Seven Of My Favorite Female Movie Directors

I’m not gonna lie.   The list of very good female directors just isn’t that big.  And believe me this isn’t a sexist thing at all. It’s just that when doing the research you see lots of male directors out there with pretty long resumes.   We’re talking 15 films or more.   On the female side it’s pretty scarce.

Honestly I don’t know why that is but perhaps it’s just the way it is in Hollywood.  But that doesn’t mean women can’t direct.   By no means.   There’s plenty of talent out there.

And here are seven of my favorites….

Amy Heckerling

Heckerling doesn’t have a huge resume of movies directed but the ones she’s been involved with have been solid.  I always credit Heckerling with an ability to “read a generation.”   She did it with Fast Times at Ridgemont High and then 13 years later did it again with Clueless.  She’s very good at understanding youth.  Heckerling also directed Look Who’s Talking and possibly a Night at the Roxbury?  Says she was uncredited for that.  Her latest venture is Vamps.

Penny Marshall

It would be tough to have a list like this and not include Marshall.  The movie Big alone warrants a spot but Marshall’s been involved in plenty of good movies.  Amazingly she’s only directed 13.    Awakenings was an excellent film as Renaissance Man.  She hasn’t done much lately except direct a couple episodes of United States of Tara.  Wonder when her next feature will be.

Mary Harron

Bottom line, Harron directed American Psycho.   Honestly I don’t think I like just about anything else she’s directed but she directed American Psycho which is awesome enough.

Kathryn Bigelow

Look, it begins and ends with Point Break.  I  know that everyone always likes to talk about her Oscar nod for The Hurt Locker but come on!  She directed one of the best unintentionally comedic action movies of all time!  Also Strange Days is a highly underrated awesome movie.  She’s currently working on The Triple Frontier.

Sofia Coppola

She’s definitely kind of a hipster weird type but you can’t deny that her style translates pretty well into movies.  I still think that Lost in Translation is her best work.   Somewhere wasn’t bad at all and she’s gotten acclaim for The Virgin Suicides.

Nora Ephron

When Harry Met Sally happens to be one of my favorite movies of all time so I have to mention her.  No she didn’t direct that but she did write it.    She went on to direct Sleepless in Seattle and You’ve got Mail.  Ephron is a great storyteller of relationships.

Catherine Hardwicke

Hardwicke gets the nod here for doing Lords of Dogtown.  Anytime a female director does a rad skateboarding movie I take notice.   She also gets a mention because she did Twilight.  Now she’s working on a weird Hamlet with Emile Hirsch.

*Honorable mention to Nancy Meyers, Mira Nair, and Jane Campion

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  1. I would include Julie Taymor. Granted recently she hasn’t done much, or people haven’t like what she has done (Spiderman the Musical). But, she was definitely big on Broadway with Lion King and Oedipus. Movies, she did Across the Universe (which, admit, has wonderful Beatles covers), and a wonderful take on Titus Andronicus (simply called Titus) that stars Anthony Hopkins.

    If you haven’t seen Titus, at least, see that.

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