On February 22nd, 2021, director Chloe Zhao made history. She became the second female director ever (and first female director of colour) to win the best director award at the Golden Globes for her movie, Nomadland. The very same year, history was made again with three of the five possible nominations in the ‘Best Director’ category, going to female directors (the other two being Emerald Fennell for ‘Promising Young Woman’ and Regina King for ‘One Night in Miami…’).
Needless to say, it’s about damn time.
Sadly, women in film have been consistently overlooked for awards- even when they’ve been totally deserving of them. In fact, female directors rarely ever get the praise they deserve even outside of the awards scene. We, here at Hollr, are a bit fed up with this. So, we have decided to recommend 5 brilliant films directed by women that you can stream right now to support women in the film industry. And with-it being Women’s History Month- is there really a better time?
1. Clueless (1995, dir. Amy Heckerling)
The classic 90s high school film and Jane Austen adaptation was directed by Amy Heckerling- a prolific comedy director who made some of the most recognizable films of the 90s including Look Who’s Talking and Fast Times at Ridgemont High. But our favourite of hers has to be Clueless- a really iconic comedy that’s a must watch for absolutely everyone on the planet. It’s endlessly funny, charming and quotable and a film that you have to see. It’s available to stream on both Netflix and Amazon Prime.
2. Mudbound (2017, dir. Dee Rees)
This Netflix original film was well received when it initially released, garnering mass critical acclaim and 5 Oscar nominations (one of which being Rachel Morrison- the first women to ever be nominated in the best cinematography category), but has seemingly flew under the radar ever since. The film is a powerful and poetic piece of work, that despite being brutal is also mesmerizingly made. It’s a very important look at race relations and politics- and an absolute must watch. It’s available to stream on Netflix.
3. The Farewell (2019, dir. LuLu Wang)
The Farewell is an absolutely phenomenal directorial debut by LuLu Wang. The film is partly based off her life and her own experiences as an Asian-American woman. It’s a very tender and emotional film- but never fails to make you laugh and smile, even when things might be looking bleak. The film has a massive heart and will no doubt have you reaching for the tissues. It’s available to stream now on Amazon Prime.
4. Ruby Sparks (2012, dir. Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton)
Directed by the brilliant minds behind Little Miss Sunshine and Battle of the Sexes, Ruby Sparks is an intelligent and entertaining romantic comedy with a massive twist that I won’t spoil for you. The film is written by its star- the fantastic Zoe Kazan- and is a very clever deconstruction of the manic pixie dream girl trope, as well as controlling relationships. But it’s a film that manages to keep itself light and funny despite its darker themes. It’s available to stream now on Disney +.
5. Jennifer’s Body (2009, dir. Karyn Kusama)
Jennifer’s Body is written by the legendary screenwriter Diablo Cody (who notably won the best original screenplay Oscar for her film Juno) and is a coming-of-age horror/comedy made specifically for teenage girls. The film has a distinctly female point of view, and is a very complex exploration of female friendships. It’s a very clever, often misunderstood film and is one that all horror fans definitely must see. It’s now available to stream on Disney +.