Weekly Update for January 15: Women Centric, Directed and Written Films Playing Near You

The Lady In The VanFilms About Women Opening This Week

The Lady in the Van (Opens in Los Angeles and New York)

The film tells the true story of Alan Bennett’s (Alex Jennings) strained friendship with Miss Mary Shepherd (Maggie Smith), an eccentric woman of uncertain origins, who "temporarily" parked her broken down van in Bennett’s London driveway… and proceeded to live there for the next fifteen years. (Press materials) 

Films About Women Currently Playing

The Forest – Co-Written by Sarah Cornwell
Trust Fund – Written and Directed by Sandra L. Martin
The Abandoned
Joy – Story by Annie Mumolo
45 Years
Other People’s Children – Directed by Liz Hinlein; Written by Adrienne Harris
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Sisters – Written by Paula Pell 
The Lady in the Car with Glasses and a Gun
Chi-Raq
The Letters
Janis: Little Girl Blue (Documentary) – Directed by Amy Berg 
The Danish Girl – Written by Lucinda Coxon 
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2
Carol – Written by Phyllis Nagy
Mustang – Directed by Deniz Gamze Ergüven; Written by Deniz Gamze Ergüven and Alice Winocour
Brooklyn
Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict (Documentary) – Directed by Lisa Immordino Vreeland; Co-Written by Lisa Immordino Vreeland and Bernadine Colish
Flowers/Loreak
Suffragette – Directed by Sarah Gavron; Written by Abi Morgan
Truth
Sicario
Grandma

Films Directed by Women Opening This Week

None

Films Directed by Women Currently Playing

Yosemite – Written and Directed by Gabrielle Demeestere 
The 33 – Directed by Patricia Riggen
Love the Coopers – Directed by Jessie Nelson
Heart of a Dog (Documentary) – Written and Directed by Laurie Anderson
The Intern – Written and Directed by Nancy Meyers

Films Written by Women Opening This Week

In the Shadow of Women – Co-Written by Caroline Deruas and Arlette Langman 

Pierre (Stanislas Merhar) and Manon (Clotilde Courau) are a pair of poor documentary makers, who scrape by with odd jobs. When Pierre meets young trainee Elisabeth (Lena Paugam), he falls for her, but wants to keep Manon at the same time. But the new girl in his life finds out that Manon has a lover. When she tells Pierre, the time comes for difficult decisions all round. (IMDb)

Bleak Street – Written by Paz Alicia Garciadiego (Opens in New York)

Based on a true story, the latest feature by Arturo Ripstein is an unflinching look at the mean streets of El Defectuoso. Two prostitutes Adela (Nora Velázquez) and Dora (Patricia Reyes Spíndola) are burdened by horrible marriages and financial problems stemming from their long-departed youth. In an attempt to make ends meet, they drug and rob dwarf twins (Juan Francisco Longoria and Guillermo López) — who themselves barely scrape by as doubles for professional luchadores. (Film Society Lincoln Center)

Films Written by Women Currently Playing

Wazir – Co-Written by Supriya Kelkar
Concussion – Co-Written by Jeanne Marie Laskas 
The Good Dinosaur – Written by Meg LeFauve
Room – Written by Emma Donoghue
Labyrinth of Lies/Im Labyrinth des Schweigens – Co-Written by Elisabeth Bartel

VOD/DVD Releasing This Week 

Diary of a Teenage Girl – Written and Directed by Marielle Heller 
The Intern – Written and Directed by Nancy Meyers
Straight Outta Compton – Co-Written by Andrea Berloff

Noteworthy TV Premieres

Angie Tribeca – Co-Created by Nancy Carell (Premieres January 17 on TBS)

Rashida Jones stars in this terrifically goofy series, created by married team Steve and Nancy Carell, as the title character, an LAPD detective who might as well be a direct descendant of Drebin’s. It’s a slapstick, prop-heavy, pun-lovin’ homage to the Zuckers and the ’60s-’70s series "Get Smart" (I’m guessing Steve Carell got the bug when he starred in the big-screen reboot of that show in 2008). And if there’s one thing the show makes abundantly clear, it’s that this brand of spoof humor, in spite of being retro, is totally gender-neutral. (Sara Stewart)

Read Women and Hollywood’s review of "Angie Tribeca." 

Mercy Street – Co-Created by Lisa Q. Wolfinger (Premieres January 17 on PBS)

Set in Virginia in the spring of 1862, "Mercy Street" follows the lives of two volunteer nurses on opposite sides of the conflict: Nurse Mary Phinney (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), a staunch New England abolitionist, and Emma Green (Hannah James), a naive young Confederate belle. The two collide at Mansion House, the Green family’s luxury hotel that has been taken over and transformed into a Union Army hospital in Alexandria, a border town between North and South and the longest Union occupied city of the war. (PBS)

War & Peace  (Premieres January 18 on Lifetime, A&E and History)

Set against the backdrop of Napoleon’s 1812 invasion of Russia, "War and Peace" is a story of passion, romance, scandal and deceit surrounding the rising and falling fortunes of five aristocratic families — the Bezukhovs, Bolkonskys, Drubetskoys, Kuragins and Rostovs — in the waning days of imperial Russia. Simulcasting in the US on the three networks on January 18, "War and Peace" features an all-star cast including Lily James ("Cinderella," "Downton Abbey") and Golden Globe winner Gillian Anderson ("The X Files," "Hannibal"). (Lifetime)