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‘Alias Grace’ Review: Margaret Atwood’s Novel Once Again Gets Beautiful, Brutal, and Feminist Treatment in Netflix Miniseries

‘Alias Grace’ Review: Margaret Atwood’s Novel Once Again Gets Beautiful, Brutal, and Feminist Treatment in Netflix Miniseries
Brace yourself: You’re going to want to binge “Alias Grace.” The six-episode limited series — streaming now on Netflix following its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival and subsequent broadcasting in Canada on the CBC — is downright hypnotic, rapturous, and engrossing.

Watching evokes the sense of sinking into a great novel, which seems only fitting, given that it’s based on the 1996 book by Margaret Atwood, one of our greatest living novelists. But everything in the execution is owed to the detail-rich writing of Sarah Polley and direction of Mary Harron, who take this real-life tale of murder and give it rich depths, digging into the harm done to a human soul by a lifetime of oppression.

At the center of “Grace” is Grace Marks (played by Sarah Gadon in a star-making turn), a 19th-century Irish immigrant convicted of a notorious double murder, whose mental state comes
See full article at Indiewire Television »

‘Alias Grace’ Review: Margaret Atwood’s Novel Once Again Gets Beautiful, Brutal, and Feminist Treatment in Netflix Miniseries

  • Indiewire
‘Alias Grace’ Review: Margaret Atwood’s Novel Once Again Gets Beautiful, Brutal, and Feminist Treatment in Netflix Miniseries
Brace yourself: You’re going to want to binge “Alias Grace.” The six-episode limited series — streaming now on Netflix following its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival and subsequent broadcasting in Canada on the CBC — is downright hypnotic, rapturous, and engrossing.

Watching evokes the sense of sinking into a great novel, which seems only fitting, given that it’s based on the 1996 book by Margaret Atwood, one of our greatest living novelists. But everything in the execution is owed to the detail-rich writing of Sarah Polley and direction of Mary Harron, who take this real-life tale of murder and give it rich depths, digging into the harm done to a human soul by a lifetime of oppression.

At the center of “Grace” is Grace Marks (played by Sarah Gadon in a star-making turn), a 19th-century Irish immigrant convicted of a notorious double murder, whose mental state comes
See full article at Indiewire »

7 Essential Debut Films Directed By Female Filmmakers, From ‘Ratcatcher’ to ‘The Virgin Suicides’

7 Essential Debut Films Directed By Female Filmmakers, From ‘Ratcatcher’ to ‘The Virgin Suicides’
When Greta Gerwig’s already-lauded “Lady Bird” hits limited release later this week, the actress-writer-director will join a long line of other female filmmakers who used their directorial debut (this one is Gerwig’s solo directorial debut, just for clarity’s sake) to not only launch their careers, but make a huge mark while doing it. Gerwig’s Saoirse Ronan-starring coming-of-age tale is an instant classic, and one that shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to anyone who has enjoyed Gerwig’s charming work as a screenwriter in recent years, bolstered by her ear for dialogue and her love of complicated and complex leading ladies.

While Hollywood still lags when it comes to offering up opportunities to its most talented female filmmakers, many of them have overcome the dismal stats to deliver compelling, interesting, and unique first features. In short, they’re good filmmakers who made good movies,
See full article at Indiewire »

Sarah Gadon on How Margaret Atwood's Work Resonates in Hollywood’s Truth-Telling Climate (Exclusive)

Sarah Gadon on How Margaret Atwood's Work Resonates in Hollywood’s Truth-Telling Climate (Exclusive)
In light of the recently amplified conversation surrounding sexual harassment and sexual assault in Hollywood, Margaret Atwood’s 1996 novel, Alias Grace, feels at once timely and timeless. The new six-part Netflix miniseries, set in 19th-century Canada, tussles with a lot of the same themes that are making headlines today: female agency, abortion, immigrant rights and class tensions.

Adapted by Sarah Polley for the screen, Alias Grace weaves in and out of the life of Grace Marks, an Irish immigrant and servant girl who finds herself thrust into the public spotlight as a “celebrated murderess” after her master and his mistress are brutally killed at their farm. Grace and stableman James McDermott are both convicted of the crime. But while McDermott (Kerr Logan) is hanged, Grace is sentenced to life imprisonment. A church committee sets out to prove her innocence, citing hysteria or psychological issues (Grace cannot recall committing the murders), enlisting the help of Dr. Simon Jordan (Edward Holcroft), a physician
See full article at Entertainment Tonight »

Quote of the Day: Sarah Polley on How Directing Made Her More Aware of Hollywood’s Sexism

Polley on the set of “Take This Waltz”: Magnolia Pictures/IMDb

Actress, writer, and director Sarah Polley is sharing her story about Harvey Weinstein. The producer propositioned Polley, the “Stories We Tell” helmer writes in an opinion piece for the New York Times. Weinstein suggested that a “very close relationship” with him would mean more acting work for her. “I indicated that he was wasting his time,” Polley recalls. “I just didn’t care that much about an acting career. I loved acting, still do, but I knew, after 14 years of working professionally, that it wasn’t worth it to me, and the reasons were not unconnected to the tone of that meeting.”

