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Girl Talk is a weekly look at women in film — past, present, and future.
Thank Patty Jenkins — and then thank all the other wonder women who lit up this summer at the box office. This summer, studios released only seven films directed by women (that’s including speciality arms, and even a co-directed production), but the massive success of Jenkins’ “Wonder Woman” is poised to push the total take of female-directed studio films over $1 billion.
Nothing sings quite like “a billion dollars” in Hollywood, but what’s even more heartening is the variety of films in this small group.
“Wonder Woman” is the story of the summer, an $800 million superhero that established Jenkins’ supremacy as director of the highest-grossing live-action movie directed by a woman and reestablished the solvency of the creatively stifled Dceu. It also made plain just how desperate audiences are for female-focused blockbusters. The film stayed in »
- Kate Erbland
Girl Talk is a weekly look at women in film — past, present, and future.
Armed with an Oscar and a distinctive filmmaking sensibility, Sofia Coppola may seem like the sort of filmmaker primed to make the jump to big studio movies. Who wouldn’t want more money and a bigger stage to spend it on? Well, Coppola doesn’t — and she’s right to stay away.
A recent article in Variety questioned if Coppola “may be trapping herself in a boutique bubble of her own,” asking if “perhaps her next move should be to work on a larger scale, to mix it up in some way, to shake herself out of her comfort zone.” Yet the filmmaker has roundly rejected such demands to somehow inflate her portfolio in the name of “growth,” balking at blockbusters and sequels, and resisting the notion that her projects should primarily exist to make a lot of money. »
- Kate Erbland
Is Sofia Coppola ever going to take it to the next level? The answer may be no, and that could be fine. I consider myself a Coppola fan (though I didn’t care much for “The Beguiled”), and part of me thinks that she’s in the perfect place and always has been. In a directorial career that stretches back 18 years, she has made just six features. Only one of them, “Lost in Translation” (2003), ever put her at the center of the white-hot center. Tellingly, it was the one time that she deigned to build an entire film around the personality of a movie star (no slight to Scarlett Johansson, who’s terrific in it, but that movie is defined by Bill Murray), and I feel like I understand why she hasn’t done it since. It’s part of her lone-wolf art mystique. The real star of her movies is Sofia Coppola. Which »
- Owen Gleiberman
2017 has now crossed the halfway mark, so it’s time to take a look back at the first six months and round up our favorite titles thus far. While the end of this year will bring personal favorites from all of our writers, think of the below 28 entries as a comprehensive rundown of what should be seen before heading into a promising fall line-up.
Do note that this feature is based solely on U.S. theatrical releases from 2017, with many currently widely available on streaming platforms or theatrically. Check them out below, as organized alphabetically, followed by honorable mentions and films to keep on your radar for the remaining summer months. One can also see the list on Letterboxd.
Abacus: Small Enough to Jail (Steve James)
Steve James’ filmography has long been about finding entry into larger conversations through intimate portraits. The director’s landmark debut, Hoop Dreams, and latter-day »
- The Film Stage
Born into film ‘royalty’, Sofia Coppola defied sceptics with a string of distinctive films, most recently The Beguiled, for which she won best director prize at Cannes. Here she talks fathers, fashion and the female gaze
Film-makers are not, for the most part, paragons of cool, but Sofia Coppola is different – a director whose pristine aesthetic extends beyond the screen into what her close friend the fashion designer Marc Jacobs admiringly terms an “art of living”. Stephen Dorff, star of her 2010 film Somewhere, deems her coolness contagious: “When she casts me, everyone thinks I’m cool again.” And down in the more lowly ranks of film criticism, standard-issue scepticism becomes fannish enthusiasm when I mention I’m about to interview her: “Oh God, I just want her life,” one friend gushes.
Six feature films into her career, Coppola remains unique in a film industry that, in particular, rarely makes celebrities of female directors. »
- Guy Lodge
Director Sofia Coppola has a unique style of directing that marks her as one of the best female directors today.
Based off the Thomas Cullinan novel, it’s about young women at a girls’ school who are sheltered from the outside world in Virginia during the Civil War. A wounded Union soldier unexpectedly shows up and the woman provides him shelter. Soon, the house is taken over with sexual tensions, rivalries and unexpected turns of events.
The Beguiled is currently playing in nationwide today.
Check out our TV video »
- Nancy Tapia
Things are looking up at the specialty box office as two festival hits, Sundance breakout “The Big Sick” (Amazon/Lionsgate) and Sofia Coppola’s Cannes director-winner “The Beguiled” (Focus Features) both beat all the 2017 limited openings to date. With $87,000 and $60,000 per theater averages respectively, they both accomplished something only one platform film (“Cafe Society”) achieved all last summer. And they did so the same weekend in some of the same theaters.
This shows that core specialty audiences are starving for cinematic nourishment they aren’t getting from mainstream studio fare.
