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!)
Feature of the Week: Booksmart
Directed by Olivia Wilde; Written by Susanna Fogel, Emily Halpern, Sarah Haskins and Katie Silberman
Booksmart is one of the best movies I have seen in a long time. Best friends Molly and Amy—played by Beanie Feldstein and Kaitlyn Dever—are attending their last day of high school. They have spent the past four years working their butts off to get into great colleges, sacrificing parties and exciting social lives.
Then Molly and Amy discover that the kids who they thought were just partying and not studying got into the same colleges they did. The friends realize they have made a big mistake, and want to fit four years of fun into the last night before graduation.
Feldstein is hysterical, and a truly gifted performer. This movie is so funny, heartfelt, smart —just great. Do yourself a favor and see it. (Melissa Silverstein)
Booksmart opens May 24. Find tickets and screening info here.
Documentary of the Week: The Proposal
Directed by Jill Magid
Even for a documentary, The Proposal is a particularly quiet, thoughtful film. It deftly presents debates about art, capitalism, censorship and how legacies are created and sustained. But most of all, it’s worth seeing because it—and director/film subject/conceptual artist Jill Magid—has a very deep sense of irony.
The Proposal focuses on Magid as she prepares an art exhibition about Mexico’s most famous architect, the late Luis Barragán. An obstacle to—and eventual facet of—her work is the accessibility of Barragán’s archives. His personal archive is open to researchers and fans in Mexico, but his professional collection is owned by a corporation in Switzerland.
One woman, Federica Zanco, is its gatekeeper. When she first acquired it in the late nineties, she said a museum would be set up in a few years. It still hasn’t materialized. Zanco and the corporation Vitra trademarked Barragán’s name and control his architectural legacy, even its visual depictions. They’ll occasionally share the archive with others—for a price.
Throughout the doc, Magid and her film are respectful of both Barragán and those who have claimed ownership of his professional archive—but The Proposal has a specific point of view, and makes a convincing argument in favor of the democratization of art. The way Magid conveys this point in her exhibition is gutsy, slightly irreverent and quite sardonic. It’s also why The Proposal needs to be seen. (Rachel Montpelier)
The Proposal opens May 24 in NY and May 31 in LA. Find screening info here.