It was a year of hits and misses. Jennifer Lawrence broke out as Katniss Everdeen in "The Hunger Games," and followed up with awards bait in "Silver Linings Playbook." Meryl Streep underwhelmed in "Hope Springs." Michelle Williams charmed and alarmed in "Take This Waltz" -- and nobody went to see it. Kathryn Bigelow knocked another movie out of the park with "Zero Dark Thirty." Channeling the New Year's spirit, let's look ahead at five female-forward films of 2013:
The Sundance indie: "Touchy Feely"
Seattle writer-director Lynn Shelton ("Your Sister's Sister," "Humpday") arrives in Park City this month with a contemporary dramedy about a massage therapist (Rosemarie DeWitt) suddenly turned off by touching strangers for a living, her dentist brother (Josh Pais), and an assortment of talky Pacific Northwest hipsters in search of a good centering. Ellen Page, Ron Livingston, and the ubiquitous Scoot McNairy ("Argo") co-star.
The hot doc: "The Stories We Tell"
"Take this Waltz" actress turned director Sarah Polley ("The Sweet Hereafter") comes from a Canadian acting dynasty, and when she turns the camera on her own family secrets, the result is honest, spry, anda little heartbreaking. A hit at last year's Toronto International Film Festival, it will make its U.S. premiere at Sundance this month.
The franchise: "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire"
Jennifer Lawrence's Katniss Everdeen returns to the Capitol for another round of the winner-takes-all, losers-die Hunger Games. Between mad survival sequences, Katniss continues to vacillate between Josh Hutcherson's Peeta and Liam Hemsworth's Gale as revolution foments and, happily, threatens to upend the old order. "Catching Fire" opens in time for Thanksgiving, November 22, 2013.
This year's Meryl movie: "August: Osage County"
Playing sharp-tongued matriarch Violet Weston, Meryl Streep leads the ensemble in this darkly comic stage-to-screen drama from Pulitzer Prize winner Tracy Letts about an extended family coping with their alcoholic patriarch's sudden disappearance. Julia Roberts, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Ewan McGregor complete the top-shelf cast. And, yes, Meryl will return to Academy Awards contention!
The witch is back: "Oz: The Great and Powerful"
Sure, James Franco plays the title character, but in this prequel to the 1939 classic "The Wizard of Oz," it's all about the enchantresses. Rachel Weisz channels her baddest self as Evanora; Michelle Williams plays Glinda before she became so absolutely, solidly, sweetly good; and Mila Kunis rounds out the coven as Theodora. The real question is, of all the lame sequels and prequels, what took Hollywood so long to make this movie? The Sam Raimi-directed "Oz: The Great and Powerful" premieres on March 8.
There are many more movies coming up ("The Host"! "Kick-Ass 2"!). What female-driven films are you anticipating?
- Arts & Entertainment
- Meryl Streep
- Jennifer Lawrence
- Katniss Everdeen