If you’re looking to diversify your viewing habits this year, we’re here to help. We’re rounding up a list of films directed by women that we consider essential in 2022. After all, it’s no secret that Hollywood still doesn’t recognize its female directors and with the Oscars approaching, that fact becomes more poignant than ever. Especially considering that in 94 years, only seven female directors have been nominated for Best Director, and more specifically, only two have won.
So without further ado, grab this list of 14 films directed by women set to premiere in 2022. Fresh, The Woman King, Catherine, Called Birdy And much more.
Where the Crawdads sing -Olivia Newman
Women are at the heart of the film adaptation of Where Crawdad sings. It all starts with the source material, and Delia Owens’ gripping novel not only brought her to the New York Times’ bestseller list in 2018, but it also caught the attention of famous bookworm Reese Witherspoon and his famous monthly book club. From there, the novel was picked up by Witherspoon’s production company, resulting in an adaptation helmed by director Olivia Newman and starring the inimitable Daisy Edgar Jones. Watch the film when it releases in July.
The stars at noon -Claire Denis
Located in Nicaragua in 1984, The stars at noon by Denis Johnson details the relationship between an American and an Englishman; where neither party is exactly what it seems. Arguably the best part of this upcoming film adaptation is that our beloved R. Patz will be starring alongside the celestial beings that are Margaret Qualley and Joe Alwyn. Not only that, but A24 is set to distribute it while French director Claire Denis steers the ship.
She says -Maria Schrader
If the title She saysrings a familiar bell, that’s because it’s the name of the best-selling book of The New York Times investigative journalists – Meghan Twohey and Jodi Kantor – who in 2017 broke the harrowing details of Harvey Weinstein’s ongoing history of sexual assaults in Hollywood. The film should tell the story of how Twohey and Kantor – played by Carey Mulligan and Zoe Kazan – persevered to bring this scandal to light. And like any good story about women, She says is in the capable hands of director Maria Schrader with a November 2022 release promised. A women-on-women-on-women affair.
The female king – Gina Prince Bythewood
Forget affordable housing and universal health care, the thing I would sell my soul for is getting an early glimpse of Viola Davis as the matriarch of an all-female military unit. The female king takes us to the West African kingdom of Dahomey, which flourished from around 1600 until 1904, and is based on real events. Directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood, the woman who brought us Love & Basketball, and with a cast that includes Thuso Mbedu, Sheila Atim, John Boyega and Hero Fiennes Tiffin, we’re chomping at the bit for its September release.
Catherine, called Birdy -Lena Dunham
Lena Dunham has been busy. In the same way pointed stick the writer is heading into new territory with a period comedy based on the children’s book of the same name by Karen Cushman. On board as writer and director, Dunham enlisted the acting chops of everyone’s favorite priest, Andrew Scott, as well as Joe Alwyn and Bella Ramsey who stole our hearts as the edgy but brave Lyanna Mormont. in Game of thrones. Production wrapped in December 2021, so we can expect a premiere in 2022.
don’t worry darling – Olivia Wilde
Olivia Wilde just gets it and you don’t need to see don’t worry darling know that. May I draw your attention to his 2019 masterpiece Book smart featuring the brilliant Beanie Feldstein. Specifically, the actress-director has sent us into complete dithering with her casting choices for her next film. Yes, Harry Styles and Florence Pugh will star side by side as husband and wife in don’t worry darling. While Gemma Chan and Chris Pine also make an appearance. Set in 1950s California, little is known about the plot, but expect a utopian watch with dark undertones when it releases in September.
The consequences – Megan Park
A teenage friendship is forged in the most traumatic circumstances of this coming-of-age drama. Jenny Ortega takes the lead alongside dancer Maddie Ziegler and the two hang on despite their chalk and cheese reputation. Megan Park’s directorial debut is a serious and moving portrayal of being a teenager in modern America and you can watch it now thanks to its January debut.
I want to dance with someone – Lemons from Kasi
Whitney Houston’s life was as rich and oversized as her signature vibrato. And so, it would take an equally formidable team to pull off a biopic based on the singer’s time on this earth. In the role of Whitney Houston herself is Naomi Ackie who you will know from The end of the fucking world and Lady Macbeth while sultry Italian Stanley Tucci is on board to play Columbia Records president Clive Davis. Kasi Lemmons maintains the fort as director, making this December release essential for 2022.
Persuasion – Carrie Cracker
The latest star to enter the Austen universe is our beloved Dakota Johnson; who should star in the Netflix adaptation of Persuasion alongside Henry Golding and Suki Waterhouse. And the woman responsible for this Hollywood version of Austen’s swansong is none other than famed theater director Carrie Cracknell, with Persuasion signaling her directorial debut in the cinema. A release date has yet to be set but it has been confirmed for 2022.
Costs – Mimi’s Cave
If there was a casting couch for seedy, dodgy men, we can’t help but think that Sebastian Stan would be seated first. Coming from the back of HBO Pam and Tommy, Stan undertook another questionable character study. This time, ready to play the main role in Costs, the latest from the female duo, screenwriter Lauryn Kahn and director Mimi Cave. The film explores the many dark and gruesome sides of dating in the modern world and stars Daisy Edgar Jones. Watch now on Disney+.
On the way for the ride – Sofia Alvarez
Young adult fiction is always bad, but for someone who gobbled up that category for most of their teenage years, I’m a firm believer that those who denigrate YA are the same ones who mock young female fanbases. Anyway, I digress. If you’re also a YA fan, then you’ve probably heard of Sarah Dessen’s 2009 novel On the way for the ride. In April 2021, Netflix announced it would be adapting this teen romance for the big screen, with a cast consisting of Kate Bosworth, Andie MacDowell and Samia Finnerty along with Sofia Alvarez as director. Alvarez is the pen behind Netflix’s romantic comedy To all the boys I’ve loved before and its many follow-up films.
Lady Chatterley’s Lover – Laura of Clermont-Tonnerre
Emma Corrin is done with period dramas! That of the Crown Breakout star stars in film adaptation of DH Lawrence’s flirtatious novel Lady Chatterley’s lover. Handsome Jack O’Connell, whom you may know as Cook from Skins, is set to star alongside Corrin as Oliver Mellors. Delicious. French director and screenwriter Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre leads this adventure through the history of dirty fiction.
Good luck to you, Leo Grande -Sophie Hyde
Women over 30 are finally getting their much-needed share of screen time when it comes to the realm of lust and desire. Emma Thompson plays a retired teacher who’s convinced she’s never had good sex. To remedy this, she enlists the help of Leo Grande, a charming young sex worker. What ensues is a refreshing display of female sexuality and pleasure where the woman is unabashedly in control. It also serves as a tonic for all the hot old-man-young-woman tropes we’ve had to endure over the years. Thank you, Sophie Hyde.
Barbie – Greta Gerwig
If we’re being honest, we always knew there would come a time when Barbie would get her long-awaited live-action debut. Frankly, we thought it would have come sooner. But any qualms we had about this reimagining evaporated when we learned that Greta Gerwig was set to take the reins, followed by Australian icon Margot Robbie as Barbie herself. Who better to browse the luggage that comes with Barbie than this dynamic duo? While this list is restricted to films directed by women slated to premiere in 2022, the fact that production is currently underway is our way of sneaking it in.
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