Due to the coronavirus outbreak and the subsequent restrictions, Women and Hollywood is shifting its focus to online content. We hope everyone is staying safe and healthy.
(Please keep in mind that these dates are subject to change.)
FILMS ABOUT WOMEN COMING TO STREAMING/VOD
The Half of It – Written and Directed by Alice Wu
I remember going to see Alice Wu’s directorial debut, “Saving Face” — probably at the Angelika in NYC. It was the first movie I saw with queer Asian women. It was a great jolt. It’s been 16 years but now Wu’s sophomore movie, “The Half of It,” has arrived, and it sure was worth waiting for. Leah Lewis plays Ellie Chu, a nerdy high school senior in small-town America who helps out her widowed dad, who has lost his way since her mom died. Ellie has a racket going: for a fee, she writes papers for the other students at her school. She doesn’t need to worry about getting caught because the English teacher — portrayed by the always awesome Becky Ann Baker — is happy that at least she has interesting essays to read. Ellie likes a girl, Aster Flores (Alexxis Lemire). Another student, Paul (Daniel Diemer), hires Ellie to write love letters to Aster for him. Ellie and Paul become friends. Aster really enjoys her letters. As you’d guess, things get a bit messy. Welcome back, Alice Wu. We’ve been waiting for you. (Melissa Silverstein)
“The Half of It” is now streaming on Netflix.
South Mountain – Written and Directed by Hilary Brougher
Lila (Talia Balsam) is an artist and mother living in the Catskills who has selflessly devoted herself to everyone around her, often at the expense of her own happiness. When her husband (Scott Cohen) leaves her for another woman with whom he has already fathered a child, Lila plunges into an existential crisis that unfolds with simmering tension and a series of unexpected twists.
“South Mountain” will be available on VOD platforms including Apple TV and Amazon May 5. Find more viewing info here.
Tammy’s Always Dying – Directed by Amy Jo Johnson; Written by Joanne Sarazen
For what seems like forever, Kathy MacDonald (Anastasia Phillips) has been taking care of her trainwreck of a mother, Tammy (Felicity Huffman), an alcoholic who’s the life of the party when she’s in her cups, but a sharp-tongued, vicious monster when sober. When Tammy is diagnosed with cancer, Kathy must move back into her house to help care for her — and suffer her abuse. But escape may be on the horizon. Kathy has been selected as a guest on a sordid “Jerry Springer”-ish talk show, where she’s coached by the imperious and cynical Alana Wiseman (Lauren Holly), and may be set for a big payday.
“Tammy’s Always Dying” is now available for rent or purchase on VOD platforms including Apple TV and Amazon.
Becoming (Documentary) – Directed by Nadia Hallgren
“Becoming” is an intimate look into the life of former First Lady Michelle Obama during a moment of profound change, not only for her personally but for the country she and her husband served over eight impactful years in the White House. The film offers a rare and up-close look at her life, taking viewers behind the scenes as she embarks on a 34-city tour that highlights the power of community to bridge our divides and the spirit of connection that comes when we openly and honestly share our stories.
“Becoming” will begin streaming on Netflix May 6.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
The battle between the Jedi and the Sith comes to a thrilling conclusion in this final chapter of the Skywalker Saga. A year following the events of “The Last Jedi,” Rey (Daisy Ridley) and the remaining members of the Resistance are forced to confront their past while taking on the First Order one more time.
“Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” is now available for rent or purchase on VOD. It will begin streaming on Disney+ May 4. Find more viewing info here.
Saint Frances – Written by Kelly O’Sullivan
“Saint Frances,” starring and written by Kelly O’Sullivan, isn’t afraid to dive deep into the many complexities of maturity, pregnancy, and motherhood, especially the details culture tends to gloss over. In other words, there’s a lot of blood in this movie, menstrual and otherwise. Get over it. Bridget (O’Sullivan) is 34 and in a rut, although she’s not particularly unhappy. She takes a job as a nanny to young Frances (Ramona Edith-Williams), the precocious child of Maya (Charin Alvarez) and Annie (Lily Mojekwu). Around the same time, Bridget unexpectedly gets pregnant and undergoes a medical abortion. Along the way, she becomes closer with Frances and Maya, goes through several romantic adventures, and halfheartedly tries to figure out what she wants from adult life. She knows she’s not ready to be a mom right now, but maybe someday? “Saint Frances” presents comedy and drama in equal measure, mostly by depicting uncomfortable truths about womanhood and motherhood. The SXSW award winner, as they say, isn’t afraid to “go there,” and it’s all the better for that. (Rachel Montpelier)
“Saint Frances” will be available on VOD platforms including Apple TV May 5. Find more viewing info here.
