31 Best Films Directed by Women

March is Women’s History Month, so to celebrate in a small way I thought I’d list my favorite 31 films directed by women (one for each day in the month of March). If you haven’t seen these, I recommend it!

31) Little Man Tate (Jodie Foster, 1991)
30) Children of a Lesser God (Randa Haines, 1986)
29) Monsoon Wedding (Mira Nair, 2001)
28) Whale Rider (Niki Caro, 2002)
27) Point Break (Kathryn Bigelow, 1991)
26) Frozen River (Courtney Hunt, 2008)
25) Thirteen (Catherine Hardwicke, 2003)
24) The Piano (Jane Campion, 1993)
23) White Material (Claire Denis, 2009)
22) Walking and Talking (Nicole Holofcener, 1996)
21) Big (Penny Marshall, 1988)
20) The Cool World (Shirley Clarke, 1964)
19) Somewhere (Sofia Coppola, 2010)
18) Tiny Furniture (Lena Dunham, 2010)
17) Brothers (Susanne Bier, 2004)
16) Marie Antoinette (Sofia Coppola, 2006)
15) Bright Star (Jane Campion, 2009)
14) Thirteen Conversations About One Thing (Jill Sprecher, 2001)
13) Ratcatcher (Lynne Ramsay, 1999)
12) Personal Velocity (Rebecca Miller, 2002)
11) Old Joy (Kelly Reichardt, 2006)
10) The Virgin Suicides (Sofia Coppola, 1999)
9) Me and You and Everyone We Know (Miranda July, 2005)
8) The Hurt Locker (Kathryn Bigelow, 2008)
7) Harlan County U.S.A. (Barbara Kopple, 1976)
6) 35 Shots of Rum (Claire Denis, 2008)
5) Meek’s Cutoff (Kelly Reichardt, 2011)
4) We Need to Talk About Kevin (Lynne Ramsay, 2012)
3) Fish Tank (Andrea Arnold, 2009)
2) Cleo From 5 to 7 (Agnès Varda, 1962)
1) Lost in Translation (Sofia Coppola, 2003)

15 responses to “31 Best Films Directed by Women

  1. Caution to others about Me and You and Everyone We Know. While I like some things Miranda July has done, I wish I could take back the time I spent watching that movie. Artistic, yes…but there’s some disturbing content.

  2. I’m happy you included Thirteen and every Sofia Coppola film :)

  3. Away from Her – Sarah Polley

  4. OMG! I can’t believe you left out “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” & “Clueless”!!!

    • I debated including an Amy Heckerling film on the list. Alas, Clueless got bumped off the final version. (it would have been #32)

  5. An Education!

  6. The Day I Became a Woman – Marzieh Makhmalbaf

  7. The Doctor – Randa Haines

  8. How about Thirteen Conversations about One Thing by Jill Sprecher?

  9. That’s what I get for skimming the list. My bad, Brett!

  10. Winter’s Bone?

  11. Hester Street – directed by Joan Micklin Silver

  12. I’m sad not to see Something New (2006) by Sanaa Hamri on this list. It’s look into overcoming unreal expectations when looking for love while exposing the subtle ways we exert racial prejudice have made it a film I keep coming back to. Plus it is directed, produced, written, edited, scored and lead acted all by women.

    I would also add Bend It Like Beckham by Gurinder Chadha. It takes on some heady concepts for a comedy: prejudice, gender roles, cultural norms of immigrant families, etc. And I would remove Somewhere by Sophia Coppola. It’s an okay film but not up to snuff with Lost In Translation or Marie Antoinette or the rest of this list.

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