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 Tina Gordon; Written by Tina Gordon and Tracy Oliver
Little is Big, but reversed and centered on a black girl—and based on a pitch from then-10-year-old star Marsai Martin of “Black-ish.”
The film also stars Regina Hall as the grown version of Martin’s character—an incredibly successful entrepreneur who is also a terrible, controlling boss and has scared everyone in her life—and the awesome Issa Rae as her dogged assistant, April, who has been wanting to pitch an app but is too intimidated to do so.
When Hall is made “little” again from a spell cast by a young black girl she completely demeans, she is brought back to the worst part of her life: middle school. There are many hysterical moments as Martin acts like an almost-40-year-old woman in a 13-year-old’s body.
Little is a feel-good, funny movie about expectations and treating people with respect, and movies like it a stark reminder of how many other great stories are out there and needing to be told. Little is one that’s great for the whole family. (Melissa Silverstein)
Little opens nationwide April 12. Find tickets and screening info here.
Becky Something is, by her own admission, a persona and not a person, a user and a deadbeat. Her Smell sees the punk rock superstar, played by Elisabeth Moss, choking bandmates, behaving like a tyrant in the recording studio and passing out at gigs.
The pic offers snapshots of Becky’s life during a number of eras: in the nineties, she’s selling out arenas and prepping for a nationwide tour, but her addictions and abusive behavior torpedo her career and alienate her loved ones, leaving her isolated and reeling; after getting sober, Becky, in the present, begins to rebuild bridges and heal her relationship with her daughter. But is she ready to come to terms with her past and get back on stage with her old band?
Her Smell offers yet another knockout performance from Moss, who is best known for her award-winning roles in “Mad Men” and “The Handmaid’s Tale.” It’s also a nuanced portrait of a self-destructive artist finally ready to confront all the pain she’s caused others and herself. The pic—and Becky—are, at times, difficult to watch, but always impossible to look away from. (Laura Berger)
Her Smell opens in NY April 12 and in LA April 19. It will roll out to more cities in the coming weeks. Find screening info here.
Girls of the Sun
Written and Directed by Eva Husson (Click here to read Women and Hollywood’s interview with Husson.)
Girls of the Sun is the story of a female battalion fighting for their freedom in Kurdistan. They have become well known, and a Marie Colvin-esque journalist—she even has the eye patch—played by Emmanuelle Bercot embeds herself in the group to report on them and their leader, Bahar, played by Golshifteh Farahani.
This is a different kind of war movie. These women protect each other from the hell that has been ravaged against their families and their bodies. You see the weariness in their eyes. You see their determination to survive. You see Bahar’s desire to get her kidnapped son back.
These women will stop at nothing for their liberation. (MS)
Girls of the Sun opens in NY and LA April 12.