Better Days – Written by Wing-Sum Lam, Yuan Li, and Yimeng Xu
Nian (Dongyu Zhou) finds her life at a standstill when faced by relentless bullying from her peers as she prepares for her college entrance exam. Fate brings her together with small-time criminal Bei (Jackson Yee), but before they can retreat into a world of their own, both are dragged into the middle of a murder investigation that will change their lives forever.
“Better Days” will be available on VOD platforms including Apple TV May 5.
Mrs. Serial Killer
When a doctor (Manoj Bajpayee) is jailed for a string of shocking murders, his loyal wife (Jacqueline Fernandez) sets out to commit a copycat crime in order to prove his innocence.
“Mrs. Serial Killer” is now streaming on Netflix.
FILMS ABOUT WOMEN CURRENTLY AVAILABLE ON STREAMING/VOD
Thousand Pieces of Gold (Restoration) – Directed by Nancy Kelly; Written by Anne Makepeace (Kino Marquee)
To the Stars – Directed by Martha Stephens; Written by Shannon Bradley-Colleary (VOD)
The Assistant – Written and Directed by Kitty Green (Hulu, VOD)
The Photograph – Written and Directed by Stella Meghie (VOD)
A Secret Love (Documentary) – Written by Alexa L. Fogel, Chris Bolan, and Brendan Mason (Netflix)
Toxic Beauty (Documentary) – Directed by Phyllis Ellis (Starz)
Murder to Mercy: The Cyntoia Brown Story (Documentary) (Netflix)
Rocking the Couch (Documentary) (Reel Women’s Network)
Dangerous Lies (Netflix)
Selah and The Spades – Written and Directed by Tayarisha Poe (Amazon Prime)
Beyond the Visible – Hilma af Klint (Documentary) – Directed by Halina Dyrschka (Kino Marquee)
Endings, Beginnings – Written by Jardine Libaire and Drake Doremus (VOD)
The Turning – Directed by Floria Sigismondi (VOD)
Extra Ordinary – Written by Maeve Higgins, Mike Ahern, Enda Loughman, and Demian Fox (VOD)
What She Said: The Art of Pauline Kael (Documentary) (Film Forum)
Beanpole (Film Forum)
Sea Fever – Written and Directed by Neasa Hardiman (VOD)
Stray Dolls – Directed by Sonejuhi Sinha; Written by Sonejuhi Sinha and Charlotte Rabate (VOD)
Fleabag Live (Taped Theater Production) – Directed by Vicky Jones; Written by Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Amazon Prime, Soho Theatre On Demand)
Tape – Written and Directed by Deborah Kampmeier (VOD)
The Rhythm Section – Directed by Reed Morano (VOD)
Misbehaviour – Directed by Philippa Lowthorpe; Written by Rebecca Frayn and Gaby Chiappe (UK) (VOD)
The Other Lamb – Directed by Malgorzata Szumowska; Written by Catherine S. McMullen (VOD)
Never Rarely Sometimes Always – Written and Directed by Eliza Hittman (VOD)
Little Women – Written and Directed by Greta Gerwig (VOD)
Invisible Life – Written by Inés Bortagaray, Karim Aïnouz, and Murilo Hauser (Amazon Prime)
Like a Boss (VOD)
There’s Something in the Water (Documentary) – Directed by Ellen Page and Ian Daniel (Netflix)
Portrait of a Lady on Fire – Written and Directed by Céline Sciamma (Hulu)
The Perfect Candidate – Directed by Haifaa Al-Mansour; Written by Haifaa Al-Mansour and Brad Niemann (UK) (VOD)
Military Wives – Written by Rachel Tunnard and Rosanne Flynn (UK) (VOD)
Banana Split – Written by Hannah Marks and Joey Power (VOD)
Blow The Man Down – Written and Directed by Danielle Krudy and Bridget Savage Cole (Amazon Prime)
Emma. – Directed by Autumn de Wilde; Written by Eleanor Catton (VOD)
Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) – Directed by Cathy Yan; Written by Christina Hodson (VOD)
Clemency – Written and Directed by Chinonye Chukwu (VOD)
The Invisible Man (VOD)
The Hunt (VOD)
Lost Girls – Directed by Liz Garbus (Netflix)
Ride Like a Girl – Directed by Rachel Griffiths; Written by Elise McCredie and Andrew Knight (VOD)
Go Back to China – Written and Directed by Emily Ting (VOD)
FILMS MADE BY WOMEN COMING TO STREAMING/VOD
Bull – Directed by Annie Silverstein; Written by Annie Silverstein and Johnny McAllister
After trashing her neighbor’s house in a fit of youthful defiance, 14-year-old Kris (Amber Havard) seems destined to follow in her mother’s footsteps to the state penitentiary. To make amends, she is forced to help Abe Turner (Rob Morgan), an ex-bull rider scraping by on the Texas rodeo circuit, with errands at home and at his work. While traveling with Abe, she discovers a passion for bull riding. Yet, as Kris sets out to learn the dangerous sport, bad influences lure her back into delinquent ways. Meanwhile, Abe struggles with the aches and pains of growing older and aging out of the only life he has ever known. Together, Kris and Abe forge an unexpected connection, helping each other see new possibilities and hope for the future before it’s too late.
