#Envisioning2020: Tired of Men? Here's 5 Women-Directed Movies Coming Out This Year

If you didn't know already, I love movies, from Disney movies, horror films and rom-coms to everything in between. However, it can get pretty grating to watch movie after movie directed by men. While passing the Bechdel test might seem easy (two named women talking about something other than men), since it happens all the time in real life, a surprising amount of movies don't pass the test, a clear sign of misogyny. Last year, there were no female directors nominated at the Golden Globes, even though wonderful films like Booksmart (dir. Olivia Wilde) and Little Women (dir. Greta Gerwig) both came out in 2019 with high praise. Jo March said it best in Gerwig's adaptation: "Women have minds and souls, as well as hearts, ambition and talent, as well as beauty..." (Source). Movie-making is a man's world, but here are five films coming out that were directed by women.

  1. 1. The Photograph, dir. Stella Meghie

    I'll admit, the first few seconds of the trailer for The Photograph did not look promising, but, as I continued to watch, I grew interested in the movie, which comes out this Valentine's Day. Directed by Stella Meghie, the film follows two love interests, Mae and Michael, played by Issa Rae and LaKieth Stanfield, respectively. The film seems to touch on modern dating, emotional vulnerability, strained familial relationships and grief. I'm here for it! Additionally, the cast is predominantly black, which is refreshing to see from a mainstream studio like Universal. Watch the trailer here.

  2. 2. Promising Young Woman, dir. Emerald Fennell

    Promising Young Woman offers searing commentary on sexual assault, both from those in our lives and strangers. Out this upcoming April, the film follows Carey Mulligan's character, Cassie, who pretends to be drunk at clubs, every week—and every week, a man attempts to assault her. This practice is a result of Cassie's previous sexual assault in medical school. Though I don't condone revenge, it might be fun to see a woman take back her power (and then some) from the egregious men who have assaulted her. Watch the trailer here.

  3. 3. Mulan, dir. Niki Caro

    The Disney live-action adaption of Mulan has received a broad range of reactions. Some were disappointed or outraged that Li-Shang, a possibly queer character (he did fall in love with Mulan while she was still cross-dressing as a man, after all) was erased from the plot. Others, like myself, were taken aback that the film wasn't going to be a musical. When I watched the trailer, though, I was completely sold. The plot seems more focused on Mulan, her personal journey and her strength within as she becomes a great warrior, saving both her family and her country. The 2020 Mulan film, out Mar. 27, might not be a beat-by-beat adaptation of the original animated film, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't be excited. In fact, I'm looking forward to the film more due to its originality! Watch the trailer here.

  4. 4. Wonder Woman 1984, dir. Patty Jenkins

    Patty Jenkins made history in 2017, when she directed Wonder Woman, which, at the time, was the highest-grossing movie directed by a woman. Since then, Captain Marvel and Frozen II have surpassed those numbers, showing that woman-directed films can bring audiences in droves. The same is assured for Wonder Woman 1984, the sequel to the 2017 film, due in theaters June 5. Wonder Woman might not be my favorite superhero, but she symbolizes so much — the strength, vitality and courage of women that so often goes ignored in lieu of love stories. Watch the trailer here.

  5. 5. Birds of  Prey, dir. Cathy Yan

    One of the only good parts of Suicide Squad was Margot Robbie's spirited portrayal of Harley Quinn. Robbie's take on Quinn has spawned countless Halloween and party costumes, as well as her own movie, which follows Harley after her breakup with the Joker. The movie is all girl-power and doesn't back down from it at all. Birds of Prey, which comes out Feb. 7, seems zany and bubbly, while also commenting on toxic relationships and the power of female friendships. Watch the trailer here.

Did none of those movies pique your interest? Well, there's even more from which to choose. Women directors might not get the credit they deserve, but I am looking forward to them (hopefully) dominating the box office, this year, with all the films listed.