January 9, 2008

January 9, 2008

The Business of Being Born- Opens Today in NY

A couple of months ago my incredibly healthy sister went in to have her baby after an uneventful pregnancy, and her carefully planned birth plan turned into a total disaster leaving her and her husband frightened and anxious for weeks after the birth. As a person who has not given birth I just didn't understand how things could go so bad, until I saw The Business of Being Born the new documentary directed by Abby Epstein. Now I understand exactly what happened.

The medical establishment has taken the most natural thing and made medicalized it basically for their own convenience and for insurance purposes. The process has become not about the woman and her baby, but about how to get it out as fast as possible -- especially if you go into labor in the late afternoon. No doctor wants to be at the hospital all night so there is a good chance if you go into labor after 4pm that you will get drugs to be induced and then those drugs will cause fetal distress and then you will need a c-section so the doctor can be home by dinner.

Epstein boldly also includes her own pregnancy as part of the film, and the film also takes us behind the scenes of several other births including water births and home births to give all of us the sense that there is a better way that this can be done.

Film opens in NY today and in SF and LA next week. It will be available on netflix in February.

The Business of Being Born

(Disclaimer: I am employed by the distributor as an on-line marketer to build word of mouth for the film.)

DGA Nominees
Sasha Stone over at Awards Daily calls this is the year of the visionary auteur which in Hollywood is the equivalent of male. I want to put in a mention for Julie Taymor whose Across the Universe was clearly visionary and she could be called an auteur more than any other female director. Why isn't she in any of these conversations about visionary auteurs? This does not bode well for a woman being nominated for a directing Oscar this year. What else is new?

NAACP Image Award Nominees
These awards are always more female friendly.

Motion Picture
"Talk To Me" (Focus Features)

Independent or Foreign Film
"A Mighty Heart" (Paramount Vantage)
"Persepolis" (Sony Pictures Classics)

Actress in a Motion Picture
Angelina Jolie - "A Mighty Heart" (Paramount Vantage)
Halle Berry - "Things We Lost In the Fire" (Dreamworks)
Jill Scott - "Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married?" (Lionsgate Films)
Jurnee Smollett - "The Great Debaters" (The Weinstein Co.)
Taraji P. Henson - "Talk To Me" (Focus Features)

Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture
Janet Jackson - "Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married?" (Lionsgate Films)
Loretta Devine - "This Christmas" (Screen Gems)
Meagan Good - "Stomp The Yard" (Screen Gems)
Queen Latifah - "Hairspray" (New Line)
Ruby Dee - "American Gangster" (Universal)

Comedy Series
"30 Rock" (NBC)
"Girlfriends" (CW)
"Ugly Betty" (ABC)

Actress in a Comedy Series
America Ferrera - "Ugly Betty" (ABC)
Golden Brooks - "Girlfriends" (CW)
Tia Mowry - "The Game" (CW)
Tichina Arnold - "Everybody Hates Chris" (CW)
Tracee Ellis Ross - "Girlfriends" (CW)

Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Keesha Sharp - "Girlfriends" (CW)
Tonye Patano - "Weeds" (Showtime)
Vanessa L. Williams - "Ugly Betty" (ABC)
Vivica A. Fox - "Curb Your Enthusiasm" (HBO)
Wendy Raquel Robinson - "The Game" (CW)

Drama Series
"Grey’s Anatomy" (ABC)

Actress in a Drama Series
CCH Pounder - "The Shield" (FX)
Jennifer Beals - "The L Word" (Showtime)
Nicki Micheaux - "Lincoln Heights" (ABC Family)
Regina Taylor - "The Unit" (CBS)
Wendy Davis - "Army Wives" (Lifetime)

Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Audra McDonald - "Private Practice" (ABC)
Chandra Wilson - "Grey’s Anatomy" (ABC)
Marianne Jean-Baptiste - "Without A Trace"(CBS)
Pam Grier - "The L Word" (Showtime)
S. Epatha Merkerson - "Law & Order" (NBC)

Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special
"Life Support" (HBO)

Actress in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special
Anika Noni Rose - "The Starter Wife" (USA Network)
Holly Robinson Peete - "Matters of Life & Dating" (Lifetime)
Queen Latifah - "Life Support" (HBO)
S. Epatha Merkerson - "Girl, Positive" (Lifetime)
Sydney Tamiia Poitier - "The List" (ABC Family)

Directing in a Comedy Series
Millicent Shelton - "Everybody Hates Chris: Everybody Hates the Substitute" (CW)

Directing in a Dramatic Series
Darnell Martin - "Law & Order: CI: Bombshell" (NBC)
Roxanne Dawson - "Heroes: Run" (NBC)

Directing in a Motion Picture (Theatrical or Television)
Kasi Lemmons - "Talk To Me" (Focus Features)

Writing in a Comedy Series
Karen Gist - "Girlfriends: Spree To Be Free" (CW)
Mindy Kaling - "The Office: Branch Wars" (NBC)
Sara Finney-Johnson - "The Game: The Big Chill" (CW)

Writing in a Dramatic Series
Janine Sherman Barrois - "ER: Breach of Trust" (NBC)
Kathleen McGhee-Anderson and Anthony Sparks - "Lincoln Heights: The Vision" (ABC Family)
Natalie Chaidez - "Heroes: The Fix" (NBC)
Shonda Rhimes - "Private Practice: In Which We Meet Addison, A Nice Girl From Somewhere Else" (ABC)
Shonda Rhimes and Krista Vernoff - "Grey’s Anatomy: A Change is Gonna Come" (ABC)

Angelina Jolie was friends with Marianne Pearl before portraying her. The actress took the role for Pearl's young son. (LA Times)

Scarlett Johansson will go period again as Mary Queen of Scots in Phillip Noyce's new drama to start shooting shortly. Next month she opens opposite Natalie Portman in The Other Boleyn Girl.

Interview with Amy Redford (daughter of Robert) as she prepares to debut her film The Guitar at Sundance later this month
Amy Redford (Indiewire)

EW's take on why the Writer's Strike is still dragging on
Why is it Dragging on? (EW)

She got her big break in a Hollywood flop and hasn't looked back since. Olivia Williams tells Maddy Costa about movies, motherhood - and her talent for annoying people I Feel Like an Immoral Success Story (The Guardian)