Even while 2022 may not have been the best year for movies, it surely gave viewers several great films, some of which were even directed by talented women. And the fact that not one, but two films on this list received Academy nominations — one for Best Picture in 2023 and another for Best Actor — only serves to support that claim.
Here is a diverse list of the highest-rated female-directed movies of 2022, according to Letterboxd, ranging from intriguing coming-of-age stories to compelling action flicks, to honour these talented filmmakers’ concepts, successes, and dedication to producing fantastic works in an industry that is largely dominated by men.
Table Of Content
’20th Century Girl’
A 1999 South Korean drama romance with the working title 20segi sonyeo, 20th Century Girl centres on the first love and friendships of Bo-Ra (Kim Yoo-jeong), a 17-year-old high school student. Bo-Ra maintains a careful eye on the boy she is fixated on for her enamoured best friend, but she ends up falling in love with him.
While Woo-ri Bang’s film may seem like the ideal choice for those seeking a jovial, effervescent, lighthearted romance, viewers must not be duped. Yes, this heartbreaking k-drama will knock viewers off their feet with its ample serving of romance. However, the tragic situations are what masterfully tear viewers’ emotions apart.
Aftersun, Charlotte Wells’ superb first film, stars Paul Mescal, a Best Actor contender who gave a standout performance opposite Frankie Corio. The film centres on a father-daughter trip to Turkey and explores childhood nostalgia as well as the personal melancholy that the two of them formerly shared.
Aftersun is exceptional in that it portrays father-daughter interactions in a way that few other films do, and that is just one of the reasons why. Welles’ film, widely regarded as the best female-directed picture of the previous year, is a heartbreaking drama that expertly explores memory, despair, and bereavement.
In this realistic slice-of-life drama, the landlord of a family of peach growers in a small hamlet in Catalonia unexpectedly passes away, leaving them to deal with catastrophic repercussions, including being evicted by his lifetime heir who threatens Solé’s livelihood by selling the holdings.
Beautiful slow-burn Spanish film by Carla Simón that explores loss, family, and sadness while capturing its characters and landing wonderfully. Alcarràs is a sweet and appealing viewing for those who feel like watching a tear-jerking, affecting drama. It has magnificent cinematography to match its fascinating and emotive tale.
The film Falcon Lake centres on Bastien (Joseph Enge) and Chloé (Sara Montpetit), two teenagers who, despite their age difference, form an odd but enduring friendship. During a summer family vacation at a lake cabin in Quebec that is purported to be haunted by a ghost legend, the two come together.
This enjoyable slow-paced dramedy, Charlotte Le Bon’s debut film, focuses on coming-of-age while a person is still very much imprisoned between childhood and adulthood. Despite addressing significant issues relating to one’s upbringing, the moody movie also has a wonderful, realistic romance narrative that captures what it’s like to fall in love for the first time.
The protagonist of the film directed by Darin J. Sallam is 14-year-old Farha (Karam Taher), who lives in a Palestinian hamlet in 1948. Despite stringent customs and limitations, Farha works hard to advance in her studies. Her aspirations, however, are put on hold when armed troops raid her town and others, threatening to kill the villagers if they don’t leave.
Farha is a lot of things, but it is unquestionably not your typical coming-of-age movie. With a teenage girl at its centre and a focus on many significant and pertinent aspects, Sallam’s sorrowful yet engaging film emphasises the brutal Palestinian anguish that many people have experienced and continue to experience.
‘Leonor Will Never Die’
Martika Ramirez Escobar is the author and director of the psychological comedy-drama film Leonor Will Never Die (Filipino: Ang Pagbabalik ng Kwago). It encourages viewers to peek inside the thoughts of a retired screenwriter while she is unconscious and reveals an unfinished script in which she portrays the action heroine.
This engaging film with incredible design and aesthetics pays respect to all the positive characteristics of the genre by referencing 1980s Filipino action movies. Martika Ramirez Escobar’s film is funny and playful, but it also has a philosophical undercurrent that celebrates art and muses on the notion that we are all but actors in our own movies.
Amaia (Laia Costa), a young freelancer living in Madrid, struggles as a new mother and decides to go back to her parents’ house for support while her boyfriend is temporarily away in Lullaby, Alauda Ruiz de Azua’s domestic drama debut.
A love letter to motherhood, Lullaby explores the highs and lows of being a new parent as well as the worries that can occasionally accompany it, such as the tensions brought on by intergenerational family conflict. This touching and meaningful contemplation is surely a very engaging watch because it is a riveting film from beginning to end.
‘The Eight Mountains’
Alessandro Borghi and Luca Marinelli’s Pietro and Alessandro Borghi’s Bruno are two young Italian boys who spend their childhoods together in a remote mountain village exploring over the adjacent peaks and valleys before their paths diverge in the friendship drama Le Otto Motagne.
The Eight Mountains by Charlotte Vandermeersch and Felix Van Groeningen is a delightful experience with clever acting and lovely views that reflects on the value of the locations that create our youth. Despite its lengthy running time, the film unquestionably gives audiences an emotional look at the connection between two young men over the course of four decades.
‘The Woman King’
The WomanKing is an action-packed film that is equally as fun as it is important, starring the incredibly talented ViolaDavis (a notable Best Actress snub this year). The Kingdom of Dahomey, one of the most influential African states in the 18th and 19th centuries, served as the inspiration for Gina Prince-feature. Bythewood’s
This dramatic war epic, which features an amazing protagonist who completely controls the movie, masterfully blends action with profoundly important, timely subjects, such as trauma and the inequities encountered by w
omen. The Woman King, which is superbly directed, exudes strength and determination on screen.
WomenTalking has a great all-female lead ensemble that includes well-known actors like Rooney Mara, Claire Foy, Jessie Buckley, and Frances McDormand. This intriguing film, which was directed by Sarah Polley, centres on a group of women who live in a remote religious colony and must reconcile their religious convictions with a number of sexual assaults committed by colonist men.
Women Talking has a lot of positive aspects, and this year’s Best Picture Academy Award nomination is only one of them. This superbly directed film about women, made by women, questions faith, hope, and religion. It has a fantastic narrative and expertly handles disturbing subjects.
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