There was a huge lack of women involved in this year’s awards season nominations. Despite some wonderful films involving women being released (look no further than You Were Never Really Here), men dominated once again. In light of this worrying omission, our writers have put together a list of women you really should be watching right now:
With a standout and Critic’s Choice Awards-winning breakout performance as Moonee in Sean Baker’s incredible A24 indie-drama The Florida Project, Brooklynn Prince is the name that everyone should be watching. At just 8 years old (and she was even younger when shooting Baker’s film), Prince demonstrated incredible maturity alongside a childish charm that would make her slot effortlessly into any role designed for a child, with one scene in particular – when she starts crying, we start crying – proving that her acting talents reach far, far beyond her years. But apparently acting isn’t quite enough for Prince; oh no, she’s just started (with the help of the aforementioned Baker and cinematographer Ben Loeb) directing her first short film too. In an adorable Instagram post, she wrote that it is her ‘dream’ to ‘become one of the youngest directors of all time’. To have achieved that at eight years old is quite something, and if her directing skills are anything like her ability to act, Brooklynn Prince is going to become one of the biggest names in film before she’s even hit her teens.
Saoirse Ronan exemplifies the talents of the women in front of the camera and she is certainly one to continue to watch in the years to come. The American-Irish actress has been on our screens since 2003 and her time in the film industry began when she was just 13 years old. Her career has escalated in recent years with her appearances in award-winning pictures such as Brooklyn (John Crowley, 2015) and Lady Bird (Greta Gerwig, 2017), both of which encapsulated the traits of a strong female protagonist. Her performance in Lady Bird quite rightly won her a Golden Globe and her career has been taken to new heights ever since. The beauty in Ronan’s ability as an actress lies in her versatility, whether she’s playing a troubled teen from Northern California, or the strong-willed Queen of Scotland in her recent picture Mary Queen of Scots, she always succeeds in portraying unconventional characters with ease and dedication. Ronan is an admirable role model for young girls as she carries herself with confidence and her interest in working with up and coming female directors has allowed other women to make waves in a male-centric industry. Saoirse Ronan is certainly making a huge name for herself; you might not be able to pronounce it, but you’ll have no trouble remembering it.
Emmy and Double Golden Globe nominee Issa Rae has received a lot of attention for her work on HBO TV comedy Insecure – based partially on her own life – for both her acting and writing, being the lead writer and producer of the show as well as starring in the shows lead role. In the next couple of years, she is going to be thrust into the limelight further and move into the world of film, as she is set to star in romantic comedy The Lovebirds alongside Oscar nominee Kumail Nanjani, as well as Tracy Oliver’s (Girls Trip) new comedy Little – the trailer for which was released last month and is set to be released in April of this year. Given her self-aware comedy style, support for other women in creative industries (often giving a voice to black musicians on Insecure‘s season soundtrack), and her campaigning in the media for further representation for black women in cinema and television, Issa Rae is certainly one to watch.
For many years Greta Gerwig’s role in the film industry involved acting with the occasional co-writing credit, but her debut occurred in 2017 when her impactful coming of age story Lady Bird hit our screens. Her attention to detail does not go unnoticed as Saoirse Ronan articulates that Gerwig’s direction caused the film to appear reminiscent of a photo album. The reception of this film exhibits Gerwig’s capabilities as a filmmaker, as it received countless award nominations and high praise from critics. The fact that Lady Bird was in fact Gerwig’s first feature film illustrates how Gerwig has entered the world of directing with a bang and will provide other aspiring female directors with the inspiration they deserve. However, Gerwig’s talents were certainly overlooked particularly at the Academy Awards, as the prize for best director went to male filmmaker Guillermo del Toro for The Shape of Water. This sparked debate around the treatment of female directors during award season and this dispute has become all the more relevant this year. Nonetheless, Gerwig refuses to let this dishearten her aspirations as her adaptation of Little Women is anticipated to be released next year. Hopefully this next picture will display all the charm and engagement of Gerwig’s exceptional directorial reputation.