May 29, 2023
WRITTEN BY: PAIGE
In 2022, we were given an amazing slate of films directed by women, including Sarah Polley’s Women Talking, which won best adapted screenplay at the Academy Awards; Domee Shi’s Pixar movie, Turning Red; and Gina Prince-Bythewood's The Woman King, just to name a few. While no women were nominated for Best Director in 2022, which was a wee bit disappointing, I have high hopes for 2023 because the talent pool is only getting deeper.
I honestly wish I had time to talk about all the great films boasting women behind the camera, but let’s focus on the eight offerings I’m most excited for. In the broader sense, it’s exhilarating to see so many diverse women ushering in the next generation of cinema, putting their stamp on 2023. From the looks of it, several of the ladies mentioned below have a great chance of getting nominated for several Academy Awards. If you haven’t noticed, women have been changing the game over the past few years, so please be on the lookout for all these films because I want to see more female-helmed films get made. And even more importantly, I want to see more women directors get the support and recognition they deserve for their work!
Director: Celine Song
Release Date: June 2, 2023
Past Lives, which will have Celine Song making her directorial debut, looks like a romantic tearjerker. Admittedly, I don’t know much about Song other than she wrote an Off-Broadway play in 2019 before getting her first television screenwriting credit for Amazon Prime’s The Wheel of Time. However, despite being new to the industry, I’m excited to see what she can do considering she’s a writer and a director. I’ve also heard nothing but great things about Past Lives, which premiered at Sundance Film Festival earlier this year.
Director: Adele Lim:
Release Date: July 7, 2023
Since getting plenty of laughs and applause at its premiere at SXSW, my excitement for Joy Ride has only grown. Adele Lim (co-writer of Crazy Rich Asians) will be making her directorial debut with this rowdy comedy that stars Everything Everywhere All at Once breakout Stephanie Hsu, Ashley Park, and comedians Sherry Cola and Sabrina Wu. Joy Ride is also produced by Seth Rogen, so buckle up, because I have a feeling this is going to be a f*cking hilarious ride.
Director: Greta Gerwig
Release Date: July 21, 2023
Cue “Barbie Girl” by Aqua. This is honestly my second most anticipated film of 2023 behind Dune: Part Two because I absolutely love Greta’s voice and directing styling. She’s a brilliant writer and director who hasn’t disappointed me yet. And c’mon…casting some of the hottest and most talented people in Hollywood (I’m talking about you Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling)? You truly can’t go wrong. I have a feeling Barbie is going to be so different from what we expect it to be, which is what has me the most excited. From the two teaser trailers I have seen, the film visually looks stunning. I can’t wait.
Director: Nia DeCosta
Release date: November 10, 2023
You may recognize her name from directing the most recent entry in the Candyman franchise, which happened to put her on Disney’s radar, but what I love most about DeCosta is that she actually comes from a small budget, indie background like a few other Marvel directors, including Chloé Zhao and Ryan Coogler. Her atmospheric and distinctively bold visuals make me very curious to see what she has in store with The Marvels. I dug its predecessor Captain Marvel, so I can’t wait to check this sequel out in November.
Director: Emerald Fennell
Release Date: TBD
Another film I’m really looking forward to is Emerald Fennell’s second feature, Saltburn. After her bold directorial debut, Promising Young Woman, I’m thrilled to see what Fennell has up her sleeve next. Given her highly stylized, contemporary production design, I can’t wait to see how this film will look. Saltburn, starring Rosamund Pike, Barry Keoghan, Carey Mulligan, and Jacob Elordi, is centered around jealousy and obsession in an English family. Personally, I find that logline intriguing; however, since it doesn’t yet have an official release date, you’ll have to keep an eye out for this one.
Director: Emma Seligman
Release Date: August 25, 2023
If you haven’t seen Emma Seligman’s other film, Shiva Baby, then I don’t know what the hell you're doing with your life because you’re missing out. It’s a magnificent film that launched the career of Rachel Sennott, who will be reteaming with Seligman in Bottoms. Another film that premiered at SXSW, Bottoms stars Sennott and Ayo Edebiri (The Bear), who are set to play two unpopular high school seniors who compete to hook up with as many cheerleaders as possible before graduation. This sounds like my type of coming-of-age film.
Director: Sofia Coppola
Release date: TBD
Who are we kidding? Of course, I'm going to have more than one A24 film on this list. The Elvis craze isn’t over just yet because Sofia Coppola is teaming up with A24 for a third time with the adaptation of Priscilla Presley’s shocking memoir, Elvis and Me. The film is titled Priscilla, and it will examine the complex relationship between Priscilla and Elvis Presley. And while Sofia Coppola may be a “nepo baby,” she did make a name for herself directing Lost in Translation, one of my favorite films of all time.
LOVE LIES BLEEDING
Director: Rose Glass
Release date: TBD
Okay, while I admit I don’t know much about Love Lies Bleeding, the tagline of Kristen Stewart playing the protective lover of a female bodybuilder has me very curious as to what the film is going to dive into. I love pretty much everything Kristen Stewart has done, and she’d be my personal pick to play me if they ever did a Bitesize biopic (*hint hint* someone make this happen). This latest effort from Saint Maud director Rose Glass is being described as a romantic thriller, and it also will star Jena Malone, Ed Harris, Dave Franco, and did I mention Kristen Stewart? Because I love me some Kristen Stewart.
Photo Credits: Photo 1 - Sara Pooley; Photo 2 - Film Independent; Photo 3 - A24; Photo 4 - Universal Pictures; Photo 5 - Focus Features; Photo 6 - MGM; Photo 7 - Apple TV; Photo 8 - Studio Canal