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!)
Series of the Week: “Tuca & Bertie”
Created by Lisa Hanawalt
The void “Broad City” left behind has been filled: “Tuca & Bertie” is here to claim the throne as the funniest, grossest and most moving series about female friendship right now.
The animated Netflix series brings together two of the world’s funniest women—Tiffany Haddish and Ali Wong. The pair voice 30-year-old bird women and longterm BFFs who live in the same apartment building. Tuca (Haddish) is as loud as she is impulsive. Bertie (Wong) is as anxious as she is repressed. Together, the odd couple prove that friendship is magic, though it’s not always harmonious.
Tuca and Bertie are imperfect, and so is their relationship. The comedy doesn’t shy away from that—or from going deep and dark. It’s hilarious, but don’t be surprised if you feel tears welling in your eyes more than once throughout the 10-episode season. (Laura Berger)
Season 1 of “Tuca & Bertie” is now streaming on Netflix.
Feature of the Week: Poms
Directed by Zara Hayes
Poms, directed by Zara Hayes, takes us into a retirement community where there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot to do. When Martha (Diane Keaton) shows up, basically waiting to die, she is brought back to life by the friends she makes in the cheerleading squad they create.
The ladies of Poms are pretty lousy cheerleaders, but it’s not about the cheering—it’s about the friendships. Jacki Weaver plays the resident badass, convening night-time poker games and breaking pretty much all the rules, including bringing her mortified grandson to live in the community. Pam Grier, Rhea Perlman and Phyllis Somerville round out the group, while Celia Weston portrays the woman trying to shut them down.
It’s always nice to see women over 40 on screen as central characters. The film can be stilted and stereotypical at times, but it is a sweet reminder that being old doesn’t automatically mean giving up on your dreams. (Melissa Silverstein)
Poms hits theaters May 10.
Documentary of the Week: The Silence of Others
Directed by Almudena Carracedo and Robert Bahar; Written by Almudena Carracedo, Kim Roberts, Robert Bahar and Ricardo Acosta
After something terrible happens, it can be tempting to decide to simply move on—to wash your hands of what went down without fully reckoning with it or its consequences. But true “fresh starts” can be dangerous, as the new documentary The Silence of Others argues. They can deny victims justice and just make it easier for history to repeat itself.
Almudena Carracedo and Robert Bahar’s Berlinale award-winning film traces the fallout of Spain’s “pact of forgetting,” the amnesty law that went into effect after dictator Francisco Franco’s death in 1975. The political prisoners who resisted the Franco regime were pardoned, but so were Franco’s allies and supporters.
People like torturer Antonio González Pacheco never had to answer for their crimes. Countless families were never able to properly mourn the loved ones who were executed and buried in mass graves. Single mothers and other “immoral” women never got the chance to meet the children the state took from them shortly after birth. Those who lived through Franco can never forget, yet the younger generations grew up in ignorance about their country’s past.
This probably sounds familiar: The United States has made many unofficial pacts of forgetting. From slavery to the genocide of Native Americans to our role in unjust wars, our nation has a tendency to move on quickly from atrocities we’ve committed without apologizing to those we’ve wronged, or even acknowledging their pain.
Hopefully, we can learn from The Silence of Others. Suppressing unpleasant memories or regrets doesn’t really solve anything—it just creates more problems. (Rachel Montpelier)
“The Silence of Others” opens in NY May 8. Find screening info here.