The next several months will be bringing a lot of awesome women to your local AMC theatres, whether they’re in front of or behind the camera — or, in some cases, both! Or, for that matter, in the audience. Women rule.
The Sun Is Also a Star
Ry Russo-Young (BEFORE I FALL) directs THE SUN IS ALSO A STAR, screenwriter Tracy Oliver’s (GIRLS TRIP) adaptation of the best-selling young adult romance by “Everything, Everything” scribe Nicola Yoon. So, that’s three awesome women right there. On the actorly side of things is “Black-ish” star Yara Shahidi, playing a young New York woman one day away from being deported, along with her family. Within that last 24 hours, she meets and falls in love with a young man (Charles Melton), making an already difficult period even more fraught with potentially life-changing decisions. (May 17)
Joanna Hogg carried writing and directing duties on THE SOUVENIR, one of the critically acclaimed standouts at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. The drama follows an aspiring filmmaker named Julie (Honor Swinton Byrne) who falls in love with a big-talking but untrustworthy man (Tom Burke, of the TV miniseries “War & Peace”). Playing Julie’s mother is Honor Swinton Byrne’s real-life mother, the Oscar®-winning Tilda Swinton (SUSPIRIA, DOCTOR STRANGE). (May 17)
Actress Olivia Wilde (RUSH) makes her feature directorial debut with the R-rated comedy BOOKSMART. The film follows a pair of best friends through one night, as they try to cram in all of the partying they missed when they spent all of their high school years with noses in books. Playing the two BFFs are Kaitlyn Dever (“Justified”) and Beanie Feldstein; you may recognize the latter from having played the main character’s best friend in 2017’s LADY BIRD. (“It is the titular role.”) BOOKSMART has garnered comparisons to 2007 hit comedy SUPERBAD. That film, funnily enough, co-stars Beanie Feldstein’s brother, Jonah Hill. Also starring in BOOKSMART are Lisa Kudrow, “The Daily Show”’s Jessica Williams and cast standout Billie Lourd (“Scream Queens”). (May 24)
LATE NIGHT is director Nisha Ganatra’s second film, after the critically acclaimed ‘90s drama CHUTNEY POPCORN. What you’re more likely to know her from, though — even if you don’t know you know her — is her extensive TV work. Ganatra has directed episodes of “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” “The Last Man on Earth,” “Fresh Off the Boat” and “The Mindy Project,” the last starring LATE NIGHT lead Mindy Kaling. Kaling plays Molly Patel, a comedian brought into the overwhelmingly white, male writers’ room of a legendary but increasingly out of touch late night host. That host is played by the legendary (but not increasingly out of touch) Emma Thompson, who’s won one Oscar for acting (HOWARDS END) and another for screenwriting (SENSE AND SENSIBILITY). (June 7)
Comedian-turned-actress Awkwafina had one heck of year in 2018, co-starring in OCEAN’S EIGHT and CRAZY RICH ASIANS. She followed those up with Sundance hit THE FAREWELL, directed and written by Lulu Wang. The movie tells of a family — including Asian-American Billi, played by Awkwafina — that returns to China to say one last goodbye to Billi’s grandmother. The complication: Billi’s grandmother doesn’t know she’s dying, and her family schedules a wedding as an excuse for everyone to get together without her finding out. (July 12)
Comic stars Melissa McCarthy (SPY) and Tiffany Haddish (GIRLS TRIP) show off their dramatic chops in comic book adaptation THE KITCHEN, directed by STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON screenwriter Andrea Berloff. Set in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood of New York City in the 1970s, McCarthy, Haddish and “Mad Men”‘s Elisabeth Moss play a trio of women whose gangster husbands are sent to prison. After finding that their husbands’ mob comrades won’t give them the support they need while their husbands are in jail, they decide to up and take over the whole operation themselves. They do quite a better job of it than the men ever did. (August 9)