Here’s to the Ladies Who Write
Aren’t they the best?
As everyone knows, a disturbingly large amount of film lists feature films entirely dedicated to showcasing the modern male works of cinema. Female writers, be they in a partnership or solo, get shoved off to the side more often than not. So where’s the spotlight? Where’s the praise?
That’s why I say, “Here’s to the ladies who write!” So many fascinating films this year have been written or co-written by women, and it’s about time we give a toast to this talented bunch. This isn’t just to spread the news of what great films were written by women, but also to showcase just how diverse the works are. The assumption that women live to make and watch romantic comedies is such a tired, sexist notion that still constantly comes up, and the proof that they care for much more is right here.
From psychedelic period pieces to beautifully animated werewolves, women are dominating so many genres and these films deserve to be seen. While some of the films were technically released last year in their respective countries, I feel the need to promote them simply because of limited (or nonexistent) US releases in certain cases. This isn’t to say there aren’t dozens of other films written by women (as well as directed), but all ten of these were particularly praise-worthy in my book.
So, let’s hear it for the ladies who write! Everybody rise!
FRANCES HA | Noah Baumbach & Greta Gerwig
Greta Gerwig has always been a charming star, but never quite as dynamic as she is here. As a writer, she shines a much better light on that post-college aimlessness than most indie films could ever hope to achieve, while adding a lot of heart to Baumbach’s work that’s never really been there in his former films. Best of all, it takes a focus on a friendship between two women that isn’t incredibly petty. They’re two women trying to figure out their lives, with and without each other, and the care put into making their every word and reaction feel real is a testament to just how great Gerwig is. More films should focus on meaningful, emotional relationships between women just like this one does.
Click-through to the next page for the remaining films!
Great feature! I can’t believe I left out any mention of the writer in my review of Tabu. Shame on me.
There was a good film from Kenya, Something Necessary (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2400272/), directed by Judy Kibinge. It was broadcast on MUBI on the day of Kenyan nationwide elections.
I wasn’t totally into writer-director Sara Johnsen’s 2012 feature Uskyld (All That Matters is Past, http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2188723/), but I appreciated the acting, aim, and aspects of the atmosphere like the treatment of nature and naturalistic nudity.
The new Hobbit trilogy might not be as great as LOTR, but we can’t forget cowriters Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens.
I actually know about Lake Bell because of How To Make It In America and I liked her a lot in the second season. I dunno when I’ll ever see her film, but I really want to see it.
The Bling Ring was hit-and-miss for me, but the interview with Emma Watson’s character worked well for me near the end of the film.
Admission was disappointing (still on my Bottom 5 2013 ranking), but I didn’t hate The Heat. I’ll admit it got off to a rough start, but it got better halfway through (I’d give it a 3/5 rating).
Also, why are we counting Frances Ha, Sightseers Before Midnight? Haven’t seen them yet (Before Midnight is something I really wanna see on the big screen, but I’ll settle down for copy/online if this doesn’t hit the cinema by Christmas), but they include male writers. Or you’re counting any films as long as one woman is involved with the writing.
@Rodrigo, well I’m counting them because I think it’d be ridiculous to completely disregard a film with a female writer (some of which are very heavy in their female presence with terms of character and story) just because there’s also a man involved (or even two men). I feel like all of the examples I use are pretty fair cases. Frances Ha has a really clear and overwhelming female experience that cannot be changed, Before Midnight would not be the same without Delpy’s presence, and Sightseers has two main characters (one male, one female) who both wrote the film together so that’s a pretty clear indicator of the fact that she’s important to the script.
@Juan Barquin, Sorry if I sounded like a dick in my previous comment. I’m not against the films by any means. But I can imagine if you went for a “female-written only, no guys involved” criteria, it’d be a lot harder to pull this one off given availability reasons.
To add films for your task… “Bastards (2013)” and “Blue is the Warmest Color” should count, unless I’m mistaken.
@Rodrigo, Yeah, the limitations of the task are obnoxious because there SHOULD be hundreds more films written by women and you also have to factor in the bad ones. Just like men have their off films, women do too. Bastards and Blue would definitely count in the bunch but considering they’ve literally only had festival runs, I wasn’t planning on tossing ’em in. What I MIGHT do is a follow-up piece to this eventually with some more movies. Or maybe just something focused solely on female directors rather than writers (while also trying not to overlap with the ones already featured here).
@Juan Barquin, You could also add female tv writers. That could easily amplify your field for praising women.