There’s a lot to get into, so let’s dive right in this week. New series come from France, Japan, Romania, the U.K., and the U.S., while new movies come from the Czech Republic, Poland, and the U.S.
Shining Vale (Starz)
co-showrunner Sharon Horgan
Courteney Cox and Greg Kinnear star in a fantasy comedy about a family that moves into an old home known for its horrible past. Things get stranger and stranger, but the only one who seems to notice is Cox’s Pat, who suspects she might be possessed.
Sharon Horgan created and showruns “Shining Vale” with Jeff Astrof. An Irish actress and writer who became involved in BBC productions, she produced, wrote, and starred in “Catastrophe” and “Pulling”.
You can watch “Shining Vale” on Starz. The first two episodes are out now, with new ones dropping every Sunday.
The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey (Apple TV)
half-directed by women
Samuel L. Jackson plays an elderly man with dementia. He has one last chance to remember his past and investigate the death of his nephew. The series is based on the novel by Walter Mosley.
Hanelle M. Culpepper (“Star Trek: Picard”, “Gotham”) directs 2 episodes, and Debbie Allen (“Everybody Hates Chris”, “Scandal”) directs one.
You can watch “The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey” on Apple TV. The first episode is available now, and new episodes arrive on Fridays.
The Thing About Pam (NBC)
showrunner Jenny Klein
Renee Zellweger stars as Pam Hupp in a comedy adaptation of a recent murder. Hupp was initially successful in framing someone else for the crime. Judy Greer and Josh Duhamel co-star.
Showrunner Jenny Klein has written on “Supernatural” and produced on “The Witcher” and “Cloak & Dagger”.
Ruxx (HBO Max)
showrunner Vera Ion
mostly directed by Iulia Rugina
Can’t find a translated trailer for this Romanian romantic dramedy. It follows Ruxx, who’s navigating political work, family, and romantic life, as well as the toxicity and misogyny that enters into each.
Showrunner and writer Vera Ion is a Romanian playwright. Iulia Rugina directs six of the eight episodes, and she’s already seen two feature films and two short films nominated in the Gopos Awards, Romania’s equivalent to our Oscars.
You can watch “Ruxx” on HBO Max. Three episodes are available now, with a new one dropping every Tuesday.
The Chelsea Detective (Acorn TV)
half-directed by Darcia Martin
Two detectives investigate the elite of London’s Chelsea neighborhood in a new four-episode series. As is the case with many British mysteries, each episode lasts around an hour-and-a-half.
Darcia Martin directs two episodes. She’s directed on “Shakespeare & Hathaway” and “Father Brown”.
You can watch “The Chelsea Detective” on Acorn TV. The first mystery is available, with a new one debuting every Monday.
Weekend Family (Disney+)
half-directed by Sophie Reine
Emmanuelle is an academic who falls for a man with three children. Each has a different mother who’s very involved in their lives, and the entire family gets together every weekend. Emmanuelle learns how to navigate the situation over the course of eight episodes. This is Disney+’s first original series in French.
Sophie Reine shares directing duties with Pierre-Francois Martin-Laval, at four episodes apiece. Reine is a prolific editor of French film. She edited “The Connection” and won a Cesar award (France’s Oscar equivalent) for her editing on “The First Day of the Rest of Your Life”. She was also nominated for Best First Film for her “Cigarettes et chocolat chaud”.
Disclosure: I know Emmanuelle’s voice-over artist on the English dub, Jessie Hendricks.
You can watch “Weekend Family” on Disney+. All 10 episodes are available immediately.
Kotaro Lives Alone (Netflix)
directed by Makino Tomoe
In this anime, a manga artist who’s become unpopular finds himself caring for a 5 year-old child who lives alone.
Makino Tomoe directed her first series last year with “Woodpecker Detective’s Office”. She’s worked her way through key animation, storyboard, and episode direction jobs on various anime.
You can watch “Kotaro Lives Alone” on Netflix. All 10 episodes are available now.
Turning Red (Disney+)
directed by Domee Shi
In Pixar’s latest film, Mei Lee is a 13 year-old girl who’s struggling through adolescence. Making things more complicated is the fact that whenever she gets excited, she turns into a giant red panda. Aside from Rosalie Chiang as Mei Lee, the voice cast also includes Sandra Oh, Maitreyi Ramakrishnan, Orion Lee, and James Hong.
Director and co-writer Domee Shi won an Oscar for Best Animated Short with “Bao”. She’s also been a storyboard artist on “Inside Out”, “Incredibles 2”, and “Toy Story 4”.
You can watch “Turning Red” on Disney+.
directed by Gia Coppola
Andrew Garfield stars as a major social media influencer who builds his brand off impostor syndrome. Those around him participate in an organized, insincere chaos, less and less sure if they’re the parts they play or the people lost in them.
Director and co-writer Gia Coppola is the niece of Sofia Coppola and granddaughter of Francis Ford Coppola. This is her second feature after 2013’s “Palo Alto”. She’s also directed music videos for Carly Rae Jepsen and Blood Orange.
India Sweets and Spices (Hulu)
directed by Geeta Malik
Alia returns from college during the summer, only to find her parents’ past secrets are disrupting the family she thought she knew.
This is the second feature from writer-director Geeta Malik after the well-regarded “Troublemaker”. She started out in the industry as a grip and assistant camera, in between making short films.
Even Mice Belong in Heaven (Tubi)
co-directed by Denisa Grimmova
In this Czech stop-motion animated film, a mouse and fox meet in animal heaven. They become friends, only to be reborn into opposite roles.
Denisa Grimmova directs with Jan Bubenicek. This is her first feature film.
Autumn Girl (Netflix)
showrunner Katarzyna Klimkiewicz
This Polish drama follows Kalina Jedrusik. The singer and actress came to symbolize women’s sexual freedom and independence in the 1960s.
Katarzyna Klimkiewicz directs and co-writes the series. She won a European Film Award for her short “Hanoi-Warszawa” in 2009.
You can watch “Autumn Girl” on Netflix.
Mark, Mary & Some Other People (Hulu)
directed by Hannah Marks
Newlyweds give non-monogamy a try in order to stabilize their relationship.
Writer-director Hannah Marks is better known as an actress in “Necessary Roughness” and “Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency”. However, she’s also written “Banana Split”, and wrote and directed “After Everything”.
Take a look at new shows + movies by women from past weeks.
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