The below is a brief review of a new release I feel is worthy of recommendation. This film was reviewed from a digital screener. Screen and Stage encourages its readers to follow safety precautions outlined by health authorities.
Happiest Season (Dir. Clea DuVall, 2020, available 11/25/20 on Hulu) - Every year there is a glut of holiday-themed movies featuring heterosexual couples falling in love. In HAPPIEST SEASON, the central couple is two women, Abby and Harper, played by Kristin Stewart and Mackenzie Davis, respectively, and the film follows them as they visit Harper’s family’s house for Christmas. And, the parents don’t know Harper is gay. Deftly mixing comedy and drama, HAPPIEST SEASON stands out both for its complementary and equally strong central performances from Stewart and Davis (the supporting performances, particularly those of Mary Steenburgen, Alison Brie, Dan Levy, and Aubrey Plaza, give the film some real color) and its sensitive handling of the issues it takes on. Having representation of this sort is a step forward, and having a film like this in existence, especially a good one, will be both comforting to many audience members as well as a discussion-starter for families experiencing a situation similar to the one in the film.