As she hints, that encounter with Weinstein was not the first time Polley came up against Hollywood’s misogyny. But she didn’t realize how much show business normalizes predatory behavior until she started directing her own projects.

“Shortly afterward, I started writing and directing short films. I had no idea, until then, how little respect I had been shown as an actor. Now there were no assistant directors trying to cajole me into sitting on their laps, no groups of men standing around to assess how I looked in a particular piece of clothing,” Polley details. “I could decide what I felt was important to say, how to film a woman, without her sexuality being a central focus without context.”

After having a positive, collaborative experience with Julie Christie on the set of her directorial debut, “Away From Her,” Polley decided to return to acting. But while she was more confident in her abilities and voice, Hollywood’s treatment of women was the same as ever. “This industry doesn’t tend to attract the most gentle and principled among us,” Polley says of the alpha male directors and producers she’s worked with. “I had two experiences in the same year in which I went into a film as an actor with an open heart and was humiliated, violated, dismissed and then, in one instance, called overly sensitive when I complained.”

“For a long time, I felt that it wasn’t worth it to me to open my heart and make myself so vulnerable in an industry that makes its disdain for women evident everywhere I turn,” Polley emphasizes. Her ambivalence about the craft is understandable: female actors endure an unbelievable amount of shitty treatment and face a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” situation when they consider speaking out.

Hopefully, as Polley mentions in her piece, the Weinstein case will mark a turning point. “I hope that the ways in which women are degraded, both obvious and subtle, begin to seem like a thing of the past,” she writes. Amen.

Polley received an Oscar nomination in 2008 for writing “Away From Her,” which stars Christie as a woman living with Alzheimer’s. Polley’s other directorial credits include the infidelity drama “Take This Waltz” and “Stories We Tell,” a documentary about her own family and parentage. She also penned the upcoming Netflix miniseries “Alias Grace,” an adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s novel.

Quote of the Day: Sarah Polley on How Directing Made Her More Aware of Hollywood’s Sexism was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
See full article at Women and Hollywood »

Sarah Polley Calls Weinstein "One Festering Pustule in a Diseased Industry"

Sarah Polley Calls Weinstein
Sarah Polley — known for directing such films Away From Her and Take This Waltz — has added her name to the growing list of women who've accused Harvey Weinstein of predatory behavior.

In an op-ed posted via The New York Times, Polley details an encounter she says she had with the mogul during a meeting. During a photo shoot, Polley, who has also appeared in films such as Dawn of the Dead and Splice, explained she was pulled out of the session abruptly. "The publicist said that we needed to be in Harvey Weinstein’s office in 20 minutes,"...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Sarah Polley Says Harvey Weinstein Is ‘One Festering Pustule in a Diseased Industry’

  • Indiewire
Sarah Polley Says Harvey Weinstein Is ‘One Festering Pustule in a Diseased Industry’
Sarah Polley has her own Harvey Weinstein story, and though the “Away From Her” and “Stories We Tell” director calls it “comparatively tame” it’s troubling all the same — especially because, as the actor-turned-filmmaker writes in the New York Times, the disgraced executive “was just one festering pustule in a diseased industry.” The incident itself is said to have taken place after a photo shoot for “Guinevere,” a film in which Polley starred that Miramax (then run by Weinstein) released in 1999.

Read More:The Academy Expels Harvey Weinstein, Breaking with Tradition

Polley alleges that, during a meeting that two others were present for, Weinstein told her that the two of them having a “close relationship” would be beneficial for her career. “‘That’s how it works,’ I remember him telling me. The implication wasn’t subtle.” She says she rejected his unsubtle proposition in part because she “wasn’t very ambitious or interested in acting.
See full article at Indiewire »

Here Are 59 Actors Who Landed Oscar Nominations For Portraying Characters With Disabilities

Here Are 59 Actors Who Landed Oscar Nominations For Portraying Characters With Disabilities
Triumph over adversity is drama defined, and Oscar nominations often go to actors whose characters find victory over physical or mental afflictions. The earliest example goes back to 1947; that was the year that non-pro Harold Russell won Best Supporting Actor and a special award for “The Best Years of Our Lives.” Russell was a WWII veteran who lost both of his hands while making a training film. Of note: Of the 59, 27 of these nominations went on to a win. This year’s roster of stars playing afflicted characters includes Jake Gyllenhaal as bombing victim Jeff Baumer in “Stronger,” Andrew Garfield as polio survivor Robin Cavendish in “Breathe,” Bryan Cranston as a millionaire quadriplegic in “The Upside,” and Sally Hawkins in two roles, as an arthritic painter in “Maudie” and a mute lab worker in “The Shape of Water.”

