While male directors have made a clean sweep at this year’s Academy Awards Best Director category, there are plenty of women-directed films that deserve some recognition.
In the past two years, female directors have received the trophy for Best Director. Chloé Zhao won in 2021 for directing Nomadland while Jane Campion took home the title for her film The Power of the Dog in 2022.
This year, no woman has been nominated in the category. So, here are some films with powerful stories that definitely deserve your attention, even without an Oscar nod.
Women Talking directed by Sarah Polley
Women Talking was the only woman-directed film that was nominated for this year’s Best Picture. The story follows the women living in a religious colony who must decide if they should leave the men of their community after being controlled their whole lives, in their journey towards hope and freedom.
Aftersun directed by Charlotte Wells
Written and directed by Wells, this story follows a young, troubled father and his observant daughter as they embark on a holiday in Turkey. Paul Mescal, who plays Calum (the father), has been nominated for Best Lead Actor.
The Woman King directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood
It came as a surprise when this film, starring Viola Davis, was snubbed during the Oscar nominations. It tells the story of the Agojie, the all-female warrior unit that protected the West African kingdom of Dahomey during the 17th to 19th century.
Till directed by Chinonye Chukwu
Chinonye Chukwu, the first Black woman to win Sundance’s Grand Jury Prize for Clemency, portrays the true story of Mamie Till in this film. Till became a leading educator and activist during the Civil Rights Movement after her 14-year-old son was kidnapped and murdered.
She Said directed by Maria Schrader
Carey Mulligan and Zoe Kazan star in this biographical drama as reporters Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey, the women who exposed Harvey Weinstein’s history of abuse and sexual misconduct against women.
Saint Omer directed by Alice Diop
Saint Omer was France’s submission for the Best International Film category but was unfortunately not nominated.
The film is Alice Diop’s first narrative feature after working as a documentary filmmaker, and it tells the fictionalized true story of a Senegalese philosophy student who was accused of neglecting her baby daughter to be swept away by the tide on a beach.
Banner photo via Instagram @womankingmovie.