The Big Sick (Lionsgate) – Metacritic: 87; Festivals include: Sundance, South by Southwest, Seattle 2017
$435,000 in 5 theaters; PTA (per theater average): $87,000
Amazon strikes again with its $12-million Sundance acquisition marking the biggest limited opening of the year, »
- Tom Brueggemann
The Virgin SuicidesIn 2015, three significant films were released: Deniz Gamze Ergüven’s Mustang, Mélanie Laurent’s Breathe and Céline Sciamma Girlhood. All three are female stories devoid of the faux candor associated with many male-directed ‘women’s stories.’ There is an astonishing amount of authenticity in these wildly different films, each playing with explorations of the teenage girl psyche with wildly differing results. In Mustang, we met girls whose spirits could never be broken, no matter the odds or imprisonments they faced, from societal to literal, when they’re confined in their home. In Girlhood, we learned these imprisonments could be as psychological and socially constructed as the physical bars placed on their windows in Ergüven’s feature. And in Laurent’s psycho-drama, we face the realities and interplay of teenage cruelty and intimacy found in female friendships in that developmental stage. These films aren’t playing to strictly a female audience, but they feel refreshingly tailor-made to do so. They’re offering up honest and raw depictions of girlhood and femininity on the creative landscape and it was often beautiful, sometimes tragic and all together worth celebrating. It’s something that filmmaker Sofia Coppola has been doing her entire career, and her latest release, the remake of The Beguiled, drives home this point further.Over the course of her career Coppola has developed a distinctive approach to her filmmaking. Her distinct style utilizes—and nearly favors—visuals as a means of storytelling (I’d argue she could tell the same stories in silence with her visual finesse). Along the way she’s also developed an unabashed feminine perspective that, combined with her eye for stylish filmmaking, has set her apart from her male contemporaries. She isn’t just telling stories about women but imbuing them with a sense of femininity.It starts with color, building a point of view from a vibrant palette and the way in which the cinematography capture each female character. A common complaint in current cinema—particularly in blockbusters and tentpole films—has been the gray color grading. Movies that should pop ultimately end up blending in with their background. Coppola defies this expectation, relishing in the pinks of the hats Marie Antoinette or in Scarlett Johansson’s wig in Lost in Translation. She finds color in the yellows of the kitchen in Somewhere—the sunlight radiating through the shades covering a window—or in the baby blues of the sky whizzing past Antoinette. We see the blues that swallow Elle Fanning whole in Somewhere as she hosts a tea party beneath the surface of a pool. She utilizes stark whites in Antoinette's lavish, daisy-infested fields and the sun-bleached morning-after in The Virgin Suicides. Her color palette is distinctive and gives her films a fantastical atmosphere, adding to their unabashed femininity. Her colors aren’t loud and vibrant or muted and hollow, serving as much of a purpose as her storytelling.Her films’ image subvert the male gaze by never allowing the female characters to be exploited as they view her cinematic universe instead through a female friendly lens. We watch the sisters of The Virgin Suicides from afar, sure, and Johansson is sometimes looked at through the eyes of Bill Murray, but more often than not we’re given looks into the worlds of female characters born into male-dominated spaces. Their inclusion is worthy of curiosity, judgement, disdain or damaging admiration. As Roger Ebert once said in a review for Marie Antoinette:“This is Sofia Coppola’s third film centering on the loneliness of being female and surrounded by a world that knows how to use you but not how to value and understand you. [...] Every criticism I have read of this film would alter its fragile magic and reduce its romantic and tragic poignancy to the level of an instructional film. ”When we meet most of Coppola’s delicate, youthful characters in moments of severe isolation—be it on a lonesome carriage ride through a foggy morning, alone in an expansive hotel room meant for two, or in a household where rules are inflicted to keep its inhabitants sheltered and painfully lonely. From The Virgin Suicides to this year's The Beguiled, Coppola has depicted isolation as one of her major themes, approached particularly through the specific point of view.The femininity comes from Coppola’s understanding of these women beyond their psychological or physical cages. So often in films about women, the female characters exist without any sense of female identity; they’re simply judged on their actions, their features or what a wider audience can relate to. Movies about weddings, having children and being mothers and girlfriends play on tropes of what it means “to be a woman” without exploring what it means to be a woman. Coppola, typically working from a place of interested in adolescents mature beyond their years, shows rather than tells us aspects of being a woman through all historical settings and walks of life. Throughout much of cinema’s mainstream history we’ve been told just exactly what it means “to be a man,” definitions that may have changed throughout the decades but have still been firmly covered in a layer of masculine attitude. We have films that dedicate their stories from a male character's birth to their death, detailing the ins and outs of what makes that particular guy tic. For women that sort of nuance through different time periods is much more difficult to come across, and it’s why voices such as Coppola’s are so poignant; they reach and grab hold of those looking for stories they can relate to, that mirror who they are or were in certain periods