Movies are categorized by language, genre, star cast, number of awards, and so on. One of the ways to classify cinema is by the filmmaker. Has the movie been made by a man or a woman? Is the director a person of color? How influential is the filmmaker in the industry? These questions do determine the hype and worth of a movie.
In the recent years, minorities – be it racial, communal or gender – have been given more representation than ever in cinema. As we expose ourselves to the works of more female and colored artists on a larger and global scale, the better we understand and appreciate cultures different from our own. Female filmmakers are now on a rise and it’s only a matter of time before they are rewarded for their brilliance as their male counterparts. The movies mentioned below have all been directed by some amazing female filmmakers and here’s why they are some of the best films of the decade.
Zero Dark Thirty (2012)
Directed by Kathryn Bigelow
Made by the Oscar-winning director of The Hurt Locker, this suspense thriller was based on the hunt for the militant leader Osama bin Laden. The gripping film was heavily lauded by critics, some even calling it the best film of the year. It received five nominations at the Academy Awards, including Best Picture, but eventually lost out to Ben Affleck’s Argo. You can now stream it on Netflix.
A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014)
Directed by Ana Lily Amirpour
This American vampire western is set in an Iranian ghost town and revolves around the actions of a lonesome vampire. With feminist themes that blend conventional elements, the film became a critic favorite who saw it as the greatest discovery of the year. Ultimately, the film was heavily underrated, despite earning an approval rating of 96% on Rotten Tomatoes. You can catch it on Hotstar.
Lady Bird (2017)
Directed by Greta Gerwig
Gerwig has established herself as a force to be reckoned with. Her latest film Little Women (2019) won an Academy Award for Best Costume and was a favorite for Best Adapted Screenplay. But her directorial debut came with this coming-of-age comedy-drama that was praised for its performances and direction. The movie got five Oscar nominations that year and you can now watch it on Netflix.
Wonder Woman (2017)
Directed by Patty Jenkins
One of the first female-led superhero films and the first modern DC film to receive global appreciation, this action drama was not only lauded by critics but also opened several discussions on feminism and the female action hero. The film went on to win many awards and a sequel was immediately ordered. Before you watch Wonder Woman 1984, stream this film on Amazon Prime.
Directed by Dee Rees
Based on the novel of the same name by Hillary Jordan, this historical drama is a gripping depiction of racism and post-war PTSD during the 40s. From the direction to the screenplay and the cast’s performances, the critics could not stop raving about this film, which only had a limited release. It received four Academy Award nominations that year and is available to stream on Netflix now.
The Breadwinner (2017)
Directed by Nora Twomey
An animated drama based on the best-selling novel by Deborah Ellis, this film had a limited release but received enough acclaim to bag an Oscar nomination that year. It revolves around a young girl from Afghanistan whose life takes a tumultuous turn when Kabul comes under the control of the regressive Taliban. You can stream the film on Netflix.
Can You Ever Forgive Me? (2018)
Directed by Marielle Heller
Based on the confessional memoir by Lee Israel, this biographical drama is a fun take on the writer’s attempt to revive her failing writing career by forging letters from deceased authors and playwrights. Critics praised this movie for its direction and dark wit, which earned the filmmaker plenty of awards, including three Oscar nominations. You can now stream it on Hotstar.
Leave No Trace (2018)
Directed by Debra Granik
This drama film based on Peter Rock’s novel My Abandonment recently released online. It follows the story of a veteran with PTSD, who lives in a forest with his daughter, away from civilization. The film received universal acclaim for its direction and performances and holds an approval rating of 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, the second-most reviewed film to do so. Stream it on Netflix.
Since you now have been granted the gift of time, watch these eight critically acclaimed films by female filmmakers online and keep coming back to our site for more movies that you can add to your quarantine watchlist. Happy streaming and stay safe!