ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Movies Directed by Women

Updated on February 24, 2013

Perhaps the type of heroines female film directors often choose reflects who they are as people: rebellious, defiant, haughty, tough. They have to be to enter this male-dominated industry. Female film directors still have a minority voice in Hollywood, but the few that have found their way in, or at least into independent movie making, have proved their profound talents. They've tackled subjects as diverse as fairytales, rock bands, queens, suicide, and vampires and earned Academy Awards and millions in revenue for their efforts.

The Virgin Suicides

Based on a book by Jeffrey Eugenides, The Virgin Suicides is directed by Academy Award-winning Sofia Coppola and stars Kirsten Dunst. The movie takes place in the 1970s and tells the story of a group of sisters who struggle with growing up after their sister's suicide. Their parents, both mathematicians, play a pivotal role in driving them all to despair with their restrictions that confine them inside a joyless home. A group of younger boys take an interest in the girls and attempt to free them.


The Virgin Suicides
The Virgin Suicides

Rent The Virgin Suicides on Amazon

 

Marie Antoinette

Also directed by Sofia Coppola and starring Kirsten Dunst, Marie Antoinette is a historical film with a modern soundtrack. The movie won an Academy Award for its lavish costume design. Marie Antoinette, often a ridiculed figure in history, is humanized in this rendition. Frustrated with her new marriage to a husband she doesn't love who seems to have no intention to consummate it, Marie is largely oblivious to the political unfoldings around her. Her greatest crime is ignorance, and the film makes her out to be more of a bird trapped in a gilded cage than a villain.


The Runaways

The Runaways is the first feature film effort of Floria Sigismondi, who previously directed music videos for Marilyn Manson. The movie stars Dakota Fanning and Kristen Stewart as Cherie Currie and Joan Jett. Despite Jett and Stewart being the big names, the movie actually focuses on Cherie, the leader singer of Joan's original band, The Runaways. The movie almost seems to showcase an amoral experiment -- what happens when you place teenagers under the supervision of someone as demented as Kim Fowley. Fowley is played by Michael Shannon, who gives a stellar performance, as usual, but Fanning's subtler acting is also to be lauded, as it successfully builds emotional rapport with the audience as Cherie spirals out of control while under the spell of drug addiction. Sigismondi manages to combine a strong story with her talent for visuals, a feat that often eludes big budget directors like Tim Burton.

Twilight

Catherine Hardwicke directed the first film of the Twilight series, which launched the popular book series into infinity. Hers style is distinctively different than the directors who followed her utilizing a combination of a big budget and indie techniques. Hardwicke seems to have more of a knack for directing her actors than with action scenes. The slice of life high school scenes are the movie's strongest scenes.


Thirteen

Also directed by Catherine Hardwicke, Thirteen is a far superior effort compared to Twilight, but the material is obviously much better here. The screenplay was a combined effort of Hardwicke and Nikki Reed, who stars in the film as Evie. The story is based on Reed's own rocky life. Her friend Tracy, played by a young Evan Rachel Wood, provides a more innocent foil to Evie, as the pair delves into drugs, sex, and crime at the tender age of thirteen. Killer performances all around and an appropriate soundtrack sells the story.


Thirteen
Thirteen

Rent Thirteen on Amazon

 

The Last Mistress

Catherine Breillat is a French film director, known for her explicit erotic content that has cause sensations around a number of her films. For The Last Mistress, Breillat wanted to add sex to the period movie. Period movies often have a tendency to pretend that sex doesn't really exist. Asia Argento plays the haughty mistress, with Fu'ad Aït Aattou playing the part of her lover and Roxane Mesquida playing the young wife. Like Twilight, much of the movie involves close-ups of Aattou's gorgeous face. As a whole, the movie seems to be a sarcastic examination of marriage and its hypocrisy.


The Last Mistress (English Subtitled)
The Last Mistress (English Subtitled)

Rent The Last Mistress on Amazon

 

Bluebeard

Bluebeard is another film by Catherine Breillat. This is not a modernization of the fairytale like other versions of the film, but a classic retelling. Lola Créton gives an enchanting performance as Marie-Catherine, Bluebeard's latest wife. Careful color palettes and compositions make this highly picturesque despite its low-budget fairytale. The film is not marred by clumsy action scenes with weak computer graphics.


Anatomy of Hell

Another Breillat film, Anatomy of Hell is the most graphic. Controversy resounded when Breillat cast Italian pornographic actor Rocco Siffredi in a lead role. The film explores men's negative views of women and the emotional effects of these attitudes on women. Neither of the main characters are named. Amira Casar plays the woman, who meets the man, played by Rocco, at a club after she attempts suicide and he stops her. A dark, moody film, most of it takes place in the woman's sparse room on a cliff overlooking the sea and most of the scenes consist of long, intimate, haunting conversations.


Red Riding Hood

Another film by Catherine Hardwicke, Red Riding Hood also suffers from bad action scenes, and god-awful computer graphics. Unlike Thirteen or Twilight, there isn't enough reality in the dialog or situations to save the film. The plot seems to go nowhere, and Amanda Seyfried is hardly spell-binding despite looking gorgeous in every scene. The set design and cinematography are beautiful, owing to Hardwicke's background as a set designer, but they're not enough to save the story which falls flat on its face.


Red Riding Hood (2011)
Red Riding Hood (2011)

Rent Red Riding Hood on Amazon

 

Speak

Speak is directed by Jessica Sharzer and stars a young Kristen Stewart. The movie was filmed years before the Twilight mania while Stewart is still a virtual unknown. The film is based on a novel by Laurie Halse Anderson and tells the story of a high school freshman who becomes selectively mute after being raped at a party by an older student. Despite the intense subject matter, there is still a cheesy, made-for-TV. quality to the movie as Melinda Sordino, the character played by Stewart, expresses herself through her art lessons with a helpful teacher. But the movie is unique for portraying the unusual condition of selective mutism.


Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)