There is definitely a disparity between the amount of films directed by women, and the amount directed by men. And it doesn’t help that women directors experience a bit more difficulty navigating through the industry as a whole. And depending on what your taste in cinema is, each of these movies may not be your cup of tea. But of the movies I’ve watched, here are the top 5 movies directed by women, these are in no specific order.
1. The Edge Of Seventeen
If The Edge of Seventeen hadn’t already made it's mark by being a box office hit, it sure should by being mentioned as one of the top movies in any category it may fall in!
Highly adored by critics and millennials, The Edge of Seventeen was Kelly Fremon Craig's directorial debut, and is a coming of age melodrama starring Halle Steinfeld on the verge of insanity. The movie is admired for it's remarkable choice of wardrobe design and pleasing visuals, many that would fit perfectly into any "Top 5 List" that it may fall into.
The film's main character, Nadine, manages to be both embarrassingly relatable, and awfully awkward. In the first scenes of the film, we are introduced to Nadine and her best friend, Krista. We are given a very beautifully told backstory on their friendship which began in their early childhood years. We instantly admire the relationship that Nadine and Krista share. Nadine is always there for Krista even on her sick or drunken nights, but we are randomly torn away from their relationship when Krista begins to date Nadine’s older brother.
When Nadine finds out, she’s so upset with Krista who’s such a flat character that she simply refuses to give up her new relationship with Nadine's brother. So she & Nadine stop being friends. But Nadine, who temporarily distracts herself with other engagements, is such a round character and such a character full of surprises that she manages to bring herself to accept the new non-ideal relationship between her best friend and her brother.
In The Edge of Seventeen, we’re able to admire the cinematography & wardrobe designs, as well as watch Nadine grow in unexpected ways.
Kelly Fremon Craig really left her mark with this directorial debut of hers.
2. The Virgin Suicides
Taking place in 1970s Michigan America, The Virgin Suicides is a dramatic mystery that follows the 5 Libson sisters and all of their misunderstood suicides.
Now, once you get past it’s major lack of diversity, The Virgin Suicides is a film that leaves your mind lingering to understand why the characters turned out the way they did. With it's narration foreshadowing and directly telling the events that take place, we feel at home with the character, as if we’re really in the small Michigan neighborhood that the story is set in. Director, Sofia Coppola does a great job at telling this story organically.
The story follows the four sisters: Luxe Libson, Mary Libson, Bonnie Libson & Therese Libson as they mourn the suicide of their youngest sister, Cecilia Libson.
This film is famous for it's cinematography, sequencing and it's set design. As well as the mark that the unexplained ending that leaves the audience wondering why they did it, and what was the cause.
Although there’s much speculation, there was never any clarification or explanation from the creators of the story as to why it ended the way it did. And that’s probably another reason why it’s one of the most remarkable, and memorable films created by a woman.
3. Atlantics (2019)
Among my absolute favorite films, Mati Diop’s, Atlantics is one that really caught me by surprise. The film takes place in 21st century Senegal, and follows protagonist Ada and her loose-leafed relationship with construction worker, Souleiman. Souleiman and his coworkers haven’t been paid their owed wages and also feel that they also aren’t being paid enough in general. So the gang heads to Spain in search of better opportunities.
The film's plot catches you by surprise when the story takes an unexpected turn. We grow to love our protagonists and lovebirds, Ada & Souleiman, who have to be separated once Souleiman leaves to Spain to find work & better pay opportunities. But they find themselves separated for longer than expected. Filmmaker Mati Diop calls it “A ghost love story.” And she definitely does a great job of tying pieces together and telling one.
Women have their own way of bringing their own special twist to cinema.
These are just a few of the films directed by women but hopefully these directors decide to create more films and contribute even more to the collection of films directed by women.