A few months back I wrote a post on films directed by women that will be coming out in 2015. More films have been released since then, including The Riot Club (Lone Scherfig), Just Before I Go (Courteney Cox), Ride (Helen Hunt), Welcome to Me (Shira Piven) and Hot Pursuit (Anne Fletcher). Now there are also set release dates for two of the films I had briefly written about, the two Madame Bovary adaptations by Anne Fontaine and Sophie Barthes. To give you a sense of what’s coming up on the moviegoing schedule, here are sixteen films with release dates as soon as this Friday and as far off as November.
May 15: Every Secret Thing (dir. Amy Berg) – This crime drama about missing children, women detectives and women suspects has a screenplay by Nicole Holofcener (Enough Said) based on a novel by Laura Lippman. The film stars Diane Lane, Dakota Fanning, Elizabeth Banks (herself a new director with Pitch Perfect 2, coming out this Friday), Common, Nate Parker and Renée Elise Goldsberry.
May 15: Pitch Perfect 2 (dir. Elizabeth Banks) – Actress Banks makes her feature-length directorial debut with this sequel to the runaway musical hit from 2012. Banks has a supporting role in this new film but the main stars are Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Brittany Snow, Skylar Astin, Anna Camp, Adam DeVine, John Michael Higgins, Ester Dean, Hana Mae Lee, Ben Platt, Alexis Knapp and Kelley Jakle, all of whom reprise their roles from the first installment as a cappella singers competing for dominance in nationwide and global contests. Newcomers to the franchise include Hailee Steinfeld, Katey Sagal, Birgitte Hjort Sørensen and Flula Borg. The screenplay is by Kay Cannon (who also wrote the script for the first Pitch Perfect film), based on the characters originally created by nonfiction writer Mickey Rapkin. Technically I wrote about Pitch Perfect 2 in the blog post that I linked to at the top of this page, but I figure a reminder can’t hurt since the film is coming out so soon.
May 22: Aloft (dir. Claudia Llosa) – Jennifer Connelly stars as a mother struggling to reconnect with the son she left twenty years earlier. The film also stars Cillian Murphy, Mélanie Laurent (who just directed a film, Breathe, which will probably be in U.S. theaters sometime this year), Peter McRobbie and Oona Chaplin (28-year-old daughter of Geraldine and granddaughter of Charlie). Aloft was nominated for the Golden Berlin Bear at last year’s Berlin International Film Festival and the director, Claudia Llosa (who also wrote the original screenplay), is most famous for her film The Milk of Sorrow (2009), which was nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, representing Peru.
May 22: Sunshine Superman (dir. Marah Strauch) – Strauch’s documentary chronicles the life and career of skydiver/BASE jumper and aerial cinematographer Carl Boenish. Strauch also served as one of the film’s three editors.
May 29: Gemma Bovery (dir. Anne Fontaine) – The classic tale of Madame Bovary is updated to modern-day Normandy in this romantic dramedy adapted by director Anne Fontaine and Pascal Bonitzer from a graphic novel by Posy Simmonds. English actress Gemma Arterton stars in the title role, Niels Schneider and Jason Flemyng play two love interests and the rest of the cast is rounded out by Fabrice Luchini, Elsa Zylberstein, Pip Torrens, Edith Scob and Kacey Mottet Klein.
June 5: An Open Secret (dir. Amy Berg) – Just three weeks after her fiction film Every Secret Thing opens in theater, an Amy Berg-directed documentary will be released. This film tells the harrowing story of sex abuse perpetrated against teenage boys within the movie industry and how Hollywood hushed it all up. The film’s cinematography, Jenna Rosher, previously worked on Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady’s Jesus Camp (2006), Abby Epstein’s The Business of Being Born (2008) and Dori Berinstein’s Carol Channing: Larger Than Life (2012).
June 12: Madame Bovary (dir. Sophie Barthes) – This period-piece adaptation of Flaubert’s novel stars Mia Wasikowska in the title role as well as a supporting cast including Rhys Ifans, Paul Giamatti, Ezra Miller, Logan Marshall-Green, Laura Carmichael and Henry Lloyd-Hughes. The screenplay was written by director Sophie Barthes with Felipe Marino and the costumes were designed by Valérie Ranchoux with Christian Gasc.
June 12: The Wolfpack (dir. Crystal Moselle) – This documentary about a family living in near-seclusion in a New York City apartment caused quite a stir at Sundance, winning the festival’s Grand Jury Prize. The reason: “A subject matter this unusual may invite scrutiny yet the celebration of the power of imagination reflects the spirit of Sundance.” Moselle was not only the director but also the camera operator and one of the film’s producers.
