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In My Humble Opinion- The Best Female Directed Films of 2011

Women and Hollywood By Melissa Silverstein | Women and Hollywood December 26, 2011 at 11:59AM

It goes without saying that women made all kinds of films this year.  But the reality is that most made indie films.  Only a couple made studio films.  And the numbers of women directing films is still abysmally low. 
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Top L-R: Lynne Ramsay, Larysa Kondracki, Susanne Bier; Bottom L-R: Dee Rees, Angelina Jolie, Celine Sciamma
Top L-R: Lynne Ramsay, Larysa Kondracki, Susanne Bier; Bottom L-R: Dee Rees, Angelina Jolie, Celine Sciamma

It goes without saying that women made all kinds of films this year.  But the reality is that most made indie films.  Only a couple made studio films.  And the numbers of women directing films is still abysmally low. 

But even in their small numbers women are making waves.  Here are some highlights:

Jennifer Yuh Nelson made a hugely successful animated film Kung Fu Panda 2 and now she is the highest grossing female director taking the title from Phyllida Lloyd who this year gave us Meryl Streep's tour de force in The Iron Lady

Several actresses went behind the camera for the first time including Vera Farmiga (Higher Ground) and Angelina Jolie (In the Land of Blood and Honey).  Jodie Foster made The Beaver which unfortunately was stuck with the Mel Gibson whose baggage dragged down a very interesting film. 

2011 continued to show the singular visions of  Miranda July (The Future) and Kelly Reichardt (Meek's Cutoff).  It proved that Lynne Ramsay is the real deal and introduced us to same new and exciting voices like Dee Rees (Pariah), Maryam Keshavarz (Circumstance) Ava Duvernay (I Will Follow)

Looking at the list of my best female directed films of the year most of the films tell the stories of girls and women.  And the other two look at war.  What these women are giving us are stories about women from a female perspective.  Interestingly to note five of the six films are written or co-written by the directors which shows that most women directors have to bring their own material in order to get behind the camera. 

Every single one of the films below is from a bold, visionary woman and if we lived in a world where women's stories mattered as much as men's we'd be talking about these women in the same breath as their male colleagues.  The good news is that Susanne Bier won the Oscar for best foreign film in 2011.

We Need to Talk About Kevin - Lynne Ramsay
Pariah- Dee Rees
Tomboy- Celine Sciamma
The Whistleblower- Larysa Kondracki
In the Land of Blood and Honey- Angelina Jolie
In a Better World- Susanne Bier

I've linked to my reviews and some interviews for you to check out.  Interview with Dee Rees will be coming up tomorrow.

Would love to hear your thoughts on the women directed films of 2011.

Women Directed Movies of 2011 (Women and Hollywood)
 

This article is related to: Women Directors, CĂ©line Sciamma, Dee Rees, Angelina Jolie, Susanne Bier, Larysa Kondracki


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