of their lives. (Until this point, she has had little to no diversity in her films and is mainly showcasing white femininity. Hopefully this is something she’ll change in the future.)All of this makes her directing The Beguiled remake so fascinating. Originally filmed by Don Siegel, adapted from Thomas P. Cullinan’s novel, and starring Clint Eastwood as Corporal John ‘McBee’ McBurney, this is a man’s story: after being wounded during the Civil War, McBurney is taken in by a Southern all-girls boarding school. The female characters are more sinister and less sympathetic. In Coppola’s version there are similar tropes of the mighty headmistress and the school’s young seductress, but yet again, we’re given these depictions through the female point of view; these women have increased agency as we see the story unfold from their worldview. As is the case with The Virgin Suicides, the girls of the boarding house are kept inside and isolated for their own safety, making them curious about and isolated from the outside world. Like with Marie Antoinette, it’s women living amidst the mess men have made, thrown into a society that has displaced them. Coppola’s themes are undoubtedly recurring, flexible and timeless enough to be able to encompass all walks of life that women can identify with, spread wide across history.Coppola’s films are full to the brim with unabashed and gleeful femininity. It’s shown in the way Fanning's role of the daughter in Somewhere is polished and poised, showcasing the wisdom girls possess from a young age as she helps her father (Stephen Dorff) out of his jaded shell. It’s in the naiveté of the sisters of The Virgin Suicides, but also in their world weariness in the face of boyish neighbors who take interest in the reclusive girls. Coppola dismantles the idea of depicting mysterious and shielded women as enigmas rather than humans. We see it in casual shots of modern Converse shoes scattered amongst decadent heels in Marie Antoinette, or in its titular character enjoying the pleasures of sex at her own pace. It is in Johansson’s unyielding gaze and youthful yearning in Lost in Translation and hell, even Emma Watson’s self-absorption in The Bling Ring. To be a female character in Coppola’s film is more than presenting a gender or a trope but instead the director makes the “radical” decision to depict women in all of their grace, kindness, misery and determination in ways that feel very honest. »
Beneath the incessant chirp of crickets, explosions rumble like distant thunder. Somewhere nearby, cannons are firing away. For the girls and the women of Sofia Coppola’s elegantly spare, psychosexual Civil War drama The Beguiled, this daily broadcast from the front lines—muffled by the foliage, accompanying the occasional fingers of smoke reaching skyward above the tree line—is too close and too far for comfort. Hearing it reminds them of the death and danger lurking just out of sight, but also of the intense isolation of life in the foggy, mossy backwoods of wartime Virginia, where the Farnsworth Seminary For Young Ladies sits as quietly as a headstone. It is 1864. The combat rages on. The men have all gone to die. If purgatory has a soundtrack, it’s just the music of a battlefield hell, echoing across nature the way heavy bass bleeds through thin walls.
The hook »
- A.A. Dowd
The spirit of rebellion will be in the air at the Munich Film Festival, which will be occupied by movies focusing on young people protesting against how their societies are run and seeking out a new utopia. The fest runs June 22-July 1.
One of the German films that reflects the theme of “creative resistance” is “The Long Summer of Theory,” says Christoph Groener, who programs the New German Cinema section. The film reflects the feeling among the young that “what is needed is to move from solipsistic thinking to practical doing.”
Irene von Alberti’s pic centers on three women whose apartment is threatened by property speculators. They decide to change their lives, and are “trying to think of new creative forms of living together” that incorporate a sense of “social solidarity.”
The movie “wants to create a new activism where the film itself might be just a starting point and wants to infuse audiences with the need to talk to each other and find ways to create a new society, a new utopia, in which we can thrive,” says Groener.
In Germany, many young filmmakers, faced with the difficulties of raising financing, are turning to low-budget moviemaking to deliver pics “that seem to be totally uncompromised in their creative approach,” Groener says. Many of these films have an improvisational approach that delivers something that is “new, radical and playful.” The films don’t rely on high-production values, but have the ability to be successful internationally, he says.
Other countries are also producing films that form part of “this new juicy cinema that wants to [inspire] a new political activism,” he says. One film that typifies this resistance ethos is Sofia Exarchou’s “Park,” which centers on young people squatting in the decaying Olympic Village in Athens, creating their own community outside of the conventions of Greek society.
Festival director Diana Iljine says a new generation of auteurs is emerging, whose approach is “fresh, not only in terms of the content, but also the aesthetics.” This filmmaking is “not always positive [in its outlook] — not every story ends in a good way — but it is full of hope, and [the filmmakers] have sought for a creative solution.”
The festival is in revolt itself: against simplistic notions of what life, and cinema, is like in countries perceived as posing a threat to the West, such as Iran, Russia and China.
Bernhard Karl, who programs the fest’s international films, says that in some countries “it’s often the case that [filmmakers] don’t have the chance to make political films,” but their movies instead “reflect the political situation in small, personal stories.”
