Welcome back to Reel Women, the monthly feature that highlights the films being released in the UK that are written and/or directed by women. This month we’ve got the latest superhero film, dramas and some book adaptations.

7 February

Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn

Directed by: Cathy Yan

Written by: Christina Hodson

After splitting up with the Joker, Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) joins superheroes Black Canary (Jurnee Smollett-Bell), Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and Renee Montoya (Rosie Perez) to save a young girl from an evil crime lord.

The first of four superhero films directed by women being released this year, Bird of Prey’s director Cathy Yan is a writer, producer and director. Her feature-length directorial debut Dead Pigs was included in the First Feature Competition at the 2018 London Film Festival. Christina Hodson’s previous film was Bumblebee and her next two projects are in the DC universe with The Flash and Batgirl.

Mr. Jones

Directed by: Agnieszka Holland

Written by: Andrea Chalupa

A Welsh journalist breaks the news in the western media of the famine in the Soviet Union in the early 1930s.

Agnieszka Holland is a director and writer who has directed over twenty films and dozens of episodes of TV shows including The Wire, The Killing and House of Cards. One of Holland’s previous films, Copying Beethoven, is currently available on Netflix. Mr. Jones is Andrea Chalupa’s first screenwriting credit and she produced the film.

Horse Girl

Directed by: Jeff Baena

Written by: Jeff Baena and Alison Brie

A socially awkward woman with a fondness for arts and crafts, horses, and supernatural crime shows finds her increasingly lucid dreams trickling into her waking life.

Actress Alison Brie is possibly best known for her TV work including Community and GLOW which she has received two Golden Globe nominations for. Horse Girl is her first screenwriting credit.



12 February

To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You

Directed by: Michael Fimognari

Written by: Sofia Alvarez and J. Mills Goodloe

Lara Jean (Lana Condor) and Peter (Noah Centineo) have just taken their relationship from pretend to officially official when another recipient of one of her old love letters enters the picture.

Unfortunately, the To All the Boys films appear to be following in the footsteps of the likes of Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey where the first film, which received much critical and/or financial success, was directed by a woman and the sequels were not. Writer Sofia Alvarez is back to write the sequel though.

14 February

Emma.

Directed by: Autumn de Wilde

Written by: Eleanor Catton

Adaptation of Jane Austen’s classic novel about Emma Woodhouse (Anya Taylor-Joy), a precocious young woman whose misplaced confidence in her matchmaking abilities causes several romantic misadventures.

Emma. is Autumn de Wilde’s first feature film. She’s previously directed music videos for artists including Beck and Florence + the Machine. Emma. is Eleanor Catton’s first produced screenplay and she’s the executive producer of The Luminaries TV mini-series.

Fantasy Island

Directed by: Jeff Wadlow

Written by: Jillian Jacobs, Christopher Roach and Jeff Wadlow

Horror adaptation of the popular ’70s TV show about a magical island resort.

Jillian Jacobs is a writer and producer. Fantasy Island is her second produced screenplay, her previous film was horror film Truth or Dare.

21 February

Little Joe

Directed by: Jessica Hausner

Written by: Géraldine Bajard and Jessica Hausner

Alice, a single mother, is a dedicated senior plant breeder at a corporation engaged in developing new species. Against company policy, she takes one home as a gift for her teenage son, Joe.

Jessica Hausner is a director, writer and producer. Little Joe is her sixth feature film and is Géraldine Bajard’s sixth writing credit.

The Last Thing He Wanted

Directed by: Dee Rees

Written by: Dee Rees and Marco Villalobos

A hard-hitting reporter becomes entangled in the story she’s trying to break when she helps her ailing father broker and arms deal in Central America.

Dee Rees is a writer, director and producer. Her previous film Mudbound is currently available on Netflix. It earnt her an Oscar nomination and she became the first African American woman to be nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay.



28 February

Portrait of a Lady on Fire

Directed by: Céline Sciamma

Written by: Céline Sciamma

On an isolated island in Brittany at the end of the eighteenth century, a female painter is obliged to paint a wedding portrait of a young woman.

Céline Sciamma is a writer and director. Portrait of a Lady on Fire is Sciamma’s fourth feature film and is nominated for the BAFTA for Best Film Not in the English Language. Sciamma’s second film Tomboy is currently available on Amazon Prime.

Wendy

Directed by: Benh Zeitlin

Written by: Benh Zeitlin and Eliza Zeitlin

Lost on a mysterious island where aging and time have come unglued, Wendy (Tommie Lynn Milazzo) must fight to save her family, her freedom, and the joyous spirit of youth from the deadly peril of growing up.

Wendy is Eliza Zeitlin’s first produced feature length screenplay.

All the Bright Places

Directed by: Brett Haley

Written by: Liz Hannah and Jennifer Niven

As Violet (Elle Fanning) and Theodore (Justice Smith) struggle with the emotional and physical scars of their past, they discover that even the smallest places and moments can mean something.

Liz Hannah is a writer and producer. Her previous film, Long Shot, is currently available on Netflix and she was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Screenplay – Motion Picture for her first film, The Post. Jennifer Niven is an author and with All the Bright Places she adapted her own book for screen.


That’s eleven films made by women released this month with three of them being released on Netflix. As always, we’d love to hear what you think of any of these films if you get the chance to see them.




Elena Morgan
Elena has been writing for JumpCut since 2018, is the creator of the Reel Women feature and has represented the team at Cambridge Film Festival. Her biggest film passions are The Mummy (1999), the MCU, and the Fast and the Furious franchise. She also loves a good meme featuring Mr Brightside.

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