‘We are truly so lucky:’ Film critic breaks down top picks for streaming

Streaming Now: ‘Crazy Rich Asians,’ ‘The Favourite’ and more from women filmmakers

In this unusual time period where we are recommended to stay home as much as possible (as opposed to go out and hustle), it’s important to take a look at what we can do with our time. Hosting gatherings in public spaces and meeting up with friends at a cafe are no longer encouraged. But before we assume we’ll go crazy without our usual dose of social interactions, I want to share a reminder of how much we is actually available to most of us with internet at home. Aside from all the writing, organizing, and chatting that we can now catch up on, we also have so much content available. When we consider the sheer amount of content at our fingertips, we are truly so lucky.

SWAN day is coming up, but instead of the usual celebratory social gatherings, we are recommending everyone to continue their support from the safety of their homes. So if you’re looking to join us in supporting women artists from our homes, here are some of my recommendations!

If you need something funny, but in a dark way: 

The Favourite

Last year, at the 2019 Athena Film Festival, I got to watch The Favourite. As the recipient of multiple awards and five Golden Globe and 10 Oscar nominations, this period piece is a highly critically acclaimed film that is thoroughly enjoyable for adults to watch. 

Fun Fact: After chatting to my mother about this movie, I found out that there was, in fact, a 1979 Russian Soviet comedy-drama titled A Glass of Water (Стакан Bоды), that follows a similar storyline, based on the 1840 play by Eugène Scribe. This 2018 version is immensely fun to watch, somewhat raunchy (careful if you have young kids at home), and very well done.

Women artists include: co-writer Deborah Davis, and actors Emma Stone, Olivia Colman, and Rachel Weisz—all big stars whose chemistry and talent will brighten up our stay at home!

Read our FF2 Media review here!

THE FAVOURITE

If you’re in search for some comedy that embraces sisterhood and shows women in a smart light: 

Booksmart

Booksmart is about two girls who are so used to being the goody two-shoes in school, that when graduation looms over their heads, they start questioning whether they did high school all wrong? Putting their studious brains to the test, they start to plan how to make their ultimate finale.

Women artists include: director Olivia Wilde, writers Emily Halpern, Sarah Haskins, Susanna Fogel, and Katie Silberman, and actors Kaitlyn Dever and Beanie Feldstein.

The Hustle

Read our FF2 Media review for Booksmart hereThe Hustle boasts a hilarious duo consisting of Anne Hathaway and Rebel Wilson. Both very smart women in very different circumstances are brought together by their shared love of money. The opening scene is very memorable: imagine a blind date that ends with “Penny Rust” (Rebel Wilson) camouflaging amongst trash bags. This movie has so many twists and turns, making it an entertaining way to spend your evening.

Women artists include: Co-writer Jac Schaeffer, actors Anne Hathaway and Rebel Wilson

Read our FF2 Media review for The Hustle here!

For something funny, cultural, and romantically sweet: 

Crazy Rich Asians

This is definitely a throwback to a heartwarming romance that has some sweet cliches, a fantasy romance, and plenty of extravagance (oh and it’s based on a bestselling book!). We follow “Rachel Chu” (Constance Wu) as her boyfriend “Nick Young” (Henry Golding) finally convinces her to meet his family back in Singapore. Little does she know, he’s more than just your average Joe…My favorite part of this movie was having the film take me all the way to Singapore, and even more importantly, seeing so many asian actors playing more than just a “stereotypical Asian role”. This is both family friendly, and good for a romantic night too!

Women artists include: co-writer Adele Lim and actor Constance Wu

Read our FF2 Media review for Crazy Rich Asians here!

If you’re in the mood for something more educational: 

Unrest

Unrest has got to be one of the most eye-opening documentaries I have watched. Jennifer Brea, an intelligent young Ph.D student at Harvard, is suddenly struck down with a fever that changes her life forever. The bright future she once saw for herself, has become more about survival, pain, and research on a disease that is still largely unknown. This is a documentary about a woman documenting her heart wrenching, personal struggle with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis.

Women artists include: co-writer and director Jennifer Brea

Read our FF2 Media review for Unrest here!

UNREST

At the Heart of Gold: Inside the USA Gymnastics Scandal

At the Heart of Gold: Inside the USA Gymnastics Scandal is another documentary film that may change the way you look at how blind we are. Despite the quality of teaching, how is it that we are unable to protect these young girls, who are working tirelessly for the Olympics, from such disturbing childhoods? This is a detailed documentary from Erin Lee Carr about everything that led to the explosive reveal about former USA Olympian gymnastics coach Larry Nassar. You will be blown away at how scary, yet possible it is for someone to get away with something the way Nassar did for so long.

Women artists include: director Erin Lee Carr

Read our FF2 Media review for At the Heart of Gold: Inside the USA Gymnastics Scandal here!

If you prefer something more about ethics and the filmmaking profession: 

Cameraperson

In a masterclass, director Kristen Johnson explains that she had accumulated so much material across the years that she wanted to create something that would show the problems that a documentary filmmaker faces. There are a lot of ethical issues that people don’t usually think of when viewing a documentary. The relationship between the director, the cameraperson, and the subjects, is a very complex one that must entail a lot of trust. These are not professionally trained actors. Some subjects may not even understand what you will do with the footage despite having been given full explanations. This is a film created from a collage of years of footage that Johnson filmed in her career—it will put the audience in her shoes as she looks at the world through her lens.

Women artists include: director Kirsten Johnson, and consulting writers Doris Baizley and Lisa Freedman

*******

I hope you will join us this month as WITASWAN members (women in the audience supporting women artists now) in our continuing celebration of women!

© Katusha Jin (3/15/20) FF2 Media

Featured Photo: “Rachel Chu” (Constance Wu)
Photo Credits: Sanja Bucko

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Katusha Jin
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As Contributing Editor at FF2 Media, Katusha Jin interviews filmmakers, write features and reviews, and coaches interns. She grew up in the UK and studied briefly in Russia and China before moving to New York for college. Graduating magna cum laude from New York University, Katusha majored in Film and Television at Tisch School of the Arts with minors in Business and Philosophy. She has worked as a producer, director, writer, and composer for various award-winning projects including short films, branded content, independent features, and music videos.
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