Must-see films from women directors

Jillian Fontana, Contributing Reporter

a drawing of a woman directed holding a film slate
Celebrate Women’s History Month by checking out these women directed films. (Emma Vaughters)

To celebrate Women’s History Month, here are some fantastic movies directed by empowering women in the film industry!

The Forty-Year-Old Version (2020)

Directed by Radha Blank

This comedic drama follows Radha, a playwright in New York City who is quickly approaching 40. Radha, who struggles with her ambitions and goals as she nears middle-age, finds an outlet in rapping. Loosely based on the life of director Radha Blank, the film is Blank’s directorial debut and premiered at Sundance 2020 to critical acclaim. “The Forty-Year-Old Version” can be streamed on Netflix.

Lady Bird (2017)

Directed by Greta Gerwig

This coming-of-age dramedy written and directed by Greta Gerwig follows a teenage girl named Christine, self-proclaimed as Lady Bird, hoping to leave her small-town Sacramento life. Throughout the film, we see the authentic and relatable relationships of many other characters in Christine’s life, such as her mother and crush, played by heartthrob Timothée Chalamet. The film was a box-office hit when it came to theaters, mainly because of its witty yet vulnerable plot. Lady Bird was nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Director and Best Original Screenplay. Gerwig also directed the screen adaptation of “Little Women” in 2019, which earned another six Academy Award nominations. Gerwig is just getting started in her directorial career and has already made her mark in the film industry. “Lady Bird” can be streamed on Netflix.

Promising Young Woman (2020)

Directed by Emerald Fennell

“Promising Young Woman” caught the attention of many when the trailer was released in 2020. The dark comedic thriller was written, directed and produced by Emerald Femmel and follows a striking take on rape culture. The main character, Cassie Thomas, seeks revenge for her friend who had her rape case dismissed in court many years ago. Thomas falsely presents herself as overly drunk in clubs, then baits men who might take advantage of her and later reveals her sobriety, stunning the men. The thriller has gathered several accolades since its release, and was produced through actress Margot Robbie’s company, LuckyChap Entertainment, with Robbie as a producer. Due to the pandemic, the film has been released in theaters as well as streaming services for a higher price. “Promising Young Woman” can be streamed for $19.99 on Amazon Prime.


These are just a few women directors who found success in their films, but here is a list of the 165 best women-directed films of the 21st century. Happy Women’s History month! Keep celebrating all year round by watching more movies directed by women.

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