Women do not always get the credit they deserve, nor do they get the opportunity to show what they can do. Here is a list of women that have worked for the opportunity and shown exactly what they are capable of. Heavyweights like Kathryn Bigelow and Ava DuVernay are too well known to make this list. These are the women that I am looking forward to seeing where they take their careers from this point forward; directors who you may not know of. Let’s get started.
05. Karyn Kusama
Having a long, stellar career, dating back to Girlfight in the year 2000 is why Karyn Kusama comes in at number five on this list. Kusama has had successful work in the television realm, directing episodes of Masters of Sex, Man in the High Castle, Billions and Halt and Catch Fire. The Charlize Theron led Aeon Flux was not the smash hit she was hoping it would be, but her small drama The Invitation showcases her expert craft. And Jennifer’s Body has always gotten more negative buzz than it deserves. Kusama’s next project is Destroyer, a crime/drama starring an unrecognizable Nicole Kidman, Toby Kebbell, Tatiana Maslany, Sebastian Stan, Scoot McNairy and Bradley Whitford. Destroyer hits theaters December 25th.
04. Jennifer Kent
Her spooky short film, Monster, got her noticed. Kent then adapted this short film into the feature-length The Babadook, which shows great directorial promise. Her upcoming movie, The Nighingale, is an Australian thriller that follows a young convict woman, hunting down a British officer who has committed crimes against her family. There currently is no U.S. release date, but I am constantly on the lookout for it.
03. Marielle Heller
Heller’s effort, The Diary of a Teenage Girl is a wonderful debut as a writer/director. She looks to be taking another huge step forward with her Melissa McCarthy led drama, Can You Ever Forgive Me? (releasing October 19th), as well as the Mr. Rogers film, starring Tom Hanks. While they may not pack a ton of star power, she also has two more upcoming films, one starring Daisy Ridley and one focusing on the true story of the court case to lift the Californian same-sex marriage bill. These will be can’t miss movies.
02. Dee Rees
Her 2017 film, Mudbound, was an amazing surprise and criminally overlooked. While it is the only film I have seen from Dee Rees, her 2011 feature-length debut, Pariah, has been praised as being powerful, and is currently high on my list of older films that I need to watch. Mudbound was enough for me to jump Rees towards the top of this list. Her upcoming crime/drama, The Last Thing He Wanted, starring Ben Affleck, Anne Hathaway and Willem Dafoe, is about a journalist who quits her job to become an arms dealer for a covert government agency.
01. Lynne Ramsay
We Need to Talk About Kevin is a masterpiece in filmmaking. You Were Never Really Here has been one of my favorite movies all year long. There is so much to love about it; I wish it had gotten a wider release. With intervals of 3 years, 8 years and 6 years between her directorial features, we should not expect to see another Lynne Ramsay movie for quite a while. But be certain that when it comes, it will be a powerfully packed punch.