Though there is always the chance that disappointment could once again rear its ugly head, it is difficult not to wonder whether the discussion around the topic of women in film has brought the issue to some kind of tipping point – a moment where perhaps conversation and rhetoric might finally give way to concrete action and results.
At the present time, the feminism-heavy Mad Max: Fury Road is engaged in a box-office tug of war with the female driven, female-directed Pitch Perfect 2. In addition, the female-driven movie Carol has taken the Cannes Film Festival by storm, as has the female-led Sicario, by Denis Villeneuve. These are films that actively centre on women, and are stories that occur outside of any comic book realm, or cohesive cinematic universe. Industry observers might be forgiven for thinking that this is just another passing phase, and that the discriminatory status quo will ultimately hold firm – but then, along comes Tallulah.
Characterized as a dramatic comedy, Tallulah will be the feature length debut of writer-director Sian Heder. Heder has two short films to her name – 2006’s Mother and 2012’s Dog Eat Dog – and has worked as a writer and story editor on Orange Is The New Black. The details released about the premise of Tallulah suggest that it is perhaps a variation of the story that featured in Mother – Heder’s debut short. That story featured a housewife hiring a stranger to babysit, with dramatic consequences. Tallulah will see a young and adventurous woman ‘rescue’ a baby from a seemingly uncaring mother, and then pretend the baby is her own, with the help of a former boyfriend’s mother. Ellen Page has been cast as the titular young woman, while Allison Janney will play the role of her former boyfriend’s mother.
Tallulah will be co-financed by Ocean Blue and Route One – the CEO of which, Russell Levine, has expressed excitement for the project.
“We believe in emotionally charged stories with universal themes. This project has award-winning talent teamed up with a gifted young writer/director, who wrote a brilliant script. Ellen Page and Allison Janney will give this film the nuanced, comedic and dramatic strength it needs, and we’re thrilled to move this project forward.”
So, to sum up, Route One and Ocean Blue are throwing their weight behind a female filmmaker who is creating a story about women and motherhood – the script for which is apparently so good, it has attracted two of the greatest actresses working today. Cameras are due to roll on Tallulah in June, after which we will see very clearly whether recent evidence-based reports about the work of female filmmakers being shut out of distribution continues to be true.
Source: Coming Soon