By Jennifer Merin
WeNews film critic
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
The film adaptation of "Eat, Pray, Love" opens Aug. 13, the same date as Sylvester Stallone's high-testosterone "Expendables." It's a face-off that Jennifer Merin says could test male-female movie-going might.
"Salt of This Sea," opening Aug. 13, is written and directed by Palestinian filmmaker Annemarie Jacir. It's a drama with romantic overtones in which Brooklyn-born Soraya (Suheir Hammad), the daughter of Palestinian refugees, returns to Jaffa to reclaim her grandfather's frozen bank account. She winds up meeting Emad (Saleh Bakri), a young Palestinian man who dreams of emigrating to Canada, and becomes profoundly affected by the social and political realities of her ancestral home.
"Nanny McPhee Returns," opening Aug. 20, marks the welcome reappearance of the wise, snaggletooth, magical governess who converts family chaos into cooperation. This time, Nanny McPhee (Emma Thompson) is summoned to a rural household where kids and visiting cousins are running wild and desperately need discipline. In her decidedly quirky manner, Nanny McPhee delivers a series of important lessons that would be helpful in any home. Great for mother-daughter movie watchers, it's directed by Susanna White, with Emma Thompson's script, based on Christianna Brand's books. Two of our favorite Maggies--Gyllenhaal and Smith, that is--also give magnificent performances.
August 27 marks the opening of three films directed by women.
"Going The Distance" is a romantic comedy directed by esteemed documentary filmmaker Nanette Burstein ("American Teen"). Drew Barrymore stars as Erin, a gal who falls in love six weeks before she's set to leave town and must then cope with the difficulties of a long-distance relationship. Characters and storyline may be predictable, but Barrymore gives a good show.
French filmmaker Daniele Thompson's "Change of Plans"("Le Code a Change") is an ensemble romantic comedy, written by Thompson with her son, Christopher. The film, in French with English subtitles, presents a tangle of intimate relationships among a group of friends who meet periodically for dinner, mixing soap opera and sitcom elements in a most entertaining and delectable way.
Peruvian filmmaker Claudia Llosa wrote and directed "The Milk of Sorrow"("La Teta Asustada"), a disturbing drama about the effects of terrorism on the women who survive it and their daughters. The film's exquisite cinematography incorporates unusual and stunning visual imagery to symbolize its themes and the struggles of its characters. In Spanish with English subtitles, the film opens in New York on August 27 and in Los Angeles in September.
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In addition to covering film for Women's eNews, Jennifer Merin writes about documentaries for About.com (http://documentaries.About.com) and is president of the Alliance of Women Film Journalists (www.AWFJ.org), a nonprofit organization of the leading women film journalists in the U.S. and Canada.
Alliance of Women Film Journalists:
By Caryl Rivers
By Sarah Seltzer
By Claire Bushey