The Movie Scene 2021
By Betty Wing
Movies to watch or watch for in February.
A crossover between themes of Lesbian History and Race, this bold documentary follows the lives of two Black women posing as White in the the Midwest during the 1920s. Staring Tessa Thompson and Ruth Negga, the film was written and directed by actress Rebecca Hall, and based on the 1929 novel by Nella Larsen.
The World to Come
Katherine Waterson and Vanessa Kirby are lovers on the American frontier in Mona Fastvold’s “The World to Come,” which finally comes to US audiences after an acclaimed bow at last year’s Venice Film Festival. The lesbian love story, co-starring Casey Affleck and Christoper Abbot makes its stateside premiere virtually at the Sundance Film Festival before opening from Bleecker Street Films in available theaters on February 12 and on digital March 2.
Sam (Colin Firth) and Tusker (Stanley Tucci), partners of 20 years, are traveling acrosss England in the old camper-van visiting friends, family, and places from their past. Following a life-changing diagnosis, their time together has become more important than ever until secret plans test their love like never before.
Two of Us
Nina and Madeleine, two retired women, are secretly deeply in love for decades. From everybody’s point of view, including Madeleine’s family, they are simply neighbours living on the top floor of their building. They come and go between their two apartments, sharing the tender delights of everyday life together. Until the day their relationship is turned upside down by an unexpected event leading Madeleine’s daughter to slowly unveil the truth about them.
Haymaker follows a retired Muay Thai fighter (Sasso) working as a bouncer, who rescues an alluring transgender performer (Ruiz) from a nefarious thug, eventually becoming her bodyguard, protector, and confidant. The relationship leads Sasso’s character to make an unexpected return to fighting, risking not only his relationship, but his life. Haymaker tells a story about human dignity and love.
Fed up with the sexist and toxic status quo at her high school, a shy 16-year-old finds inspiration from her mother’s rebellious past and anonymously publishes a zine that sparks a school-wide, coming-of-rage revolution. Based on the novel by Jennifer Mathieu. Directed by Amy Poehler.
Born to Be
Born to Be follows the work of Dr. Jess Ting (he/him) at the groundbreaking Mount Sinai Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery. There, for the first time ever in New York City, transgender and gender non-conforming people have access to quality transition-related care. With extraordinary access, this remarkable documentary offers an intimate look at how one doctor’s work impacts the lives of his patients as well as how his journey from renowned plastic surgeon to pioneering gender-affirming specialist has led to his own transformation.
Trans in Trumpland
Trans in Trumpland examines the struggles and resilience of the transgender community under the Trump administration and features intersectional issues such as race, immigration, and poverty. The series, created by trans-owned production company TransWave Films, is directed by Tony Zosherafatain and produced by Jamie DiNicola. Trace Lysette (Hustlers, Transparent) executive produces alongside trans activists Miss Major Griffin-Gracy and Chella Man. Digital release February 25th.
Everybody’s Talking about Jamie
Inspired by true events, New Regency’s and Film4’s “Everybody’s Talking About Jamie” is the film adaptation of the hit musical. Jamie New is 16 and doesn’t quite fit in—instead of pursuing a “real” career he dreams of becoming a drag queen. Uncertain about his future, Jamie knows one thing for sure: he is going to be a sensation. Supported by his loving mom and his amazing friends, Jamie overcomes prejudice, beats the bullies and steps out of the darkness, into the spotlight.
Work in Progress
Airing on cable, the neurotic chubby butch finally gets her day in the sun, delivering the smartest, funniest, and most surprising queer show in years. Starring the hilariously delightful Abby McEnany, a Chicago improviser who co-created the show with Tim Mason, “Work in Progress” packages bold and vital commentary on mental illness, gender identity, and fat-phobia with a Larry David-esque dark sense of humor. The May-December romance between Abby and trans cutie Theo Germaine (“The Politician”) is not only sweet and sexy, but a brilliant way to examine inter-generational divides in the queer community.