These films offer a peek at the lives of ordinary folks in these countries. Xuebo Wang’s “Knife in the Clear Water” centers on a farmer from the Hui Muslim minority group in China who is obliged to slaughter his bull for a feast, but is unwilling to part with the beloved animal. Mehdi Fard Ghaderi’s “Immortality” gives a snap-shot of life in Iran. The film, which follows six families on a train journey, depicts a microcosm of Iranian society.
Munich Festival Highlights
Claire Denis’ “Let the Sunshine In,” starring Juliette Binoche, opens the fest. The film tells the story of an artist in Paris looking for love and personal fulfillment. “To open with a Claire Denis and Juliette Binoche film is a dream for a festival person like me,” Iljine says.
Sofia Coppola may only be in her mid-40s, but Munich is honoring her with a career retrospective. She won an original screenplay Oscar for “Lost in Translation,” a Venice Golden Lion for “Somewhere,” and the director prize at Cannes with “The Beguiled.”
“There are not many women out there who are as good, as famous, as much of a fashion icon, and coming from such an interesting a background as she does,” Iljine says. “She’s a star and [her films] marked a new way of filmmaking.”
Bryan Cranston, who nabbed four Emmys for “Breaking Bad,” took a Tony for “All the Way” and was Oscar- nommed for “Trumbo,” will receive Munich’s CineMerit Award, which recognizes his “outstanding contributions to the film arts.” He will also present his latest film, “Wakefield.”
Related storiesAsghar Farhadi's 'The Salesman' Triumphs at Munich Film FestivalFilm Review: 'The Have-Nots'Film Review: 'Original Bliss' »
- Leo Barraclough
Up until a few years ago, Sofia Coppola swore she would never do a remake. Then her production designer, Anne Ross, brought Don Siegel's 1971 pulp classic The Beguiled to her attention – and the director saw a film ripe for retelling. A group of Southern belles are holed up at an all-girls school during the Civil War; suddenly, the young women and their headmistress have their isolated existence disrupted by a wounded Union soldier. Nearly half a century ago, Clint Eastwood's Corporal John McBurney behaved as if he had arrived at a brothel, »
Costume designer Stacey Battat’s latest film is “The Beguiled,” which happens to be her fourth collaboration with filmmaker Sofia Coppola. Starring Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst, and Elle Fanning, the film is a Civil War-set psychological thriller that focuses on a Southern girls’ boarding school and the chaos that ensues when a wounded Union soldier (Colin Farrell) arrives. The film has been generating a great deal of buzz since its debut at the 2017 Cannes International Film Festival, where Coppola won a Best Director prize.
Battat’s career as a Hollywood costume designer started in 2007 on Zoe R. Cassavetes’ indie film “Broken English.” Battat has since worked on a number of films including “Freeheld,” “Still Alice,” “What Maisie Knew,” and “The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby.” She has also designed costumes for a host of TV projects including “Mozart in the Jungle” and “Girls.” “The Bling Ring,” “Somewhere,” and Netflix’s “A Very Murray Christmas” are her previous collaborations with Coppola.
Women and Hollywood spoke to Battat about her costume choices, working with Coppola and “The Beguiled” cast and crew, the research it took to bring these strong but embattled women to life, and how costume design is the one Hollywood profession dominated by women.
“The Beguiled” opens in limited release June 23, followed by a wider release June 30.
W&H: What was it like to work on a period piece set in the Civil War?
Sb: This was my first period movie. I had worked on a period TV show (“Z: The Beginning of Everything”), but [working on a film] is a big difference in a lot of ways. It has to be authentic. You can’t decide at the last minute that you wish a costume is red because you have already made it or rented it. That’s not an option. You have to really decide what is going to happen in advance.
W&H: Coppola has an atmospheric style in this film and your costume choices seem to fall right in line with its palette and lighting. What was your collaboration like with her and the other designers?
Sb: We always sit down and talk before production begins. So Anne Ross, the production designer, Sofia, myself, Philippe Le Sourd, our cinematographer, and film editor Sarah Flack sat down to talk about what kind of mood we wanted to create for this movie. I think we work together in a congruous way. It’s also nice to work with the same people over and over because you develop a similar language.
In this particular case, we wanted the film to be eerie but also beautiful. We talked about the film being ethereal, about the characters feeling like ghosts that had been left behind, about the clothes having a diaphanous quality, about light passing through the trees.
W&H: How did you research the Civil War era, and how did you find the fabrics and laces used to make the clothing?
Sb: I went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and visited their textile center. I looked through fabric books from that era and was able to get a good grasp on what kinds of fabrics were available in the 1860s and bought material in retail stores. The buttons and lace are older. I scoured stores to find them.
W&H: How did the social etiquette of the time period play into your design choices?
