There’s a lot to get to this week. With 14 titles, most streaming services see something new, but it’s an especially good week if you have Netflix or Shudder. Just from what I’ve observed writing this feature for the past two years, Netflix regularly has a big influx of projects by women. I don’t know that they have a higher rate than others. Since Netflix has a much larger output compared to other streaming services, it could just be a matter of volume. Either way, there are weeks like this where a huge number of titles by women appear on the platform.
As for Shudder, it’s picking up a lot of horror films that came out on rental last year, but that haven’t found a subscription service until now. These can be international, like Argentina’s “Rock, Paper and Scissors”, or a low-budget indie like “I Blame Society”. Shudder can be pretty good at grabbing these horror gems by women that other services overlook.
Of course, with Valentine’s Day around the corner, there’s also a number of romantic comedies out there. It’s a genre I do miss and they look surprisingly good. Expect to see some promising ones coming out this and next week.
New shows and films by women this week come from Argentina, Iran, Japan, the Netherlands, South Korea, the U.K., and the U.S.
Inventing Anna (Netflix)
showrunner Shonda Rhimes
Julia Garner stars as Anna, a con artist who uses Instagram to convince New York high society that she’s a German heiress…before stealing their money. The series is based on a real-life case where Anna Sorokin defrauded banks, hotels, and the wealthy throughout the 2010s. If you don’t know Garner, she’s absolutely an actress to keep your attention on.
Shonda Rhimes created and showruns “Inventing Anna”. Rhimes has produced on “Bridgerton”, “Scandal”, “How to Get Away with Murder”, and “Grey’s Anatomy”.
You can watch “Inventing Anna” on Netflix. All 10 episodes are immediately available.
Sister Boniface Mysteries (Britbox)
showrunner Jude Tindall
A Catholic nun spends her free time solving mysteries.
Showrunner and writer Jude Tindall also created and wrote for “Shakespeare & Hathaway: Private Investigators”, and wrote on the show where the character of Sister Boniface first appeared, “Father Brown”.
You can watch “Sister Boniface Mysteries” on Britbox. New episodes arrive every Tuesday.
Ballad of a White Cow (MUBI)
co-directed by Maryam Moghadam
Maryam Moghadam writes, directs, and stars as Mina in this Iranian film. Mina discovers her husband was innocent of the crime for which he was executed. She attempts to fight the very system that denies her even the most basic agency as a woman.
Maryam Moghadam directs with Behtash Sanaeeha. As an actress, she’s appeared in a number of Iranian films. This is her third film as a writer, and second as director.
You can watch “Ballad of a White Cow” on MUBI.
The Sky is Everywhere (Apple TV)
directed by Josephine Decker
Based on the novel by Jandy Nelson, a shy musician tries to keep growing up in the wake of her older sister’s death.
Josephine Decker directs, and she’s kind of a big deal. She helmed “Shirley” starring Elisabeth Moss, and “Madeline’s Madeline”. She has a tendency to get weird, meta, and experimental.
You can watch “The Sky is Everywhere” on Apple TV.
directed by Valerie Bisscheroux
In this Dutch film, a graduate navigates her love life in the LGBTQ+ scene of Amsterdam, while trying to get her writing career off the ground.
The film is based on director and co-writer Valerie Bisscheroux’s series “Anne Plus”.
You can watch “Anne+” on Netflix.
I Blame Society (multiple services, VOD)
directed by Gillian Wallace Horvat
Gillian is a good filmmaker, but she just can’t seem to break through. Then it comes to her: the skills to be a good director are very similar to the skills needed to commit the perfect murder.
Writer-director Gillian Wallace Horvat is a prolific producer and director of video documentary shorts. Put another way, she directs those documentary featurettes that end up as extra features on new releases and remasters. Some are historical, some are analytical, some confront problematic elements in classic films.
It’s a unique skillset and she has about 50 of these to her credit in just the last five years, along with occasional award-winning shorts.
Child of Kamiari Month (Netflix)
directed by Shirai Takana
A girl named Kanna is a descendant of the gods. It’s her family’s duty to collect offerings from around Japan and deliver them to the gods. When her mother passes away, Kanna takes the responsibility on in the hope the gods can reunite them.
Shirai Takana started out doing in-between animation on movies a decade ago, worked her way through key animation jobs, and assistant directed 2020’s visually stunning “Children of the Sea”. This is her first film as director.
You can watch “Child of Kamiari Month” on Netflix.
Marry Me (Peacock)
directed by Kat Coiro
Jennifer Lopez stars as singer Kat Valdez, who’s about to marry her longtime partner Bastian in front of a global audience. She learns seconds beforehand that he’s been unfaithful. Totally reasonably she marries a stranger in the crowd, a man named Charlie who just so happens to be played by Owen Wilson.
Based on the graphic novel, Kat Coiro directs. She’s been a director on “Dead to Me”, “The Mick”, and “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”. She’s also directing the upcoming MCU “She-Hulk” series.
You can watch “Marry Me” on Peacock.
Love and Leashes (Netflix)
directed by Park Hyeon-jin
A woman stumbles on her co-worker’s secret, and the two develop a romantic bond over BDSM. The Korean romantic comedy is based on a webtoon.
Writer-director Park Hyeon-jin has previously directed “I Am Your Bleating Phone” and “Like for Likes”.
You can watch “Love and Leashes” on Netflix.
Rock, Paper and Scissors (Shudder, VOD)
co-directed by Macarena Garcia Lenzi
In this Argentinean horror film, two siblings resent their half-sister when she seeks her part of their father’s inheritance. They don’t want to sell the house they’ve inherited, so they decide to hold her captive, playing a series of escalating games.
Macarena Garcia Lenzi directs with Martin Blousson. It’s the first narrative feature for either.
Alone with You (VOD)
co-directed by Emily Bennett
A woman eagerly anticipates her girlfriend’s homecoming. As she prepares, their apartment begins to take on hallucinatory qualities, hinting at a truth she’s tried not to recognize.
Emily Bennett co-writes, directs with Justin Brooks, and stars. This is her first feature film as director.
See where to rent “Alone with You”.
directed by Seta Natsuki
In this Japanese film, a high school student passes away and a soul takes up residence in their body. That soul has 100 days to figure out the truth behind that student’s death. I believe this is a remake of a Thai film, but based on a novel by Japanese writer Eto Mori. Can’t find a subtitled or dubbed trailer for the Japanese version, but English subtitles will be available on Amazon.
Seta Natsuki has directed on several Japanese films and the series “The Curry Songs”.
You can watch “Homestay” on Amazon.
The Kindness of Strangers (Netflix)
directed by Lone Scherfig
Clara and her two sons escape from her abusive husband. In a tough New York City winter, their survival is reliant on rare, intertwining acts of kindness. Zoe Kazan stars as Clara.
Writer-director Lone Scherfig has directed a number of films in Denmark, the U.K., and the U.S. This includes the Oscar-nominated “An Education”, as well as “Italian for Beginners” and “Their Finest”.
You can watch “The Kindness of Strangers” on Netflix.
Tall Girl 2 (Netflix)
directed by Emily Ting
A tall girl has gained popularity at school, and as the lead in the school play has to navigate social issues she hadn’t before. This is the sequel to “Tall Girl”.
Emily Ting directs. This is her third film.
You can watch “Tall Girl 2” on Netflix.
Take a look at new shows + movies by women from past weeks.
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