This year’s Patty Jenkins-directed take on Marvel’s “Wonder Woman” was the seventh highest grossing film of 2017. The blockbuster, starring Gal Godot, was an empowering ode to women around the world as well as a step forward in addressing the lack of female directors in Hollywood. In September, Jenkins closed the deal to direct the sequel, slated for release on December 13th, 2019.
Kitty Green takes a fresh look at the ever-mystifying case of the murder of pageant queen JonBenét Ramsey in her third documentary, “Casting JonBenét.” Green explores the various theories surrounding Ramsey’s death by documenting actors in Boulder, Colorado (where the Ramsey family lived) auditioning for roles—as JonBenét herself as well as her mother, father, brother, and police officers involved in the case—in a fictional film about the murder. The result: a chilling work that muses on society’s fascination with tragedy.
Battle of the Sexes
44 years ago, female tennis player Billie Jean King beat Bobby Riggs, a retired former #1 player in the men’s circuit who gained much attention for his chauvinist comments on the supposedly inferior quality of women’s tennis, in a match broadcast to a worldwide audience of an estimated 90 million people. Director Valerie Faris teamed up with husband Jonathan Dayton to direct Emma Stone and Steve Carrell in “Battle Of The Sexes,” a film exploring the historical tennis match and its context in feminism.
Sofia Coppola’s Civil War drama, “The Beguiled,” garnered her Best Director at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, making her the second woman (besides Katherine Bigelow in 2009) to ever win this distinction. Based on the 1966 novel “A Painted Devil,” Coppola’s “Beguiled” is a modern follow up to Don Siegel’s 1971 screen adaptation of the text. “You can really feel the difference when a woman handles the same material as a male director,” former Newsday movie critic Gene Seymour told the New York Times. Coppola’s “did Siegel one better,” he added.
You Were Never Really Here
Lynne Ramsey, known for “We Need To Talk About Kevin,” returned with this year with a new thriller, “You Were Never Really Here.” Starring Joaquin Phoenix as Joe, a former FBI agent turned contract killer hired to save a senator’s daughter from a sex trafficking ring, the film delves into trauma and its effects on the psyche.