To help people with their 52 Films By Women challenge this year I thought I’d put together a list of some of my favorite films directed by women that are easily accessible on Netflix and Amazon Prime. Keep in mind that this is in no way all of the films directed by women available on these services, but rather a selection of films I have seen and enjoy. There are also many more films available to rent on Amazon Video as well. Think of this as a jumping off point! Also if you have not taken the 52 Films By Women pledge yet you can do so here.
Can you believe this will be my seventh year doing these monthly viewing recaps? In 2011, the first year I did monthly recaps, I was super obsessed with TCM. Now in 2017, the seventh year, I work at TCM! Dreams do come true, folks. As always, after the cut you will find everything I watched in January, plus I highlight a few favorites.
Susan Lowenstein: How do you feel?
Tom Wingo: I, uh, feel okay. I mean, I thought I’d be on the floor, but I feel surprisingly alright.
Susan Lowenstein: Are you sure?
Tom Wingo: Oh, yeah. I mean, uh, well, I’m relieved. The artery’s clean, the ghost’s out of the closet, and I’m—
Susan Lowenstein: You’ve really learned how to cover your pain, haven’t you? You’ve done that all your life. That 13-year-old boy is still in a lot of pain.
Tom Wingo: Don’t do this to me Lowenstein, don’t do this to me.
Susan Lowenstein: I can feel your pain, Tom, I feel it. Let yourself feel it. It takes courage to feel the pain, Tom.
Joyce: I read that for every glass of alcohol that you drink, you need an extra glass of water…
Andy: Ma. Ma! Can you not see that I don’t want to talk right now? Are you… Are you blind? How idiotic can you be? Can you not tell that I don’t want any water? Enough with the nagging and the water! Just shut up! Just shut up!
Joyce: I don’t know what to say.
Joyce: “Finally”, you said? You little shit. Mmm! You condescending, self-absorbed little shit. I can’t do anything right by you, can I, Andy? Everything I say is wrong, everything I do is wrong. Go ahead. Why don’t you keep insulting me? ‘Cause you haven’t made it quite clear just how much you can’t stand being with me! What do you think, I’m stupid? You think I’m stupid? No. You think I don’t know that you went to school in California so that you’d only have to see me once a year? Why, Andy? Why? What did I do wrong? What did I do? Did I care for you too much? Did I love you too much? What did I do?
Andy: Okay, Ma.
Joyce: It’s not okay! This is the way you talk to me? Like I’m some thing that has to be tolerated? Well, let me tell you something, kiddo. You don’t have to like me, or spend time with me. But as long as I’m your mother, you will treat me with respect. Now drink your fucking water before you drop dead from dehydration!
When I first saw this film, I was in the middle of a marathon of all three versions, William A. Wellman’s 1937 version, George Cukor’s 1954 version and then finally this 1976 version. In comparison, this is probably the least impressive version. Something about it just doesn’t work. But, it is an interesting look at rock music and the machine and like the other two versions, is an interesting time capsule. The performances from both Streisand and Kristofferson are top notch and this new Blu-ray book is a must for fans of Babs.
Judy: I believe you dropped something.
Howard: What do you think you are doing?
Judy: I think I’m taking a bath, aren’t I?
Howard: If you’re not out of here in two minutes, I’m calling the police.
Judy: Who do you think they’ll arrest? The girl in the tub or the guy with his pants down?
Howard: I am not joking now. I do not like to act rashly, but you are the last straw that breaks my camel’s back, you are the plague, you bring havoc and chaos to everyone, but why to me? Why me? Why?
Judy: Because you look cute in your pyjamas, Steve.
Howard: GET OUT!
Judy: Right now?
[Judy starts to get out the bath]
Howard: No! Wait a minute!
I’m going to admit this straight up: this is mostly going to be an “I love Barbra Streisand in this movie” post. I’d never been a big fan of Babs until I saw this film and I’ve been converted forever. This was her debut film performance and she won the Best Actress Academy Award for it – in the only tie in that category’s history with Katharine Hepburn in The Lion In Winter. Somehow, though, the Academy decided to give the top prize of the night to Carrol Reed’s overblown, boring and trite musical Oliver! I mean, if they were going to give the top prize one last time to a musical, well until Chicago‘s win 34 years later, why couldn’t they have gone with Funny Girl?! The film was nominated for seven Academy Awards and only won the one: Best Actress Barbra Streisand (won), Best Supporting Actress – Kay Medford, Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, Best Original Song, Best Score of a Musical Picture (Original or Adaptation), Best Sound and Best Picture. William Wyler wasn’t even nominated for Best Director! The other films nominated for Best Picture that year were: Rachel, Rachel, Romeo and Juliet, The Lion in Winter and winner Oliver!