I'm not a huge fan of committing to favorites for fear of changing my mind in the future, but since I've had 23 years with it at this point, I feel confident in calling your adaptation of Little Women my absolute favorite movie. I've watched it no fewer than twenty times and have no doubt that I'll watch it at least twenty more. It's perfectly cast -- you somehow caught many of my favorite actresses at my favorite point in their careers, all at the same time. It's also one of the best representations of both family and what it means to be a woman (and a daughter and a sister and a mother...) I can think of. It's basically a perfect period film -- feeling old fashioned in all the right ways and modern in all the most feminist-y ways -- and as someone who grew up with a major Louisa May Alcott obsession, I have no qualms about mentioning it in the same breath with The Wizard of Oz and To Kill A Mockingbird as one of the few film adaptations that's actually as good as the source material. And look, Little Women alone would be enough to make me want to write you this letter, but you've also done some pretty incredible work outside of it. My Brilliant Career features one of my favorite Judy Davis performances, which -- considering the fact that Judy Davis has one of the highest batting averages of any actress basically ever -- is significant. And not for nothing, in 1979, it was the the first Australian feature to be directed by a woman in 48 years. Then in both Oscar and Lucinda and Charlotte Gray, you combined love of my life Cate Blanchett with the other love of my life, Movies Featuring Authentic Female Protagonists. And not to come on too strong here, but I'll go ahead and say you might be the third love of my life because of it.
I ♥ Female Directors
Every year there are studies and lists and think pieces about the lack of female directors working in television and film. And hey, we love studies and lists and think pieces as much as the next gal, but the numbers are soooo depressing and the problem is soooo entrenched and unchanging that reading about it starts to feel a lot like eating your vegetables if vegetables tasted like futility which they do.
We started iheartfemaledirectors.com because we think the biggest thing missing from the conversation about female directors is some good old-fashioned gushy fandom. We will not have achieved true equality until every film school student who ever jizzed himself talking about the exploration of violence and masculinity in Fight Club has also needed a change of pants after discussing the exploration of violence and masculinity in Beau Travail.
Yes, there are historically fewer female directors than male, but there have still been hundreds (thousands?) of great ones. And new female directors are being born and dismissed every minute! So while the major studios’ scientists toil away in their under-the-lot labs, manufacturing the single perfect, hireable female director*, we’ll be swooning over the ones who have already put amazing, love letter-worthy things into the world.
So here’s our plan: every week we’ll put up a new love letter to a female director we’re obsessed with. And look, maybe that won't solve all of sexism in Hollywood. But it might get you to watch an Agnes Varda movie, and isn't that a close second?
• Experienced (but also fresh!)
• Works Constantly (but is always available)
• Commanding (but not emasculating)
• Will represent the wokeness and feminism of the studio (but won’t complain about institutionalized sexism)
• Has a unique voice (but wants to direct mediocre tentpoles)
• A visionary (but takes all notes)