“Bull” is now available for rent or purchase on VOD platforms including Apple TV and Amazon.
The Infiltrators (Documentary) – Directed by Cristina Ibarra and Alex Rivera
“The Infiltrators” is a docu-thriller that tells the true story of young immigrants who are detained by Border Patrol and thrown into a shadowy for-profit detention center — on purpose. Marco and Viri are members of the National Immigrant Youth Alliance, a group of radical DREAMers who are on a mission to stop unjust deportations. And the best place to stop deportations, they believe, is in detention. However, when Marco and Viri attempt a daring reverse “prison break,” things don’t go according to plan. By weaving together documentary footage of the real infiltrators with re-enactments of the events inside the detention center, “The Infiltrators” tells an incredible and thrilling true story in a genre-defying new cinematic language.
“The Infiltrators” is now screening via virtual cinemas.
Ordinary Love – Directed by Lisa Barros D’Sa and Glenn Leyburn
“Ordinary Love” is about an ordinary older couple, a couple who functions as a unit. They navigate the world together. They walk their daily walk. They watch TV. You feel their love, comfort, and ease with each other. Then Joan (Lesley Manville) is diagnosed with breast cancer and their lives are thrown into a tumult. This is a film that showcases two masterful actors: Manville as Joan and Liam Neeson as her husband, Tom. It’s a particular pleasure seeing Neeson is a non-action role. This is a beautiful, quiet story of love, a story of a couple with history, and a story of the slog of illness. (MS)
“Ordinary Love” will be available on VOD platforms including Apple TV and Amazon May 5.
The Flood – Written by Helen Kingston
Wendy (Lena Headey), a hardened immigration officer is offered a high-profile asylum case, judged on her ability to quickly and clinically reject applicants. Through her interrogation, she must uncover whether Haile (Ivanno Jeremiah) is lying and has a more sinister reason for seeking asylum. We follow Haile on his perilous 5,000 KM journey over oceans, across borders, and amidst the flurry of the Calais Jungle to find solace and safety in the U.K. But now he must cross the final hurdle.
“The Flood” is now available for rent or purchase on VOD platforms including Apple TV and Amazon.
FILMS MADE BY WOMEN CURRENTLY AVAILABLE ON STREAMING/VOD
Pahokee (Documentary) – Directed by Ivete Lucas and Patrick Bresnan (Virtual Cinemas)
Rich in Love – Directed by Anita Barbosa and Bruno Garotti (Netflix)
20th Century Woman: The Documentary Films of Lee Grant (Retrospective) (Virtual Cinemas)
Circus of Books (Documentary) – Directed by Rachel Mason (Netflix)
Pot Luck (Documentary) – Written and Directed by Jane Wells (VOD)
Abe – Written by Lameece Isaaq and Jacob Kader (VOD)
The Bet – Written and Directed by Joan Carr-Wiggin (VOD)
Other Music (Documentary) – Directed by Puloma Basu and Rob Hatch-Miller (Virtual Cinemas)
L’Innocente (Re-Release) – Written by Suso Cecchi D’Amico, Luchino Visconti, and Enrico Medioli (Film Forum)
The Roads Not Taken – Written and Directed by Sally Potter (Bleecker Street)
The American Nurse (Documentary) (Streaming Re-Release) – Directed by Carolyn Jones (Kino Lorber)
Bias (Documentary) – Directed by Robin Hauser (VOD)
Trolls World Tour – Written by Maya Forbes, Elizabeth Tippet, Wallace Wolodarsky, Jonathan Aibel, and Glenn Berger (VOD)
Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution (Documentary) – Directed by Nicole Newnham and James Lebrecht (Netflix)
Cunningham (Documentary) – Written and Directed by Alla Kovgan (VOD)
Betty – Created by Crystal Moselle (Premieres May 1 on HBO)
Impossibly cool while remaining relatable, the young women at the center of “Betty” are amazing athletes and seem like they’d make equally amazing company. An adaptation of Crystal Moselle’s 2018 pic “Skate Kitchen,” HBO’s comedy series tells the story of an all-female group of skaters in New York City determined to get respect in a scene dominated by dudes. The majority of the film’s cast returns for the series, including Nina Moran, Rachelle Vinberg, Dede Lovelace, and Ajani Russell. “Betty,” its protagonists, and their friendships seem so real — at times it feels as though the camera is simply following the skaters around, capturing their unique brand of magic. I especially loved how the skaters make such an effort to welcome other women to their ranks. Realizing how intimidating it can be for girls and women to take up the sport, they encourage their peers to simply pick up a board and have fun. (Laura Berger)
Long Gone By (TV Movie) (Premieres May 1 on HBO Latino)
“Long Gone By” tells the tale of Ana Alvarez (Erica Muñoz), a single mother from Nicaragua living in Warsaw, Indiana, with her teenage daughter, Izzy (Izzy Hau’ula). When a routine check in leads to a deportation order, life as Ana knows it ends. The timing could not be worse as Izzy has just been accepted to Indiana University, a dream that becomes a nightmare when she discovers that because of her immigration status she will not qualify for the needed scholarships or federal aid. Faced with an impossible reality of a lifetime away from her daughter, Ana decides to risk everything in a last chance effort to leave Izzy’s tuition paid before her time runs out.
