Short of the Day: Laura Dern’s Big Year Continues in Feminist Western ‘The Good Time Girls’

Everything the actress touches in 2017 is solid gold.
By  · Published on August 7th, 2017

Everything the actress touches in 2017 is solid gold.

There is absolutely no denying that actress Laura Dern is having one hell of a moment. This year alone she’s followed one peak-performance in Big Little Lies with another in the new season of Twin Peaks, and there’s still her role in Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi to look forward to. Dern has always been one of our best actresses – she is a two-time Oscar nominee, after all – but after a few years of smaller roles (excluding the HBO series Enlightened, which she fronted), Dern’s coming back around again like a comet to remind us with renewed vigor what a truly remarkable and unique talent she is. At this point, I’d watch Laura Dern fold laundry, she’s just that captivating.

Which is why when the following short film came through my inbox, my interest was immediately piqued. It’s called The Good Time Girls and it’s a feminist western that marks the directorial debut of Courtney Hoffman, whose work in another context you’re already very familiar with: she’s the acclaimed costume designer behind such slick and hip flicks as Edgar Wright’s Baby Driver, Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight, and Matt Ross’ Captain Fantastic. Stepping behind the camera, however, Hoffman has set her sights on a far-less flashy environment, the old west of the 1880s, a place where men and were tough and women, well, they were tougher.

Dern stars alongside Alia Shawkat (Arrested Development, Green Room) Dalila Ali Rajah (How to Get Away with Murder) and Annalise Basso (Captain Fantastic) in a tale of vengeance straight out of the book of Sergio Leone except this time, it’s the women seeking retribution for the wrongs done them at every turn by a pack of down-and-dirty men-folk, led by Garret Dillahunt (The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford).

The Good Time Girls is a part of an awesome project called the Shatterbox Anthology sponsored by Refinery29, “a modern woman’s destination for how to live a stylish, well-rounded life.” The idea is to grant a showcase for the many talented female filmmakers not been given a chance by the Hollywood studio system. Other directors in the series of 12 short films include Chloe Sevigny, Kristen Stewart, and Gabourey Sibide.

So besides being one hell of a raucous western, gorgeously shot and – of course – performed with palpable bravado by Dern and cast, The Good Time Girls is also part of an overdue movement aiming to place women creators in the spotlight. Enjoy this and all the other Shatterbox films on

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