Bird Watching – Top 5 Most Anticipated Films Directed by Women

If there’s one thing I hope I’ve done with this column so far, it’s show that though the overall percentages may be very skewed toward male filmmakers, there are many, many interesting projects out there being made by women. The numbers are getting better all the time, too—for this list of my five anticipated projects, I really had a hard time narrowing things down. Creating excitement and buzz for these films before they’re released is almost as important as seeing them when they are, so if I can contribute to that just a little bit, I’ll be a happier person.

With that, here’s the list:

5. Lamb of God, written and directed by Diablo Cody

Described in a press release as a story about a young religious woman who loses her faith, then finds it again on a detour to Vegas, this will be the first film where Cody directs her own script. One of the things I like so much about her is that she tries many different kinds of stories, but always with a female character at the center of things. I very much like the idea of her stretching out into directing, staying in charge of her own written voice. (I won’t say the same about her involvement with the next installment in the Evil Dead franchise, and that’s because, no matter how great her contributions might be, no good can come of it for her. Haters will only hate.) This one is still very early in the production process, but I’ll be extremely interested to hear who’s cast in the main role.

4. Friends With Kids, written and directed by Jennifer Westfeldt

Originally on my list of films I was most looking forward to in 2011, this one has been pushed back to sometime in 2012. Jennifer Westfeldt is a solid writer and actress, especially in the film from which most people probably know her best, Kissing Jessica Stein. This is her directorial debut, and it’s chock full of great people: Jon Hamm (her real-life partner, the lucky lady), Adam Scott, half the cast of Bridesmaids… The story revolves around two friends who decide that having a child seems to ruin romantic relationships, so they should have one with each other, and pursue romance separately. Just a wild guess that hijinks ensue. Any comedy with a woman as the driving force is a welcome sight for me, and I hope this one ends up being as intelligent as the list of contributors hints at.

3. Vamps, written and directed by Amy Heckerling

Do we need more vampire stories? Maybe not. But you guys know what a huge, huge fan of Clueless I am. Since then, Heckerling’s career hasn’t lived up to that level. But Vamps will reunite her with Alicia Silverstone, also too often absent from big projects in recent years. She and Krysten Ritter are modern day women living in New York City, who just happen to be vampires. Ok, the premise sounds a bit groan-worthy…but also, Wallace Shawn plays a character named Dr. Van Helsing! I want it to be good so bad, you guys. Don’t judge.

2. Thin Ice, written by Jill Sprecher and Karen Sprecher, directed by Jill Sprecher

Originally titled “The Convincer,” this film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival this year, but does not have a wide release date yet. It was recently acquired by ATO Pictures (hence the, in my opinion, ill-advised title change), so a release date announcement is expected soon. The film stars Billy Crudup, Greg Kinnear, Lea Thompson (awesome, where has she been?) and Alan Arkin, and seems to be a sort of dark-comedy-thriller, with Kinnear as an insurance agent who tries to con Arkin, and Crudup as an associate who complicates things. I’m a fan of the previous collaboration of the Sprecher sisters, the bold ensemble film Thirteen Conversations About One Thing (2001). They could put a great spin on the talky-thriller genre.


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Brandi is one of those people who worries about kids these days not appreciating black and white films. She also admires great moments of subtlety, since she has no idea how to be subtle herself.

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