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Women and Hollywood


Melissa Silverstein is the founder and editor of Women and Hollywood, one of the most respected sites for issues related to women and film as well as other areas of pop culture. Women and Hollywood educates, advocates, and agitates for gender parity across the entertainment industry.

She is also the co-founder and Artistic Director of The Athena Film Festival. The 4th annual festival took place from February 6-9, 2014 at Barnard College in NYC.

Melissa recently published the first book from Women and Hollywood, In Her Voice: Women Directors Talk Directing, which is a compilation of over 40 interviews that have appeared on the site.

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Women and Hollywood

A Tale of Two HBO Movies - The Girl and Ethel

There is not too much that The Girl and Ethel have in common except for the fact that they are both on HBO last week.
  • By Melissa Silverstein
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  • October 22, 2012 11:36 AM
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  • 0 Comments

TIFF Review: The Stories We Tell - Sarah Polley's Effective New Documentary

Toronto loves Sarah Polley. The display of that love was evident last week at the premiere of her first documentary Stories We Tell which held its Canadian premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. I was able to see the film with an audience rather than at a press screening, and the love they feel for her is palpable. It was really amazing to see. She is an incredibly talented filmmaker who takes a bold step by putting the lens on herself, her family and its secrets. It's not a conventional documentary by any means. She has reenactments of past events. She has written a whole narration which her father reads throughout the movie. As the two of them sit there him reading, her directing you see them reflecting on their whole lives and how they are both so affected by all that the film reveals. She sets the whole thing up as if she is willing the way the answers will turn out. Not to give too much away because it is just so good, the film is about secrets and family and the search for truth and how many version of the truth exist.
  • By Melissa Silverstein
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  • September 17, 2012 12:30 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Bachelorette - Written and Directed by Leslye Headland

While it might be tempting to compare Bachelorette to Bridesmaids because they are both about women and weddings - you would be doing so at your peril. Whereas Bridesmaids was about the utter collapse and rebirth of a woman, Bachelorette is about a bunch of hedonistic, awful high school friends who convene in NYC for the wedding of a classmate. The women -- played by Kirsten Dunst, Isla Fisher and Lizzy Caplan -- are mortified (though Kirsten Dunst is the most mortified) that the first of their high school friends to get married is overweight Becky played by a restrained Rebel Wilson. To top it off, she's marrying a really hot guy.
  • By Melissa Silverstein
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  • September 7, 2012 1:36 PM
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  • 6 Comments

Hope Springs Written by Vanessa Taylor

Here's a confession.  I got nervous when I saw the posters for Hope Springs.  I am so used to seeing Meryl Streep play roles in which she seems larger than life that when I looked at the hairdo, the glasses and the smile, I thought something that rarely has crossed my mind -- could this be a Meryl misstep?
  • By Melissa Silverstein
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  • August 8, 2012 1:44 PM
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  • 2 Comments

Celeste and Jesse Forever

Here's the first installment where we (the folks who bring you Women and Hollywood) give our opinions (sometimes similiar) of a film opening.
  • By Melissa Silverstein and Kerensa Cadenas
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  • August 3, 2012 10:00 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Mosquita y Mari - Written and Directed by Aurora Guerrero

  • By Melissa Silverstein
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  • August 3, 2012 9:30 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Ruby Sparks- Written by Zoe Kazan and Directed by Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton

It's no surprise that Zoe Kazan who penned the delightful new film Ruby Sparks opening today is a good writer. Both her parents - Nicholas Kazan and Robin Swicord are also top tier Hollywood screenwriters. Ruby Sparks is the story of Calvin Weir-Fields (played by Kazan's real life boyfriend Paul Dano) a wunderkind writer whose first novel was a huge sensation and success. It's been some time and Calvin can't write and has become a depressed recluse caught in a vicious cycle of staring at the typewriter to no effect. Then one night he dreams of Ruby Sparks and then poof a short time later her clothing starts appearing and then she appears in his house acting like his girlfriend. Of course, Calvin who is already in therapy for his writer's block, thinks he has finally had the psychotic break he has been dreading. But he quickly realizes that he's not completely crazy because other people can also see Ruby. He then realizes that he can literally make Ruby do anything he wants from speaking French to never leaving his side making her the perfect girlfriend and according to his brother a legend to all men.
  • By Melissa Silverstein
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  • July 25, 2012 3:40 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Union Square - directed by Nancy Savoca, written by Nancy Savoca and Mary Tobler

A set of sisters in crisis are on display in Nancy Savoca's long awaited return - Union Square. Mira Sorvino plays Lucy, a hot mess of a woman who seems bizarrely out of control for an adult. She's one of those characters that when you see her first on screen you cringe -- she wears completely inappropriate clothes for someone her age and causes scenes all over the place.
  • By Melissa Silverstein
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  • July 13, 2012 10:41 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Beasts of the Southern Wild

Beasts of the Southern Wild is the perfect example of how to make a movie in this new post recession world.  Take a great script, make it for a price and then let the movie stand on its merits.  And yes, the awards and great reviews it has received since the premiere at Sundance earlier this year are all right --  this is one seriously spectacular and special film.  Run, don’t walk to the theatre to see it. The film tells the story of 6-year-old Hushpuppy -- played by Quvenzhané Wallis, a girl who had never acted before – and the people who live with her and her dad in the Bathtub, a place below the levees in the Bayou of Louisiana one storm away from destruction.  The location is not exactly real but it is also not exactly fictional.  You are supposed to be reminded of the Lower Ninth Ward and what happened during Katrina.  This is about people who are everywhere in our society who live on the edge, extremely poor, with no resources except their own spit and guts. 
  • By Melissa Silverstein
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  • June 29, 2012 11:30 AM
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  • 2 Comments

The Invisible War

There are some movies that just gut you.  They just hit you hard and twist until you are a spent rag ready to get up and fight against all the injustices that have just been witnessed. 
  • By Melissa Silverstein
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  • June 22, 2012 11:30 AM
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  • 4 Comments

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