With this week’s news of Nora Ephron’s passing for some reason I found myself rereading my recent post of my Top Ten Directors, which I almost feel ashamed to note is comprised of only male directors. There was one omission that would’ve been an entry into the list, but was not included due to the fact that she has yet to release five theatrical films to her name.
While many a boyfriend and husband may have heard the name Ephron and shuddered heading to the theatre, I on the other hand – for the most part – loved her films and a lot of the ones she wrote as well as those she was able to direct later on. She gave us When Harry Met Sally as well as You’ve Got Mail. I consider those to both be great achievements in the world of the romantic comedy.
So in tribute, of some sort, I’d like to take a moment to highlight some of the – who I consider to be – best female directors working today. I’m sure that I have a lot of gaps in knowledge of female auteurs, but I will try my best:
10. Katheryn Bigelow
She’s one of the most interesting female directors as I believe she’s the only filmmaker a part of my list (and I almost feel one of the few female directors) who makes action movies. With entries such as Point Break and The Hurt Locker she forgoes all of those introspective personal details that make a lot of the other filmmakers on this list so special to me and just knows how to entertain and amaze time to time.
9. Dee Rees
With only one feature film released, Pariah, she pretty much sky rocketed to the top of my must watch list of filmmakers. The film showed not only that she can craft a story but she knows how to use subtlety to its true potential. We don’t need every scene to be a 100% moment, but if we slowly add things up one by one we can eventually get there and have true catharsis.
8. Andrea Arnold
I’ve yet to see Wuthering Heights, but her films of Red Road and Fish Tank remain two of those movies which while I didn’t love I appreciated 100%. I noticed to talent involved and sit back waiting for it all to pay off with her delivering her opus of filmmaking. I don’t know when or how, but she’s going to become one of the greats if she keeps getting interesting films to make.
7. Debra Granik
I fell in love with her instantly after seeing Winter’s Bone and what I’ve seen of Down to the Bone (yes I too wonder if she’ll ever finish her “Bone” trilogy in the making) gives me hope that gritty realistic depressing stories will never go away. Sometimes in life things just don’t work out, and apparently that’s what Debra Granik wants me to get the gist of quickly.
6. Patty Jenkins
Almost there to direct Thor 2, she will always have a nice place in my heart after giving us Monster, the 2003 film that pretty much introduced me to Charlize Theron in a performance that I thought (up until Young Adult) she would never be able to top.