September 19, 2008

Women at the Box Office This Weekend

Week two of the fall season and it's another good weekend for women at the box office. Disclaimer: I've been a consultant to two of the films coming out today -- Hounddog and The Duchess.

Hounddog is a labor of love for director Deborah Kampmeier and stars Dakota Fanning in an amazingly brave performance as a young girl struggling to keep her sense of self and voice in a world stacked against her. The film has had a hard journey to theatres including a call for a boycott from Concerned Women for America (now you gotta go and see it since they hate it) Please check out my story on the behind the scenes struggle of director Deborah Kampmeier, Keeping Hold of Your Vision. The film opens in NY, LA, Chicago and Memphis this weekend.

The Duchess is an 18th century costume drama that stars Keira Knightley as the Duchess of Devonshire, a woman bred for marriage to the upper crust. She gets stuck in a loveless marriage with Ralph Fiennes, finds a best friend who winds up falling in love with her husband, finds her own soul mate, becomes pregnant by him and is forced to give up her child or else lose everything including her children with the Duke. Yikes. The British seem to be able to tell these stories better than anyone, and it made me wistful thinking of some of the greats like a Room With a View and Remains of the Day. Opens in limited release this weekend. Rolls out across the country over the next few weeks.

For those in NY, the documentary All of Us about how the HIV epidemic is effecting African American women opens. Powerful stuff. Read my interview with director Emily Abt.

Racing Daylight, a quirky romance, murder mystery, ghost story which crosses time and stars Melissa Leo and David Strathairn is playing at the New York Film and Video Festival at the Village East Cinema tonight at 6pm.

Since we are all so obsessed with politics lately (I know I am), the political film of the week, Battle in Seattle directed by Stuart Townsend depicts the 1999 WTO meeting in Seattle where thousands of protesters took to the street to raise awareness about the corporatization of the world. Very moving.

Other Women-Centric Films in Theatres
The Women
Frozen River
Trouble the Water
The Family That Preys
The Longshots
Mamma Mia!
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2
Kit Kittredge: An American Girl