Posts Tagged Somewhere

Women’s History Month: some of my favorite films by women

Grace of My Heart [1996]
written and directed by Allison Anders
–Loosely based on the tumultuous rise of singer/songwriter Carole King, Grace of My Heart is a tour-de-force and one of my favorite films ever. Starring Illeana Douglas, Grace of My Heart takes viewers through the music biz from the famed Brill Building to communes and the hip 60s and beyond as one woman strives to find her own voice in a male-dominated industry.

Waitress [2007]
written and directed by Adrienne Shelly
–a charming and heart-warming film about an independent, spirited small-town woman [Keri Russell] determined to leave her abusive husband and make it big on her own.

Monsoon Wedding [2001]
directed by Mira Nair

Away from Her [2006]
written and directed by Sarah Polley
–a graceful love story about a woman with Alzheimer’s

Searching for Debra Winger [2002]
directed by Rosanna Arquette
–documentary on women in film, which includes amazing and very honest commentary from stars from Gwyneth Paltrow to Whoopi to Vanessa Redgrave to Salma Hayek to Charlotte Rampling to of course Debra Winger. It’s great that these women feel comfortable with age but sad to see the frustration and that there still is the issue of great roles for women over 30.

Broken English [2007]
Written and directed by Zoe Cassavetes
— story of Nora [formidable, immensely talented Parker Posey], a 35-year-old who seems stuck in a rut—both personally and professionally. Nora has become complacent and settled at her hotel job. She is beginning to delve into the Bell Jar after years of seeming to know what she wanted and now being at the age where she feels she should already be there.

The Namesake [2006]
directed by Mira Nair
–the story revolves around Gogol [Kal Penn], a mid-twenties architect who has been fighting against his traditional Indian family and heritage. He gets pulled back in by an unforeseen family crisis and it changes his outlook and future forever.

Bright Star [2009]
written and directed by Jane Campion
–wondrously languid, romantic and exquisitely filmed. It tells the story of the tender and tragic love affair between poet John Keats [Ben Whishaw] and his muse and love Fanny Brawne [Abbie Cornish] as told through her eyes.

Come Early Morning [2006]
written and directed by Joey Lauren Adams
–a woman [Ashley Judd] who struggles with alcoholism tries to get her life on track

Fire [1996]
Earth [1998]
Water [2005]
written and directed by Deepa Mehta

scene from Water

2 Days in Paris [2006]
written and directed by Julie Delpy
–an American and a Parisian talk a lot, fight a lot

Girlfight [2000]
written and directed by Karyn Kusama
–focus on female boxers

Somewhere [2010]
written and directed by Sofia Coppola
–a wayward actor [Stephen Dorff] and his heartfelt relationship with his daughter [Elle Fanning]

The Parking Lot Movie [2010]
directed by Meghan Eckman
–three years following the ins and outs of the attendants at a parking lot in Virginia. truly riveting. really.

SherryBaby [2006]
written and directed by Laurie Collyer
–after serving a three-year prison sentence, Sherry [Maggie Gyllenhaal] returns to New Jersey to try to re-establish family ties, including one with her daughter

The Hurt Locker [2009]
directed by Kathryn Bigelow
–heart-pounding thriller about the guys who diffuse IEDs in Iraq

The Kids Are All Right [2010]
co-written and directed by Lisa Chodolenko
–the teenage children of lesbian parents decide to contact the sperm donor and meeting him has implications on the entire family

Please Give [2010]
written and directed by Nicole Holofcener

Winter’s Bone [2010]
written by Debra Granik and Anne Rosellini
directed by Debra Granik
–a teenager [Jennifer Lawrence] searches for her father in dangerous, bleak meth-country

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment


Films underwhelmed me this year.
Here are the ten that made the greatest impact on me:

Winter’s Bone
— gritty is the most simplistic way to describe this film. At first I thought I’d never get enthralled by a film about trailer parks and meth addicts but soon I was, my stomach wrenching throughout.

The Ghost Writer
— yes, I know that liking a film by child rapist Roman Polanski should mean I’m not a feminist but I have to separate the artist and the art. This film has that wow factor that’s been lacking for so long in thrillers.

Black Swan
–provocative. so many levels of psychoanalysis for this film. is it reality or delusion?

Exit Through the Gift Shop
–engrossing from the first ten minutes. couldn’t stop watching this documentary about a Frenchman who gets caught up in the secretive lives of street artists. fascinating.

The Kids Are All Right
–great script and direction from Lisa Cholodenko. brilliant cast including Annette Bening, Julianne Moore and Mark Ruffalo. engaging, heart-warming story that sublimely highlights all the complications of families and relationships of all kinds.

The King’s Speech
–the Royals aren’t as confident as we might think and Colin Firth should win an Academy Award for his performance as King George VI.

Joan Rivers: a piece of work
–aging in front of the camera, amidst a youth-obsessed culture. Joan Rivers shows the harsh truth in a poignant and funny manner.

The Social Network
–a film about Facebook’s creation that’s so uncomfortable you feel like taking a shower after leaving the theater. These geeky guys with their bravado and disdain for women is just awful.

–Sofia Coppola makes films about very little taking place extremely well. Divine imagery, unspoken moments between and father and daughter provide much more insight than many of the more chatty independents can.

127 Hours
–writer/director Danny Boyle and actor James Franco made this true-life story into a harrowing cinematic experience.

stand-out performances:

Annette Bening, Kerry Washington, S. Epatha Merkerson and Naomi Watts in Mother and Child

Jim Carrey in I Love You Phillip Morris

Christian Bale in The Fighter

, , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

%d bloggers like this: