More than a century after the birth of Hollywood, women directors are still waiting to get their full recognition and place in the industry. The latest Celluloid Ceiling report from the Centre for the Study of Women in Television and Film shows that just 13% of the 250 top-grossing films in 2019 were helmed by women.

Women have long been forgotten by the awards and rejected by the studios. But there have been innovative productions that have made the best classic films by women. With this confinement, it’s an opportunity to watch them…

      Claire Denis’s Beau Travail 

So much about the French author’s masterpiece is operatic: the score, the brooding performances and the timeless themes of jealousy and regret. It takes place at a French Foreign Legion outpost in Djibouti, where the arrival of a new recruit (Grégoire Colin) sets off a tragic chain of events.

      Andrea Arnold’s Fish Tank 

Gritty and glorious, the British director’s eye-opening account of a girl (Katie Jarvis) raised on an east-London council estate holds nothing back. Michael Fassbender gives a breakout performance as her mother’s new boyfriend, a charming rogue who soon begins an illicit flirtation with her.

      Sofia Coppola’s Lost in Translation 

With its sweeping soundtrack and hypnotic visuals, this wistful comedy is a love letter to Tokyo. Scarlett Johansson and Bill Murray star as visiting Americans, both struggling with insomnia and overwhelmed by the city’s relentless pace – that is, until they meet and fall for each other

      Lulu Wang’s The Farewell 

Comedy and heartache collide in the Chinese American director’s subtle family drama. Awkwafina stars as a New Yorker who returns to China when her grandmother (Zhao Shuzhen) is diagnosed with cancer. But, with the news kept secret from the stubborn matriarch herself, hilarity ensue. 

      Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird 

A coming-of-age tale that became an instant classic, the Sacramento native’s solo directorial debut is packed with wit and wordplay. Saoirse Ronan stars as the titular high schooler who is navigating friendships and heartbreak, while also bickering and bonding with her mother (Laurie Metcalf)

By Justine Duclaux

Photo: Pinterest