“Tell me, what are your favorites movies?” This was asked of my female classmates and me in high school. Being an avid movie watcher, I answered that my top 3 movies at the time were Avatar, Lord of the Rings, and The Dark Knight. Disappointed, the woman who asked this question frowned and replied, “Those are all directed by men” and continued to ask other girls in my class. This interaction has stuck with me for six years now. Why? Because I understood that I shouldn’t enjoy films that were created by men nor share this with others proudly. Yet, I also became aware of the lack of big-budget female-directed movies and now understand the importance of breaking through this line of work. With this, I also have come to recognize movies that I already enjoyed that happen to be directed by women. Yet, female directors aren’t household names like Quentin Tarantino, Christopher Nolan, or James Cameron, and rarely are they celebrated. Thankfully, strides are being taken to combat this and more female directors are hitting the screen. Women-directed movies like Lady Bird (2017), To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (2018), Captain Marvel (2019), and Brave (2012) are some of the most widely recognized and loved. Truth be told, the cinema world still has ways to go to create a more diverse and inclusive variety of directors, actors, and overall staff. It’s wise to give recognition where it’s needed and also understand that as a society, we still have a lot to work on — and that’s okay! It means we have more to look forward to in the future.
For now, I have compiled a list of movies that I truly enjoy, and can’t wait for others to enjoy as much as I have. Perhaps you will even find some movies you didn’t even know were directed by women!
- The Matrix (1999), Directed by Lana and Lily Wachowski
- American Psycho (2000), Directed by Mary Harron
- Jennifer’s Body (2009), Directed by Karyn Kusama
- We Need To Talk About Kevin (2011), Directed by Lynne Ramsay
- Wonder Women (2017), Directed by Patty Jenkins
- Free Solo (2018), Co-Directed by Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi
- Booksmart (2019), Directed by Olivia Wilde
- Athlete A (2020), Directed by Bonni Cohen