Jamie Dornan as a serial killer. The first season of The Fall was some of the best television I have ever seen in my many years watching TV. The Fall season 2 can’t be released soon enough to suit me.

Here’s hoping the date will be soon for the release of The Fall on BBC Two, possibly in November. The release date in the U.S. is going to lag behind that. I also published an earlier preview for season 2.

Update

Another preview released on Oct. 29 reveals the release day for iTV in Ireland as November 9. In England, the show begins on Nov. 13. This preview is different from the one above.

Watch This: Unbroken Trailer

Unbroken is not the type of story I normally talk about here. My mission is to promote female driven entertainment. However, I have three most excellent reasons for being eager to see Unbroken.

The film stars Jack O’Connell, Domhnall Gleeson and Garrett Hedlund in the story of Louis Zamperini. Louis Zamperini was an Olympic runner who served in the Air Force in World War II. He ended up in a Japanese prisoner of war camp. His endurance under horrifying conditions, and his ultimate survival are both testaments to the human spirit.

This is a new trailer for Unbroken.

There is another trailer for the film, which was released during the Olympics. Louis Zamperini himself can be seen in that trailer. He died in July of 2014 at the age of 97 and never got to see the film.

Unbroken is scheduled to release on Christmas day. If you like to get out to a movie on Christmas Day, there are many tempting choices. (Two I’ve already mentioned are Big Eyes and Annie.) Unbroken will make you believe in the power of never giving up.

Angelina Jolie photo by Vince Valitutti – © 2013 – Universal Pictures

Watch This: 3 Upcoming Films Starring Women

Because I took a week off, I got a bit behind mentioning upcoming films that feature women in the leading role. To compensate, I combined them into this post featuring trailers for She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry, Miss Meadows, and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1.

She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry is a provocative look at the birth of the women’s liberation movement between 1966-1971. It reintroduces the wide-reaching movement with poetry readings, women’s rock bands, and zaps (impromptu protest actions). The film links the previous era to today’s war on women. It makes an impassioned case for reviving feminism as a mass movement.

Miss Meadows is a school teacher with impeccable manners and grace. However, underneath the sweet exterior hides a gun-toting vigilante who takes it upon herself to right the wrongs in the world by whatever means necessary.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 finds Katniss Everdeen in District 13 after she literally shatters the games forever. Under the leadership of President Coin and the advice of her trusted friends, Katniss spreads her wings as she fights to save Peeta and a nation moved by her courage.

Review: Big Driver

From a story by Stephen King, Big Driver is the story of a novelist bent on revenge after falling victim to a brutal crime. It is a made for Lifetime TV film. It stars Maria Bello, Olympia Dukakis, Joan Jett, Ann Dowd and Will Harris.

There are spoilers ahead. Continue reading “Review: Big Driver”

Watch This: Olive Kitteridge

Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout, is a wonderful book – it won the Pulitzer. Olive is a stern New Englander, an aging former school teacher, and one of the best characters to ever inhabit the pages of a book. I cannot think of anyone more perfect to play her than Frances McDormand. If I were envisioning any actor to play Olive as I read the book, it would have been Frances McDormand.

According to HBO, “Olive Kitteridge tells the poignantly sweet, acerbically funny and devastatingly tragic story of a seemingly placid New England town wrought with illicit affairs, crime and tragedy, told through the lens of a woman whose wicked wit and harsh demeanor mask a warm but troubled heart and a staunch moral center.”

Richard Jenkins plays her husband Henry. Bill Murray will play Jack Kennison.

Lisa Cholodenko is directing the mini-series, which will air on two nights in November on HBO.

The only thing wrong with this mini-series is that it will be on HBO, which I don’t have. If you get HBO, I strongly urge you to get acquainted with the marvelous cast of interesting characters that surround Olive Kitteridge.

Olive Kitteridge photo by JoJO Whilden

Watch This: Inside Out

Watch a few seconds of trailer for Inside Out coming from Pixar next year. You have to wade past some bragging first.

Inside Out is Pixar’s second film with a female protagonist. Maybe they learned something from Brave after all.

A few of the voices involved in Inside Out include Amy Poehler, Mindy Kaling, Phyllis Smith, and Kaitlyn Dias. I find this cast list promising. I know these women incite joy and happiness in me – definitely not sadness or anger.

Watch This: Teachers

TV Land announced some new original half-hour comedies. I’m not a big fan of half-hour comedies, although I do love to watch TV Land’s Hot in Cleveland.

Among the new shows is one called Teachers which stars a whole improv group of women – The Katydids. The Katydids are Caitlin Barlow, Katy Colloton, Cate Freedman, Kate Lambert, Katie O’Brien and Katie Thomas. These funny women also wrote and starred in the web series hit that the TV series is based on. In addition to writing for and starring in Teachers, they will also serve as executive producers.

With so many women at the top levels of Teachers, I’m going to give it a chance to convert me.

Check out the trailer or watch the teachers in action in the web series to see if you think you’ll be a fan. Here’s the trailer.

I don’t have any information about when the series will begin airing on TV Land.

Watch This: Clip from Still Alice

Still Alice stars Julianne Moore as Dr. Alice Howland, a renowned linguistics professor who starts to forget words because of early onset Alzheimer’s disease. The film is based on Lisa Genova’s 2007 bestselling novel of the same name.

Still Alice will have a limited release in December, which means Julianne Moore will be in the running for an Oscar nomination for the film for 2014. The major release for the film will come in January 2015. There’s some talk that Moore might be nominated for an Oscar for Maps to the Stars for 2014. Two Oscar worthy performances this year! Those make for pretty good odds for Moore to win a long-deserved but illusive Oscar for 2014. She’s been nominated 4 times, but has no wins yet. I remember watching her back in 1999 in Cookie’s Fortune, thinking what an amazing performer she was. I think same thing every time I watch her in anything. She’s an enormous talent.

In Still Alice, the Howland family around Alice include her husband John (Alec Baldwin) and her 3 grown children: Lydia (Kristen Stewart), Anna (Kate Bosworth) and Tom (Hunter Parrish).

From mostly glowing reviews for Still Alice from TIFF, the film appears to be quiet and subdued, but honest and touching.

There isn’t an official trailer yet, but this brief clip was released. It shows something of the relationship between Alice and daughter Lydia.

I’ll be on the lookout for trailers and other information about this film as year’s end draws closer.

Watch This: Big Eyes

Big Eyes is a biopic directed by Tim Burton. It’s about Margaret Keene (Amy Adams) an artist who painted big eyed children famous in the 1950s and 60s. Her husband Walter (Christoph Waltz) took credit for her work.

This plot is so 1950s and 1960s! I speak from experience when I tell you that the legal struggles Margaret Keene had with her husband were typical of the way men treated their wives during that time. I’m looking forward to seeing the shy artist step into her power and claim her own fame in this film.

Big Eyes is set for a December 2014 release – on Christmas Day, actually.

Images © 2014 – The Weinstein Company