Sb: The women had to stay covered. I put myself in their mindset and found out they were raised to essentially please men during that time period. I wanted to know what it’s always like to leave before the party is over and what was it like to always want a man to do something for you. I think that these things informed my decisions in a certain way but not in a specific way.
Walking around in a corset is complicated. It’s a different thing. You must breathe and stand differently. You can’t slouch. I think wearing one helped the actresses get into character.
W&H: Can you talk about each actress and what their costume brought to their specific character?
Sb: I wanted Nicole Kidman to feel in charge. I tried to accomplish that by not putting her in very colorful clothes, by putting her in more sedate prints, not flowered but polka dots and stripes.
I wanted Kirsten Dunst to feel romantic. She had come from a city, so in my mind, she was more sophisticated than the other girls. I tried to accomplish that by putting her in diaphanous fabrics.
I wanted Elle Fanning to feel flirty. I hope that the ruffles on her dresses accomplished that.
I wanted Oona Laurence to feel like her clothes were too big because she was either hungry or they were hand-me-downs from other girls at the school.
I put a lot of panels in Angourie Rice’s clothes to show she was still growing. Her fabrics didn’t always match the print, like a light green stripe to lengthen the sleeves of the dress she was wearing.
I wanted Addison Riecke to feel young. She was really funny, and I didn’t know her delivery would be so funny when I was making her costume. I wanted her to feel young and charming.
Emma Howard really looks like she’s from that period. I didn’t have to do a lot. She looked like she belonged to the 1860s.
Sb: Dressing a man in that time period is just easier. There were a lot more constraints to the women’s clothing.
W&H: This film’s production took 26 days. What was it like working in this timeline on an independent film’s budget?
Sb: I had really great team. We were dressing seven to eight people at a time, and we managed to get into a good rhythm. I had the most incredible tailor in New Orleans named Patty Spinelli. I had an incredible costumer named Jennifer Watson. I had the best intern in the world. I feel like these people and support streamlined the production process.
W&H: What is it like being a female costumer designer in Hollywood?
Sb: The one thing I will say is that we are the one profession in Hollywood that is primarily female. I mean, no other area of the profession is. Camera operators, production designers, DPs are generally men but costume designers are generally women — across the board.
Certainly being a woman in Hollywood has certain drawbacks but also merits. I know there is a lot of disparity in the way women are paid as opposed to men, but when I hear about my friends who are lawyers talking about the crazy misogyny that happens in their workplace, I think about how glad I am to be a woman in Hollywood. I wish there were more women filmmakers. There should be more women directors, and more women directors of photography.
Interview: Costume Designer Stacey Battat Talks Creating the Fashions of “The Beguiled” was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »
- Holly Rosen Fink
'In the Fade' with Diane Kruger: Fatih Akin's German-language Avenging Woman drama may give its star the chance to become next awards season Isabelle Huppert. Diane Kruger: 2017–2018 awards season's Isabelle Huppert? The 2003 Cannes Film Festival's Female Revelation Chopard Trophy winner, Diane Kruger was Cannes' 2017 Best Actress winner for Fatih Akin's In the Fade / Aus dem Nichts. If Akin's German drama finds a U.S. distributor before the end of the year, Kruger could theoretically become the Isabelle Huppert of the 2017–2018 awards season – that is, in case the former does become a U.S. critics favorite while we stretch things a bit regarding the Kruger-Huppert commonalities. Just a bit, as both are European-born Best Actress Cannes winners who have been around for a while (in Huppert's case, for quite a while). Perhaps most importantly, like Huppert in Paul Verhoeven's Elle, Kruger plays a woman out for revenge in In the Fade. Diane Kruger-Isabelle Huppert 'differences' There is, however, one key difference between the two characters: in Elle, Huppert wants to avenge her own rape; in In the Fade, Kruger wants to avenge the death of her Turkish husband (Numan Acar) and their son (Rafael Santana) at the hands of white supremacist terrorists. Another key difference, this time about the Kruger-Huppert Cannes Film Festival connection: although Isabelle Huppert became a U.S. critics favorite – and later a Best Actress Oscar nominee – for her performance in Elle, her (unanimous) Best Actress Cannes win was for another movie, Michael Haneke's The Piano Teacher / La pianiste back in 2001. At that time, Huppert also became a U.S. critics favorite (winning Best Actress honors in San Diego and San Francisco; a runner-up in Los Angeles and New York), but, perhaps because of the psychological drama's sexually charged nature, she failed to receive a matching Oscar nod. Last year's Cannes Best Actress, by the way, was Jaclyn Jose for Brillante Mendoza's Philippine drama Ma' Rosa. Huppert had been in contention as well, as Elle was in the running for the Palme