Where are you Christmas Films Directed By Women?
We all love a good Christmas film. In fact, apart from Halloween, it’s probably one of the only other holidays to have its own genre of film. My plan earlier this year was to provide a list of Easter themed films directed by women that you could all curl up with a mountain of chocolate and sink your teeth into. However, it appears that the female directed Easter film simply doesn’t exist. Similar can be said for Christmas.
It’s interesting how holiday season films as a genre are so dominated by male directors but then the whole industry has been for quite some time. Not many people bring this genre’s disparity up either. I guess because its usually a time full of joy and no one wants to talk politics? But seriously, in an article I found of the top 55 Christmas Movies of All Time there were 3 films directed by women! That’s approximately 5% of the films that we all sit down to watch every Christmas.
Now don’t get me wrong, Christmas is my favourite time of the year. I am going to a special outdoor screening of Love Actually because it wouldn’t be Christmas without it, but to my point, these films are so culturally ingrained in the tradition of celebrating Christmas yet are almost completely saturated by male directors and often male led stories.
Where are the Mrs Claus stories? Am I right?
So as we come into the last few days before Christmas I thought I’d put together a list of some of the holiday films directed by women that you can break tradition and watch instead.
The Holiday Directed by Nancy Meyers
Following close behind Love Actually as my favourite Christmas romance film is The Holiday. Directed by Nancy Meyers, I cry every time regardless of how many times I’ve seen it. The story follows two women, from L.A and country England, who swap houses for the holidays to get away from their love mishaps only to have love find them. Cute, corny, everything to make you warm and fuzzy.
Arthur Christmas Directed by Sarah Smith
Arthur Christmas is a nice family story surrounding the succession line of the Santa Claus name and job. The relationships between all the Santa’s and the unique ways each of them take to the role is something that I hadn’t really seen done in a Christmas movie before. It’s definitely a new kind of classic and will shake up your typical marathon.
Black Christmas Directed by Sophia Takal
Coming to cinemas soon this film may fall into that Nightmare Before Christmas debate of which holiday you watch it on, Halloween or Christmas? A feminist twist on the 1974 original film of the same name and one of the first films from production company Blumhouse Productions after the controversial comments their CEO made only a few months ago. It promises gore and darkness if that floats your boat more than holly jolly holidays.
Mixed Nuts Directed by Nora Ephron
Staring Steve Martin Mixed Nuts is a comedy that focuses on the events around a crisis hotline business on one crazy night during the Christmas holidays. Though not amazingly well received by critics audiences seemed to go along with the black comedy crazy style a lot more. Definitely one to shift the tone of your Christmas classic’s list.
A Christmas Carol (1977) Directed by Moira Armstrong
There have been many version of this tale told in many different ways but at least we have a female directed version in here as well. This TV Movie version of the classic tale is done fairly traditionally including original dialogue from the book, painted backdrops and practical effects. You can’t get more classic Christmas tale than that!
I’ll be Home For Christmas Directed By Arlene Sanford
This family Christmas classic is the story of 18 year old college student Jake who must make his way from California to New York in time to spend the holidays with his family and win his father’s Porsche. Intersecting the themes of family and materialism his journey is not quite as straight forward as you would think and by the end he learns the true meaning of Christmas. Aww.