GREEN CINE Already a member? login
 Your cart
Advanced Search
- Genres
+ Action
+ Adult
+ Adventure
+ Animation
+ Anime
+ Classics
+ Comedies
+ Comic Books
+ Crime
  Criterion Collection
+ Cult
+ Documentary
+ Drama
+ Erotica
+ Espionage
+ Fantasy
+ Film Noir
+ Foreign
+ Gay & Lesbian
  HD (High Def)
+ Horror
+ Independent
+ Kids
+ Martial Arts
+ Music
+ Musicals
+ Quest
+ Science Fiction
+ Silent
+ Sports
+ Suspense/Thriller
  Sword & Sandal
+ Television
+ War
+ Westerns

Searching for Debra Winger (2002)

Cast: Patricia Arquette, Rosanna Arquette, Emmanuelle Béart, more...
Director: Rosanna Arquette
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: Lions Gate
Genre: Documentary, Film
Running Time: 99 min.
Subtitles: English, Spanish
    see additional details...

Directed by actress Rosanna Arquette, this candid documentary is not only about the iconoclastic and somewhat reclusive film star Debra Winger (who does not even appear onscreen until an hour into the film), but also about the trials and tribulations of actresses in Hollywood who have reached "that certain age." In the course of her "search," Arquette interviews several of her colleagues, among them Whoopi Goldberg, Diane Lane, Teri Garr, Holly Hunter, Vanessa Redgrave, Charlotte Rampling, Meg Ryan, and Sharon Stone, all of whom have their own personal horror stories about insensitive producers and casting directors who tend to think of over-40 (and sometimes over-30) actresses as being suitable only for mother, "other woman," and "hero's girlfriend" roles -- when they bother to cast these actresses at all. The women also discuss the difficulties in balancing a successful career and a private life. Although the reflections of Debra Winger constitute the heart and soul of the film, the most poignant moment belongs to Jane Fonda, who wistfully recalls the "eight or ten times" that her career truly went well. Test-marketed on the film festival circuit throughout 2002, Searching for Debra Winger received its largest audience when it aired over the Showtime cable channel on August 18, 2003. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

A terrific documentary about women in film by MKaliher September 20, 2008 - 11:36 AM PDT
2 out of 3 members found this review helpful
Rosanna Arquette, who herself could serve as a poster child for exploited women in film, provides in this wonderful documentary a long-overdue discussion of the industry's lack of appreciation for its female actors. Among the topics openly discussed (god forbid) is the fact that most American films made today are created for the adolescent male, or middle-aged males with adolescent sensibilities. [I would characterize the target audience as the adolescent white suburban male, but hey, that's just me.]

While the editing is a bit disjointed, Ms. Arquette has to be commended for even daring to breach the topic in our sex- and youth-obsessed culture--especially given her own experience, which some might use to dismiss the film as a personal complaint. So far as I know, hers is the only film to even approach the topic. It comes down to this: how is it that a run-of-the-mill actor like 60-something Sean Connery is still able to find roles, while more accomplished female actors like Debra Winger and Holly Hunter, who are much younger, are passed over? Do we have different standards for men and women in film? This, certainly, seems to be the case, as men are allowed to age gracefully, while women--regardless of how man breast implants, Botox injections, and face-lifts they endure--are discarded as unappealing when they reach a certain age.

Ms. Arquette interviews dozens of such women in the film, and they uniformly bemoan the lack of substantive roles for women in middle age and beyond, and question why. Suprisingly, it is the middling talent Jane Fonda who really describes the joy of acting some women experience toward the end of the film. And--no surprise here--it is Salma Hayek who proposes a solution: we need more female film writers and directors, who may be better able to appreciate what mature female actors can bring to the screen--more writers and directors (my addition) like Lone Scherfig.

If you appreciate film acting not directed to the adolescent male, and have ever wondered why the industry discards women when they are just approaching the peak of their skill in the craft, this is a documentary you will want to see.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 5.69)
32 Votes
add to list New List

Women with Balls of Brass (In Their Purses)
Some films that include a glimpse of great actresses tapping the Shiva within. Yummy! Forgive the spelling errors, it's my first list.

see all lists

about greencine · donations · refer a friend · support · help · genres
contact us · press room · privacy policy · terms · sitemap · affiliates · advertise

Copyright © 2005 GreenCine LLC. All rights reserved.
© 2006 All Media Guide, LLC. Portions of content provided by All Movie Guide®, a trademark of All Media Guide, LLC.