Fav Five: Films By Female Directors

Today is International Womens Day, and to celebrate I’ve compiled a list of my 5 favourite films that are directed by women.

I have to say that when I sat down to write this I thought it would be pretty straight forward, but it was so hard.

In all honestly I tend not to always take note of a director unless it’s a film I’ve really enjoyed and want to see if they have anything else I might enjoy, and this is a habit I’ve only picked up in the last few years. So although I did have a number of films in mind, when I looked into more films directed by women I found more and more films I wanted to include.

I could have easily turned this into a top 20, but I’ve stuck to 5 that have really stuck out for me. Films I not only love, but films that have shaped my love for film, and tell a story I can relate to.

First up is, Wasp (2003) directed by Andrea Arnold.

Wasp is a short film I watched late one night when I should have been asleep. I had flicked onto film 4 I think and it had just started. For years I didn’t know what it was called and it was unknown to all I spoke to about it, but it was a film that really stuck with me. I was completely struck by the rawness of it, it’s observation on life and how it was just left to play out rather than have all the extras of Hollywood. It was this film that gave me that love for the slower paced films, that look more at the characters and relationships and life. Films that aren’t really about anything, but are about everything. Her work is something I continue to enjoy.

Secondly is, Thirteen (2003) directed by Catherine Hardwicke.

I think I would have been about 14 when I first watched this film, and I think the reason I liked this film so much when I first saw it was because it indulged those rebellious feelings of my early teens. I was starting to think more about boys, and I had more freedom to see friends away from adults, and with that comes temptations and experimenting, and although Thirteen was darker, it had all those things. It’s a film I watch now and it takes me straight back to all those thoughts and feelings of that time.

Thirdly is, The Diary of a Teenage Girl (2015) directed by Marielle Heller.

I really like The Diary of a Teenage Girl because it’s a story about a teenage girl finding and exploring her sexuality. The rights, the wrongs, the mistakes and the exploitation of that time. It’s a narrative we don’t not only not see, but hear all that often, and I think it’s done so well here. It’s not portrayed negatively, or in a way to make a girl feel bad about exploring her sexuality, even within the context of the story. I think it’s an important film for not just teens but women, because our sexuality isn’t always shown as something we can and do have, as something that we have control of, and is for us and our enjoyment.

We then have, Riding in Cars with Boys (2001) directed by Penny Marshall.

I rented this film on video from the independent local video shop when I was probably 13/14 because I was, and still am a huge fan of Drew Barrymore. It’s a film I watch every couple of years and gain new love and new understanding from. I think I see a lot of my mum in Drew’s character. My mum and dad had an amazing relationship, but they were young and as my dad passed when I was just 8, my brother 6, she became a single mum. I remember seeing through this film how hard it was to be a young single parent, even though my mum made it look so easy. It was seeing this that gave me so much more admiration for my mum, all she had been through and the strength she always showed.

And lastly, The Holiday (2006) directed by Nancy Meyers.

I finish this list with a film i Iove just because it makes me happy and fills me with joy. I’m not a massive fan of romantic comedies, they have to lean more on the comedic side rather than the romantic for me to not just glaze over. But this film is a film I just adore. I think the slightly undercurrent theme of film throughout it probably has a bit to do with it, my goal in life is still to have a film collection like Cameron Diaz’s character. But I just love the characters. I love their stories and I love the story as a whole. I watch it every Christmas and will continue to forever.

If you’re looking for more suggestions of films directed by women, I’ve compiled a list you can find HERE

Tell me, what’s some of your favourite film directed by women? Do you have something i should add to my list?

Love, C x