Picks of the Week is Women and Hollywood‘s newest resource. W&H writers are often asked for recommendations, so each week they’ll spotlight the women-driven and women-made projects—movies, series, VOD releases and more—that they’re most excited about. (Sign up for the Women and Hollywood newsletter at womenandhollywood.com to get each week’s picks delivered to your inbox!)
Directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck. Written by Anna Boden, Geneva Robertson-Dworet and Ryan Fleck.
The highly anticipated first Marvel movie with a female lead, Captain Marvel starring Brie Larson does not disappoint. And there are other exciting milestones in this film. This is the first MCU title with a female helmer, co-director Anna Boden, and the first with a female composer, Pinar Toprak. It is only the second Marvel movie with credited female screenwriters. Boden, Geneva Robertson-Dworet and Ryan Fleck, the other co-director, are credited with penning the script. Nicole Perlman and Meg LeFauve also have a story by credit.
Aside from all the women power here, what moved me about the film was that, after all the work to get a female superhero movie from Marvel, it didn’t feel anything but normal. Gender is not an issue. Instead, you can just sit back and enjoy the show and remember that this is what we have all been working for.
In fact, Captain Marvel is the origin story for all the MCU superhero movies that came before. Set in 1995, this film is also a tale of female friendship. Captain Marvel only discovers who she really is thanks to her bond with Maria Rambeau (Lashana Lynch). She’s a fighter pilot, and she becomes the most powerful Avenger there is.
Here’s to many more big budget films that are diverse and bring different types of stories to life. (Melissa Silverstein)
Captain Marvel opens March 8. There will also be special early screenings on March 7. Find tickets and screening info here.
An English-language remake of Gloria, released in 2013, Gloria Bell sees Julianne Moore taking on the titular role.
Divorced with two adult children, Gloria spends her days at a conventional office job—but it’s the night she lives for. Gloria loves hitting the dance floor at nightclubs in Los Angeles; during one such night out she meets Arnold (John Turturro), who is also divorced with grown kids. The comedy sees the pair bonding over poetry and paintball, but it’s not all smooth sailing for the new couple. Trying to integrate Arnold into her family’s life proves more challenging than Gloria anticipated, and her kids are rightly concerned about what kind of man their mother is dating.
Gloria is a joy to be around, and a joy to watch. Long before the credits roll, you really feel like you know her—and are rooting for her. Gloria Bell is a beautiful showcase for Moore, who masterfully portrays the subtleties of Gloria’s emotional state and arc as she experiences something akin to a late-life coming-of-age.
An exploration of aging, meaningful relationships of all kinds and self-respect, Gloria Bell is a fresh and humane crowd-pleaser that never panders. (Laura Berger)
Gloria Bell opens March 8.
“Brave Girl Rising” (Short)
Directed by Martha Adams and Richard E. Robbins. Written by Warsan Shire.
A collaboration between Girl Rising, the International Rescue Committee and Citi, “Brave Girl Rising” puts a face to the refugee crisis—an issue we all know about, but seldom think of in personal, empathetic terms. Written by poet laureate Warsan Shire, a refugee herself, the short sees 17-year-old Nasro recounting and reenacting her own life. She takes us through the loss of her mother and home and reveals how she came to be at Kenya’s Dadaab Refugee Camp.
Nasro’s life is difficult, perhaps even inconceivable to those who have never had to choose between their home and their safety, yet she radiates strength and joy. She’s at the top of her class; at the camp, she’s a leader and protector for other young women.
Though she has passed, Nasro still feels a powerful and spiritual connection to her mother. She carries her mother’s love wherever she goes; it’s what gets her through the hardest times and propels her to create a community with the other girls at Dadaab. “We will be our own mothers,” Nasro vows at one point. “We must be the big sisters we never had.”
Nasro and her friends have one another’s backs, even in the most dire circumstances. After seeing “Brave Girl Rising,” you’ll demand the rest of the world protect them, too. (Rachel Montpelier)
“Brave Girl Rising” will begin streaming on Girl Rising’s website March 8.