Weekly Update for September 20: Women Centric, Directed and Written Films Playing Near You

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by Kerensa Cadenas
September 20, 2013 4:00 PM
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Haute Cuisine

Films About Women Opening This Weekend


Enough Said - Written and Directed by Nicole Holofcener

You don't go to a Nicole Holofcener movie to see superheroes save the world. You go to a Nicole Holofcener movie to feel the world around you in a distinct way. She is a special kind of writer/director, and through the last 18 years since she made Walking and Talking, she has become the pre-eminent chronicler of a certain type of woman's life -- white, now hitting middle age, educated, and still trying to fit into the world around her. She always manages to bring humor into the difficult experiences of life, ones that if you didn't laugh, you would cry.

In her latest and most commercial film to date, Holofcener channels her energy into Eva, a masseuse played by the revelatory Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Eva is divorced and her only child, her daughter, is about to head off to college. She's a basket case. She meets Albert, played by James Gandolfini, at a party and begins to date him. At the same party she meets Albert's ex-wife Marianne, played by Holofcener muse Catherine Keener, and begins to massage her. It takes a little while but Eva discovers that the man she is now seeing and falling for is the same guy being vilified on her massage table by Marianne. That's when the trouble begins.

Gandolfini plays a completely different kind of character than we are used to seeing him play. In many ways in this film he plays the typical "girl" part. He's unsure of his looks, he feels fat, and he's self-conscious. Watching a guy go through the same types of emotions usually reserved only for women in movies is quite interesting.

I can't say enough about the writing and directing of this film. It feels real. It feels comfortable. It challenges you but doesn't hit you over the head. It is a movie that people should take notice of because it is not a film that just disappears from your head. It's one of those movies that reminds us why we all still love movies. (Melissa Silverstein)


After Tiller - co-directed by Martha Shane and Lana Wilson (doc)

After Tiller is the chilling new documentary that introduces us to the couple of doctors left in this country who perform third trimester abortions. The film starts off with the murder of Dr. Tiller and takes us into the lives of four doctors: LeRoy Carhart, Warren Hern, Susan Robinson and Shelley Sella who are the last remaining people in the COUNTRY who perform this much needed procedure.

Here's the deal. NOBODY wants to get a third trimester abortion. The problem is some women NEED a third trimester abortion. The film introduces us to women and men who are given the shocks of their lives and are forced to make this most difficult decision. These are not easy decisions. What is so fascinating is that politics is the farthest issue from these people's minds when they make the decision. They make these decisions out of heartbreak and necessity.

The doctors in this film are true heroes. They are people who as Dr. Hern says "every time I leave my house I expect to get assassinated." They are people who trust and believe in women. They believe that women make these decisions when they need to and that there need to be doctors to do this work. But because abortion is so politicized and most doctors are so scared, these people who stay in this business are all the more heroic. They are on front lines of the fight for reproductive freedom. What struck me the most about these doctors is how apolitical they come off. Directors Martha Shane and Lana Wilson show us something that those people who work on the issue already know, an abortion is really hard to get in many places in this country, and if you get stuck in one of these desperate situations you have only 4 people to call -- and by the way they are all nearing or beyond retirement age. But they can't retire because they know what that would mean - there would be women that die or take matters into their own hands. The one good piece of news is that another provider is being trained to perform the procedure. (Melissa Silverstein)


Haute Cuisine

Haute Cuisine tells the true story of the first woman hired to cook for French President Francois Mitterrand. The delightful Catherine Frot portrays Hortense Laborie the character based on Danièle Delpeuch. When Hortense is plucked from her farm outside Paris, she enters into a society that had never seen a woman before. There were many chefs and cooks for several kitchens at the President's Palace but none had ever been run by a woman. And the men were beasts doing stupid neanderthal things to sabotage her along the way even creating rumors that she was the President's mistress. But the main part of what stands out about this film is the love of food. The love of preparing food and it really shows that it is an art. This is a film for a foodie who likes to see a woman break through another glass ceiling. (Melissa Silverstein)


My Lucky Star - Dennie Gordon

A woman gets caught up in an international diamond heist that draws her near to a spy trying to save the world. (IMDB) Read director Dennie Gordon's experience making the film.

Films About Women Currently Playing

Wadjda - Haifaa Al-Mansour

And While We Were Here - Written and Directed by Kat Coiro

Plush - Catherine Hardwicke

Mademoiselle C - (doc)

Mother of George - Written by Darci Picoult

Touchy Feely - Written and Directed by Lynn Shelton

Adore - Directed by Anne Fontaine

A Teacher - Written and Directed by Hannah Fidell

Populaire

Good Ol' Freda

Afternoon Delight - Written and Directed by Jill Soloway

Passion

The Mortal Intruments: City of Bones - Written by Jessica Postigo

Short Term 12

Austenland - Written and Directed by Jerusha Hess, Adapted for the Screen by Jerusha Hess and Shannon Hale

The Patience Stone

In A World... - Written and Directed by Lake Bell

Blue Jasmine

The Heat - Written by Katie Dippold

Hannah Arendt - Directed by Margarethe von Trotta

Fill The Void - Written and Directed by Rama Burshstein


Films Directed by Women Opening This Weekend

The Muslims Are Coming! - Co-Directed by Negin Farsad and Dean Obeidallah

Acclaimed comedians Negin Farsad and Dean Obeidallah lead a group of Muslim-American standup comedians as they go on the road to counter Islamophobia using the only weapon they have: jokes. THE MUSLIMS ARE COMING! follows these comics as they visit big cities, rural villages, and everything in between to do shows, meet locals, and counter the haters. Commentary from pop culture icons like the Daily Show's host Jon Stewart and correspondent Aasif Mandvi, Rachel Maddow, Janeane Garofalo, CNN's Soledad O'Brien, David Cross, and Lewis Black pepper the film as the comedians travel through middle America. (From Press Materials)


Films Directed by Women Currently Playing

Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction - Sophie Huber (doc)

Herb and Dorothy 50x50 - Megumi Sasaki (doc)

Out of the Clear Blue Sky - Directed by Danielle Gardner (doc)

Our Nixon - Directed by Penny Lane (doc)

Blackfish - Directed by Gabriela Coperthwaite (doc)

Love Is All You Need - Directed by Susanne Bier


Films Written by Women Currently Playing

Before Midnight - Co-Written by Julie Delpy


Films By and About Women on DVD/And Or On Demand

Nashville Season 1

The Bling Ring - written and directed by Sofia Coppola

The East - Co-Written by Brit Marling

A Girl and A Gun - Cathryne Czubeck (doc)

Augustine - Alice Winocour

Sun Don't Shine - Amy Seimetz (VOD)

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