Lena Waithe, Emmy-winning queen of queer-everything lately, has another movie in the pipeline. Beauty, written by Waithe and directed by acclaimed filmmaker Andrew Dosunmu (Mother of George), stars up-and-comer Gracie Marie Bradley as a rising pop star in a relationship with a butch lesbian (Aleyse Shannon, Black Christmas). And in spite of the fact that that’s everything we know about the plot, that’s totally enough. There are so few romantic dramas centering black characters (The Photograph was lovely), and even fewer with queer characters and even fewer featuring butch women, that we’re already thrilled this project even exists. Beauty co-stars Sharon Stone, James Urbaniak (Difficult People) and Joey Bada$$ (Wu-Tang: An American Saga). So when this one hits whatever platform hosts it – a theatrical experience, a streaming service, we don’t mind where – we’re going to be unavailable and very busy cheering on lesbian romance.
An actress and her stand-in trade places. Sure, why not? It’s not like anyone’s going to mistake them for each other unless this is a Freaky Friday-style body-switching scenario. Oh, wait, it kinda-sorta is? Well now we’re on board, but we’re also getting ahead of ourselves. In The Stand-In, coming soon to Netflix, Drew Barrymore plays a famous comedic actress who yearns to live a simpler existence and decides to switch places with her stand-in, also played by Drew Barrymore. And when the celebrity version finds herself usurped of her uniquely privileged life, that’s when things go off the rails. The Stand-In is written by Sam Bain (Four Lions) and directed by But I’m A Cheerleader’s Jamie Babbit, and co-stars the wonderful Ellie Kemper (The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), Chicago Fire regular Charlie Barnett, Michael Zegen (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel) and the hilarious Holland Taylor, whose long and regal career as a character actress is the very definition of Legendary Lesbian. We’ll watch twice.
Let’s just say that ever since Pushing Daisies we’ve had a serious but not at all obsessive thing for Lee Pace – even when he was a bit caught off guard at being accidentally outed by Ian McKellen a few years back (a definite oops senior moment for Miss McKellen) and even when it seemed like we were the only ones watching Halt and Catch Fire. OK, we might have actually been the only ones. Anyway, our fandom continues stronger than ever and now Pace has a new project, Foundation, that we’ll probably stan just as strongly. Based on a series of sci-fi novels by Isaac Asimov, Foundation is a thousand-year saga about a group of exiles battling for the survival of a galactic empire, one ruled by an emperor named Brother Day that Pace will play (this makes sense to us because he’s very tall and no, don’t ask us to explain that logically in any way, thank you). It co-stars Jared Harris (Mad Men) is set for Apple TV+, and if it all sounds a little like Star Wars that’s because it pre-dates that George Lucas-created juggernaut by a few decades and was probably a heavy influence. In other words, respect your elders for once.
Right now we’re a little obsessed with Fast and Furious franchise co-star Luke Evans going adorably “Instagram Official” with his boyfriend. It could be argued that we have simple, some might say “basic” taste, but we’re just sort of thrilled that “tough guy” action stars have same-sex smooching rights in public now, too. What does this have to do with The Angels of Darkness? Nothing, really, but the upcoming TV series does star Evans, along with Daniel Brühl and Dakota Fanning. If those names all seem familiar together, it’s because they’re returning to characters they played before in this sequel to The Alienist, the series based on Caleb Carr’s psychological thriller about a serial killer terrorizing New York in the late 1800s. A disturbing and frightening thing it was, too, which is why even though we’re absolutely watching this next installment of creepy mayhem, we’re happy that Evans is balancing out the dark career choices with lots of cute online vacation photos.