Check out Oscar’s rather astonishing legacy of afflicted contenders below.

Blind
See full article at Thompson on Hollywood »

Here Are 59 Actors Who Landed Oscar Nominations For Portraying Characters With Disabilities

  • Indiewire
Here Are 59 Actors Who Landed Oscar Nominations For Portraying Characters With Disabilities
Triumph over adversity is drama defined, and Oscar nominations often go to actors whose characters find victory over physical or mental afflictions. The earliest example goes back to 1947; that was the year that non-pro Harold Russell won Best Supporting Actor and a special award for “The Best Years of Our Lives.” Russell was a WWII veteran who lost both of his hands while making a training film. Of note: Of the 59, 27 of these nominations went on to a win. This year’s roster of stars playing afflicted characters includes Jake Gyllenhaal as bombing victim Jeff Baumer in “Stronger,” Andrew Garfield as polio survivor Robin Cavendish in “Breathe,” Bryan Cranston as a millionaire quadriplegic in “The Upside,” and Sally Hawkins in two roles, as an arthritic painter in “Maudie” and a mute lab worker in “The Shape of Water.”

Check out Oscar’s rather astonishing legacy of afflicted contenders below.

Blind
See full article at Indiewire »

Fall 2017 TV Preview: New Shows By and About Women to Check Out

Star Trek: Discovery”: CBS Entertainment

We are officially in the throes of the fall television season — and the next couple of months will be an especially good time for women on the small screen. From now until Thanksgiving there will be a bunch of new female-driven projects to check out across broadcast, cable, and streaming platforms.

This Sunday marks premiere of the much-anticipated “Star Trek: Discovery,” a feminist prequel to the Kirk and Spock-led 1966 original. The CBS All Access series revolves around two women of color: Starfleet officer Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) and Captain Georgiou (Michelle Yeoh).

October will see the bows of several women-created series. Among them are two ABC shows: Tassie Cameron’s child abduction drama “Ten Days in the Valley” starring Kyra Sedgwick, and Michele Fazekas and Tara Butters’ “Kevin (Probably) Saves the World,” a dramedy about depression, faith, and life. The CW will also debut the reboot of “Dynasty,” co-created by Stephanie Savage and Sallie Patrick. The update of the classic soap will focus on the not-too-friendly relationship between a woman and her same-aged stepmother-to-be.

Three women-hosted talk shows will also kick off in October. Sarah Silverman and Robin Thede will take on politics and current events in Hulu’s “I Love You, America” and Bet’s “The Rundown,” respectively. And Amy Sedaris will instruct us on cooking and crafting via her manic, twisted worldview in the truTV series “At Home With Amy Sedaris.”

The second Margaret Atwood TV adaptation this year, “Alias Grace,” will hit Netflix in early November. Written by Sarah Polley and directed by Mary Harron, the Canada-set miniseries follows Grace Marks, an Irish immigrant accused and convicted of murder. For lighter November fare, turn to “Smilf” and “She’s Gotta Have It,” both of which are comedies inspired by films. Frankie Shaw’s “Smilf” is about a young mother trying to find romantic and professional fulfillment, which is extra difficult since she is also raising a child. “She’s Gotta Have It,” meanwhile, sees an independent Brooklyn artist juggle relationships with three different men.

Here are just some of the new series and television projects from and about women premiering this fall.

Star Trek: Discovery” (Premieres September 24 on CBS All Access)

Star Trek: Discovery”: CBS All Access

What it’s about: Set a decade before Kirk and Spock’s adventures on the Enterprise, “Star Trek: Discovery” centers on a female Starfleet officer named Michael (Sonequa Martin-Green), her captain (Michelle Yeoh), and the rest of the crew of the USS Discovery as they encounter new worlds and beings as they travel throughout space.

Why we’re excited: While the number of black and Asian female characters on TV is slowly increasing, it’s still uncommon for a series to feature more than one woman of color, let alone two female lead characters of color. So it seems “Discovery” will be a trailblazer in that regard. Also, per an early trailer, it appears that the mentor-protege relationship between Captain Georgiou and Michael will be a main focus. We think a feminist, diverse “Star Trek” is the sci-fi project 2017 needs right now.

The Magic School Bus Rides Again” (Premieres September 29 on Netflix)

The Magic School Bus Rides Again

What it’s about: Kate McKinnon will lead this reboot of the classic kids’ series. Ms. Fiona Frizzle — younger sister of Lily Tomlin’s original Ms. Valerie Frizzle — takes the students of Walkerville Elementary on scientific, adventure-filled field trips with the help of a very special school bus.

Why we’re excited: If “Hidden Figures” taught us anything, it’s that young female viewers crave stories about women in Stem fields. “The Magic School Bus Rides Again” is both a project that will expose young women to the wonders of science and serve as a worthy successor to the “Magic School Bus” of the ’90s. Plus, with her habit of playing smart, weird, enthusiastic characters, McKinnon is the perfect actress to follow in Tomlin’s footsteps.