June 19: Infinitely Polar Bear (dir. Maya Forbes) – Mark Ruffalo stars as a divorced father trying to win back his ex-wife, played by Zoe Saldana. Veteran actor Keir Dullea (David and Lisa, 2001: A Space Odyssey) also appears in the cast. Infinitely Polar Bear marks the directorial debut for writer-director Forbes, who has been writing and producing for film and television since the early 1990s.
June 26: Batkid Begins: The Wish Heard Around the World (dir. Dana Nachman) – The tale of five-year-old leukemia patient Miles Scott and his ambition to become “Batkid” inspired people nationwide and across the world. Miles’ story is told in this documentary co-produced by Nachman and Liza Meak and also executive- or assistant-produced by Teresa Fraley, Holly Jachowski and Kylie West, among others.
July 24: Unexpected (dir. Kris Swanberg) – Swanberg directed and co-wrote (with Megan Mercier) this comedy about two surprise pregnancies. Nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, the cast includes Cobie Smulders, Anders Holm, Gail Bean and Elizabeth McGovern. The cinematography is by Dagmar Weaver-Madsen, who has won acclaim for her work on the film 10,000 KM, a romance by Spanish-American director Carlos Marques-Marcet which will be in U.S. theaters on July 10.
August 7: The Diary of a Teenage Girl (dir. Marielle Heller) – Heller’s directorial debut, for which she adapted the screenplay from a novel by Phoebe Gloeckner, tells the story of fifteen-year-old Minnie (played by Bel Powley), a girl living in 1970s-era San Francisco and quite desperate to grow up. Kristen Wiig plays Powley’s mother, Alexander Skarsgård plays Wiig’s boyfriend (who also has relations with Powley) and Christopher Meloni plays Wiig’s ex-husband and Powley’s ex-stepdad. Diary was co-edited by Marie-Hélène Dozo (who has cut nearly all of the Dardenne brothers’ films since 1996) with Koen Timmerman, the costumes are by Carmen Grande, art direction is by Emily K. Rolph and set decoration is by Susan Alegria.
August 21: Learning to Drive (dir. Isabel Coixet) – Spanish director Coixet has made many well-received romantic dramas in the last twenty years (Things I Never Told You, My Life Without Me, The Secret Life of Words, Elegy, etc.) but now she has made a romantic comedy. Written by New York-born Sarah Kernochan (who has been writing and directing for over forty years), the film stars Patricia Clarkson, Ben Kingsley, Sarita Choudhury, Jake Weber, Grace Gummer, Samantha Bee and John Hodgman. Legendary editor Thelma Schoonmaker co-edited the film with Keith Reamer.
August 21: Sleeping with Other People (dir. Leslye Headland) – Three years after her directorial debut, Bachelorette (2012), Headland has written and directed another comedy, this time focusing on two sex addicts played by Alison Brie and Jason Sudeikis. Their bond, as well as their commitment not to have a relationship with each other, forms the basis for this update of the When Harry Met Sally… formula. Sleeping also stars Adam Scott, Natasha Lyonne, Amanda Peet, Jason Mantzoukas, Marc Blucas, Andrea Savage and Daniella Pineda.
October 23: Suffragette (dir. Sarah Gavron) – A long-awaited biopic concerning major figures from the early days of the feminist movement in the UK, Carey Mulligan plays a young woman living in late 19th century/early 20th century England and fighting for the rights being denied to her and other women. Meryl Streep plays pivotal figure Emmeline Pankhurst, Helena Bonham Carter plays Edith New and other key characters are played by Brendan Gleeson, Ben Whishaw, Romola Garai, Anne-Marie Duff and Samuel West. Abi Morgan, who wrote Suffragette’s screenplay, also wrote or co-wrote screenplays for Sarah Gavron’s Brick Lane (2007), Steve McQueen’s Shame (2011), Phyllida Lloyd’s The Iron Lady (2011) and Ralph Fiennes’ The Invisible Woman (2013). Costume design is by Jane Petrie, production design is by Alice Normington and set decoration is by Barbara Herman-Skelding.
November 13: By the Sea (dir. Angelina Jolie) – One year after her film Unbroken, Jolie’s newest directorial effort is an original story written and co-produced by her. It stars Jolie and husband Brad Pitt in a romantic drama set in France during the 1970s. The cast includes Mélanie Laurent, Melvil Poupaud, Niels Arestrup and Richard Bohringer. The film is being edited by Patricia Rommel, who edited Caroline Link’s Beyond Silence (1996) and Nowhere in Africa (2001), Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck’s The Lives of Others (2006), Michael Hoffman’s The Last Station (2009) and Angelina Jolie’s In the Land of Blood and Honey (2011).