In Theaters Now
‘Arrival’ is yet another in a long line of alien invasion movies, but it’s also so much more than that. It’s the story of a single extraordinary woman who steps up to save the human race, armed with nothing more than her ability to communicate. It’s a story of hope — and it’s one that audiences need to hear right now.
‘Certain Women’ belongs to the four women at its core: Laura Dern’s fragile, exhausted stoicism, Michelle William’s neutrality laced with sharp edges, Lily Gladstone’s quietly powerful grasp of the feeling of new love, and Kristen Stewart’s almost-sweet awkwardness, are what make Certain Women worth the trip.
The New York Film Festival (NYFF) wraps up this weekend. Here are the best of films about women or directed by women (or both) that still have NYFF weekend screenings (including some “encore” shows on Sunday) or are streaming or open today in theaters: including Ava DuVernay’s ’13th,’ Kelly Reichardt’s ‘Certain Women,’ and Pedro Almodóvar’s ‘Julieta.’
Two things that make Leyla Bouzid’s new film ‘As I Open My Eyes’ distinct from these other [portrait of the artist, coming-of-age films] are: the lead who resists family pressure by joining a band is a young woman and her parents have more to be concerned about than what the neighbors think. The action takes place in Tunis, Tunisia, in 2010, before the Revolution, so any kind of rebellion, even artistic, can draw the attention of the police and lead to arrest — or worse.
Saving a beautiful woman from danger is such a pervasive male fantasy that right now, no matter where you are you could probably see an example of this trope by randomly flipping through channels or wandering into a multiplex. But what if the man was never able to save the woman? Or what if he has problems of his own that keep him from being a stereotypical hero?
‘The Neon Demon’ brings to light the dual narcissism of our culture: the simultaneous, reciprocal reality created when consumers come into contact with images. The images exist so long as we look at them, and all Refn has done is reify our culture’s unhealthy obsession… I’m glad for ‘The Neon Demon,’ because it solidifies something that was already there: a hundred ornate mirrors reflecting back a society complicit in rape culture.
‘Neighbors 2’ doesn’t explicitly state that sororities are misogynist, but the goal of the alternative sorority (essentially an all-female share house, right?) at its center to create a space where the women can make their own fun outside of the patriarchy — that wants them to be well behaved and perform their sexuality for men — is feminist, whether the movie states it or not.
Charlie Kaufman draws on an emotional darkness that is deeply human – something that every person can relate to in some way, big or small, regardless of gender or age. Which is why it’s frustrating to see in ‘Anomalisa’ – like in so many movies before it – the sense of hope come in the form of a woman, an object of romance for a man. … To put it bluntly, I’m sick of movies in which sad men think they can be saved by their idea of a woman.
This blame, fear and guilt are heaped upon Thomasin right as she starts to blossom into womanhood… This may be why ‘The Witch’ so strongly resonates.
While both the novel and the film are sure to point out Ma’s anguish, ‘Room’ can be seen to paint a romanticized, sometimes insensitive and propaganda-esque…fantasy of immersive, attachment motherhood in which nothing else matters but the child.
‘Spotlight’ isn’t the kind of film that just changes some facts (though I never understand “based-on-a-true-story” films that do so: if you’re going to fictionalize their lives why not fictionalize their names too?), it’s one where the most basic plot summary contradicts what happened.
To have a Black character like this to not only be the co-lead in an iconic franchise but to also include him in a healthy, positively portrayed relationship with a white woman is a brilliant statement. … Finn and Rey’s difference in race doesn’t put any limitations on what this couple can and do achieve.