“Ten Days in the Valley” — Created and Written by Tassie Cameron (Premieres October 1 on ABC)

“Ten Days in the Valley”

What it’s about: Jane Sadler (Kyra Sedgwick) is the producer of a controversial television series about the police. Also a single mother, Jane’s personal and professional lives are upended when her daughter goes missing.

Why we’re excited: Sedgwick has a knack for playing skilled law enforcement officials (“The Closer,” “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”) and also had a memorable turn as a lonely widowed mother in last year’s “Edge of Seventeen.” “Ten Days in the Valley” is a drama that will bridge those two aspects of Sedgwick’s talents and could potentially provide meta-commentary on the way police cases are portrayed on TV versus the way they work in reality.

“9Jkl” — Co-Created by Dana Klein (Premieres October 2 on CBS)

What it’s about: Newly divorced actor Josh Roberts (Mark Feuerstein) returns home to New York City and moves into an apartment bookended by his parents and his brother.

Why we’re excited: “9Jkl” is loosely based on star Feuerstein’s own experiences and was co-created and is exec produced by the actor’s wife, Dana Klein. With a woman in one of the series’ creative roles, it’s likely that “9Jkl” will be more than the typical “dude who can’t get away from his overbearing family” fare. It’s also possible that Klein’s presence behind-the-scenes will mean that the roles of Josh’s mother (Linda Lavin) and sister-in-law (Liza Lapira) will be given more depth than is usual for female characters in broad sitcoms.

The Halcyon” — Created by Charlotte Jones (Premieres October 2 on Ovation)

The Halcyon

What it’s about: This glamorous British import is set in a five-star hotel in WWII-era London. “The Halcyon” takes us into the lives of the socialites and guests who frequent the hotel as well those who work at the venue, and explores how everyone has been affected by the war.

Why we’re excited: “The Halcyon” aired earlier this year in Britain and will finally be available in the U.S. come October. Produced by the people behind “Downton Abbey” and “The Crown,” the series has the potential to become the newest obsession for Anglophiles, fans of period dramas, or anyone who appreciates well-executed costume design. And, of course, “The Halcyon’s” focus on war, politics, and class divisions will also make for some great pop culture think pieces.

“Kevin (Probably) Saves the World” — Created by Michele Fazekas and Tara Butters (Premieres October 3 on ABC)

“Kevin (Probably) Saves the World”

What it’s about: A self-absorbed but unhappy young man (Jason Ritter) is tasked with saving the world by a celestial figure named Yvette (Kimberly Hébert Gregory) after he moves in with his widowed sister (JoAnna Garcia Swisher).

Why we’re excited: For one, anything from former “Agent Carter” showrunners Michele Fazekas and Tara Butters is worth checking out. But “Kevin (Probably) Saves the World” also stands out because it appears to be the rare project that explores faith and the role it can play in people’s lives. Considering the series’ description and the fact that ABC categorizes it as “a light drama,” “Kevin” has the potential to join “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” and “Jane the Virgin” in the growing comedy-with-big-ideas TV genre.

Dynasty” — Co-Created by Stephanie Savage and Sallie Patrick (Premieres October 11 on The CW)

Dynasty

What it’s about: This reboot of the classic primetime soap will present the epic rivalry between the uber-wealthy Carrington and Colby families through the sparring Carrington women: Fallon (Elizabeth Gillies) and her very young stepmother-to-be, Cristal (Nathalie Kelley). Glamour, betrayal, conspicuous consumption, and murder ensue.

Why we’re excited: Over-the-top soap operas can be a lot of fun and “Dynasty” co-creator Stephanie Savage has a knack for building compelling shows around the equal parts fascinating and revolting lives of the crazy rich (Savage has previously worked on “The O.C.” and “Gossip Girl”). Not to mention that the best soaps are the ones whose protagonists are both villains and heroes. It seems the new “Dynasty” will have that in spades with Fallon and Cristal.

“I Love You, America” (Talk Show) (Premieres October 12 on Hulu)

What it’s about: Hosted by Sarah Silverman, the weekly series will be a balanced take on the current political climate and the 45th president. Silverman will present us the week’s most pressing topics with her personal commentary, interviews with people who don’t necessarily agree with her, and of course, many, many jokes.

Why we’re excited: In the Trump era, it can be hard to find any news outlet (comedic or otherwise) that isn’t imbued with despair. And if there’s one thing Silverman’s comedy is known for, it’s the performer’s wonder-filled, childlike persona. Optimism and lightness are in short supply right now, so it will be a relief to have a host like Silverman present the garbage fire that is the world through her trademark perkiness. It will also be interesting to see how many times per episode Silverman will manage to reference “pussy-grabbing.”

“The Rundown With Robin Thede” (Talk Show) (Premieres October 12 on Bet)

Thede: Bet

What it’s about: Robin Thede (“The Nightly Show”) will examine the latest in politics and pop culture through commentary, sketches, and parodies. As Thede told The Hollywood Reporter when news of “The Rundown” broke, “This is going to be a show that is absolutely geared to a black audience and told from a black, female perspective.”

