Women Is Losers is one of the first films to receive its premiere this year at SXSW. A considerable amount of inspiration for this film’s narrative derived from director and writer Lissette Feliciano’s life experiences as a woman. Actress Lorenza Izzo, known best for her roles in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and Knock Knock, joined the project early on as an executive producer alongside her role as the leading character, seeing resemblance between the hurdles herself and Feliciano had overcome, ultimately contributing greatly to how personal this tale feels.
The story follows Celina, a Latinx daughter of immigrant parents, attending catholic school during the 60s in San Fransisco as she transitions into adulthood and navigates through a system pitted against women. It is a real hard hitting drama with a tinge of perfectly balanced comedy here and there. From the opening sequence, the film’s power is obvious through its ability to delve deep into one woman’s love, loss, and grief with such creative integrity.
Bear in mind this is a period piece set in the 60s, making it all the more shocking when Celina breaks the fourth wall, reminding the viewer that not much has changed in the present. In fact, the conversations Women Is Losers brings forth are perhaps more relevant than ever as society continues to raise issues relating to reproductive rights and gender inequality. Even to this very day, women and especially women of color are at times misinformed and oppressed by an inherently patriarchal society that continues to persist. Immigration, and being a child of immigrant parents who have had to work excessively hard, is another key theme throughout this film that also reflects the modern day.
Cinema needs more films that are as open and honest about what it means to be a woman. It is beautiful yet simultaneously painful, validating the emotional rollercoaster that is human existence. Women Is Losers is poetry in motion and handles its subject matter with such intricacy. As an ensemble, the entire cast is superb; although two additional stand outs need mention. Chrissie Fit who can shift between comedic elements and tragic moments with such grace. Simu Lui is also wonderful during his short but skillful performance. At the core, Lorenza Izzo is a power house – she brings so much heart and soul to the entirety of the film.
This was clearly made with such passion on behalf of Lissette Feliciano. It tells the stories of women everywhere as much of the female experience is frustratingly universal, and for that exact reason will make Women Is Losers felt for years to come. It serves as a reminder of how much work it has taken to achieve small victories and persist through the barriers of misogyny and yet so much is still to be done. Eliciting pride, sorrow, and determination, this is a film not to be missed.