Set to debut at the Berlin International Film Festival, “Femme” looks to be the kind of satisfying queer thriller we won’t miss. The neo-noir features rising stars Nathan Stewart-Jarrett (“Candyman”) and George MacKay (“1917”) locked in an all-too-familiar battle. Stewart-Jarrett will play working drag queen Jules, whose life is upended by a violent homophobic attack. Later, out of drag, he encounters his attacker (MacKay) in a gay sauna and sets in motion a plan to infiltrate the man’s life to enact revenge. The debut feature of co-directors Sam H. Freeman and Ng Choon Ping, it arrives at a very timely moment of increased anti-queer activity on the right, often specifically directed at gender non-conforming members of the LGBTQ+ community. In other words, a little fictional bashing back? Seems just the thing.
Helen Mirren goes to ‘Switzerland’ as Patricia Highsmith
There have been plenty of Patricia Highsmith literary efforts adapted for TV and film, but now comes a new twist: a fictional story starring the celebrated lesbian author herself, played by Helen Mirren. Dame HM will star in the film “Switzerland” from director Anton Corbijn (“Control”), in a story reminiscent of her popular thrillers. Set in the Swiss Alps later in Highsmith’s life, her quiet life is interrupted by a literary agent trying to convince her to write one more novel in the Ripley (as in “The Talented Mr.”) series. From that moment on, art and life become one and things get dangerous and weird. We love a lesbian high concept, we love Helen Mirren, and we love the queer treachery of the Ripley stories. Casting is still underway, but we’re ready for this one to take our money.
Colman Domingo gives in to ‘The Madness’
“Fear the Walking Dead” star Colman Domingo — who, by the way, also has an Emmy for “Euphoria” — has had a run of memorable supporting turns in acclaimed films like “Selma” and “If Beale Street Could Talk.” He will soon star as gay civil rights icon Bayard Rustin in the Netflix film “Rustin” and has another project on the horizon. Netflix has given a series order to “The Madness,” a conspiracy thriller about a media pundit who happens upon a murder in the Poconos. From that point, he has to solve the crime, clear his name and fight for his life. No word yet on the other cast or when the series will drop but it’s certain to be appointment viewing. We’ve been fans since he and Kate McKinnon were on “The Big Gay Sketch Show,” so it’s especially thrilling to see this talented actor’s star continue to rise.
Oscar nominee Stephanie Hsu takes a ‘Joy Ride’
Queer actress Stephanie Hsu, who was already familiar to us from her hilarious presence on “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” and who has become beloved for her Academy Award-nominated role in “Everything Everywhere All At Once,” will hit screens again in June in the comedy “Joy Ride.” The directorial debut of Adele Lim, the screenwriter of “Crazy Rich Asians” and “Raya and the Last Dragon,” it comes with a script from Teresa Hsiao and Cherry Chevapravatdumrong (both known for their work on “Family Guy,” with Hsiao also the creator of “Awkwafina Is Nora from Queens”). Hsu and an ensemble that includes Sabrina Wu (“Dying for Sex”), Sherry Cola (“Good Trouble”) and Ashley Park (“Emily in Paris”) take an international trip through Asia to search for one of their birth mothers, with raucous results. We don’t know which Marvel or DC movie opens in June, if any, but this sounds exactly like the superhero content we really want.
Romeo San Vicente is a one-man joy ride.