Weekly Update for March 15: Women Centric, Directed, and Written Films Playing Near You

Weekly Update for March 15: Women Centric, Directed, and Written Films Playing Near You


FILMS ABOUT WOMEN OPENING

Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase – Directed by Katt Shea; Written by Nina Fiore and John Herrera

After the death of his wife, Carson Drew decides to leave Chicago behind and make a fresh start with his daughter in River Heights. But for 16-year-old Nancy Drew (Sophia Lillis), life in a small town is mighty dull. She longs for excitement, adventure, and the chance to make a difference. Nancy gets that opportunity when she is asked to help solve the ghostly activity at the Twin Elms mansion. Can she help explain the creaking footsteps, exploding lightbulbs, and the ominous creature? Is it the handiwork of high-school bully Derek Barnes? Or is it possible that the ghost of original owner Malcolm Colfax is back for revenge? Recruiting her best friends George and Bess, along with local “mean girl” Helen, Nancy Drew is on the case!

Find screening info here.

Five Feet Apart – Written by Mikki Daughtry and Tobias Iaconis

“Five Feet Apart”

Stella Grant (Haley Lu Richardson) is every bit a 17-year-old: she’s attached to her laptop and loves her best friends. But unlike most teenagers, she spends much of her time living in a hospital as a cystic fibrosis patient. Her life is full of routines, boundaries, and self-control — all of which is put to the test when she meets an impossibly charming fellow CF patient named Will Newman (Cole Sprouse).

Find screening info here.

Knife + Heart

“Knife + Heart”

Paris, summer 1979. Anne (Vanessa Paradis) produces third-rate gay porn. After her editor and lover Lois (Kate Moran) leaves her, she tries to win her back by shooting her most ambitious film yet with her trusted, flaming sidekick Archibald (Nicolas Maury). But one of her actors is brutally murdered and Anne gets caught up in a strange investigation that turns her life upside-down.

Wonder Park 

“Wonder Park” tells the story of a magnificent amusement park where the imagination of a wildly creative girl named June (Brianna Denski) comes alive. One magical day, June is running through the woods to find her way home where she discovers an old roller coaster car and climbs inside. She suddenly finds herself in Wonderland, an amusement park she had created in her mind and put aside. All of her rides and characters are brought to life but are falling into disarray without her. Now, with the help of her fun and lovable park characters, June will have to put the wonder back in Wonderland before it is lost forever.

Find screening info here.

Dry Martina (Available on Netflix)

Martina (Antonella Costa) was a famous singer in Argentina during the late ‘90s, who’s become completely frigid and disenchanted with love. The arrival of a so-called sister, alongside her attractive boyfriend, compel Martina to go to Chile with one objective in mind: getting back her libido.

Off Season (Opens in NY) (Also Available on VOD)

A young woman takes work on a Martha’s Vineyard farm and befriends the 10-year-old farmer’s daughter only to discover present day horrors that stem from a dark past.

Faith, Hope & Love

Faith (Peta Murgatroyd), a recent divorcee, enters a dance contest to save her dance studio, where she meets Jimmy (Robert Krantz) and starts rediscovering her faith and dreams.

FILMS MADE BY WOMEN OPENING

“The Mustang”: Focus Features

The Mustang – Directed by Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre; Written by Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre, Mona Fastvold, and Brock Norman Brock

Roman (Matthias Schoenaerts), a convict in a rural Nevada prison who struggles to escape his violent past, is required to participate in an “outdoor maintenance” program as part of his state-mandated social rehabilitation. Spotted by a no-nonsense veteran trainer (Bruce Dern) and helped by an outgoing fellow inmate and trick rider (Jason Mitchell), Roman is accepted into the selective wild horse training section of the program, where he finds his own humanity in gentling an especially unbreakable mustang.

Find screening info here.

The Aftermath – Written by Anna Waterhouse and Joe Shrapnel (Opens in NY and LA)

“The Aftermath”

Set in postwar Germany in 1946, “The Aftermath” follows Rachael Morgan (Keira Knightley), who arrives in the ruins of Hamburg in the bitter winter to be reunited with her husband Lewis (Jason Clarke), a British colonel charged with rebuilding the shattered city. But as they set off for their new home, Rachael is stunned to discover that Lewis has made an unexpected decision: They will be sharing the grand house with its previous owners, a German widower (Alexander Skarsgård) and his troubled daughter. In this charged atmosphere, enmity and grief give way to passion and betrayal.

Find screening info here.

Buddy (Documentary) – Written and Directed by Heddy Honigmann (Opens in NY March 20)

Heddy Honigmann turns her unerring eye to the relationship between dogs and people. Forget the ubiquitous “emotional support dog,” everyone’s favorite companion. These six pooches — Mister, Kaiko, Utah, Missy, Kay, and Makker — do amazing things: they open and close drawers, turn their mistress over in bed, remove paper from the computer printer, push a syringe into flesh, put on a woman’s socks, and pull up her blanket. They soothe a veteran suffering from PTSD and a severely autistic child. With characteristic reserves of warmth and humor, Honigmann gives the dogs equal face time — and what faces!

Find screening info here.

Captive State – Written by Erica Beeney and Rupert Wyatt 

Set in a Chicago neighborhood nearly a decade after an occupation by an extra-terrestrial force, “Captive State” is a sci-fi thriller that explores the lives on both sides of the conflict — the collaborators and dissidents. The film uses a grounded sci-fi setting to shine light on the modern surveillance state and the threats to civil liberties and the role of dissent within an authoritarian society.

Find screening info here.

