From international marches to blockbuster superheroes, women are making their mark in 2017. At the Cannes Film Festival, Sofia Coppola made history as the first woman to win the Best Director award in 56 years for her atmospheric thriller The Beguiled. Adapted from Thomas P. Cullinan’s novel, the film explores the complex tensions that arise at Miss Martha Farnsworth’s Seminary for Young Ladies when a wounded Union solider ends up there during the Civil War. “It's a story about a group of women (of different ages) and the dynamics within them,” explains Coppola. It is also about the creative alchemy of a mostly female cast, including Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst, and Elle Fanning. (The Beguiled will be in limited theaters on June 23 before opening nationwide.)
As part of Focus Features’ 15th anniversary celebration, we celebrate the power of women working together, both as characters and cast. If you are looking for even more big-screen girl power, check out Charlize Theron as an army of one in the upcoming Cold War action thriller Atomic Blonde.
Carey Mulligan and Meryl Streep march for their rights in Suffragette.
Relive a remarkable moment of history in Sarah Gavron’s Suffragette as women in Britain stand up to demand their right to vote. Spurred on by activist Emmeline Pankhurst (Meryl Streep), everyday women––like Maud Watts (played by Carey Mulligan)––take to the streets to change the world together. Penned by Abi Morgan, Suffragette delivers, according to The New York Times, a story of women that is “stirring and clear-eyed—the best kind of history lesson.”
Lauren Miller and Ari Graynor invest in friendship in For A Good Time, Call….
Although frenemies in college, Lauren (Lauren Miller) and Katie (Ari Graynor) mend fences and turn a profit when they move in together and start a sex-chat line in Jamie Travis’ comedy For a Good Time Call,…. As the two go from penniless to prosperous by playing off each other strengths, it’s not all about the money. As the New York Post points out, “they’re also falling hard—if platonically —for each other.”
Frances McDormand and Amy Adams complete each other in Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day.
Opposites attract in Bharat Nalluri’s period romp Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day. When the unemployed Miss Pettigrew (Frances McDormand) lands at the doorstep of girl-about-town Delysia Lafosse (Amy Adams), neither has any idea how much they need each other. The two stars also found comic chemistry together. Adams, who loves McDormand’s work, exclaims, “to get to act opposite her and do comedy opposite her … was really, really fun."
Annette Bening and Julianne Moore raise a family in The Kids Are All Right.
In Lisa Cholodenko’s family comedy The Kids Are All Right, Annette Bening and Julianne Moore are married and raising two kids--Mia Wasikowska and Josh Hutcherson—in Southern California, when the appearance of their sperm-donor dad (Mark Ruffalo) turns the happy family upside down. Moore jumped at the chance of working with Bening and Cholodenko: “You never get to do that. Just to be around women. It's very exciting.”
The crème de la crème of French film make up 8 Women.
As a nod to George Cukor’s masterpiece The Women, François Ozon gathered eight of France’s best actresses—including Catherine Deneuve, Isabelle Huppert, Emmanuelle Béart, and Ludivine Sagnier—for 8 Women, an Agatha Christie-style mystery all dressed as up as a fifties Technicolor musical. There are no men in the film, other than a husband with a knife in his back. It is the “French screen royalty assembled by Ozon,” explains the Chicago Reader, that “make this a delight from beginning to end.”
Get 8 Women now at Amazon.