This could have been a year where the Academy Awards would have been at its most diverse. 2019 saw a huge boom of not just female filmmakers, but filmmakers who are women of color. Instead of diversity, we got business as usual. Mostly white, male directors and male-dominated films. Even within the Actress categories, most of the honorees are white.
The Academy narrowly missed falling full-on into the #OscarsSoWhite controversy (again) by making sure one person of color made it into most of the major category nominations. We shouldn’t celebrate the Academy for doing the bare minimum. Especially after such an amazing year as 2019.
Films such as The Farewell, Queen & Slim, Booksmart, Honey Boy, Hustlers, and so many others went unnoticed in most of the major categories. Little Women got a nod for Best Picture, but no nomination to Greta Gerwig for Best Director. Just Best Adapted Screenplay.
We as the movie-going public need to support more films by female and WOC filmmakers in 2020. And there will be plenty of ladies behind the cameras this year including what could be five of the top-grossing movies of the year; Birds of Prey, Black Widow, Wonder Woman 1984, Milan, and Eternals. Other movies to support in theaters, on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime:
Currently streaming on Netflix, Numa Perrier’s film explores the early days of internet fetish sites and how one young woman is pulled in to save herself from poverty.
A period piece comedy by Katie Ellwood. This comedy stars Allison Janney and Viola Davis as embattled Troop Leaders for the Girl Birdie Scouts. The film mostly centers around Makenna Grace as she dreams of winning a competition that will allow her to be recognized by NASA’s record books. Watch it now on Amazon Prime
An updated take of Henry James’ novella, The Turning of the Screw by Floria Sigismondi. This looks disturbing as hell and I’m am here for it. Look for it in theaters nationwide this weekend.
Stella Meghie directs a set of intertwining love stories from the past and present in the lovely looking romance. Look for this in theaters nationwide come Valentine’s Day weekend.
Not my favorite Jane Austin book, but certainly at towards the top. Autumn de Wilde helms the latest version of the classic romantic comedy in theaters nationwide on February 21st.
Another horror film on the list. Helmed by first time director Rose Glass, this movie received lots of praise at TIFF for its unsettling star in Morfydd Clark as the religiously, fanatical Maud determined to save the soul of her dying patient. Maud will have a limited release in theaters on March 27th.
In her first feature directorial debut, Clea DuVall’s romantic comedy centers around a young woman discovering her girlfriend has yet to come out to her conservative parents. Starring Mackenzie Davis and Kristen Stewart Happiest Season arrives in theaters November 20th, just in time for you to bring it up at Thanksgiving.
Kitty Green’s very topical film centers around Jane (Julia Garner), an assistant to a powerful executive and the abuse she witnesses done by her bosses and male co-workers. This one will be in limited release on January 31st and nationwide in February.
The Half of It
16 years later, Alice Wu follows up her groundbreaking film Saving Face with another lesbian-coming of age film. This time centered around a Chinese-American student helping the school jock woo a girl they both have a crush on. No concrete release date just yet, but The Half of It will be available to stream on Netflix.
The Last Thing He Wanted
Based on the Joan Didion novel, Dee Rees directs an all-star cast in a thriller centering around a journalist thrust into the middle of a story she is attempting to break. Look for this on Netflix on February 21st.
2020 will be the year no one can say they are unable to support female filmmakers. These ten films only scratch the surface as to what so many women have to offer the movie loving crowd. So, please, go out and see these movies as well as so many more helmed by women!
The Nerdling was born in the majestic land known as Texas and currently resides there after several years of journeying through Middle Earth in a failed attempt to steal the one Ring from that annoying hobbit, serving the Galactic Empire for a time, and then a short stint as a crew member on the Serenity. Since moving back to her homeland, Nerdling flirted with a hero reputation. Saving children from the dangers of adoring domineering, sparkly vampires (champions with souls are the only vampires worth loving) and teaching normals the value of nerdom, all while rooting for her beloved Dallas Stars. Then came the Sokovia Accords and her short spell of saving others came to an end. With Darth Vader’s reputation rightfully returning to badass status, Nerdling is making her way back to the Empire. They do have cookies, you know. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram.