Browse By

Women Directors 2018

See a comprehensive list of theatrical releases and movies released via streaming and other platforms (dvd, television, video on demand) as well as the reviewed films.

Stella’s Last Weekend | Polly Draper
Feature | Written by Polly Draper
Released October 12 | Paladin

Polly Draper achieves a delicate balance in Stella’s Last Weekend, blending real-life family dynamics with a fictional narrative to create an achingly funny exploration of loss. This showcase for her sons Nat and Alex Wolff is a far cry from The Naked Brothers Band, the boisterous Nickelodeon series she created, which co-starred their father, pianist/composer Michael Wolff. The precocious musicians went on to play numerous awkward teens, and now reunite as bantering brothers who have both fallen for Violet (Paulina Singer). [more]

Living in the Future’s Past | Susan Kucera
Documentary | Released October 5 | Vision Films and Trafalgar Releasing

Nothing makes the point of this stay-calm-and-carry-on ecology documentary better than a power outage during a thunderstorm, a brief blip in our comfortable lives that triggers deep fears and a reminder that nature can’t be tamed. The big ideas swirling through Living in the Future’s Past all boil down to a simple premise: Our response to climate change is predicated on environmental ambivalence, especially the cycle of panic and complacency that inhibits thoughtful long-term planning. [more]

The Swan | Ása Helga Hjörleifsdóttir
Debut Feature | In Icelandic | Written by Ása Helga Hjörleifsdóttir
Based on Guðbergur Bergsson’s 1991 novel
Released August 10 | Synergetic Distribution

Anchored by a remarkable child’s performance, The Swan is a sensitive example of an overlooked element in coming-of-age films: awakening to the outside world. Nine-year-old Sól (Gríma Valsdóttir) is an insular girl, her imagination fueled by the craggy shoreline and unceasing sea that surround her small Icelandic coastal community. She’s angry and resentful at being sent away for the summer, a banishment presented in Guðbergur Bergsson’s 1991 novel as the punishment for shoplifting. [more]

Good Manners | Juliana Rojas and Marco Dutra
Feature | In Brazilian Portuguese | Written by Juliana Rojas and Marco Dutra
Released July 27 | Distrib Films US

Juliana Rojas and Marco Dutra’s contemporary fairy tale is a heady blend of heightened reality and grounded fantasy set in a São Paulo envisioned as an orderly steel-and-glass fortress surrounded by the colorful chaos of improvised neighborhoods. High and low are clearly delineated, and when Clara (Isabél Zuaa) arrives at the condo tower where a demanding, pregnant Ana (Marjorie Estiano) is interviewing potential nannies, her unease is expressed in twitchy discomfort. The visual style (color-saturated modern gothic) and tone of empathic fatalism can be described as Guillermo del Toro meets Jacques Demy, but Rojas and Dutra have created a singular fable where anxiety and fear are directed inward, even when the danger is all too real. [more]

Pin Cushion | Deborah Haywood
Debut Feature | Written by Deborah Haywood
Released July 20 | Cleopatra Entertainment

Deborah Haywood’s formidable first feature is at once a ruthless dissection of cruelty, capturing the relentless torment of outcasts for the pleasure of self-styled superiors, and a warm evocation of an interdependent mother-daughter bond. Pin Cushion has the visual cues of comedy, with its candy-colored kitsch and exaggerated signifiers of eccentricity and snobbery, but at heart, it’s a tragedy of naïveté. [more]