d'Or. Diane Kruger Best Actress Oscar nomination chances? A Best Actress nomination for Diane Kruger at the German Academy Awards (a.k.a. Lolas) – for her first German-language starring role – is all but guaranteed. Curiously, that would be her first. As for a Best Actress Oscar nod, that's less certain. For starters, unlike the mostly well-reviewed Elle, In the Fade has sharply divided critics. The Hollywood Reporter, for one, summarized Akin's film as a “thriller made riveting by an emotional performance from Diane Kruger,” while The Guardian's Peter Bradshaw called it a “mediocre revenge drama” with “a not particularly good” star turn. Besides, since the year 2000 just one “individual” Best Actress Cannes winner has gone on to receive an Oscar nomination for the same performance: Rooney Mara*, who, though one of the two leads in Todd Haynes' Carol (2011), was shortlisted in the Oscars' Best Supporting Actress category so as not to compete with her co-star and eventual Best Actress nominee Cate Blanchett. Then there's the special case of Penélope Cruz; the 2006 Best Actress Oscar nominee – for Pedro Almodóvar's Volver – was a Cannes winner as part of that family comedy-drama ensemble†. And finally, despite their Cannes Best Actress win for performances in (at least partly) English-language films, no less than seven other actresses have failed to be shortlisted for the Academy Awards this century. Björk, Dancer in the Dark (2000). Maggie Cheung, Clean (2004). Hanna Laslo, Free Zone (2005). Charlotte Gainsbourg, Antichrist (2009). Juliette Binoche, Certified Copy (2010). Kirsten Dunst, Melancholia (2011). Julianne Moore, Maps to the Stars (2014). Coincidentally, that same year Moore starred in Still Alice, which eventually earned her the Best Actress Oscar. Warner Bros. will be distributing In the Fade in Germany later this year. Regarding the Oscars, whether late in 2017 or late in 2018, seems like it would be helpful if Diane Kruger got a hold of Isabelle Huppert's – and/or Marion Cotillard's and Jean Dujardin's – U.S.-based awards season publicists. * Rooney Mara shared the 2011 Cannes Film Festival Best Actress Award with Emmanuelle Bercot for My King / Mon roi. † Also in the Cannes-winning Volver ensemble: Carmen Maura, Lola Dueñas, Blanca Portillo, Chus Lampreave, and Yohana Cobo. 'The Beguiled' trailer: Colin Farrell cast in the old Clint Eastwood role in Sofia Coppola's readaptation of Civil War-set, lust & circumstance drama. Sofia Coppola ends Cannes female drought About 13 years ago, Sofia Coppola became the first American woman to be shortlisted for the Best Director Academy Award – for the Tokyo-set drama Lost in Translation, starring Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson. Coppola eventually lost in that category to Peter Jackson for the blockbuster The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, but she did take home that year's Best Original Screenplay Oscar statuette. There haven't been any other Oscar nominations since, but her father-daughter drama Somewhere, toplining Stephen Dorff and Elle Fanning, was the controversial Golden Lion winner at the 2010 Venice Film Festival. This year, Coppola has become only the second woman to win the Cannes Film Festival's Best Director Award – for The Beguiled, an American Civil War-set drama based on Thomas P. Cullinan's 1966 novel of the same name (originally published as A Painted Devil). With shades of Rumer Godden's Black Narcissus, The Beguiled follows a wounded Union soldier as he finds refuge at a girls' boarding school in Virginia. Sexual tension and assorted forms of pathological behavior ensue. Tenuous Cannes-Oscar Best Director connection From 2000 to 2016, 20 filmmakers† have taken home the Cannes Film Festival's Best Director Award. Of these, only four have gone on to receive matching Best Director Oscar nominations – but no wins: David Lynch, Mulholland Dr. (2001). Alejandro González Iñárritu, Babel (2006). Julian Schnabel, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007). Bennett Miller, Foxcatcher (2014). Four other Cannes Best Director winners were bypassed by the Academy even though their movies featured – at least a sizable chunk of – English-language dialogue: Joel Coen, The Man Who Wasn't There§ (2001). Paul Thomas Anderson, Punch-Drunk Love (2002). Gus Van Sant, Elephant (2004). Nicolas Winding Refn, Drive (2011). In other words, a Best Director Cannes Film Festival win is no guarantee of a Best Director Academy Award nomination. Ultimately, Sofia Coppola's chances of an Oscar nod in the Best Director category depend on how well The Beguiled is received among Los Angeles and New York film circles, and how commercially successful – for an “arthouse movie” – it turns out to be. † During that period, there were three Cannes Film Festival Best Director ties: 2001: Joel Coen for The Man Who Wasn't There§ & David Lynch for Mulholland Dr. 2002: Im Kwon-taek for Painted Fire & Paul Thomas Anderson for Punch-Drunk Love. 2016: Cristian Mungiu for Graduation & Olivier Assayas for Personal Shopper. Both films opened in the U.S. in spring 2017 and may thus be eligible for the upcoming awards season. § Ethan Coen co-directed The Man Who Wasn't There, but didn't receive credit in that capacity. 