The film industry has always been a male-dominated zone, with only 4% of directors being female. So in order to support these amazing women, here are ten great movies directed by women.
1. American Psycho – Mary Harron
This movie takes a thrilling look into the life of a psychopath, portraying the mindset of the psycho through the eyes of the audience. Mary Harron not only directed this blockbuster but also adapted the screenplay from the novel. The film itself touches on the issue of sexism, as it transformed a deeply controversial and arguably sexist novel into a satirical film exposing the ridiculousness of male vanity.
2. Brave – Brenda Chapman
This Pixar film tells the tale of a princess and her mother’s adventures in the highlands of Medieval Scotland. Chapman was inspired by her own relationship with her daughter when directing this film, and the relationship between the strict Queen Elinor and her wild and rule-breaking daughter Merida echoes a lot of real female relationships within the family.
3. The Hurt Locker – Kathryn Bigelow
The film follows the story of an Explosive Ordnance Disposal team during the Iraq War. It’s a gritty and suspenseful take on the realities of modern warfare and the psychological impact that the soldiers must face. Bigelow both directed and produced this film and it gained widespread critical acclaim for her role in the making of the film, winning her the Oscar for Best Director in 2009.
4. Bend It Like Beckham – Gurinder Chadha
Bend It Like Beckham tells the story of 18-year-old Jess, a girl from a strict Indian family, who defies her parent’s rules in order to pursue her passion for playing football, with an undercurrent of social commentary of racial tensions in Britain. This is a wonderful feel-good movie that became a British classic over time. Chadha took on the role of director as well as producer and writer and earned herself great praise for her role in the making of this movie.
5. Lost In Translation – Sofia Coppola
This romantic-comedy / drama was nominated for four academy awards including best director after it hit the screens in 2003. The movie follows the lives of an ageing actor and a young college graduate who both meet in a hotel in Tokyo. The film was praised for its visual expression and moving performances from actors Scarlett Johansson and Bill Murray.
6. Point Break – Kathryn Bigelow
This crime/romance movie stars a young Keanu Reeves who plays a young detective who must go undercover as a surfer to infiltrate the gang of surfers and bank robbers led by Bodhi (Patrick Swayze). It’s a brilliantly gripping film and Bigelow perfectly creates tension while investing the audience in each character, even the villainous ones.
7. Fast Times At Ridgemont High – Amy Heckerling
This 80s movie follows the lives of a group of California high school students as they rebel against the authority of their parents and teachers. It’s a great nostalgic movie that anyone who has been a teenager can relate to. The film earned size times it’s budget and was just as highly popular, in the States especially, as it is today.
8. The Kids Are Alright – Lisa Cholodenko
This was among the first movies to star a same-sex couple raising children as the central plotline and characters. The film follows lesbian couple Nic and Jules as they try to navigate motherhood and the parents very complicated relationship with their sperm donor. The movie won two golden globes and received a great critical reception.
9. Winter’s Bone – Debra Granik
This mystery drama movie received several awards and many Oscar nominations including Best Picture. With the Rotten Tomatoes website giving it a consensus of: Bleak, haunting, and yet still somehow hopeful, Winter’s Bone is writer-director Debra Granik’s best work yet — and it boasts an incredible, star-making performance from Jennifer Lawrence.”
10. Monster – Patty Jenkins
This crime drama tells the tale of the real-life serial killer Aileen Wuornos who killed six men. It stars Charlize Theron whose performance earned her several awards including the Oscar for Best Actress. It’s a bleak and gripping film which I would definitely recommend.