Why we’re excited: Thede is already in the TV history books for being the first black female head writer on a late-night comedy show and she’s sure to bring the insightful, razor-sharp observations about race and gender she honed at “The Nightly Show” to “The Rundown.” Further, while there is the rare white female voice in late-night comedy (Samantha Bee and, soon, Sarah Silverman), black women have not had the opportunity to engage as much with political comedy — so it seems like “The Rundown” will see Thede blaze yet another trail.

“The Day I Met El Chapo: The Kate del Castillo Story” (Docuseries) (Premieres October 20 on Netflix)

Del Castillo: Netflix

What it’s about: Actress Kate del Castillo will share her side of the infamous del Castillo-Sean Penn-Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán story in this three-part Netflix documentary miniseries.

Why we’re excited: While the 2016 meeting between between del Castillo, Penn, and the drug lord El Chapo made international headlines, not many details are known about del Castillo’s role in the rendezvous. It was reported that she “brokered” the meeting and effectively introduced Penn and El Chapo, but the rest of her story has not yet been told. It will be interesting to learn del Castillo’s reasons for working with one of the world’s most-wanted criminals and it seems that Netflix will offer audiences information that has previously been kept from the public, including never-before-seen footage of del Castillo, Penn, and El Chapo’s interaction.

At Home With Amy Sedaris” (Talk Show) — Co-Created by Amy Sedaris (Premieres October 24 on truTV)

At Home With Amy Sedaris

What it’s about: This “Martha Stewart Living” spoof sees actress and writer Amy Sedaris cook, bake, and craft alongside guests like Jane Krakowski, Rachel Dratch, and Sasheer Zamata. Sedaris will present her expertise on the domestic arts through segments like “Entertaining the Grieving” and “The Craft of Love Making” and a song about the appropriate uses for each type of glue.

Why we’re excited: Sedaris has been stealing scenes as a guest star for years (see: “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” “Broad City,” “Difficult People”) and it’s been 17 years since “Strangers with Candy” went off the air. Needless to say, it’s high-time she starred in her own series. Spending a half-hour with Sedaris each week will be amazing and if we learn how to make fancy, probably X-rated center pieces along the way, so much the better.

Alias Grace” (Miniseries) — Directed by Mary Harron; Written by Sarah Polley (Premieres November 3 on Netflix)

Alias Grace”: Sabrina Lantos/Netflix

What it’s about: Adapted from Margaret Atwood’s historical novel, “Alias Grace” centers on 19th century “murderess” Grace Marks (Sarah Gadon), who was accused and eventually convicted of killing her employer and co-worker. After 10 years of maintaining her innocence in prison, Grace tells her story — or what she can remember of it — to a psychiatrist (Edward Holcroft).

Why we’re excited: Well, if “The Handmaid’s Tale” is any indication, adaptations of Atwood’s work tend to make great TV. As in “The Handmaid’s Tale,” “Alias Grace” centers on a woman trapped in a terrifying, misogynistic system. What makes “Alias Grace” even more chilling is that it is based on the true story of Grace Marks and it’s unclear whether Grace herself is a patsy or a sociopath. And, of course, the upcoming Netflix show is written by “Away from Her” and “Stories We Tell” helmer Sarah Polley and is directed by “American Psycho’s” Mary Harron. There’s no way we’re missing a project that boasts talented women on and offscreen.

Smilf” — Created by Frankie Shaw (Premieres November 5 on Showtime)

Smilf”: Mark Schafer/Showtime

What it’s about: Frankie Shaw stars in, writes, directs, and produces this comedy about a young single mother who finds it’s hard to balance the duties of motherhood with an active sex life, relationships, and a career. “Smilf” is based on Shaw’s 2015 short film of the same name.

Why we’re excited: “Smilf” appears to be a spiritual spinoff of another one of our favorite shows, “Catastrophe,” the Amazon comedy about a couple navigating the ugly realities of parenthood and marriage. With her sexual frankness, her awkward conversations with her gynecologist, and intense love for her kid, Shaw’s “Smilf” character, Bridgette, could be Sharon Morris’ younger, slightly more insecure American sister.

“Danica” (Documentary) — Directed by Hannah Storm (Premieres November 8 on Epix)

Danica Patrick: Nascarking/Wikimedia Commons

What it’s about: Racecar driver and mogul Danica Patrick looks back on her career in the male-dominated world of racing — and provides viewers a glimpse into her life off the speedway — in this documentary from sports broadcast journalist Hannah Storm.

Why we’re excited: Most people who have heard of Danica Patrick know that she’s a Nascar driver, but probably couldn’t tell you too much else about her. Storm’s doc presents a full picture of Patrick as a person, not just as one of the few women in a sport that’s especially male-driven. We’re confident that Storm’s vision will make “Danica” a particularly compelling story. After building a successful career in the man’s world of sports journalism, the director herself is surely familiar with being known as the only woman in the room.

