Directed by: Lissette Feliciano
Written by: Lissette Feliciano
Starring: Lorenza Izzo, Bryan Craig, Chrissie Fit, Simu Liu, Steven Bauer, Liza Weil
Even when following all of the rules and regulations life has put on everyone, systems meant to keep certain people down can slow any sort of momentum established. Women is Losers from the very start seeks to establish this very predicament ailing one woman progressing through moments of poverty in order to change the generational hindrances in her way. Uplifting, moving, and ultimately dashing, this feature allows a megaphone to be raised by women to express their genuine struggle.
From a young age, Celina (Lorenza Izzo) has struggled living in a patriarchal society where accessing the basic elements of equality proves to be a hurdle. As she progresses from being a teenager to her own adult, she notices systems in place were never made for her and she needs to circumvent them in order to change her family tree.
With a level of vibrancy and affection, everything emanating from Women is Losers, seeks to tell an uplifting story filled with both heartbreaking and lovable moments in this woman’s life. From the truly aggravating aspects of how the world piles on against her and the moments where she eventually overcomes it displays the strong work being done through this story and the lead actor as she helps craft the character of Celina and what she can represent to many young girls growing up.
Raised on very patriarchal tenets, Celina ran the hamster wheel for as long as she could with an early pregnancy she decided to stay with, she was put behind the 8-ball to begin her adult life. Unstable support at home shows how the basic things in life can be taken for granted as she attempts to make it out on her own. From having to leave work early to pick up her child and the demands a 9-5 imposes on her, it becomes an endless struggle for her to keep her head above water and save even a morsel of money to her name. It’s not until she gets some sort of guidance from her boss, Gilbert (Simu Liu) that she begins to figure things out. Gilbert picks her out and demonstrates how to get ahead in this country and all of it makes sense.
It begins with properly saving money and then taking the rest to invest it because it’s truly the only way money can grow and set up the next generation. A whole sequence of saving and hustling shows Celina doing everything right as the most successful people would do, but this film smartly shows the facade of when systemic barriers rear their ugly heads. It demonstrates it in Celina’s effort to buy a home. Tired of living at home where her domineering father does not let her live peacefully. Celina does everything necessary in order to succeed with buying real estate, she saves a sizable down payment, builds up her credit to a respectable degree, and maintains gainful employment. Everything told to individuals hoping to buy something and when it comes for her to apply for it she outright gets rejected because she’s a single mother and needs a man to co-sign the loan with her. Abjectly a horrible circumstance for her and for many women hoping to have some level of independence of this time. The rage coming through Lorenza Izzo’s eyes in that scene alone sums up everything occurring in this feature and the walls needing to be knocked down.
Moments of righteous rage always get coupled by the lovely scenes of connection Celina has not only with herself but also with the people around her. Whether it be her mother or the supervisor she thought hated her. Community comes together organically when the soil beneath them remains fertile with compassion, which becomes evident in the actions of Celina’s life. It allows for some wonderfully moving moments that will hit you right in the feels by the end.
Serving as a feature directorial debut, Lissette Feliciano does a splendid job with this story in the way she handles the heartbreaking and uplifting content. Some moments seek to peeve the audience because of the injustices inherent when trying to succeed as a woman. She nails those aspects spectacularly well and provides the perfect spotlight for Lorenza Izzo to shine as Celina. Izzo harnesses this internal strength women possess along with the undying perseverance in order to succeed. She puts in such effective work by being this guide for the audience through this story and I look forward to seeing where she continues to grow in her career.
Heartwarming to a cheesy degree at times, Women is Losers has it all and tells such a strong story putting women at the forefront. It serves not only as a valid repudiation to the idea there’s always been a level playing field but it also demonstrates the importance of community to overcome it. Put together extremely well and one highlighting the best of everyone involved.
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