0Spring is here, and movie theaters are slowly starting to re-open, along with everything else.  Are we ready to sit in a small (or big) dark room full of strangers munching on popcorn and slurping soda pop? For a lot of us the answer is no. It’s gonna take some time to ease back into normalcy and for some activities, things might be forever changed.

When it comes to film and TV they already were changing a lot, with new streaming networks sprouting like the California poppies this time of year, ready to be loaded onto our TV sets for a nominal monthly fee.  Most new film releases were/are available to watch in (limited) theaters, drive-ins and via streaming services, so we have options.

The Oscars, which air on April 25, will inspire a lot of us to catch up on the nominated films, some of which we share reviews of below. So as we look forward to April, we take a look back here, in case you missed any of our film coverage in LA Weekly, Irvine Weekly or Village Voice.

March kicked off with the powerful performance of Andra Day in The United States vs. Billie Holiday (born this day, April 7, 1015). As our critic enthused,”…the main reason to see United States is for Day, who inhabits the soul and physique of Holiday with an effortless grace. There’s not a moment when the Grammy-nominated singer is onscreen that you’re not mesmerized and it’s extremely hard to believe this is her first acting role.”

March was Women’s History Month, and like Day,  many female actors made an impact. Kelly Marie Tran did in Disney’s Raya and the Last Dragon,  and we spoke to her about it. Another female-driven film, Land, starring and directed by Robin Wright, was worth a watch after debuting at Sundance.

Other titles to add your watch list: the story of the Notorious B.I.G.’s early years- Biggie: I Got A Story To Tell, Eddie Murphy’s Coming 2 America (don’t expect much from the story, just enjoy the nostalgia), Amy Poehler’s MOXIE (we hate having to call a film about feminism cute, but it is), Tom Holland in the addiction tale called Cherry, Sigourney Weaver in My Salinger Year, Almodovar’s epic Tilda Swinton short The Human Voice, and Zack Snyder’s 4 hour cut of Justice League.

Of course, Marvel is still kinda kicking DC’s butt, and we detailed how with our March 4th cover story about Wandavision. Between that episodic and other series’ on Prime, Hulu, etc., plus a slew of compelling docuseries and streaming service docs –including a couple about beloved popstars, past and present– last month kept us entertained and engaged. We may even re-watch a few of these.

Links to everything below.

Andra Day Gives us all of Lady Day in The United States vs. Billie Holiday

Raya and the Last Dragon Star Kelly Marie Tran Reflects on Representation and Redemption (Q&A)

Of Loss and Land: Robin Wright’s Directorial Debut is Not a Love Story

Sean Combs’ New Doc has a Deeper Story to Tell about Biggie Smalls

History – but not Hilarity – Repeats Itself in Coming 2 America

Amy Poehler’s Moxie Offers Muddled Riot Grrrl Message

My Salinger Year Gets Caught in Hapless Rye

Almodóvar’s The Human Voice Finds Beauty in the Lovelorn

Tom Holland Goes for Broke(n) in Addiction Epic Cherry

DC Tries Again with Zack Snyder’s Justice League

From Britney to Billie: The Evolution of Young Female Pop Stardom

The Marvel Revolution Will Be Televised: Disney’s WandaVision Brings the Superhero Multiverse to the Masses

Simply the Best: Tina Turner, Woody Allen, Q-Anon and More get the Documentary Treatment

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