The Movie Waffler The 10 Best Women-Directed Movies Of 2016 | The Movie Waffler

The 10 Best Women-Directed Movies Of 2016

TMW's editor picks the 10 women-directed movies that most impressed him in 2016.

In terms of quantity, 2016 has been yet another year that's given us a shamefully small amount of movies directed by filmmakers not in possession of a penis. But in terms of quality, the small amount we've gotten includes some of the year's very best films. Here's our countdown of the year's 10 best movies directed by women.

10. Egomaniac

Directed by: Kate Shenton

We said: "Egomaniac comments on the frustrations many professional women suffer as its protagonist Catherine attempts and fails to be judged on her talents rather than her gender. Catherine is clearly an alter-ego of Shenton herself, and there's a palpable sense of chemistry between the director and her leading lady."

9. Mammal

Directed by: Rebecca Daly

We said: "Mammal unspools in a naturalistic and organic fashion, and though it's not above a cliche or two - a character's attempt to escape their ennui by holding their breath underwater is one that's particularly tiresome - it's a largely gripping work that adds Daly to the growing list of women directors to keep an eye on."

8. Things to Come

Directed by: Mia Hansen-Love

We said: "Hansen-Love's film is a tribute to the silent sacrifices the women in our lives make, sacrifices which all too often remain unrewarded, if even acknowledged. And is there a better actress to represent the quiet strength of womanhood than Huppert?"

7. Mustang

Directed by: Deniz Gamze Erguven

We said: "At one point the girls escape their uncle's house to attend a football match where all male supporters have been banned for previously causing violence. The image of Lale crowd-surfing over waves of jubilant women, rejoicing at being free of a male influence for a couple of hours, speaks a thousand unsilenced words."

6. Sweet Bean

Directed by: Naomi Kawase

We said: "Sweet Bean isn't quite up there with the best of recent Asian drama, but it's not far off, and like all good drama, it leaves us longing to spend more time in the company of its characters. It's a confection as sweet as its titular treat."

5. The Edge of Seventeen

Directed by: Kelly Fremon Craig

We said: "As Nadine, the narcissistic hero/villain of Craig's film, Hailee Steinfeld is a raging fireball of self-destructive energy, both entertaining and uncomfortable to watch. Think a high-school set As Good as It Gets with a 17-year-old proto-hipster in the Jack Nicholson part."

4. The Violators

Directed by: Helen Walsh

We said: "English author Helen Walsh's filmmaking debut The Violators is not only one of the best movies made by a novelist, but one of 2016's best British movies, boasting one of the year's finest central performances to boot."

3. Disorder

Directed by: Alice Winocour

We said: "Winocour's disdain for plot in favour of tension (much of it sexual) and atmosphere building is refreshing, particularly when so deftly handled. This is a filmmaker of abundant potential."

2. American Honey

Directed by: Andrea Arnold

We said: "Star's journey from shy, awkward teen to an earth mother who seems to exert a supernatural power over nature (Sasha Lane's interaction with a bear will likely be the standout image of 2016) unspools like an adaptation of some forgotten ancient myth. Go see American Honey, and hear her roar."

1. Raw

Directed by: Julia Ducournau

We said: "Though it's outwardly a horror movie, Raw is one of the all-time great college comedies, albeit a very Central European take on the sub-genre, a world away from the 'safe space' culture of Anglo-Saxon campuses. A love letter to third level education it's certainly not."