'The Beguiled' with Nicole Kidman. The Best Actress Oscar winner ('The Hours,' 2002) had two movies in the Cannes Film Festival's Official Competition; the other one was 'The Killing of the Secret Deer,' also with Colin Farrell. Moreover, Kidman was the recipient of Cannes' special 70th Anniversary Prize. 'Sly' & 'elegant' Also adapted by Sofia Coppola, The Beguiled will be distributed in the U.S. by Oscar veteran Focus Features (Brokeback Mountain, The Danish Girl). The film has generally received positive notices – e.g., “sly” and “elegant” in the words of Time magazine's Stephanie Zacharek – and could well become a strong awards season contender in various categories. The cast includes The Killing of a Sacred Deer actors Nicole Kidman and Colin Farrell, in addition to Kirsten Dunst (the star of Coppola's Marie Antoinette), Somewhere actress Elle Fanning, Oona Laurence, Addison Riecke, Angourie Rice, and Emma Howard. As an aside, Cullinan's novel also served as the basis for Don Siegel's The Beguiled (1971), a Southern Gothic effort adapted by Irene Kamp and former Hollywood Ten member Albert Maltz. In the cast of what turned out to be a major box office flop: Clint Eastwood, Geraldine Page, Elizabeth Hartman, and Jo Ann Harris. Women directors at Cannes & the Oscars For the record, Soviet filmmaker Yuliya Solntseva was the Cannes Film Festival's first Best Director winner, for The Story of the Flaming Years back in 1961. The only woman to have directed a Palme d'Or winner is Jane Campion, for The Piano (1993). Early in 1994, Campion became the second woman to be shortlisted for an Academy Award in the Best Director category. The first one was Lina Wertmüller for Seven Beauties (1976). 'A Gentle Night' & 'Montparnasse Bienvenue' Qiu Yang's short film Palme d'Or winner A Gentle Night should be automatically eligible for the 2018 Academy Awards. But competition, as usual, will be fierce. In the last decade, the only short film Palme d'Or winner to have received an Oscar nomination is Juanjo Giménez Peña's Timecode (2016), in the Best Live Action Short Film category. This article was originally published at Alt Film Guide (http://www.altfg.com/). »
- Steph Mont.
When a shirtless Clint Eastwood starred in The Beguiled in 1971 – he played a wounded Yankee soldier who finds refuge from the Civil War on the grounds of a Southern girls school – he was the boss rooster in a henhouse.
That was then. Now writer-director Sofia Coppola has reshaped that film, based on the 1966 novel by Thomas Cullinan, into a Southern Gothic that simmers with violent undercurrents and dark, subversive wit. Laughs? You bet, though a few of them will stick in your throat.
Coppola, who last month won the directing prize at Cannes, »
Sofia Coppola movies are defined by desolate landscapes, lonely characters, a wry sense of humor, and painterly compositions. For fans of this aesthetic, it’s pretty hard to get it wrong, and Coppola’s nearly 20-year track record attests to the consistency of her talent. From her feature-length debut “The Virgin Suicides” through her latest endeavor, “The Beguiled,” Coppola’s dreamlike visuals and deadpan tone have remained a distinctive voice in American cinema, one filled with gentle, forlorn faces and a world that always seems as though it’s on on the verge of devouring them whole. (If there isn’t already a Reddit forum theorizing that all Coppola movies exist in a single universe governed by the laws of sadness, someone should kick it up.)
While Coppola’s career was set in motion to some degree by the influence of a very famous father, her filmmaking capabilities are hardly dictated by Francis’ accomplishments. »
- Eric Kohn
On Sofia Coppola’s first morning in Provincetown, all she wanted was a lobster roll. “I’ve got to get a lobster roll while I’m here,” she said, sitting on the porch of the Land’s End Inn, overlooking the town that Tennessee Williams called “the edge of the earth.” It was her first time in Cape Cod’s premier gay travel destination, and she was there at the behest of John Waters, who would present her with the Provincetown International Film Festival’s Filmmaker on the Edge Award later that night. “I just got here last night in the rain and the darkness. It’s so pretty,” she said.
Coppola made history earlier this year when she won the coveted best director prize at the Cannes Film Festival, »
- Jude Dry
Remakes are often dismissed out of hand. Most of the time, they’re unnecessary at best and unwatchable at worst. Every so often, however, a worthwhile one comes down the pike and is worth celebrating. This week, we have one to take notice of and actually fete in Sofia Coppola’s The Beguiled. After a successful debut at the Cannes Film Festival, it heads stateside to try and further its chances at sticking around until the precursor season begins. In a somewhat light year for Oscar friendly titles (really, this is the only one, besides The Hero), The Beguiled has at least a fighting chance. The film is, as mentioned above, a remake of the 1971 Don Siegel movie of the same name, which essentially was a Clint Eastwood star vehicle. Set during the Civil War in Virginia, much of the action takes place at a secluded all girls school, one »
- Joey Magidson
Fresh off her landmark best director win at this year’s Cannes Film Festival — only the second woman in the fest’s history to have snagged the esteemed honor — Sofia Coppola was on hand Monday night at the festive premiere of Focus Features’ “The Beguiled,” held at the Directors Guild of America in Hollywood.
