Thursday Movie Picks: Movies Directed By Women


This week's theme from Wandering Through The Shelves is another suggestion by yours truly. This week we're talking about films directed by women. And really, why aren't we talking about this all the time? I wanted to talk specifically about all of the women who should've been nominated for Best Director at this year's Oscars instead of Martin Scorcese, Quinten Tarantino, and that goblin Todd Phillips. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

1) Honey Boy

Alma Har'el helped bring Shia Labeouf's semi autobiographical story to life and it's an amazing movie. She makes it feel so real and gets wonderful performances from her actors.

2) A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Marielle Heller had me buying Tom Hanks as Mister Rogers despite looking nothing like him. And the scene transitions in this movie with the toys? Genius. Her snub hurts the most.

3) The Farewell

Lulu Wang's The Farewell was so heartfelt and lovely. It should've had so much more attention.


  1. I've heard of the other two but the only one I've seen is A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood which I liked very much. I agree that Tom Hanks neither looks nor really acts like Mr. Rogers but he captured his essence and that's what matters in a case like this.

    When I saw this theme early in the year I thought I'd have to go full on Ida Lupino, not that I'd mind she was a very good director, since she was the only female director whose work I was familiar with. But then TCM launched a series called Women Make Film that ran for 14 weeks and highlighted films directed by women from around the world and provided me with an overabundance of choices! It became tough to narrow down but I enjoyed these three very much and still included Ida's best film at the helm.

    The Hitch-Hiker (1953)-Two buddies Ray (Edmond O'Brien) and Gilbert (Frank Lovejoy) head off for what is supposed to be a relaxing fishing trip but make the mistake of picking up an innocuous hitchhiker Emmett Myers (William Talman) who turns out to be a sociopath on the run from the law. Knowing that he’s a killer and sure that as soon as he’s done with them they are dead they plot an escape. But their plan is hampered by the fact that even when he sleeps Myers keeps one eye open. Director Ida Lupino, the only woman in the 50’s listed as a member of the DGA, keeps the action economical and the atmosphere tense.

    The Ascent (1977)-In the deep winter of the German countryside during WWII a pair of starving Soviet soldiers leave their unit in search of food but are captured by a Nazi patrol. Tortured for information they don’t possess one of them stands by his principles while the other seeks a way out but both pay a heavy cost. A big success upon release this proved to be the final film of director Larisa Shepitko who was killed along with her crew in a car accident shortly afterwards scouting locations for her next film.

    Daughters of the Dust (1991)-Julie Dash directed this look at the Gullah community off the coast of South Carolina at the turn of the last century where the descendants of former slaves kept a mix of African and colonial ways alive. As the changing times intermingle with the old ways conflicts ensue.

    Zero Motivation (2014)-Stationed in a remote desert location a disparate group of female Israeli soldiers wait until their period of service is up while they bicker, bond and fight against the ennui that comes with living in such an isolated spot. Tayla Lavie directs this with a fine mix of humor and gravitas.

    1. I'll have to see if HBO Max has that TCM program in their collection, that sounds like something I'd like to watch. I haven't seen any of your picks this week. That's awful to hear about Larisa Shepitko. Zero Motivation is one I tried to watch a few years ago but couldn't find it. I need to look again.

  2. I haven't seen any of these films but I really want to though I think I have It's a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood on my DVR hard drive.

    The Farewell is something I want to see with my mother while Honey Boy is something I want to see despite Shia LaBeouf who I think is a fucking asshole.

    Yes, it sucks that Todd Phillips now has an Oscar nod for Best Director. I liked Joker but I didn't think it was that great.

    1. Phillips is a medicore fuck lol. Yeah, Shia....yikes.

    2. Agreed! I'm not keen on LaBeouf in the slightest, although the upcoming Pieces of a Woman looks interesting.

    3. I've always enjoyed him as an actor but I can't be down for him anymore after all the abuse allegations thrown his way. The Oscar campaign for Pieces of a Woman is going to be interesting now. I wonder if his presence hurts Kirby's chances?

  3. I wasn't a fan of It's a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood but I really liked Farewell. I haven't seen Honey Boy yet but I will soon as I've heard great things about it.

  4. These are all new to me so thanks for sharing.
    I'd like to see A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood bu I don't know anything about Mister Rogers - do you think that matters?
    The Farewell sounds very moving. I'll try and watch it.

    1. I don't think it does. While I always knew who Mr. Rogers was, I never watched his show. I'd catch part of an episode here and there, but I was surprised how moved I was by it despite not being a long time fan.

    2. Most people outside of the US probably would not have heard of Mister Rogers. I don't think it's a show that really got exported...not like Sesame Street. The first time I've heard of him was through the movie because Tom Hanks was in it, though I have yet to see it.

  5. Honey Boy is amazing, no arguments there. Sad what's come out about LaBeouf over the last few days.

    A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood is downright charming. I didn't really love it (though Hanks is phenomenal in it), but it's impossible to dislike.

    I really need to see The Farewell. I've wanted to since it came out.

    1. Yes! The Farewell is so good, you should check it out.

  6. Look how bloody late I am! I do blame Christmas..LOL. I don't know the first or last one but so want to see the Tom Hanks film. I have to admit that I always found the real Mr. Rogers a bit creepy, like our Canadian version...Mr. Dressup. Poor guys that I found them this way. So why is Todd Phillips a goblin? Of course, I know nothing about this person.


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