Matt writes: The ninth edition of Women Writers Week at RogerEbert.com kicked off yesterday during Women’s History Month and runs through Sunday, March 12th. The official table of contents for this week will be updated daily, and you can read RogerEbert.com publisher Chaz Ebert’s introduction here, along with an excerpt from it below…
“While we honor women’s writing and contributions to the film and television industry all year long, there is still a freshness in reading the views of a variety of women curated especially for this week. […] A big Thank You to all of our cherished contributing writers for sharing your insights with us: Beth Accomando, Sarah Adamson, Nandini Balial, Monica Castillo, Olivia Collette, Laura Emerick, Cristina Escobar, Marya Gates, Carla Hay, Ally Johnson, Christy Lemire, Hannah and Cailin Loesch, Caroline Madden, Nell Minow, Sherin Nicole, Sheila O’Malley, Carla Renata, Katie Rife, Peyton Robinson, Niani Scott, Mira Singer, Justine Smith, Whitney Spencer, Susan Wloszczyna, and Stacey Yvonne.”
All the Beauty and the Bloodshed (2022). Directed by Laura Poitras. Synopsis: Follows the life of artist Nan Goldin and the downfall of the Sackler family, the pharmaceutical dynasty who was greatly responsible for the opioid epidemic’s unfathomable death toll. Debuts on HBO on March 19th, 2023.
How to Blow Up a Pipeline (2023). Directed by Daniel Goldhaber. Written by Daniel Goldhaber, Ariela Barer and Jordan Sjol (based on the book by Andreas Malm). Starring Kristine Froseth, Lukas Gage, Sasha Lane. Synopsis: A crew of environmental activists plot a daring plan to disrupt an oil pipelinee. Debuts in the US on April 7th, 2023.
Somewhere in Queens (2023). Directed by Ray Romano. Written by Ray Romano and Mark Stegemann. Starring Ray Romano, Laurie Metcalf, Jennifer Esposito. Synopsis: Leo and Angela Russo live a simple life in Queens, surrounded by their overbearing Italian-American family. When their son ‘Sticks’ finds success on his high school basketball team, Leo tears the family apart trying to make it happen. Debuts in the US on April 21st, 2023.
The Five Devils (2023). Directed by Léa Mysius. Written by Léa Mysius and Paul Guilhaume. Starring Adèle Exarchopoulos, Swala Emati, Sally Dramé. Synopsis: Vicky lives with her mother Joanne and father Jimmie, a man struggling to find his place. When Vicky’s aunt Julia arrives after being released from prison, her presence brings back the past in a violent, magical way. US release date is TBA.
A Disturbance in the Force (2023). Directed by Jeremy Coon and Steve Kozak. Synopsis: Investigating the infamous The Star Wars Holiday Special (1978) with the behind-the-scenes story of how it got made. Debuts in the US on March 11th, 2023.
About My Father (2023). Directed by Laura Terruso. Written by Sebastian Maniscalco and Austen Earl. Starring Robert De Niro, Sebastian Maniscalco, Kim Cattrall. Synopsis: When Sebastian tells his old-school Italian immigrant father Salvo that he is going to propose to his all-American girlfriend, Salvo insists on crashing a weekend with her tony parents. Debuts in the US on May 26th, 2023.
Wildflower (2023). Directed by Matt Smukler. Written by Jana Savage. Starring Kiernan Shipka, Jean Smart, Alexandra Daddario. Synopsis: A coming-of-age film that follows Bea Johnson from birth to graduation as she navigates life with an intellectually disabled parent and an extended family who can’t quite agree on the best way to help. Debuts in the US on March 17th, 2023.
Ghosted (2023). Directed by Dexter Fletcher. Written by Chris McKenna, Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick. Starring Ana de Armas, Chris Evans, Amy Sedaris. Synopsis: The “Knives Out” co-stars team up for a new romance involving spies. US release date is TBA.
The Tutor (2023). Directed by Jordan Ross. Written by Ryan King. Starring Noah Schnapp, Garrett Hedlund, Victoria Justice. Synopsis: Follows a tutor who, after being assigned an unexpected task at a mansion, finds himself struggling with the obsessions of his student, who threatens to expose his darkest secrets. Debuts in the US on March 24th, 2023.
Tori and Lokita (2023). Written and directed by Jean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenne. Starring Pablo Schils, Joely Mbundu, Alban Ukaj. Synopsis: In Belgium today, a young boy and an adolescent girl who have travelled alone from Africa pit their invincible friendship against the cruel conditions of their exile. US release date is TBA.
Sister & Sister (2023). Written and directed by Kattia G. Zúñiga. Starring Ariana Chaves Gavilán, Cala Rossel Campos, Gabriela Man. Synopsis: A heartfelt film about sisterhood, desires, jealousy and youth in the never ending tropical summer of Panama. Debuts in the US on March 11th, 2023.
