This year, the holidays start with heartwarming movies about love stories, male strippers, and British people having affairs. We’re covering the last two weeks, since last week was a holiday.
I’m going to split off holiday movies into a separate article, since there are so many of them. That’ll make each more manageable, both for me and hopefully for readers.
This week, new series by women come from Canada, Finland, Japan, the U.K., and the U.S., and new films by women from Australia, India, Mexico, the U.K., and the U.S.
First Love (Netflix)
showrun/directed by Kanchiku Yuri
High school students Yae and Harumichi fall in love in the late 90s. Yae goes to college, and Harumichi joins Japan’s Self-Defense Forces. 20 years after a tragic accident, Yae works as a taxi driver and Harumichi is employed by a security company. They live in the same city, dreaming of what their lives could have been like even as they encounter each other once again.
Kanchiku Yuri has written and directed a few Japanese series, including procedural “Keishicho Shissonin Sosaka” and “L et M”.
You can watch “First Love” on Netflix. All 9 episodes are out.
Welcome to Chippendales (Hulu)
showrunner Jenni Konner
half directed by Nisha Ganatra, Gwyneth Horder-Payton
Kumail Nanjiani stars as Somen Banerjee, the entrepreneur who started the Chippendales male stripper business in the 1980s. The series reflects the real-life story, which descended into murder for hire, arson, and racketeering.
Showrunner Jenni Konner has written and produced on “Single Drunk Female” and “Girls”.
Gwyneth Horder-Payton, director on “Pose”, “American Horror Story”, “Pam & Tommy”, and “The Offer” directs two episodes. “Dollface” and “The High Note” director Nisha Ganatra directs another two.
You can watch “Welcome to Chippendales” on Hulu. Three episodes are out, with a new one arriving every Tuesday for a total of 8.
Three Pines (Amazon)
showrunner Emilia di Girolamo
Alfred Molina plays Chief Inspector Armand Gamache (on par in Canada with a Poirot in the UK). He investigates murders in Three Pines, a Quebec village hiding long-buried travesties of its own. This adaptation of the Louise Penny novels gives room to indigenous voices, including a mystery of the disappearance of an indigenous girl, and performances by Elle-Maija Tailfeathers, Tantoo Cardinal, and Anna Lambe.
Showrunner and writer Emilia di Girolamo also wrote and produced on “The Tunnel” and “Deceit”. Her background is incredibly interesting, with a PhD in the rehabilitation of offenders using drama based techniques.
You can watch “Three Pines” on Amazon Prime. Two episodes are out, and a new one arrives every Thursday.
showrunner Abby Ajayi
A patriarch’s stroke leaves his family contending for a cosmetics empire he’s left to two children he abandoned decades ago.
Showrunner Abby Ajayi has previously written and produced on “Inventing Anna” and “The First Lady”.
You can watch “Riches” on Amazon Prime. All 6 episodes are out.
Pitch Perfect: Bumper in Berlin (Peacock)
showrunner Megan Amram
Adam Devine, Sarah Hyland, and Jameela Jamil star in a spinoff of the “Pitch Perfect” movies. Devine’s character Bumper moves to Germany after one of his songs becomes a hit there.
Showrunner Megan Amram produced and wrote on “The Good Place” and wrote on “Parks and Rec”.
You can watch “Pitch Perfect: Bumper in Berlin” on Peacock. All 6 episodes are out.
The Flatshare (Paramount+)
showrunner Rose Lewenstein
half directed by Chloe Wicks
Two people share an apartment, but even though they share a bed, their careers and lives mean they’ve never met.
Showrunner Rose Lewenstein and director Chloe Wicks (who helms 3 of the 6 episodes) worked together previously on “On the Edge”.
You can watch “The Flatshare” on Paramount+.
Transport (Acorn TV)
showrunner/directed by Auli Mantila
This Finnish crime series finds a reporter tracing a microchip found in baby food. Elsewhere, a bank manager is drawn into an illegal scheme, and a veterinarian goes missing. These leads all tie into the illicit horse trade.
You can watch “Transport” on Acorn TV. All 8 episodes are out.
directed by Anvitaa Dutt
A singer with a burgeoning career contends with the expectations of those around her, including her controlling mother. Triptii Dimri stars.
A longtime songwriter and screenwriter on Hindi films, Anvitaa Dutt added directing with the 2020 horror mystery “Bulbbul”. Triptii Dimri also starred there in what I thought was one of the most overlooked performances that year. Dutt and Dimri are a must-watch combination in my book.
You can watch “Qala” on Netflix.
The Swimmers (Netflix)
directed by Sally El Hosaini
Two sisters training for the Olympics flee the Syrian civil war in 2015. Yusra and Sarah travel through Lebanon, Turkey, and Greece before their overcrowded boat breaks down and the swimmers tow it to safety. A year later, Yusra competes in the Olympics for the Refugee team.
The story sounds like something that could only be created for film, but those are the real details of Yusra Mardini’s life. She fled Syria with her sister and they were two of four swimmers who towed 16 others to safety.
Director and co-writer Sally El Hosaini also helmed “My Brother the Devil”.
You can watch “The Swimmers” on Netflix.
Mr. Malcolm’s List (Showtime)
directed by Emma Holly Jones
Based on the novel by Suzanne Allain, a young woman named Selina courts a mysterious and much-discussed suitor in 19th century England. Secretly, she’s aiming for revenge on behalf of a friend – a just return for the suitor’s impossible list of preconditions for a future wife. Freida Pinto and Sope Dirisu star.
The novel was self-published by Allain in 2009, and her adapted screenplay floated for nearly a decade until Jones shot a short film of it. The short film’s success – with 2 million views – led to the novel’s traditional publishing in 2020 and the production of the full-length feature.
You can watch “Mr. Malcolm’s List” on Showtime.
Please Baby Please (VOD)
directed by Amanda Kramer
A gang obsesses over Bohemian 1950s newlyweds, thrusting them into a musical exploration of sexual identity. Andrea Riseborough, Harry Melling, and Demi Moore star.
Amanda Kramer is an experimental filmmaker who also directed “Paris Window” and “Ladyworld”.
Lady Chatterley’s Lover (Netflix)
directed by Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre
Based on the novel by D.H. Lawrence, a woman begins an affair with the gamekeeper on her husband’s estate.
Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre is known for her impressive visuals in films such as “The Mustang” and episodes of “Mrs. America” and “The Act”. She started out as an actress before shifting full-time as her directing career took off.
You can watch “Lady Chatterley’s Lover” on Netflix.
How to Please a Woman (Hulu, VOD)
directed by Renee Webster
Fed up with her lot in life and freshly laid off, Gina manages an all-male combination cleaning-and-prostitution service in this Australian film.
This is writer-director Renee Webster’s first feature after directing on Australian series such as “The Heights”.
Who’s a Good Boy? (Netflix)
directed by Ihtzi Hurtado
Chema idealizes his crush, and is determined to lose his virginity to her before the school year ends.
Ihtzi Hurtado is a director on Mexican series and films.
You can watch “Who’s a Good Boy” on Netflix.
Alone Together (Hulu)
directed by Katie Holmes
During the pandemic, a pair of strangers in stressful relationships are booked for the same Airbnb in upstate New York. Katie Holmes, Jim Sturgess, Derek Luke, and Melissa Leo star in Holmes’s debut as a writer and second film as director.
Holmes is most famous for her roles in films like “Disturbing Behavior”, “Pieces of April”, and the series “Dawson’s Creek”.
Take a look at new shows + movies by women from past weeks.
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