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!)
Comedy Special of the Week: Amy Schumer: Growing
Much has changed since Amy Schumer’s last Netflix stand-up special, 2017’s The Leather Special—for starters, she got married and is pregnant with her first child. Much has remained the same: Schumer is still committed to sharing gloriously gory details from her life, and laughing off ridiculous and restrictive conventions of femininity.
In her own words: “You’re pregnant but you don’t change who you are. I hate women who start to act really precious. You don’t stop working or drinking.”
Combatting an overly simplistic “happily ever after” narrative, the Trainwreck and I Feel Pretty star gets real about her experiences in pregnancy and marriage. The former includes an “Exorcist amount” of puking every day. The latter involves a decrease in sex and asking her husband to put her underwear back on when she declines his advances.
Among Growing’s highlights are Schumer’s reaction to a well-meaning but horrendously unflattering portrait her husband painted of her, and a discussion of what’s expected of men versus women during doggy-style sex. (Laura Berger)
Amy Schumer: Growing is available now on Netflix.
Documentary of the Week: Roll Red Roll
Directed by Nancy Schwartzman
“Is this football town putting its daughters at risk by protecting its sons in a situation like this?” asks one of the characters in Roll Red Roll, a documentary exploring the crime that put Steubenville, Ohio, in national headlines. Nancy Schwartzman’s feature investigates how peer pressure, misogyny and sports machismo factored into the rape of a young woman and its aftermath.
Roll Red Roll is a brutal reminder of what one character describes as “the complete lack of empathy” shown towards the assaulted teen, known only as Jane Doe. We see hateful tweets making light of the crimes and the girl whose life is changed. The doc also features media captured the night of the assault: between bursts of hysterical laughter, teens joke about how Jane Doe is “deader than O.J.’s wife” and how dead girls “don’t need foreplay.” It’s truly horrifying stuff.
As disturbing as Roll Red Roll is, the film is also a testament to the power of women: the doc features a true crime blogger who raised awareness about the case features prominently and moving footage from a rally held in Jane Doe’s honor which saw many women standing up and sharing their own stories of assault.
Roll Red Roll is a powerful call to arms as well. “I want people to feel connected, and to have a deeper understanding of how rape happens and what is our collective responsibility to prevent it,” Schwartzman told W&H. “I want people to think about their own lives and experiences as younger people or as adults. If they’ve been in similar situations and not done anything, or looked away, and ultimately, how we are all responsible for each other.” (LB)
Roll Red Roll opens March 22 in New York. Find screening info here.
Movie of the Week: Out of Blue
Written and directed by Carol Morley
Out of Blue, written and directed by Carol Morley, feels somewhat like a fugue dream. There are so many layers going on within its story.
Patricia Clarkson, looking unrecognizable in dark hair, plays Mike Hoolihan, a detective who is tasked with solving the murder of an astrophysicist expert on black holes (Mamie Gummer). Mike’s whole life is seemingly a black hole—with many missing moments and memories that begin to plague her as she searches for the killer.
The film is a challenge to memory, and a reminder that nothing is as it seems. (Melissa Silverstein)
Out of Blue hits theaters and VOD March 22.