July 12, 2008

Women at the Box Office This Weekend

Opening this weekend in NY, LA, Washington, DC and Minneapolis is The Stone Angel written and directed by Kari Skogland and starring Ellen Burstyn.

The Stone Angel tells the story of a dying woman looking back at her life, her choices and how they effected her family. Ellen Burstyn plays the older Hagar Shipley, a woman clearly ahead of her time, who followed her heart and not societal conventions. Newcomer Christine Horne plays Hagar as a young woman, the daughter of the most prominent man in town, who instead of following daddy's rules went off and married Bram Shipley a hot-headed dreamer with no prospects of supporting his wife. Hagar quickly learns was it was like to be living on the other side when her father cuts her off, yet she continues to believe that someday she will win her father's love and respect back. Suffice it to say that doesn't happen, and it makes Hagar quite bitter and she takes out her bitterness and disappointment on her son Marvin (played as an adult by Dylan Baker). As she realizes her life it coming to an end, Hagar finally comes to terms with herself and her son in a way that sets both of them free.

Great performances from Burstyn, Dylan Baker and Christine Horne. The film is quiet and at times a little too slow. The NY Times ad from last Sunday had Ellen Page in it (since she's hot now), but you will be disappointed if you expect to see a lot of her. She has a very small part. The film really belongs to Burstyn and Horne.

Other Women-Centric Films in Theatres:
Kit Kittredge: An American Girl
The Last Mistress- limited
Brick Lane- continues to expand in Scottsdale, CA, Denver, CT, Washington DC, MD, VA, southern FL, NJ, Long Island, Portland, OR, and Philadelphia
Sex and the City
A Previous Engagement - opens in Palm Springs- read interview with director Joan Carr-Wiggin:
Water Lillies- opens in SF- read interview with director Celine Sciamma: