Picks of the Week: While “Fleabag” Moves Forward, “Ask for Jane” Looks Back

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: “Fleabag”

Created and Written by Phoebe Waller-Bridge

Phoebe Waller-Bridge is ready to address “the screaming void inside [her] empty heart”—so long as it can be dealt with in one free therapy session.

Set over a year after the events of its first season, “Fleabag’s” sophomore outing sees its titular character in a very different place than we last left her. Fleabag (Waller-Bridge) has sworn off casual sex and is thriving professionally. Business at her guinea pig-themed café is bustling. But Fleabag is still burying the trauma of losing her best friend and her mother. It’s an unexpected connection with a priest—rather than her free therapy session—that leads Fleabag to confront her past and finally open up.

Beautiful, bittersweet and as darkly comic as ever, “Fleabag’s” second (and what creator Waller-Bridge has said will be its final)season is a triumph. The show is going out on a real high note. (Laura Berger)

“Fleabag” Season 2 will be available on Amazon Prime May 17. You can read the Ms. review of the series here.

Feature of the Week: Ask for Jane

Written and Directed by Rachel Carey

One would have hoped that watching Ask for Jane would be a quaint look back at a time in the distant past, something that we learn from and could never imagine happening again. Yet, in this time of anti-choice bills, like the ones recently signed into law in Georgia and Alabama, Ask for Jane is a stark reminder of where we may be going—fast.

Ask for Jane lays out the simple truth: no matter what the laws are, women will always get abortions when they need them. The issue is how many will die from unsafe, illegal ones. Set before Roe v. Wade, the film tells the story of the women who created the underground network known as the Jane Collective, which assisted women who needed abortions.

The underground network that the film illuminates could actually be the model for the future. What a sobering thought. (Melissa Silverstein)

Ask for Jane opens in New York on May 17. Find screening info here. You can read the Ms. Q&A with two women who helped bring the story to the screen here.


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