2015 Women & Movies

Living in the southern half of the planet, the long hot summer holiday months give me time to process my year of movies – and hopefully highlight some titles that other women may have missed out on.  Usually, I try to pick just 10 of my favourite “women-interest” films to share, but couldn’t cut down my initial ‘longlist’ of 30-odd films into a ‘shortlist’ this year, and have ended up with random ramblings in no particular order.

Forced to pick just one of the 5-Star offerings to highlight on my front page, I have chosen one of the Academy Award nominations for the Best Foreign Language film category:

mustang“Mustang” from Turkey. 5-starindex
Five orphaned teenage sisters splash about on the beach with  male classmates – innocent childish fun at the end of the last day of school before summer break. A neighbor passing by, reports what she thinks is illicit behavior to the girls’ family. The family overreacts, imprisoning the girls inside the house, subjecting them to endless lessons in feminine roles as preparation for arranged marriages. As the eldest sisters are unwillingly married off, the younger ones plan escaping the same fate.

I could find few faults with this movie, the ensemble cast were stellar in their performances, the direction and camera work powerful, in getting across messages with minimal dialogue, and the love between the sisters was a joy to behold.

Trailer available on  YouTube

As for the rest of my 2015 Women’s movies list, see over the page…..MORE—>

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“Top of the Lake” Miniseries (2013)

Top of the LakeWhether you are a fan of crime thrillers or not, there is plenty to engage in this miniseries, as it is an atmospheric, slow-paced & thoughtful detective drama, (not a standard action-packed crime thriller) beautifully filmed in rural New Zealand with a top cast.

Detective Robin Griffin has returned to her childhood home in small-town New Zealand, to visit ill family, and also as an excuse to get away from a recent workplace crisis in the city.  Robin finds 12-year-old Tui, pregnant and trying to kill herself in a freezing New Zealand lake.  However, young Tui suddenly disappears the next day and through investigating the disappearance, Robin finds herself  embroiled in small-town secrets, including one of her own teenage experiences.

Some minor gripes of mine included casting American actress Elisabeth Moss in the lead, with a disappointing performance in her role as a ‘detective from Sydney’ against a much better supporting cast of Australian and New Zealand talent.  Secondly, I have never thought highly of Jane Campion as a writer but its better than her being Director.

Nonetheless, despite these minor quibbles, the story works well and the scenes involving the women’s lakeside commune are an interesting distraction. Recommended as well worth a watch over a few evenings.