Anne of Green Gables: The Good Stars” (TV Movie) (Premieres November 23 on PBS)

Anne of Green Gables: The Good Stars

What it’s about: This sequel to the 2016 TV movie “Anne of Green Gables” sees Anne Shirley (Ella Ballentine), now 13 years old, struggling to support her family as her guardian Matthew’s (Martin Sheen) health begins to fail. Anne also discovers she has romantic feelings for Gilbert (Drew Haytaoglu), which threatens her close friendship with Diana (Julia Lalonde).

Why we’re excited: Between last year’s “Anne of Green Gables” and the Netflix series “Anne with an E,” L.M. Montgomery’s beloved heroine seems to be making a major comeback. Which makes total sense: Anne is headstrong and true to herself, and must face plenty of hardships at home and at school. That’s something most 13-year-old girls can personally relate to. Keeping that in mind, “The Good Stars” could make for the perfect family — and feminist — Thanksgiving entertainment.

“She’s Gotta Have It” (Premieres November 23 on Netflix)

“She’s Gotta Have It”: David Lee/Netflix

What it’s about: Based on Spike Lee’s 1986 romantic comedy of the same name, “She’s Gotta Have It” centers on artist Nola Darling (DeWanda Wise) as she splits her time between building her career and spending time with her friends and three lovers (Cleo Anthony, Lyriq Bent, and Anthony Ramos).

Why we’re excited: Sex-positive depictions of women on TV have increased in the past few years, but it’s still fairly rare to see a female character who is, on the whole, unconcerned with having a monogamous relationship. Also, “She’s Gotta Have It” seems like the perfect show to fill the “Insecure”-shaped hole in our lives. Like the ladies of Issa Rae’s HBO series, Nola is an intelligent, flawed black woman trying to carve out a space for herself in both the professional and social spheres. And we definitely could see Issa, Molly, Kelli, and Tiffany attending one of Nola’s art shows.

Fall 2017 TV Preview: New Shows By and About Women to Check Out was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
See full article at Women and Hollywood »

Netflix releases trailer for Margaret Atwood adaptation Alias Grace

Netflix has debuted a new trailer for the upcoming adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s novel Alias Grace. The historical drama series features a cast that includes Sarah Gadon, Kerr Logan, Paul Gross, Anna Paquin, Edward Holcroft, Rebecca Liddiard, Kerr Logan, Zachary Levi, and David Cronenberg; take a look below…

Based on the award-winning novel by Margaret Atwood and inspired by true events, Alias Grace is written and produced by Sarah Polley (Take This Waltz, Away from Her) and directed by Mary Harron (American Psycho, I Shot Andy Warhol). The six-hour miniseries tells the story of Grace Marks (Sarah Gadon), a young, poor Irish immigrant and domestic servant in Upper Canada who – along with stable hand James McDermott (Kerr Logan) – finds herself accused and convicted of the infamous 1843 murders of her employer, wealthy farmer Thomas Kinnear (Paul Gross), and his housekeeper Nancy Montgomery (Anna Paquin).

Alias Grace is set to premiere
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Sexual Harassment on Film Sets Is an ‘Everyday Occurrence,’ Sarah Polley Reveals

Sexual Harassment on Film Sets Is an ‘Everyday Occurrence,’ Sarah Polley Reveals
Sarah Polley is done skirting around the issues. “I’m done trying to make elegant films that subtly talk about something. This isn’t the time for that,” the actress turned director said of the pervasive sexual harassment and gender inequality in film and television. “There are things that would make your blood run cold. And women have just had to put up with it.”

Polley is in Toronto with “Alias Grace,” her new series based on the novel of the same name by Margaret Atwood. Helmed by “American Psycho” director Mary Harron, and adapted for the screen by Polley, the series boasts all female producers but one. It is based on the true story of Grace Marks, a housemaid and Irish immigrant who was imprisoned in 1843 for the murder of her employer. Polley had long harbored visions of adapting the true crime story, and after a string of critically successful feature films,
See full article at Indiewire »

Tiff 2017 Adds More Programs: “Alias Grace” Series to Make World Premiere

Alias Grace”: Jan Thijs/Netflix

The Toronto International Film Festival announced even more programs for its 2017 edition today. In addition to the Canadian and Cinematheque film lineups, Tiff unveiled the finalists for Telefilm Canada Pitch This! in which filmmaking teams will have the chance to pitch their film idea to a panel of industry experts. The fest also announced that Montreal filmmaker Anne Émond (“Our Loved Ones,” “Nuit #1”) has been selected as the 2017 Len Blum Resident.

