What to Watch This Weekend: Tales of Female Fortitude

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!)


FILMS ABOUT WOMEN OPENING

Lucy in the Sky

Natalie Portman plays Lucy Cola, a strong woman whose determination and drive as an astronaut take her to space, where she’s deeply moved by the transcendent experience of seeing her life from afar. Back home, as Lucy’s world suddenly feels too small, her connection with reality slowly unravels.

Find screening info here.

Collisions (Opens in LA)

When 12-year-old Itan (Izabella Alvarez), a straight-A-student in San Francisco, comes home from school, she is stunned to find their furniture up-ended, and no trace of her mother, Yoana (Ana de la Reguera), who was detained by ICE. Child Protective Services dumps Itan and her six-year-old brother Neto (Jason Garcia) with their estranged uncle Evencio (Jesse Garcia), a big rig truck driver. Itan can’t stand him. He’s arrogant, unreliable, and possibly a criminal. After a desperate search, Itan locates Yoana in an immigration detention center in Arizona and convinces Evencio to take them there.

Dilili in Paris (Also Available on VOD)

Travel to the upper reaches and lower depths of Paris in the Belle Epoque with Dilili (Prunelle Charles-Ambron), a graceful young girl with eagle-eyed smarts as she investigates the mysterious plot of the Master Men. Together with Orel, a delivery boy who ferries her around the sweeping photorealistic and jewel-toned landscape, Dilili will stop at nothing until justice is restored. Our super sleuths journey through a turn-of-the-century world so evocative, you just might spot Picasso, Proust, or Marie Curie.

The Birdcatcher (Opens in the UK) (Also Available on VOD)

Norway, 1942. During her attempt to flee Nazi persecution, 14-year-old Jewish girl Esther (Sarah-Sofie Boussnina) finds herself alone and forced to conceal her identity on a Nazi sympathizer farm. Forced to make a series of choices, her actions shift the paths of those around her.

TV PREMIERES

Raising Dion – Created by Carol Barbee (Premieres October 4 on Netflix)

“Raising Dion” follows the story of a woman named Nicole (Alisha Wainwright), who raises her son Dion (newcomer Ja’Siah Young) after the death of her husband, Mark (Michael B. Jordan). The normal dramas of raising a son as a single mom are amplified when Dion starts to manifest several mysterious, superhero-like abilities. Nicole must now keep her son’s gifts secret with the help of Mark’s best friend Pat (Jason Ritter), and protect Dion from antagonists out to exploit him while figuring out the origin of his abilities.

Batwoman – Created by Caroline Dries (Premieres October 6 on The CW)

“Batwoman” isn’t just a female-led superhero story – further distinguishing the show is the fact that its titular character, also known as Kate Kane, is a lesbian. And she’s played by “Orange Is the New Black’s” Ruby Rose, a proud LGBTQ activist and lesbian. This isn’t the kind of origin story we’re used to seeing in Gotham, and it’s a welcome change. Set three years after Batman has disappeared, “Batwoman” sees Kate returning to Gotham after some time away. The city is in chaos. Her relationship with her father, who has created a private security force to protect Gotham, is complicated. After he confirms a long-held suspicion of hers, Kate realizes that if she’s going to make the kind of difference she wants, she’ll need to take matters into her own hands. She borrows Batman’s suit and weapons to do so. “Batwoman’s” pilot offers us glimpses into Kate’s past, including the tragedy that led to her mother and sister’s deaths. We also witness Kate being discriminated against for her sexual orientation – and how homophobia affected her relationship with her then-girlfriend. (Laura Berger)

Mount Pleasant – Created by Sarah Hooper (Premieres October 7 on Acorn TV)

This long-running hit UK dramedy depicts the lives of a tightly knit family in Manchester, including their everyday struggles and hurdles. Starring Pauline Collins (“Upstairs Downstairs”), Sally Lindsay (“Scott & Bailey”), and Daniel Ryan (“Black Sea”).

Nancy Drew (Premieres October 9 on The CW)

Nancy Drew (Kennedy McMann) is a brilliant teenage detective whose sense of self had come from solving mysteries in her hometown of Horseshoe Bay, Maine – until her mother’s untimely death derails Nancy’s college plans. Devastated by her mother’s passing, Nancy swears off crime-solving while crossing off the days until she can re-apply to college. But when a socialite is murdered, Nancy finds herself a prime suspect in the crime, along with a group of other teens present at the scene: Nancy’s nemesis from high school, George Fan (Leah Lewis); a rich girl with a mysterious past, Bess Marvin (Maddison Jaizani); Nancy’s secret boyfriend, Ned “Nick” Nickerson (Tunji Kasim); and amiable burnout Ace (Alex Saxon). The five of them must team up to clear their own names – encountering emotional entanglements and even more mysteries along the way.

Torn Apart: Separated at the Border (Documentary) – Directed by Ellen Goosenberg Kent (Premieres October 10 on HBO)

A dark chapter in America’s immigration story is illuminated in the traumas and triumphs of two women who fled life-threatening violence to seek asylum here, only to be forcibly separated from their young children. This timely film reveals their grit and character as they fight to secure their children’s futures.

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Women and Hollywood educates, advocates and agitates for gender diversity and inclusion in Hollywood and the global film industry. The site, founded in 2007 by Melissa Silverstein, sets the standard, defines the conversation, fuels coverage and reinforces messages throughout the specialized and mainstream media to call for gender parity on a daily basis. Follow W&H at @WomenaHollywood and Melissa @MelSil.