The Golden Globes released the nominees for its 80th award ceremony and, TBH, I’m not impressed. The girlies can celebrate over Jenna Ortega’s nomination. (Wednesday is up for Best Musical or Comedy Series — TV and Ortega is up for Best Television Actress — Musical or Comedy.) But other than that, the list is lackluster, especially the lack of female director nominees.
The director nominations. What do all the nominees have in common? Their gender – all men. C’mon, didn’t anyone learn their lesson in 2018 when Natalie Portman pointed out the “all male” Oscar nominees?
As if James Cameron, director of Avatar: Way of Water, a movie that hasn’t even hit theaters yet, being nominated wasn’t already a slap in the face — Chinonye Chukwu and Maria Schrader didn’t even make the cut this year. Like hello, did the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (Golden Globe organizers) even watch Till and She Said or was that just me?
Anyway, since it’s clear the Golden Globes aren’t going to tip a hat to the many talented female directors this year, here are six women-directed films from 2022 that you can watch instead of just the five Golden Globe nominated movies. They deserve some love, too.
- The Woman King directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood
Inspired by the Agojie, the all-female unit of warriors who protected The Kingdom of Dahomey in the 1800s, The Woman King is a historical epic that gets hearts rushing. It takes place in the 18th and 19th centuries with leading actress Viola Davis, who did secure a nomination for her role. Prince-Bythewood’s films, such as The Old Guard, often feature Black women finding self-love and building strength as a unit. She continued with those themes in The Woman King.
- Women Talking directed by Sarah Polley
Polley, who both directed and wrote her feature, was nominated in the best screenplay category. (Thank god, because if she was nominated for nothing, I would’ve lost my mind.) Women Talking lets viewers inside of a remote religious community where women are facing an internal struggle. They must decide if they will continue to practice their faith or leave their community for the safety of themselves and their daughters. The film is based on a real historical event where Mennonite men and older boys were raping women within their churches.
- Prisoner’s Daughter directed by Catherine Hardwicke
Twilight director Hardwicke is back. But this time there’s no Robert Pattinson and no territorial werewolves. Unfortunate, but trust me — Prisoner’s Daughter is just as worth watching as Twilight. The story follows a released convict played by Brian Cox who wants to reconnect with his daughter and only grandson. But that’s not as easy as it sounds. Family tensions and old, criminal urges lurk. And you’re forced to ask yourself, is the past ever really in the past?
- Fresh directed by Mimi Cave
You have to remember January’s hit movie Fresh with Daisy Edgar-Jones and Sebastian Stan. It ate at viewers who had to watch Stan brutalize and cannibalize women on screen in exchange for cold cash. The main character, Noa, decides to play into her captor’s game with the goal of escaping and her scheming had me biting my nails for the whole movie. Cave worked disturbing wonders with her camera work in this film.
- Turning Red directed by Domee Shi
Mei Lee “poofs” into a giant red panda when she gets too excited. It’s due to a hereditary curse, no biggie, and all Mei Lee needs to do is figure out how to handle this centuries-old problem. She also has to go to middle school in the meantime, which throws a bit of a wrench in things. Disney’s Turning Red received a best animated feature nomination this year and I think everyone who choked up during the movie knows why.
- Don’t Worry Darling directed by Olivia Wilde
I couldn’t leave Don’t Worry Darling off the list, even after all of the drama surrounding it sort of took away from the film’s integrity. Miss Flo and Harry Styles star in the 1950s-esque dystopian movie where Flo’s character, Alice, begins to suspect something is afoot. The psychological thriller was not only directed by a woman but written by one as well, Katie Silberman. Wilde’s design and camera actions allow for a fully subversive experience. Say what you want about her relationship with Styles off-screen, but the actual film was good.
The Golden Globes will air on Tuesday, Jan. 10. Tune in and support the women that were nominated. I hope that next year, the Golden Globes can do better in showing female directors the recognition they deserve.