Call Jane: everything we know about the harrowing Elizabeth Banks film

Elizabeth Banks as Joy and Wunmi Mosaku as Gwen sitting on the steps in Call Jane
Elizabeth Banks as Joy and Wunmi Mosaku as Gwen sitting on the steps in Call Jane (Image credit: Protagonist Pictures)

It can always be a bit eerie to come across a period film that can easily be reflective of present day, or one that serves as a cautionary tale for where current culture could head under similar circumstances. Without hesitation, we can say that Call Jane is one of these films. 

Set in the 1960s, the movie follows Elizabeth Banks' character, Joy, as she is forced to make the difficult decision of terminating a pregnancy for the sake of her well-being and family, or continuing on with a pregnancy that could take her life. It’s an unenviable position for any woman to be put in, and in an era pre-Roe v. Wade she turns to a group of women called the Janes. 

With the US Supreme Court’s recent decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, Call Jane comes at a poignant moment in the US that has many in the country nervous about whether or not Winston Churchill’s words will ring true: "Those that fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it." 

Here’s everything we know about Call Jane.  

When is the Call Jane release date? 

Call Jane is currently in the middle of its film festival rounds. It first premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January. The movie makes its nationwide debut on Friday, October 14. You can check to see if the film is available to watch near you when it premieres by heading over to Fandango as we get closer to the fall date. 

We are still awaiting an official word on a UK premiere. As information becomes available, we'll pass along that update. 

What is Call Jane about? 

Elizabeth Banks as Joy at a dinner table in Call Jane

(Image credit: Protagonist Pictures)

Protagonist Pictures, the production company behind Call Jane, lists the official synopsis of the film as the following: 

"Joy (Elizabeth Banks), a traditional 60’s American housewife, is desperate for a second child. However, the wonderful news of her pregnancy is tainted by the threat it poses to her own life. She has nowhere to turn until she stumbles upon the Janes, an underground group of ordinary women united by Virginia (Sigourney Weaver), who risk everything to provide people like Joy with choices. They save Joy’s life and give her a burning sense of purpose: to help other women take control of their destinies."

It’s interesting to note that the film will see widespread release months after HBO Max’s debut of the documentary The Janes, which shows the real story of the group of women that risked their lives and freedom to help others with their difficult choice in a pre-Roe v. Wade time in the US.  

Call Jane cast 

As previously mentioned, starring as the lead of the film is actress Elizabeth Banks. Banks’ talent is certainly versatile as she’s been in projects ranging from the Pitch Perfect films to the Hunger Games movies to starring in the Emmy-nominated limited series, Mrs. America. She also served as host for the game show Press Your Luck

Joining Banks on screen is Oscar-nominee Sigourney Weaver. Weaver has been known to star in some blockbuster films such as Alien, Alien: Resurrection, the Ghostbuster movies and the mega-hit, Avatar. She’s also been featured in the Marvel universe in the Netflix series The Defenders

Rounding out the main cast of Call Jane are Kate Mara (House of Cards, Pose) Wunmi Mosaku (We Own This City, Loki) and Chris Messina (Gaslit, Birds of Prey). 

Call Jane rating 

Call Jane has received a rating of R in the US. 

Call Jane runtime 

The runtime of Call Jane is two hours and one minute. 

Call Jane reviews

As of August 15, Call Jane has a Rotten Tomato Tomatometer score of 77%, and Metacritic scored it a 65. 

Dwight Brown of The National Newspaper Publishers Association says of the film, “The insightful script wisely takes a touchy subject, makes it personal and centers it around the most unlikely protagonist.” 

Call Jane trailer

The trailer alone is enough to compel one to not only want to watch the film, but more importantly, feel compassion for all women faced with making such a decision. 

Call Jane director

Bringing the vision of writers Hayley Schore and Roshan Sethi to life is director Phyllis Nagy. Nagy is both an Oscar and BAFTA nominee for her writing talent in the film Carol. Nagy also directed the Emmy-nominated TV movie, Mrs. Harris

Terrell Smith

Terrell Smith has a diverse writing background having penned material for a wide array of clients including the federal government and Bravo television personalities.  When he’s not writing as Terrell, he’s writing under his pseudonym Tavion Scott, creating scripts for his audio drama podcasts. Terrell is a huge fan of great storytelling when it comes to television and film. Some of his favorite shows include The CrownWandaVision, Abbot Elementary and Godfather of HarlemAnd a fun fact is he's completely dialed into the TLC 90 Day Fiancé universe.