Gold Digger (Miniseries) – Created and Written by Marnie Dickens (Premieres May 4 on Acorn TV)
This intriguing drama follows a 60-year-old woman, Julia Day (Julia Ormond), falling in love with a 35-year-old man, Benjamin Greene (Ben Barnes), and the effect it has on her already dysfunctional family, including how it pushes and challenges them to confront their own demons.
Natalie Wood: What Remains Behind (Documentary) (Premieres May 5 on HBO)
Natalie Wood’s remarkable life and career are often overshadowed by the circumstances surrounding her tragic death at age 43. Guided by her daughter, Natasha Gregson Wagner, as well as her extensive circle of family and close friends, the film intimately explores Wood’s personal life and illustrious career that spanned nearly five decades. The film chronicles her triumphs and challenges, featuring previously unseen home movies, photographs, diaries, and letters, as well as interviews with those that knew her best.
The Queen at War (Documentary Special) (Premieres May 5 on PBS)
Princess Elizabeth was a child of 13 when her father George VI directly addressed his people on September 3, 1939 to inform them that Britain was at war. This revelatory documentary will tell the story of the Queen’s experiences during World War II and how the longest reigning monarch in British history was shaped by the war.
Bad Mothers – Created by Rachel Lang and Gavin Strawhan (Premieres May 7 on Sundance Now)
“Bad Mothers” follows five very modern women juggling the big issues of love, family, careers, infidelity — and murder. When their lives collide following a series of shocking events, the Bad Mothers will learn that life can get a whole lot more complicated, more outrageous — and a whole lot more fun — than they ever imagined.
Lambs of God (Miniseries) – Written by Sarah Lambert and Marele Day (Premieres May 7 on Topic)
“Lambs of God” is a dark, gothic tale about three nuns, each a generation apart, living in an isolated convent by the coast, and an unwelcome visitor who enters their lives and changes their world forever.
The Delicacy (Documentary) – Written by Christina Wise and Jason Wise (Premieres May 7 on SOMM TV)
“The Delicacy” is the story of a rare and exotic food, the sea urchin, and how it’s harvested, how it’s eaten, and the role it plays in nature and the lives of those who bring it to the table. With commentary from some of the most influential and prolific voices in the culinary world, the film follows a group of sea urchin divers in Santa Barbara as they deal with the hazards of their vocation. “The Delicacy” takes the viewer from the coastal waters of California to the plates of high-end restaurants as it follows one of the most sought after foods in the world gathered by the most dangerous profession.
THE GIRLS CLUB IS OFFERING THE FIRST MONTH FREE
Founded by Women and Hollywood publisher and founder Melissa Silverstein, the Girls Club is a community for women creatives, culture-changers, and storytellers to connect, create, network, advocate, support, and redefine entertainment.
These are trying times. We realize that COVID-19 is affecting the health, safety, and livelihood of many folks in the industry, and want to offer a space for folks to come together amidst all of the uncertainty. With that goal in mind, the Girls Club is offering the first month free to those who sign up.
If you identify as a woman and would like an invitation to this community, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know a bit about who you are and what you do.
HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE BLOG
The Director & Stars of “Never Rarely Sometimes Always” Consider the Film a Classical Hero’s Journey
Tribeca Film Festival 2020 Award Winners: Alice Wu’s “The Half of It,” Shira Haas, & More
May 2020 Film Preview
“We Are the Radical Monarchs” Will Kick Off New “POV” Season, Which Is 80 Percent Women-Directed
Breaking Barriers: Crowdfunding Picks
These Projects Have Been Affected by Coronavirus. Here’s How You Can Help. (Volume V)
Nora Fingscheidt’s “System Crasher” Dominates German Film Awards
BFI Player Launches New Collection of Films Exploring Female Desire On Screen
Note: All descriptions are from press materials, unless otherwise noted.
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