One of our most anticipated TV projects of the year, Netflix’s adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s novel “Alias Grace,” will make its world premiere in Tiff’s Canadian slate, a collection of works from Canadian filmmakers. “Alias Grace” is a six-part miniseries about Grace Marks (Sarah Gadon), a real-life Irish immigrant and servant in 1840s Upper Canada who was accused — and convicted — of murdering her employer and his housekeeper. The series is written and produced by Sarah Polley (“Stories We Tell,” “Away from Her”) and directed by Mary Harron (“American Psycho,” “I Shot Andy Warhol”).

In honor of Canada’s 150th birthday, this year’s Cinematheque event will celebrate Canadian filmmakers by “revisiting and restoring landmarks of Canada’s cinematic history.” Cinematheque will feature a screening of the digitally-restored “I’ve Heard the Mermaids Singing,” written and directed by Patricia Rozema (“Into the Forest”). The 1987 comedic drama follows a photographer (Sheila McCarthy) who discovers that a gallery owner and talented painter (Paule Baillargeon) is actually passing off her lover’s (Ann-Marie MacDonald) artwork as her own.

The Len Blum Residency will see Émond live and work at Tiff Bell Lightbox for two months. She will also receive mentorship from Blum himself, the veteran screenwriter of films like “Stripes” and “Meatballs.” Émond has directed four features and several shorts. Her most recent film, “Nelly,” made its world debut at Tiff 2016. It is a biopic about Canadian novelist Nelly Arcan.

Tiff will be held September 7–17, 2017. Check out the women-directed and co-directed films in the Canadian, Cinematheque, and Pitch This! slates below. Lists and synopses adapted from Tiff.

Canadian

Masters

“Our People Will Be Healed”

Alanis Obomsawin, Canada World Premiere

Discovery

“Ava”

Sadaf Foroughi, Iran/Canada/Qatar World Premiere

Mary Goes Round

Molly McGlynn, Canada World Premiere

“Never Steady, Never Still”

Kathleen Hepburn, Canada World Premiere

Contemporary World Cinema

Meditation Park

Mina Shum, Canada World Premiere

Porcupine Lake

Ingrid Veninger, Canada World Premiere

Primetime

Alias Grace

Mary Harron, Canada/USA World Premiere

Cinematheque

“I’ve Heard the Mermaids Singing”

Patricia Rozema, Canada, 1987

Pitch This!

“12 Days,” Jennifer Mesich, Tracey Deer

Inspired by the remarkable true story of an Indigenous woman who overcame the odds to survive 12 days in the Canadian wilderness. Attacked by a trusted friend, she suffered a broken jaw and was left to die. She persevered and lived to tell the tale.

“Boring Girls,” Coral Aiken, Hannah Cheesman

A deadly coming-of-age story about two teenage girls, Rachel and Fern, who become rising stars in the death metal scene. After experiencing an assault, they decide to embark on a bloody quest for revenge, more gruesome than any of their lyrics.

“Fall from the Sky,” Dan Montgomery, Deragh Campbell, Kaz Radwanski

Lucy, a 30-year-old woman with symptoms of schizophrenia, works as a teacher at a Toronto daycare centre. She begins to experience episodes at work, and struggles to navigate her employment, students, co-workers and personal relationships.

Imposter,” Adam Goldhammer, Evan Landry, Katie McMillan

Lamia Eaton, a teenager isolated on a remote maple farm, investigates her mother’s uncharacteristic and increasingly eerie behavior. As she begins to unearth an evil presence infecting the farm, Lamia is no longer able to trust anyone, including herself.

“Nadia, Butterfly,” Dominique Dussault, Pascal Plante

“Nadia, Butterfly” reveals the backstage world of the Olympic Games through the eyes of Nadia, a 20-year-old butterfly swimmer. Doubt-ridden about her post-Olympic future after winning bronze for Team Canada at the relay, her very last professional event, Nadia loses herself into lustful nights of excesses, punctuated by episodes of deep questioning.

Tiff 2017 Adds More Programs: “Alias Grace” Series to Make World Premiere was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
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The 80th Academy Awards: If I had been a voter

Here we go again folks! As promised (though perhaps a bit later than initially planned), I’m diving back into the world of previous Oscar ceremonies. This time, I have my sights set on the 80th Academy Awards ceremony. You should know the drill by now. I’m going to state what I would have picked in the major eight categories if I had been lucky enough to have been able to vote. In most cases, it deviates from the actual winner. You’ll see how much that was the case this time around, and sit tight, as I do hope to make this a bit more of a consistent thing (excuse the gap again) and really go back as far as I can go. Until then, just enjoy this new one… Alright then, once again here goes nothing ladies and gentlemen…behold my picks for this particular ceremony: Best
See full article at Hollywoodnews.com »

Kathryn Bigelow Is Responsible for the Two Best Movies Directed by Women, According to Metacritic — See the Top 25

Kathryn Bigelow Is Responsible for the Two Best Movies Directed by Women, According to Metacritic — See the Top 25
After naming Alfonso Cuarón the best-reviewed filmmaker of the 21st century and Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer the worst, Metacritic’s next list explores the 25 best movies directed by women. Unsurprisingly, Kathryn Bigelow takes both the #1 and #2 spots with “Zero Dark Thirty” and “The Hurt Locker,” respectively.

