The Lifeguard (2013, written and directed by Liz W. Garcia)
[No 42 of 52 in #52FilmsByWomen]
It is always nice to see Kristen Bell taking on a serious dramatic role instead of the usual recent Hollywood comedies. Before her Veronica Mars days, I was already a fan after seeing her taking the lead role in the TV movie Gracie’s Choice.
In this movie, Bell plays Leigh, a 30-year-old New York journalist who was disillusioned with her harsh city life and goes back to her hometown to live with her parents. She takes on her old college job as a lifeguard, and befriends the 16-year-old son of the pool manager.
Leigh escapes to her hometown and her high school friends (and doing typical high-school-like stuff like smoking weed and hanging out at lakes) because she seems to think that those were simpler, happier times. Of course, this isn’t the natural state of things, as we all need to grow up eventually.
Behind Closed Doors (2016, directed by Anna Hall)
[No. 41 of 52 in #52FilmsByWomen]
This is a documentary that follows three women in England through their cases of domestic abuse by their partners. Unlike many other documentaries and news reports, these women have agreed to revealed their names and faces. This perhaps conveyed the true weight of domestic abuse as their faces swollen and disfigured faces after being beaten by their partners were shown.
They talk openly about their experiences living with abusive partners, and we can see how emotionally complicated their lives become.
It’s Complicated (2009, written and directed by Nancy Meyers)
[No 40 of 52 in #52FilmsByWOmen]
Meryl Streep and Alec Baldwin play the stereotypical rich divorced couple, but 10 years after the divorce, they started getting back together again. The complication, as the title suggests, comes from the fact that Baldwin’s character is married to someone else, hence technically their relationship is an affair.