“Beguiled” stars Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst, Elle Fanning, Addison Riecke, and Emma Howard were all on hand for the screening and celebration, along with producer Youree Henley and executive producer Fred Roos.
For Fanning, shooting the Civil War period drama on location in Louisiana was a “fun” experience — except, perhaps, for the constricting costumes.
“The costumes were just amazing — except for the corsets,” she joked. “Those were no fun.”
Cannes Film Review: ‘The Beguiled’
But Coppola was precise and daring in her vision, and the cast and crew raved about her directorial prowess.
“When you’re producing, »
- Malina Saval
Cannes 2017 has come to a close and, happily, honored several female directors, writers, and performers. While the 70th edition of the fest has been consistently marked with sexism onscreen and off, it’s heartening to see women like Nicole Kidman, Sofia Coppola, Lynne Ramsay, and Agnès Varda be celebrated for their work. They were among the honorees selected by the festival jury, which included Jessica Chastain, Maren Ade, Fan Bingbing, and Agnès Jaoui.
Kidman took home a specially created 70th Anniversary prize. The Oscar winner had four projects at Cannes this year: Coppola’s Civil War-era gothic “The Beguiled,” Jane Campion’s series “Top of the Lake: China Girl,” the alien comedy-romance “How to Talk to Girls at Parties,” and the mystery “The Killing of a Sacred Deer.” This definitely seems to be the actress’ year and her victory at Cannes could mean good things to come at the Emmys and Oscars.
Coppola was named Best Director for her work on “The Beguiled,” the first woman to win the award in 50 years. The feminist reimagining of 1971 Clint Eastwood drama sees Coppola reuniting with her “Marie Antoinette” and “Virgin Suicides” star Kirsten Dunst as well as Elle Fanning, who toplined Coppola’s “Somewhere.” “Toni Erdmann” helmer Maren Ade accepted the award on Coppola’s behalf and read her thank-you speech. Coppola paid tribute to her family and Campion, the first and only woman to ever win the Palme d’Or, for being such a great role model for other female directors.
Ramsay is the first solo woman to win the screenwriting prize. The writer-director won for her “You Were Never Really Here” screenplay. The film centers on a veteran and former FBI agent turned hired vigilante (Joaquin Phoenix) trying to save a young woman (Ekaterina Samsonov) from a sex trafficking ring. Ramsay tied with “The Killing of a Sacred Deer’s” Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthymis Filippou for the honor.
Varda and graffiti artist and photographer Jr were honored with the Golden Eye (L’Oeil d’Or) prize for their documentary “Faces, Places” (“Visages, Villages”), per The Hollywood Reporter. The doc follows Varda and Jr as they make their way through rural France, photographing and interviewing the people they encounter. As they awarded the duo, the jury said they were “deeply moved” by the film, describing it as “delicate and generous.” The directors received €5,000 ($5,590 Usd) as part of the prize.
Among the other female Cannes honorees are Diane Kruger, who was named Best Actress for her “In the Fade” performance, and Chloe Zhao, who took home the Directors’ Fortnight Art Cinema Award for “The Rider,” a portrait of a Lakota cowboy.
The full list of Cannes 2017’s female award winners is below. Adapted from ScreenDaily and two THR reports.
Diane Kruger (“In the Fade”)
Best Screenplay (Tie)
“Jeune Femme” (Léonor Sérraille)
70th Anniversary Prize
“Faces, Places” (Agnès Varda and Jr)
Art Cinema Award (Directors’ Fortnight)
Sacd Award (Tie)
“Lover for a Day” (Philippe Garrel)
Cannes 2017: Nicole Kidman, Sofia Coppola, & More Take Home Awards was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »
- Rachel Montpelier
After nearly two weeks of viewing some of the best that cinema will have to offer this year, the 70th Cannes Film Festival has concluded. With Ruben Östlund‘s Force Majeure follow-up The Square taking the top jury prize of Palme d’Or (full list of winners here), we’ve set out to wrap up our experience with our favorite films from the festival, which extends to the Un Certain Regard and Directors’ Fortnight side bars. Check out our favorites below, followed by the rest of the reviews. One can also return in the coming months as we learn of distribution news.
120 Beats Per Minute (Robin Campillo)
Sometimes a movie doesn’t need much character development to make an impact. The ensemble cast that comprise Robin Campillo’s AIDS activists in 120 Beats Per Minute all work together to be the same voice. Through this group, the director captures a force »
- The Film Stage
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