These days, it’s easy to list off a number of respected, well-known female directors — consider Greta Gerwig, Olivia Wilde, and Ava DuVernay, to name a few. But it wasn’t so long ago that Hollywood was, by and large, a boys’ club. While we’ve still got a long way to go — it’s been 11 long years since a woman took home the Oscar for Best Director — we’ve certainly taken big steps toward more equitable film sets. In honor of Women’s History Month, we’re taking a look back at some of the epic strides made in the industry, paying homage to 24 of the best movies directed by women.
A few will come as no surprise: We’d be remiss not to mention “Yentl,” for instance, for which Barbra Streisand, in 1984, became the first woman to ever win a directing Golden Globe. It’s a feat that would not be achieved by a female director again until this year, when Chloe Zhao won for “Nomadland.” Other titles simply struck a chord deep within viewers, sparking joy, fear, sadness, rage, hope, or any combination of the above. So pour yourself of glass and wine and settle in for the best female-directed films of all time.