TV PREMIERES

“Shrill”

Shrill – Written by Aidy Bryant, Ali Rushfield, and Lindy West (Premieres March 15 on Hulu)

An adaptation of former Jezebel blogger Lindy West’s memoir of the same name, “Shrill” sees “SNL’s” Aidy Bryant taking on fat-shamers, trolls, and her own lack of self-esteem. Annie (Bryant) is an aspiring writer who’s been stuck doing busywork at an alt-weekly. Driven and capable, she struggles to stand up to her domineering boss (John Cameron Mitchell), who insists that she’s not ready and has dues to pay. Annie’s timidity isn’t just holding her back professionally. She continues to hook up with a guy (Luka Jones) who demands that she sneak out of his apartment so his roommates won’t see her, and her mom (Julia Sweeney) is constantly making passive aggressive comments about her “health.” Slowly but surely, we see Annie undergoing a transformation. She wants to change her life, and she’s done apologizing for — and being ashamed of — her body. She’s fat, and she’s increasingly fine with that: it’s everyone else who seems to have the problem. (Laura Berger)

Turn Up Charlie – Written by Victoria Asare-Archer, Georgia Lester, Laura Neal, and Femi Oyeniran (Premieres March 15 on Netflix)

Charlie (Idris Elba), a struggling DJ and eternal bachelor, is given a final chance at success when he reluctantly becomes a manny to his famous best friend’s problem-child daughter.

Green Door – Directed by Lingo Hsieh; Written by Lingo Hsieh, Fang-Yun Tsai, Wan-Ting Huang, and Ting-yu Lee (Premieres March 16 on Netflix)

A troubled psychologist (Jam Hsiao) returns from the U.S. and sets up a clinic in Taiwan, where mysterious patients and uncanny events shed light on his murky past.

Facing the Dragon (Documentary) – Directed by Sedika Mojadidi (Premieres March 17 on WORLD Channel)

“Facing the Dragon”

“Facing the Dragon” is the story of two unconventional Afghan women: Nilofar, a member of parliament, and Shakila, a television journalist. As American forces and aid leave Afghanistan, the country’s fragile democracy and recent gains for women hang in the balance, forcing Nilofar and Shakila to choose between motherhood and ambition amidst threats to their lives and families.

The Fix – Created by Marcia Clark, Elizabeth Craft, and Sarah Fain (Premieres March 18 on ABC)

An L.A. prosecutor (Robin Tunney) moves to Oregon after losing a high-profile murder case, but when the killer strikes again, she returns to seek justice under her own terms.

The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley (Documentary) (Premieres March 18 on HBO) 

I am obsessed with Theranos. I haven’t completely figured out why, but having read John Carreyrou’s book “Bad Blood” and listened to the ABC podcast “The Dropout,” I am fascinated by the fraud that Elizabeth Holmes has perpetrated to the tune of hundreds of millions. She’s a pathological liar at the level of Donald Trump; she’s a train wreck you can’t take your eyes off of. After “Bad Blood” and “The Dropout,” “The Inventor” is the third prong of the Theranos story. It’s where you finally get to see Holmes, her whiteness and her blondness and her eyes that don’t blink. And the voice. The voice is one of the most intriguing things about her. It’s fake, just like she is. The documentary is a good overview of the case, but the name “The Inventor” is a misnomer. Holmes didn’t invent anything except a massive fraud. (Melissa Silverstein)

Amy Schumer: Growing (Comedy Special) – Written by Amy Schumer (Premieres March 19 on Netflix)

Amy Schumer spills on her new marriage, personal growth, making a baby, and her mom’s misguided advice in a special that’s both raunchy and sincere.

The Act – Created by Michelle Dean and Nick Antosca (Premieres March 20 on Hulu)

“The Act” is a seasonal anthology series that tells startling, stranger-than-fiction true crime stories. Season 1 follows Gypsy Blanchard (Joey King), a girl trying to escape the toxic relationship she has with her overprotective mother, Dee Dee (Patricia Arquette). Her quest for independence opens a Pandora’s box of secrets, one that ultimately leads to murder.

Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists – Created by I. Marlene King (Premieres March 20 on Freeform)

A group of three college friends struggle with the stress of being overachievers in a seemingly perfect town, but in the aftermath of the town’s first murder, each Perfectionist hides behind a secret.

VOD/STREAMING RELEASES

“Becoming Astrid”

Mary Poppins Returns (VOD, Available Now)
Girl (Netflix, March 15)
Becoming Astrid – Directed by Pernille Fischer Christensen; Written by Pernille Fischer Christensen and Kim Fupz Aakeson (VOD, March 19)
Smaller and Smaller Circles – Written by Ria Limjap and Raymond Lee (VOD, March 19)

PICKS OF THE WEEK FROM WOMEN AND HOLLYWOOD

Shakti Bhagchandani

Survey: 64% of Diverse TV Writers Have Encountered Discrimination on the Job
Guest Post: How Censorship Made Me a Filmmaker
Hot Docs Adds “One Child Nation,” “I Love You, Now Die,” & More to Special Presentations Lineup
Number of Women Directors in France Is Increasing, Study Finds
Full Frame Documentary Film Festival to Open with “American Factory”
Apply Now: TV Script Initiative for Female Writers
“Captain Marvel” Soars at the Box Office, Breaks Records
Jessica Frances Dukes On Portraying a Fictional Starlet in “By the Way, Meet Vera Stark”
Focusing on Family: Crowdfunding Picks
“Captain Marvel’s” Brie Larson on Sharing Power and Changing Hollywood

Note: All descriptions are from press materials, unless otherwise noted.


Follow Women and Hollywood on Twitter @WomenaHollywood and Melissa Silverstein @melsil

To contact Women and Hollywood, email melissa@womenandhollywood.com.





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