These Donal Skehan Christmas sausage rolls are my most-requested Christmas recipe
These Donal Skehan Christmas sausage rolls are my most-requested Christmas recipe

Lauren Heskin

Danish shoppers had a sleepover in an IKEA store and it’s very ‘500 Days of Summer’
Danish shoppers had a sleepover in an IKEA store and it’s very ‘500 Days of...

Sarah Finnan

This terraced home in Sandycove with sea views is on the market for €2.15 million
This terraced home in Sandycove with sea views is on the market for €2.15 million

Megan Burns

Maneuvering the crazy politics of the family Kris Kindle
Maneuvering the crazy politics of the family Kris Kindle

Sophie White

Why should skincare stop at your face? Here’s how to give your entire body some TLC
Why should skincare stop at your face? Here’s how to give your entire body some...

IMAGE

‘This is probably my last Christmas. I wanted it to be meaningful. The pandemic has taken so much from me’
‘This is probably my last Christmas. I wanted it to be meaningful. The pandemic has...

Amanda Cassidy

‘Watching the Christmas shopping rush, it’s easy to feel like if you aren’t spoiling your kids, you’re doing it wrong’
‘Watching the Christmas shopping rush, it’s easy to feel like if you aren’t spoiling your...

Amanda Cassidy

WIN a magnum bottle of Moët Brut Impérial champagne and four gold goblets
WIN a magnum bottle of Moët Brut Impérial champagne and four gold goblets

IMAGE

Unhappiest at age 47? These women beg to differ
Unhappiest at age 47? These women beg to differ

Amanda Cassidy

Grief at Christmas: ‘Sadness is more accentuated this time of year’
Grief at Christmas: ‘Sadness is more accentuated this time of year’

Niamh Ennis

Image / Editorial

Binge-worthy: 4 brilliant, female-directed films you need to see


By Jennifer McShane
07th Oct 2019
Binge-worthy: 4 brilliant, female-directed films you need to see

Female-directed films are still a rarity in Hollywood. Things are slowly changing post-#MeToo; women who yearn to see their lives depicted via a female gaze on screen are making things happen. Remember when Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman smashed box office records and critics’ expectations upon release and when Sofia Coppola became only the second woman to win the Best Director award for The Beguiled at the Cannes Film Festival? Those who are doing their best to shatter glass ceilings are creating incredible work that deserves to be seen by everyone. There are (thankfully) many more than four to watch, but below are four of my all-time-favourites. 


Monster directed by Patty Jenkins

Patty Jenkins’ 2003 biopic about the ill-fated life of serial killer Aileen Wuornos (an unrecognisable, Academy Award-winning Charlize Theron) never shied away from the fact that Wuornos committed her crimes but it did what so many portrayals failed to do: look at her as a human being, who also greatly suffered in life.

Jenkins forgoes a soap-like plot and delves into mental illness and the treatment those who need help the most but are unable to get it. She also added in the star-crossed love story with Christina Ricci (phenomenal in the role) who gave Wuornos’ life some warmth when she was so worn down. It’s raw and wrenching.

Breathe directed by Melanie Laurent

Insightful teen dramas don’t get much more beautiful than Inglourious Bastard star Melanie Laurent’s second directing feature. Breathe, Mélanie Laurent’s feature film about two warring teenage girls Sarah (Lou de Large) and Charlie (Joséphine Japy) is a story told with careful tenderness. Seventeen-year-old Charlie is immediately taken with the more outgoing Sarah and the two form a close bond.

But slowly, the relationship starts to turn; jealousy and possessiveness take centre stage and things turn ominous when Sarah tires of Charlie and seeks a new friend. It’s a striking, coming-of-age tale of friendship and victimhood, the malicious games young women can play and what happens when things turn sour at a pivotal crossroads in life.

The Virgin Suicides directed by Sofia Coppola

The story centres around the five Lisbon sisters – Therese, Mary, Bonnie, Lux and Cecilia – who are portrayed as figures of unattainable desire by our narrators; a group of neighbourhood boys who recount the lives of the girls (and their obsession with them) 20 years after the girl’s deaths.

It is a book not so much about suicide but about unrequited love and loss of wasted youth. For a title that sounds so grim, Coppola visually brings a vivid light and breezy haze to the screen, despite the often dark and troubled lives of the girls. The film was based on Jeffrey Eugenides’ debut novel of the same name and is one of the few examples I can think of where the adaptation enhances the source material. It’s chilling, haunting but not without beauty. It is still Coppola’s best work.

American Honey directed by Andrea Arnold

This film reached sleeper hit status until it started making noise on the film festival circuit and now it has the critics talking. A poignant exploration of lost youth, the film follows American teenager Star (played by enthralling newcomer Sasha Lane) as she embarks on a journey of self-awakening after running away from her rundown Oklahoma town. She meets unlikely companions in a Walmart carpark, and so begins her time on the road.

This couldn’t be further from the American Dream; the roads are worn, the destinations rundown and the setting is, if anything, very bleak. It captivates thanks to director Andrea Arnold’s deft touch – she can make the grimmest of scenes look like a work of art – and standout performances from Lane and Shia LaBeouf (in his most sympathetic role to date). It’s a reckless, raw and beautiful movie – a moving ode to the magical fragility of youth.


More like this: 

Related6 brilliant, guilty-pleasure movies worth another watch

Related7 Netflix series and films we can’t wait for this autumn

RelatedSlow burner: 6 TV shows that weren’t meant to be binge-watched