July 25, 2008

Women at the Box Office This Weekend

Last week Mamma Mia! did great numbers as counter programming to Batman. If you haven't seen it yet, make sure to go this weekend.

Other films opening this weekend, while not about women have some of my favorite feminist actors in them.

Brideshead Revisited: I am a little too young to have seen the mini-series but this adapatation by Julian Jarrold reminds me of the great Merchant-Ivory productions like A Room With a View. Emma Thompson co-stars as the mean Lady Marchmain and Matthew Goode and newcomer Hayley Atwell are terrific and Charles and Julia. It felt at times rushed and the whole demise of Charles relationship with Sebastian just kind of disappeated when it was prominent in the first half of the film. The Brideshead house is spectacular. Here's a recent interview with the divine Ms. Thompson. Brideshead opens on 33 screens and will expand next week to 225.

The X-Files: I Still Believe: I haven't seen this but it is one of the first big action films that I am really excited for and the reason is simple -- Gillian Anderson. There was no better and more confident female character on TV than Dana Scully. None of the women on TV today would be able to do what they do without Scully coming first. Check out Rebecca Traister's ode to Scully.

Also opening in limited release is Nanette Burstein's look at high school life: American Teen. It's kind of like The Breakfast Club and John Hughes' other high school flicks, but real. I hated high school so having to see kids go through it again made me cringe at times. Burstein spent months on location with these kids in Warsaw, Indiana, and she shows the unbelievable pressure of being a kid today. One false step and you could lose your future. To me, the heart of the film is Hannah Bailey, the creative, quirky girl who goes from confident and bubbly to scarily depressed after her boyfriends dumps her. (Note to that loser - how pathetic are you now?) Her mom is a manic depressive, and when Hannah can't get out of bed and loses interest in everything including school, the alarm bells take way too long to go off. She is able to bounce back and now is in film school in NY. The other story that resonated with me was that of star basketball player Colin Clemens who is under such pressure from his dad to get an athletic scholarship to college. It's either a free ride or the army. Talk about pressure.

Remaining in Theatres
Mamma Mia!
Kit Kittredge: An American Girl
Brick Lane- opens in Anchorage, FL, Hawaii, Des Moines, Indianapolis, New Orleans, NC, Baltimore, NM, Baltimore, TN
Sex and the City
The Stone Angel- Seattle