The Lineup: The Films We’re Eyeing this April

By Tom Moore and Valerie Kalfrin

April features plenty of big time films directed by women that are hitting streaming and theaters all throughout the month. There are documentaries focused on Brooke Shields and the “Child’s Play” franchise. An adaptation of Judy Blume’s most iconic work from the director of “The Edge of Seventeen” is hitting theaters nationwide. Also, there’s a Sundance-favorite set to make a big impact with its distinctive mix of action, comedy, and coming-of-age story beats. So, let’s delve into what’s catching our eyes this April!

“Pretty Baby: Brooke Shields”: Directed by Lana Wilson (“Miss Americana”), this documentary focuses on the meteoric rise of Brooke Shields as a model at a very young age and the aftereffects of the sexual exploitation she experienced in her later life as an adult. The film streams on HULU starting April 3rd.

“Pretty Baby: Brooke Shields” Trailer

Courtesy of Deadline

Living With Chucky: Directed by Kyra Elise Gardner, this documentary delves into the legacy and family that developed throughout the making of the “Child’s Play” franchise. The film comes from the daughter of longtime special effects designer for the franchise, Tony Gardner, and she adds her own account on the legendary killer doll to make “Living with Chucky” a truly personal deep dive of an iconic and beloved horror franchise. The film is set to hit VOD and Screambox on April 4th.

“Living With Chucky” Trailer 

“Showing Up”: Directed by Kelly Reichardt (“First Cow”), a humorous look at how a woman artist, (Michelle Williams) tries to balance her creative and personal lives with somewhat limited success. Another great lead role for Michelle and another cameo for Judd Hirsch – what’s not to love?  

Our very own Tom Moore saw “Showing Up” as last year’s New York Film Festival and called it “another fantastic collaboration between Reichard and Williams” and “a funny and personal story about artistic and personal struggles.” Check out Tom’s full review here and “Showing Up” will have a limited release on April 7th.

“Showing Up” Trailer

“Rare Objects”: Directed by Katie Holmes and starring herself, Alan Cummings and Saundra Santiago. Based on the 2016 novel by Kathleen Tessaro, the film tells the story of a woman who has been struggling with her mental health and takes a job at an antique shop as she attempts to put her life back together. The film will have a limited release in theaters on April 14th.

“Rare Objects” Trailer

“Mafia Mamma”: Directed by Catherine Hardwicke, the film stars Toni Collette (“Nightmare Alley”) as an American woman who inherits an organized crime empire in Italy – what could go wrong?  The film will have a limited theater release on April 14th.

“Mafia Mamma” Trailer

Courtesy of Deadline

Other People’s Children: Directed by Rebecca Zlotowski, the film follows a childless, middle-aged woman (Virginie Efira) who develops a close bond with the young daughter (Callie Ferreira-Goncalves) of a man (Roschdy Zem) she starts dating. This tragic dramedy will have a limited release in theaters starting April 21st.

“Other People’s Children” Trailer

Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret: Directed by Kelly Fremon Craig, this coming-of-age comedy, based on the 1970 novel of the same name by Judy Blume, follows sixth-grader Margaret (Abby Ryder Fortson) as she attempts to her religious identity while growing into womanhood. The film is set to hit theaters nationwide on April 28th.

“Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret” Trailer

Polite Society: Directed by Nida Manzoor, the film follows a teen (Priya Kansara) aspiring to be a stuntwoman who ends up in the fight of her life after she tries to stop her sister (Ritu Arya) from marrying her fiancé’s nefarious family.

Our very own Sarah Manvel saw “Polite Society” premiere at this past Sundance Film Festival and called the film “a triumph” and said it has a “a sense of glee that’s rarer than diamonds and more valuable than 22-carat gold.” Check out Sarah’s review here and mark your calendars as the film is set to have a limited release in theaters on April 28th.

“Polite Society” Trailer

Priya Kansara appears in Polite Society by Nida Manzoor, an official selection of the Midnight section at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | Photo by Parisa Taghizadeh. All photos are copyrighted and may be used by the press only for the purpose of news or editorial coverage of Sundance Institute programs. Photos must be accompanied by a credit to the photographer and/or ‘Courtesy of Sundance Institute.’ Unauthorized use, alteration, reproduction or sale of logos and/or photos is strictly prohibited.

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