Saturday, December 27

Favorite Movies Directed by Women (Part 2)

Last year I made a list of some of my favorite movies directed by women. As I was reading through the post (and the succeeding comments), it dawned on me that there were a lot more films I haven't seen, and this list might just be growing - in a good way. While I was doing preliminary research on the directors of some of my favorite movies, I stumbled upon a site that enumerates less than a thousand films made by female directors. To think that at least 3 thousand movies are being made a year worldwide, you would think a hefty chunk of that would be by female directors (sadly, it's not). Still, these women are making their name in the industry in their country and worldwide. I think I would be posting more of these later on, but for now, here are ten more movies to add to the roster.

This was critically panned, but there was something in this twisted mothers-and-sons tale that was captivating. I think it was because the film itself is not judgmental - it doesn't pass on judgment between the people involved, and instead of any of them thinking that the set-up was weird, they accepted it and tried to get along with their lives. In a way, it's very depressing. Because of what they've done, I don't think there was any growth in them, or a willingness to do so. It becomes depressing because they've managed to alienate people because of their selfishness, but it's a factor that they've accepted for their selves. Read my review here

This was such an intriguing work. Ezra Miller really owned his character, and the sadness, confusion, and fear of the mother was really painted on Tilda Swinton's performance. The film was presented in Eva's point of view, and she tries to access how her son could have done such a horrible thing, and if it were her actions that lead him to do so. We see how their relationship has progressed, how she knew there was something different inside her son, something tinkering in his mind. It's a fantastic film, and will truly grasp your attention from beginning to end. Read my review here

Apparently, I have forgotten to include one of my favorite teen movies in the first list. This was a movie that just clicked. The characters were spot on, the fashion was 90's unbelievably to die for and despite the whole weird thing about the ex-step siblings ending up together, it's a great teen flick. 

This has to be Seth Rogen's underrated performance. He's always playing a goofball that it's easy to forget that he had a bit of a dramatic role as the goofball husband in this Sarah Polley film. Michelle Williams has managed to portray the hollowness of her character perfectly that in the end, you're wishing she gets what's due to her. Her marriage was far from perfect, but the reasons she engaged in a relationship with her neighbor is not because she's unhappy. I don't think her character knows what happiness is, as she manages to put on a facade day after day. What made this unforgettable for me was the way it ended. 

If you've read my review on Somewhere, you'd be surprised on what it's doing here as one of my favorites. Somewhere is a film that doesn't immediately strike you like Lost in Translation does, but it stays in your memory because of the poignant way the film was shot. Not only was it aesthetically pleasing, it gives you points to ponder on as we watch Stephen Dorff stumble on his life, while Elle Fanning plays the patient daughter. Read my review here

No matter what genre you put Sandra Bullock in, people flock to her movies like a moth to the flame. However, it's comedies that Bullock excels in, particularly romantic comedies. She plays an array of characters that are similar, yet distinctive characters that you never tire of her constant presence onscreen. This was one of my favorites of hers, and one of the Ryan Reynolds movie that I can watch over and over again. They had chemistry (though nothing beats the Bullock-Reeves tandem), there were funny parts, and they're supported by a good roster of cast members.

I think Dear Frankie can make you do a double take on Gerard Butler. His character was nice here, not like the arrogant, over confident, scheming people he usually plays. Emily Mortimer was also good, but the real star was Frankie, played by Jack McElhone. There was a bit of a twist here, and it's something heartbreaking that it makes sense as to why the film was set that way. 

I haven't seen a lot of Mel Gibson films to say that this was one of his best, but he was a head turner in this one. A family man sinking to depression acquires a beaver puppet and began to communicate through him, with various results. This too was a little weird, but the performances were amazing. If you've read my review you'd be surprised on how this movie made the cut, but there are some works that just stay with you even if your initial reception is a tad different. Read my review here.

I feel like I'm drowning my blog with my love for this film, but I can't stop! It has the right balance for a rom-com that's not exactly a romantic comedy. Jenny Slate was terrific, and I can't wait to see what her future projects will be. Read my review here.

There is something in the silliness of it all that makes this a great viewing. I think it has something to do with the concept itself, that a person can immerse herself in the world of Jane Eyre, with a ball and finding 'true love' towards the end. What also makes this movie come to life is the performance of Keri Russell; if she wasn't charming in her role, this movie wouldn't have worked so much as it did. Read my review here. 

8 comments:

  1. That's quite the list, and weirdly enough I can't say I've seen a single one. I've realized recently I might need to get to know a few more female directors, but from what I have seen probably my favourite film directed by a woman would have to be The Hurt Locker. That movie deserved its Oscar for Best Picture. Actually, I'm not sure if you noticed, but I did a whole article on Kathryn Bigelow a few days ago for The Women in Film Blogathon Part II (http://hitchcocksworld.blogspot.ca/2014/12/women-in-film-blogathon-part-ii-Kathryn-Bigelow.html). Point Break was okay, but The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty were both amazing films. I'm looking forward to seeing what Bigelow comes up with next.

    I've seen a few other good movies that were directed by women. If you want an older one, you could try the experimental movie Meshes of the Afternoon by Maya Deren. It's a strange surrealist film that I swear was a major influence on the work of David Lynch. For a more modern surrealist film you could try Across the Universe, directed by Julie Taymor. It's a strange musical based around songs by the Beatles and examining different aspects of 1960's counterculture including but not limited to drug use, the civil rights movement, and America's involvement in Vietnam.

    I also got a copy of Christopher Strong as a present, a movie that was directed by Dorothy Arzner, who according to IMDB was the only woman working in the studio era. That was incidental, I was more interested in seeing Katherine Hepburn play an aviator, but I'm hoping it will be a great movie.

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    1. Thanks for the movie recommendations! I did read your article on Kathryn Bigelow, but I haven't seen any of her works so I'm not familiar with her style.

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  2. I've seen so many of these but I must say that I'm not gonna go near The Beaver ever.. I just can't even stand the plot. And Sofia Coppola tires me .. I tried to watch Somewhere but I just couldn't.

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    1. The plot itself is strange, but I liked the movie; it's one of Mel Gibson's movies I liked. Sofia Coppola's films are a hit or miss, but she's always presenting her work in style. I think this is what also gets her criticism.

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  3. So MANY women filmmakers working these days... here's a growing list... almost 6,000 so far...

    http://www.imdb.com/list/RLC1gMTqtnY

    Join the #DirectedbyWomen worldwide film viewing party this September...

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    1. Thank you for the list, I will check it out. I'm always on a look out for more movies by women, so thank you!

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  4. Great list! Dear Frankie is one of my favorite movies.
    It's such an eclectic taste in stories and genres that these women have directed. I think it proves that though the chunk of female directors is small, it's still as varied and strong as male directors. Hopefully the pool will grow larger someday. :)

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    1. Thank you!
      While the pool of female directors is certainly getting larger, most of them are not the big acclaimed names that we casually throw in conversations (e.g. David Fincher, Quentin Tarantino, and such), and while some of them are making waves in the industry, I hope that this paves way for more women directors to be recognized in their field.

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