Happy 5th Birthday To The Blog, Let’s Have A Movie Night!
It’s The Women’s Direction’s 5 year anniversary this September which fittingly also coincides with Woman Director Awareness Month. So for our 5th birthday I thought I would list out my top 5 female directed films of all time. Full disclosure that I am STILL working my way through quite an extensive ‘to be seen’ list of films from all kinds of directors so if your favourite doesn’t make this list that could be why, but also this is my list and as such is soley my opinion.
So without further ado let’s get into the list.
Promising Young Woman (2020) – Emerald Fennell
This could be my all time favourite just because it’s the freshest in my mind out of this list but also the film took me on such an unexpected journey that it has been super hard to forget. The performances are brilliant, particularly from Carey Mulligan, and the soundtrack is an absolute killer. My full review of the film can be read here but in a nutshell the whole thing blew me away managing to be incredbily poignant without knocking you over the head with its message. It was deservedly nominated for so many awards and if you have not seen this film yet I highly recommend.
Selma (2014) – Ava DuVernay
One of the strongest openings to a film I’ve seen in recent years, Ava DuVernay injects her signature directing style into this impactful story of a culturally significant historical event. The perfomances in this film are so powerful generating empathy towards the characters and pulling you through the story as events unfold. Selma was the film that really thrust DuVernay into the spotlight for me and she has done some amazing work since (When They See Us, 13th) but Selma still stands strong as one of my favourite works of hers and of all time. Also her interview segments in the documentary Half The Picture were some of the most inspirational for me and really ignited my desire to be a filmmaker.
Hail, Satan? (2019) – Penny Lang
This documentary was one of my favourites from the Sydney Film Festival a few years back but continues to be one of my all time favourite films in general. You can read the entire write up I did about it here. The film uses a layer of comedy to make it’s point and I would 100% say that it’s not an objective take on the subject, but as an entertaining and thought provoking piece about the role religion currently plays in our society it hits it’s mark. I often find myself coming back to rewatch it whenever I just need to laugh at how stupid humans can be.
The Invitation (2015) – Karyn Kusama
Now I’ve mentioned multiple times on this blog that I’m not big into horror films. I find most horror abhorent and delibrately uncomfortable or gorey for no reason. With that being said I cannot go past a good thriller and The Invitation tickles that itch so much that it’s one of my all time favourite films. I won’t say anything about this film except DO NOT under any circumstances watch the trailer before viewing this movie. I unfortunately did and it does in fact ruin certain aspects of the ending. So go in blind and prepare for rollercoaster.
Rafiki (2018) – Wanuri Kahiu
This film was one I would never have seen without attending the Sydney Film Festival and I’m really glad did because I often find myself thinking about it. This story of a forbidden lesbian romance was banned by the classification board in Kenya due to the illegality of homosexuality resulting in director Wanuri Kahiu being unable to attend the screening of the film at Cannes Film Festival in 2018. Rafiki is a combination of hopeful and heartbreaking telling a Romeo and Juliet like lovestory, without all the teenage death, whilst also exploring many LGBT+ rights issues. Again another great soundtrack that I listened to on repeat after seeing the film for the first time. I really hope one day I’ll be able to watch it again.
And here are some honorable mentions because narrowing my favourites down to only 5 was actually really hard.
Booksmart – Olivia Wilde
This film very nearly made the list but I had to narrow it down to 5 so it just missed out. Such a great film and glad to finally see a female led goofball comedy.
Whip it – Drew Barrymore
Barrymore’s directorial debut staring Elliot Page made me buy roller skates yet my DVD copy of Whip It has definelty seen more action than my roller skates.
Ladybird – Greta Gerwig
I loved this film so much when I saw it and Saorse Ronan is so fantastic in this accurate look into teenagedom.
Clueless – Amy Heckerling
Based on the Jane Austen novel Emma this quintessential 90’s classic will always have a soft spot in my heart.
Where Hands Touch – Amma Asante
A completely devasting film that had me balling my eyes out with my sister on the couch but a must see if you get the chance. Just make sure you have a happy film ready to follow it up.
Let me know what you’re favourite films of all time are in the comments below.