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.
Philip: You’re upset because it’s Christmas. Christmas is a time when you look at your life through a magnifying glass, and whatever you don’t have feels overwhelming. Being alone is so much lonelier at Christmas. Everything sad is so much sadder at Christmas. You can’t give in to this, Felix!
Dottie Ingels: I spend 16 years doing nothing but thinking about them and now I spend three months thinking about myself and I feel like I’ve murdered them.
Arnold Moss: You had to travel. It’s part of your work. Kids are happy when their mother’s happy.
Dottie Ingels: No they’re not. Everyone says that, but it’s not true. Kids are happy if you’re there. You give kids a choice: your mother in the next room on the verge of suicide versus your mother in Hawaii in ecstasy, they choose suicide in the next room. Believe me.
Lately I’ve become more and more frustrated with the various “best ever” lists that have been released because they rarely feature films by women, or if they do it’s usually one or two films. I think this is more a reflection of those who are polled for these kinds of lists, as well as a compounding of history on itself. For so long films by men have made up the bulk of the film canon and I think people are afraid to add new films to these revered lists. I also think many people haven’t seen very many films by women, or if they have it’s always the same handful of films. In an attempt to create a better, more inclusive list of great films by women, I polled over 500 critics, filmmakers, bloggers, historians, professors and casual film viewers, asking them to tell me what films directed (or co-directed) by women are essential viewing. Some people only responded with as little as five votes, others submitted hundreds of films. In the end, I received over 7,000 votes for 1,100+ different films. After tallying up this data, with ties factored in, I then had a list of 103 essential films directed by women.
Pat: Let me think how to put this. Motherhood doesn’t turn out to be a reason.
Eve: For what?
Pat: What I mean is, I’m not one of those women who needed to be a mother. When I was growing up, all the girls wanted to be, so I thought I did too. But it didn’t take. Just being honest.
Eve: Well. . .Thank you.
Annie: Now those were the days when people KNEW how to be in love.
Becky: You’re a basket case.
Annie: They knew it! Time, distance. . .nothing could separate them because they knew. It was right. It was real. It was perf–
Becky: A movie! That’s your problem! You don’t want to be in love. You want to be in love in a movie.
Jack Wyatt: How would you like to be on a television show? Ms. . .
Isabel Bigelow: Bigelow.
Jack Wyatt: Bigelow?
Isabel Bigelow: Isabel Bigelow.
Jack Wyatt: What do you think? Wanna be a famous actress?
Isabel Bigelow: Me?
Jack Wyatt: Yeah.
Isabel Bigelow: An actress?
Jack Wyatt: Yeah.
Isabel Bigelow: I can’t act.
Jack Wyatt: Anyone can act. If I can act, you can act.
Book Soup Cafe Waitress: Amen.
Jack Wyatt: I think those people over there just finished their plate of *hummus*. You might wanna help them by clearing it. Thank you.
Rachel Samstat: You probably think it’s very bourgeois to cook for somebody on the first date. You probably think I do this for everybody.
Mark Forman: Rachel, I love this. When we’re married, I want this once a week.
Rachel Samstat: I’m never getting married again. I don’t believe in marriage.
Mark Forman: Neither do I.