Read MoreAlfonso Cuarón Is the Best Director of the 21st Century, According to Metacritic — See the Top 25

Bigelow became the first woman to win the Academy Award for Best Director with the latter, a painfully tense drama about the Iraq War. (Her latest, “Detroit,” just misses the list by a few points.) Ava DuVernay also shows up twice (with “Selma” and “13th”), as does Sarah Polley (“Away from Her” and “Stories We Tell”), while the likes of Sofia Coppola, Mia Hansen-Løve, and Maren Ade are represented as well. Here’s the data-driven review aggregator’s full list:

Read MoreUwe Boll Isn’t the
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‘Alias Grace’ Trailer Asks: Inhuman Female Demon, or Innocent Victim?

After the raucous success of The Handmaid's Tale on Hulu, another of Margaret Atwood's novels is getting adaptation, this time on Netflix. The miniseries Alias Grace is based on her historical crime novel of the same name, and is being written by Sarah Polley (Away from Her) and directed by Mary Harron (American Psycho). The story focuses on a young Irish immigrant (Sarah Gadon) in 1840s Canada who is convicted -- along with a stable hand -- of the brutal murder of her employer and his housekeeper. Of course, things are not quite that simple. The case has been a …
See full article at Collider.com »

Top Alien Films

Director Ridley Scott and Katherine Waterston (Daniels) on the set of Alien: Covenant

Alien: Covenant opened in theaters this past weekend and brought in an estimated $36 million at the box office.

Fox’s film enjoyed a solid global debut performance as the Ridley Scott directed film that is the second of the prequel series and the sixth Alien feature film in the franchise earned $66.3 million globally.

In space, no one can hear you scream. After nearly four decades, those words remain synonymous with the sheer, relentless intensity of Ridley Scott’s masterpiece of futuristic horror, Alien. Now, the father of the iconic franchise returns once more to the world he created to explore its darkest corners with Alien: Covenant, a pulse-pounding new adventure that pushes the boundaries of R-rated terror.

The films timeline line up as such:

Engineers create humanity. Archaeologists Elizabeth Shaw and Charles Holloway discover humanity’s origins
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First trailer and images for Margaret Atwood adaptation Alias Grace

Following the recent adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, another of the author’s novels Alias Grace is heading to the small screen with a six-part miniseries, and we’ve got a batch of first look images for the upcoming historical drama along with a trailer. Directed by Mary Harron and produced by Sarah Polley, the series stars Sarah Gadon, Kerr Logan, Paul Gross, Anna Paquin, Edward Holcroft, Rebecca Liddiard, Kerr Logan, Zachary Levi, and David Cronenberg; take a look below…

Based on the award-winning novel by Margaret Atwood and inspired by true events, Alias Grace is written and produced by Sarah Polley (Take This Waltz, Away from Her) and directed by Mary Harron (American Psycho, I Shot Andy Warhol). The six-hour miniseries tells the story of Grace Marks (Sarah Gadon), a young, poor Irish immigrant and domestic servant in Upper Canada who – along with stable hand
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

First Look: Netflix’s Margaret Atwood Adaptation ‘Alias Grace,’ Written By Sarah Polley & Directed By Mary Harron

This spring, Hulu‘s stunning adaptation of Margaret Atwood‘s “The Handmaid’s Tale” has become one of the major television talking points among critics and audiences, and the good news for both is that another one of the author’s works is coming to the small screen, and it also looks like it’ll pack a wallop.

Penned by Sarah Polley (“Away From Her,” “Take This Waltz“) and directed by Mary Harron (“American Psycho“), Netflix‘s “Alias Grace” is inspired by the true story of Grace Marks (Sarah Gadon), a young, poor Irish immigrant and domestic servant in Upper Canada who — along with stable hand James McDermott (Kerr Logan) — finds herself accused and convicted of the infamous 1843 murders of her employer, wealthy farmer Thomas Kinnear (Paul Gross), and his housekeeper Nancy Montgomery (Anna Paquin).

Continue reading First Look: Netflix’s Margaret Atwood Adaptation ‘Alias Grace,’ Written By Sarah Polley
See full article at The Playlist »

Sarah Polley To Direct ‘The Best Kind Of People’

Sarah Polley has hit an enviable creative groove. After the director caught everyone’s attention with 2006’s “Away From Her,” she pivoted to the messy but emotionally affecting “Take This Waltz,” and then delivered the terrific, genre-pushing documentary “Stories We Tell.” She’s currently at work on delivering her TV series adaptation of Margaret Atwood‘s “Alias Grace” for Netflix, and now has a new feature cooking which sounds right in her wheelhouse.

Continue reading Sarah Polley To Direct ‘The Best Kind Of People’ at The Playlist.
See full article at The Playlist »
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