Every weekday during March, Women's History Month, we'll be writing about a great film directed by a woman. Although our list won't be comprehensive, we hope to shed some light on work that often gets overlooked by mainstream audiences and awards.

United States / Australia, 127 mins, Dir. The Wachowskis


The Wachowski sisters, who were once the Wachowski brothers, and as brothers made the defining science fiction film of the 1990s, The Matrix, directed in 2015 a space opera, Jupiter Ascending, along the lines of Star Wars. There is, however, no easy way to explain or describe this work. With Star Wars, one can say without much difficulty that it is about a country boy on a desert planet who eventually learns that he is a member of a royal family that's fighting to liberate the galaxy from an evil empire. With Jupiter Ascending, a young Russian-born woman, Jupiter Jones (Mila Kunis)—who lives in Chicago (where the Wachowskis are from) and works as a janitor—soon and very spectacularly learns that she is wanted by not one, not two, but three royal families from other galaxies.

The janitor, it turns out, has the DNA of some space queen and so stands to inherit a trans-galactic kingdom ruled by human-like creatures. Jupiter Jones also has the power to control bees (they are aliens, after all). And the shoes of the elf-eared man assigned to protector her, Caine Wise (Channing Tatum), are like anti-gravity roller-blades. He zips this way and that over downtown Chicago during a dazzling battle that appears to destroy Boeing's headquarters, among other corporate towers.

Do not try to make sense of this space opera. Just start it, just watch it, just give in to it. The Wachowskis had access to too much money, too much equipment, and little by little, made something that's wonderfully insane.

Available to stream on Netflix and for rent or purchase on many platforms.