52 Films Directed by Women: 2020 Ranked

I don’t know where this challenge came from or when it started, but I only found about it last year. And I knew the moment I learned about it that I would participate in it every year going forward. The challenge in question is the 52 Films Directed by Women. The rules are simple. Watch at least one film directed by a woman once a week until the end of the year. Pretty cut and dry. You may be wondering what the whole purpose of this challenge is. Just watch movies that interest you, who cares about the gender of its director. I was kinda like that myself up until last year. Once I learned about the statistics of women in Hollywood and how much the industry is run by men. I knew I wanted to start to support more films directed, written, starring, or produced by women. And that’s exactly what I did.

I completed the challenge of watching 52 films directed by women. I actually ended up watching more than the 52 movies requirement by watching a total of 55 films. I even branched out of what I normally watched and checked out two short films that were directed by women. I hadn’t watched that many short films before, but I enjoyed getting out of my comfort zone. And I enjoyed watching the two short films. I won’t be ranking them because I didn’t want to include them in the ranking of the movies. After all, they don’t quite fit into that box. Still, I have 53 films to rank and that’s more than enough. Overall I found the challenge to be successful I had a great time doing it even if I didn’t love every movie I watched. I’m doing it again this year, but first I need to rank all the ones I watched in 2020.

53-49: Eh…

  • 53. The Slumber Party Massacre 2
  • 52. The Craft: Legacy
  • 51. Work It
  • 50. Wonder Woman 1984
  • 49. The High Note

Well, these were disappointing especially the Wonder Woman 1984 one. These movies aren’t the worst movies I have ever seen. Far from it. They all have at least one positive about it, whether that be: the acting, the direction, the soundtrack, etc. They have all something good about them, but that something good is not enough to save them for everything else that’s wrong with their movies. They all have their respective problems that interfere with the overall quality of their movies. This is a shame because with some fine-tuning they could have all been pretty good in my opinion.

48-42: Decent Enough.

  • 48. Bend It Like Beckham
  • 47. The Beguiled
  • 46. Lucky Them
  • 45. Monster
  • 44. I Could Never Be Your Woman
  • 43. Photograph
  • 42. Happiest Season

There’s one word I would use to describe all these movies and it’s harmless. These are harmless movies. You can watch them and you probably won’t leave feeling offended. But the thing is they don’t leave you with much of a feeling at all. I ended up thanking at the end of each of these movies well that was all right. I didn’t think I wasted my time, but I acknowledge that I probably could have made better use of it than watching these movies. They’re harmless decent films, but I won’t necessarily remember after some time has passed. Fine for the moment, not memorable enough for me to care about them beyond that.

41-32: Pretty Good

  • 41. On Dangerous Ground
  • 40. Dance, Girl, Dance
  • 39. Stake Kitchen
  • 38. Strike!
  • 37. Unpregnant
  • 36. Good Posture
  • 35. Captain Marvel
  • 34. Papicha
  • 33. Nocturne
  • 32. Last Night

My expectations for each of these movies varied depending on each. Some of them I had low expectations for and the others I had high expectations for. So when I end up saying that these are pretty good you may take that as a disappointment for one and a surprise for another. But I didn’t end up disappointed or surprised with any of these movies. The ones that I had high expectations for, they didn’t disappoint me. I think I went into them expecting something different from what I got, and that’s my fault. And what I ended up watching I still enjoyed. With the movies, I had low expectations for like Captain Marvel (I had heard too many middling reviews) I did end up liking them but they weren’t mindblowing. They were better than I expected, but still not great. In both cases, these movies are just good.

31-12: Really Great Films

  • 31. Heart of Darkness
  • 30. The Fits
  • 29. Feminists: What Were They Thinking?
  • 28. Misbehavior
  • 27. To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar
  • 26. North Country
  • 25. Pariah
  • 24. Brave Miss World
  • 23. A New Leaf
  • 22. Rafiki
  • 21. Little Fires Everywhere (mini series)
  • 20. Miss Juneteenth
  • 19. Landline
  • 18. Selah and the Spades
  • 17. Birds of Prey
  • 16. Miss Americana
  • 15. Yes, God, Yes
  • 14. American Psycho
  • 13. Hustlers
  • 12. D.E.B.S

These are essentially my four-star movies. They’re terrific films, but they are missing something for me to completely give them the five-star treatment. I said before in my 12 Actors/Actresses 2020 Ranked blog post that the movies that I gave five stars to or thought were perfect gave me a feeling of when the movie was over that I had just seen the perfect movie. I didn’t have that feeling with these movies. I thought I had just seen a great movie, but nothing beyond that.

11-7: Near Perfect

  • 11. Paris is Burning
  • 10. A Portrait of a Lady on Fire
  • 9. I May Destroy You (mini-series)
  • 8. Kajillionaire
  • 7. The Assistant

When I say near perfect I mean near perfect. I have one negative about each of them respectively and that’s it. Paris is Burning is sometimes too hard to watch, not a negative on the movie’s part but did not make for a pleasant viewing experience. I enjoyed some episodes of I May Destroy better than others. Kajillonaire could have been shorter than it was. A Portrait of a Lady on Fire and The Assistant start a little bit too slow for my taste, but once they get going they are fantastic. These are minor nitpicks in the grand scheme of things, but that’s why they are near perfect.

6-1: The Elites

  • 6. Folklore: The Long Pond Studio Sessions
  • 5. Never Rarely Sometimes Always
  • 4. Eve’s Bayou
  • 3. Strange Days
  • 2. Professor Marston and the Wonder Women
  • 1. What The Constitution Means To Me

All these movies touched me in a way I didn’t expect them to. Whether it be Taylor’s documentary making her Folklore album all the more special to me. Never Rarely Sometimes Always showing the most sobering depiction of abortion I have ever seen. Eve’s Bayou giving me the chills because of how harrowing her debut films turns out to be. Strange Days reminding me that the police brutality we see almost every day now has always been apart of our country and nothing much has changed over the years. Professor Marston and the Wonder Women depicting the incredible true story about the man behind Wonder Woman and the remarkable relationship that inspired him. And finally, What the Constitution Means to Me is the only movie of last year to actively make me sob by reminding me how much our government continuously fails us and how much work we still have to do to make it better. These movies left an impact on me unlike any else I saw all of last year.


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