Revoir Paris (2023). Written and directed by Alice Winocour. Starring Virginie Efira, Benoît Magimel, Grégoire Colin. Synopsis: Three months after surviving a terrorist attack in a bistro, Mia is still traumatized and unable to recall the events of that night. In an effort to move forward, she investigates her memories and retraces her steps. US release date is TBA.
Mafia Mamma (2023). Directed by Catherine Hardwicke. Written by J. Michael Feldman and Debbie Jhoon. Starring Toni Collette, Monica Bellucci, Alessandro Bressanello. Synopsis: An American mom inherits her grandfather’s mafia empire in Italy. Guided by the firm’s consigliere, she hilariously defies everyone’s expectations as the new head of the family business. Debuts in the US on April 14th, 2023.
Everything Went Fine (2023). Directed by François Ozon. Written by François Ozon and Philippe Piazzo (based on the novel by Emmanuèle Bernheim). Starring Sophie Marceau, André Dussollier, Charlotte Rampling. Synopsis: When André, 85, has a stroke, Emmanuelle hurries to her father’s bedside. Sick and half-paralyzed in his hospital bed, he asks Emmanuelle to help him end his life. But how can you honor such a request when it’s your own father? US release date is TBA.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem (2023). Directed by Jeff Rowe and Kyler Spears. Written by Brendan O’Brien (based on characters created by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird). Starring Seth Rogen, Paul Rudd, Jackie Chan. Synopsis: The Turtle brothers as they work to earn the love of New York City while facing down an army of mutants. Debuts in the US on August 4th, 2023.
Haunted Mansion (2023). Directed by Justin Simien. Written by Katie Dippold. Starring Jamie Lee Curtis, Rosario Dawson, Winona Ryder. Synopsis: A single mom named Gabbie hires a tour guide, a psychic, a priest, and a historian to help exorcise their newly bought mansion; after discovering it is inhabited by ghosts. Debuts in the US on July 28th, 2023.
Pi (1998), 8K restoration. Directed by Darren Aronofsky. Written by Darren Aronofsky and Sean Gullette. Starring Sean Gullette, Mark Margolis, Ben Shenkman. Synopsis: A paranoid mathematician searches for a key number that will unlock the universal patterns found in nature. Debuts on IMAX in the US on March 14th, 2023.
Peter Pan & Wendy (2023). Directed by David Lowery. Written by David Lowery and Toby Halbrooks (based on the novel by J.M. Barrie and the 1953 film adaptation by Ted Sears, Erdman Penner, Bill Peet, Winston Hibler, Joe Rinaldi, Milt Banta, Ralph Wright and William Cottrell). Starring Alexander Molony, Ever Anderson, Jude Law. Synopsis: Live-action adaptation of J.M. Barrie’s classic tale of a boy who wouldn’t grow up and recruits three young siblings in London to join him on a magical adventure to the enchanted Neverland island. Debuts in the US on April 28th, 2023.
Unlikeable Female Characters
Matt writes: Author and critic Anna Bogutskaya spoke with our Contributing Editor Nell Minow on the first day of Women Writers Week about her new book, Unlikeable Female Characters: the Women Pop Culture Wants You to Hate. You can read their complete conversation here and watch Anna’s review of Julia Ducournau’s polarizing Palme d’Or-winner “Titane” on Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo’s Film Review YouTube channel in the video embedded above.
Palm Trees and Power Lines
Matt writes: My wife, Cinema Femme publisher Rebecca Martin Fagerholm, and I have been championing Jamie Dack’s shattering debut feature, “Palm Trees and Power Lines,” ever since it received the Best Director prize at last year’s Sundance Film Festival. That made my recent interview with Dack and her film’s phenomenal stars, Lily McInerny and Jonathan Tucker, all the more special. You can read our conversation here.
Earthworm Tractors (1936). Directed by Ray Enright. Written by Richard Macaulay, Joe Traub and Hugh Cummings (based on stories by William Hazlett Upson). Starring Joe E. Brown, June Travis, Gene Lockhart. Synopsis: Alexander Botts is a self-described natural born salesman and master mechanic, who is trying to make a big sale of Earthworm tractors to grouchy lumberman Johnson. Since Botts doesn’t really know anything about tractors, and since the old-fashioned Johnson is opposed to tractors of any kind, it isn’t going to be an easy sell.
Watch “Earthworm Tractors”
Captain Kidd (1945). Directed by Rowland V. Lee. Written by Norman Reilly Raine. Starring Charles Laughton, Reginald Owen, John Carradine. Synopsis: The unhistorical adventures of pirate Captain Kidd revolve around treasure and treachery.
Watch “Captain Kidd”
Life with Father (1947). Directed by Michael Curtiz. Written by Donald Ogden Stewart (based on the memoir by Clarence Day and the play by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse). Starring William Powell, Irene Dunne, Elizabeth Taylor. Synopsis: A straitlaced turn-of-the-century father presides over a family of boys and the mother who really rules the roost.