The Best Films Directed By Women Available On Demand

We Need To Talk About Kevin (dir. Lynne Ramsay)

Plot: Kevin’s mother struggles to love her strange child, despite the increasingly vicious things he says and does as he grows up. But Kevin is just getting started, and his final act will be beyond anything anyone imagined.

Adapted from the novel of the same name, We Need To Talk About Kevin is the controversial story of the aftermath of a school shooting on the mother of its perpetrator. A sensory experience with striking visuals, it is told in flashbacks as the mother Eva, played by the remarkable Tilda Swinton, meditates on whether her sociopathic son was inherently evil or the product of her parenting.

Available on Netflix UK

The Kids Are All Right (dir. Lisa Cholodenko)

Plot: Two children conceived by artificial insemination bring their biological father into their non-traditional family life.

The Kids Are All Right is the story of the everyday struggles in a dysfunctional family where the parents fight through a midlife crisis and their surrogate children begin to seek out their biological father. What’s remarkable is that, although the parents are a lesbian couple, Lisa Cholodenko treats this unconventional family like they are any other. Their challenges are those of every household, but they’re framed through the non-traditional dynamic of two mothers and their children. It’s a quietly groundbreaking comedy.

Available on Amazon Prime Instant UK

Wuthering Heights (dir. Andrea Arnold)

Plot: A poor boy of unknown origins is rescued from poverty and taken in by the Earnshaw family where he develops an intense relationship with his young foster sister, Cathy.

It’s not every adaptation of Emily Bronte’s 1847 novel that features its protagonist Heathcliffe, played by a black actor for the first time, screaming at the Lintons: “Fuck you, you’re all cunts”. Andrea Arnold’s version of the classic story is truly like none we have yet seen. Though it retains the core of the classic literature it is given a fresh, unconventional approach.

Available on Netflix UK

Girlhood (dir. Celine Sciamma)

Plot: A girl with few real prospects joins a gang, reinventing herself and gaining a sense of self confidence in the process. However, she soon finds that this new life does not necessarily make her any happier.

No relation to the Oscar nominated Boyhood, Celine Sciamma’s film is about the friendship between a girl gang in the poor, predominantly black suburbs of Paris. It’s not only sympathetic to these characters in a way that many films may not be, it’s also vibrant and alive – particularly in a fantastic scene in which the girls perform their own music video to Rihanna’s Diamonds.

Available on Amazon Prime Instant UK

Obvious Child (dir. Gillian Robespierre)

Plot: A twenty-something comedienne’s unplanned pregnancy forces her to confront the realities of independent womanhood for the first time.

Gillian Robespierre and her star Jenny Slate tackle a controversial subject. Obvious Child is about an unemployed comedienne who becomes pregnant and commits to an abortion. However, this isn’t a hot-button political film. Instead, it’s a witty and funny comedy that looks at young adulthood with honesty.

Available on Netflix UK

Your Sister’s Sister (dir. Lynn Shelton)

Plot: Iris invites her friend Jack to stay at her family’s island getaway after the death of his brother. At their remote cabin, Jack’s drunken encounter with Hannah, Iris’ sister, kicks off a revealing stretch of days.

An unconventional love triangle which centres on a depressed young man who begins an affair with the sister of his best friend who has always had romantic feelings for him. Almost entirely set at a secluded house, Lynn Shelton has her three lead actors – Mark Duplass, Emily Blunt and Rosemarie DeWitt – improvise much the dialogue. It makes for a natural little indie movie full of humour.

Available on Amazon Prime Instant UK

Please Give (dir. Nicole Holofcener)

Plot: In New York City, a husband and wife butt heads with the granddaughters of the elderly woman who lives in the apartment the couple owns.

Nicole Holofcener’s brisk 90-minute comedy places us in the lives of these idiosyncratic characters and allows us to briefly live alongside them. They’re so well written by Holofcener, who has the voice of a young female Woody Allen, and performed with nuance by its cast that you quickly become immersed in their world and understand them like real people. It’s a little bundle of joy.

Available on Netflix UK

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