WEEK IN WOMEN: Julia Roberts talks BEN IS BACK, Motherhood and #MeToo – Brandy McDonnell reports

Julia Roberts, mother of three, is earning praise for two standout performances this fall in Ben is Back,now in theaters, and in her first foray into television in Amazon’s acclaimed conspiracy thriller Homecoming, where she stars as a government-sponsored caseworker counseling soldiers back into civilian life.

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WEEK IN WOMEN: Emma Stone Goes “Cruella”

Before she was a Golden Globe nominee for The Favourite or even an Oscar winner for La La Land, Emma Stone was reportedly set to star as a Disney villain in Cruella, a live-action origin story for 101 Dalmatians baddie Cruella De Vil. Think the Mouse House’s 2014 box-office hit Maleficent only with a fashionable fur coat instead of the horns.

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Zoe Kazan talks Writing WILDLIFE and Real Women – Brandy McDonnell interviews

Zoe Kazan isn’t particularly surprised by some of the criticism that some have leveled at the main female character in Wildlife, the acclaimed period drama she penned with her partner, Paul Dano. “I think some of the criticism about ‘Oh, is she unlikable? Is she unsympathetic?’ feels really misplaced to me. It feels like it has more to do with the way we as a society think about who and what a mother should be and what a wife should be than it is really about this character,” Kazan comments.

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RALPH BREAKS THE INTERNET – Review by Brandy McDonnell

Unlike most follow-ups, the successor to the Disney’s 2012 animated hit does more than just upgrade the visuals and the action sequences, although those get a zippy makeover. The sequel, which has topped the box office for three straight weekends, also advances the storytelling, characters and humor in clever but profound ways.

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WEEK IN WOMEN: Golden Globes 2019 Snub Female Directors – Brandy McDonnell reports

Once again, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association has shut out female directors. No female helmers are nominated for best director for the 2019 Golden Globes. 2018 Golden Globes presenter Natalie Portman pointedly criticized the lack of female nominees during the televised show earlier this year, going off script to emphasize “And here are all the MALE nominees.”

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WEEK IN WOMEN: NBC’s First Alternative Director’s Program: All Women – Brandy McDonnell reports

NBC has announced the inaugural class for its landmark Alternative Directors Program, billed as the industry’s first directing pipeline program for unscripted shows. All participants are women! The program gives experienced female and ethnically diverse directors access to expand their repertoire of formats and directing styles, with the goal of opening the door to future projects

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Taymor’s Steinem biopic casts Lulu Wilson, Julianne Moore – Brandy McDonnell reports

Lulu Wilson, 13, has been picked to play young Gloria Steinem in Julie Taymor’s biopic The Glorias: A Life on the Road. Julianne Moore will play Steinem present dat, and Alicia Vikander is in negotiations to play the feminist and activist from ages 20 to 40. The film will be based on Steinem’s memoir.

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WEEK IN WOMEN: Effie T. Brown to Produce Melissa V Murray’s First Feature — Brandy McDonnell reports

Stuart Ford’s AGC Studios has given the green light to We Real Cool, an urban action comedy from Dear White People producer Effie T. Brown. The film will mark the feature debut of filmmaker Melissa V. Murray, a graduate of the Ghetto Film School and a Sundance Ignite Fellow alumnus, who will direct from her own script. We Real Cool is currently casting and is set to begin production early next year

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WEEK IN WOMEN: Michelle Yeoh Represents – Brandy McDonnell Reports

When the Oscar nominations are announced on Jan. 22, we’ll see whether the blockbuster romantic comedy Crazy Rich Asians gives Michelle Yeoh (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) her long-awaited shot at an Academy Award. If Yeoh gets a supporting actress nod this year, she will be only the sixth actress of Asian descent ever to be nominated in the history of the Academy.

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