Mairead Tyers salutes in "Extraordinary".

New Shows + Movies by Women — Jan. 27, 2023

A slow January week boasts some gems. If you’re wondering why the beginning of the year is so slow for new projects by women, I wrote about this two weeks ago – essentially, this is awards release season and studios overwhelmingly push films that are made by men for those awards, regardless of actual quality.

Last week, I used the intro to highlight several films made by women from the last three years that should’ve been up for awards but were completely overlooked by mainstream U.S. ceremonies.

The Oscar nominations were announced this past week, and only one of the 10 films for Best Picture was directed by a woman (Sarah Polley’s “Women Talking”). No woman was nominated for Best Director.

Across the 10 movies in the Adapted and Original Screenplay categories, 18 writers were nominated. Two of those 18 were women (Lesley Paterson as one of three writers for “All Quiet on the Western Front”, and Sarah Polley for “Women Talking”.)

Mandy Walker was nominated in Best Cinematography for “Elvis”, making her only the third woman ever nominated in a category that’s existed since 1929.

Monika Willi was nominated in Best Editing for “Tar”. Since 2000, only 20% of Editing nominees have been women.

The Oscars and other awards shows have fretted about losing audience for years. Many hypothesize it’s because they’ve started including more nominations for women and people of color. Where? There have barely been any. One here or there where there used to be zero isn’t the kind of sea change that loses you audience.

The absolute highest concentration of women nominated for Best Director was for 2020 and 2021 films, where three of 10 nominations were women. That’s it, and you have to condense the window to all of two years. Stretch a year to either side and it becomes three of 20. Say since 2010 and it becomes four of 65.

Yet the worry you’ll see discussed most is whether the Oscars have lost audience because they’ve changed too much – not whether the legendarily slow drag to change at all has fallen generations behind the pace of the rest of the media we watch.

We watch movies with everybody involved, yet we only see awards shows that recognize a fraction of what we’ve just viewed. Some really think the audience falloff for awards shows is because they’ve failed to award an even more microscopic band of what we seek out and watch. Good luck with that.


Extraordinary (Hulu)
showrunner Emma Moran

10 years prior, everyone started getting a superpower when they turned 18. Jen is the only one in the world living without one.

This is the first series from writer and showrunner Emma Moran.

You can watch “Extraordinary” on Hulu. All 8 episodes are out immediately.

The Endless Night (Netflix)
directed by Julia Rezende, Carol Minem

(Hit auto-translate, it actually does a decent job here.)

This Brazilian series tracks the aftermath of a deadly nightclub fire in 2013. This was a real fire that killed 245 people and injured more than 630 others. Journalist Daniela Arbex spearheaded the reporting of what went wrong.

Director Julia Rezende helms five episodes, two with Carol Minem. Rezende also directs on Netflix’s “Girls from Ipanema”.

You can watch “The Endless Night” on Netflix. All 5 episodes are out.


Paradise Highway (Starz)
directed by Anna Gutto

A truck driver is forced to smuggle to save her brother. She’s chased by the FBI, and soon finds out her cargo is a girl. Juliette Binoche, Morgan Freeman, and Frank Grillo star.

This is Anna Gutto’s first feature as writer or director.

You can watch “Paradise Highway” on Starz, or rent it on Amazon, Apple, Google Play, or Vudu.

Immortal City Records (Tubi)
directed by Patricia Cuffie-Jones

There’s not much information on this out there. Tubi’s been terrible when it comes to putting anything out about their original films. All I can say is a singer gets caught up in a record label’s murderous secrets, from a director with a background in Christmas movies (one of my favorite things to point out is the overlap between horror/thriller directors and Christmas romance directors).

You can watch “Immortal City Records” on Tubi.

Take a look at new shows + movies by women from past weeks.

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