• That Nasty Feminist


By the time you've ticked these off gals and guys you won't need to go outside. films are your friends now.

(On a semi-serious note, lockdown is hard. Fresh air helps. If you're struggling never hesitate to reach out, our inbox and DMs are always open. Peace & Love xoxo)

Written by Emily Dudley

1. Little Women (2019)

One of my all-time faves. I saw this film at Nitehawk Cinema in Brooklyn, NYC with my three best gal pals in that glorious week between Christmas and New Years. It was one of those theatres that serves dinner while you watch the film and let me tell you, I've never drank so much red wine in my life. Alas, in my hazy and emotional (you will cry watching this film) state I forgot to write down the name of the wine *overly dramatic sigh*.

To put it simply, this film is remarkable and it is an absolute travesty that Greta Gerwig was not even nominated for Best Director at the Oscars. Although not at all surprising really, given the overt male supremacy staining the Academy's historical record.

Based on the novel of the same name by Louisa May Alcott, Little Women traces the lives of the four March sisters; Meg (Emma Watson), Jo (Saoirse Ronan), Beth (Eliza Scanlen) and Amy (Florence Pugh), who collectively, through their respective comings-of-age, weave together a story celebrating womanhood, sisterhood, independency, love and hope. I recommend this film unreservedly to every woman ever.

2. BECOMING (2020)

If you're into documentaries, girl this is for you. It's Michelle Obama for crying out loud, you can't go wrong. Inspirational, authentic, wholehearted; Becoming follows the lawyer, author and former first lady on the national book tour for her memoir of the same name.

Offering a composed close-up of Obama's life, the documentary (available on Netflix) perfectly straddles the emotive line, gifting us enough sentiment to evoke emotion without an overcompensation of intimacy. Without intending to conflate all Becoming's goodness into a cliché, what I took away from watching 90 minutes of the glorious Michelle Obama was an incentive to use the voice that I have been given. Women have always had a voice, each with our own individual flair, how women have been discouraged from using their voice is what must be overcome. Becoming taught me that.

3. Clueless (1995)

Classic. Illustrious. Timeless. If you don't know, get to know, because Clueless can brighten the rainiest of days (not that good weather is relevant during a nationwide lockdown), plus July 19th 2020 will celebrate the film's 25th anniversary.

A modern adaptation of Jane Austen's Emma, this coming-of-age story pivots around Cher Horowitz (Alicia Silverstone), a witty and intelligent blonde who navigates high school like nobody's business. Alongside her best friend Dionne (Stacey Dash), Cher decides to take new girl Tai (Brittany Murphy) under her wing. What follows is a celebration of unapologetic femininity and powerful female friendships free of judgement in addition to some of the most quotable phrases in cinematic history. There's a reason it's been a cult classic for a quarter century.

4. Moana (2016)

A female protagonist striving to save mother nature? Sign me up! As problematic as Disney can be - a significant factor in why I only came to watch this new-era Disney animation last month when my step-brother insisted on it - Moana largely sails past the common controversies that rightly plague misrepresentative and culturally exploitative films.

Lush animation, captivating narrative and a feel-good soundtrack constitute the holy trinity of family-friendly cinema and Moana takes the gold. Desiring more than a sheltered life within her Polynesian village, Moana (Auli'i Cravalho) embarks on a journey across oceans to retrieve the heart of the goddess Te Fiti and return it to her in order to save her home of Motunui.

Funny, cheerful and utterly heart-warming, Moana is the perfect boost for when lockdown becomes a little too monotonous.

5. Lemonade (2016)

A visual and audible masterpiece. You've heard Lemonade, but have you experienced it?

In her visual album, Beyoncé addresses the elements of black womanhood like never before and explores the intersections of race, gender, culture and identity with spell-binding precision. Described by Tidal as a narrative "based on every women's journey of self-knowledge and healing", the hour-long film braids together stunning cinematography, transcendent music , evocative poetry and an inspired disregard for the boundaries of genre, culminating in one of the best pieces of film produced within the last decade.

Here are some words from "Anger":

If it's what you truly want ... I can wear her skin over mine. Her hair over mine. Her hands as gloves. Her teeth as confetti. Her scalp, a cap. Her sternum, my bedazzled cane. We can pose for a photograph, all three of us. Immortalized ... you and your perfect girl.

In true Beyoncé fashion, her artistry and lyricism intertwine with a symbolism possessing such depth that this work has acutely saturated the cultural psyche for years and will continue to for years to come. From effortless optics to cosmic, phantasmogorical illusion, Lemonade is one of the finest expressions of live art I've ever seen.

6. BOMBSHELL (2019)

Imagine a room of all your favourite women, draped over sofas and floor pillows, buzzed from a substantial amount of wine, chocolate and the kind of delirious happiness one can only achieve from spending time with the very best of friends. That is how I experienced Bombshell. Every time a female character did something completely badass in this film we cheered as if England had just won the World Cup, like some drunk feminist hooliganism. It was magnificent.

Bombshell tells the true story of Fox News CEO Roger Ailes' downfall after more than 20 women accused him of sexual harassment. Unlike Showtime miniseries The Loudest Voice which centred on Ailes himself, Bombshell gives the spotlight to the emboldened survivors who contributed to the CEO's ruination. Two of Ailes' accusers were news anchors, Gretchen Carlson (Nicole Kidman) and Megyn Kelly (Charlize Theron), who, alongside the fictional Kayla Popspisil (Margot Robbie), led the takedown of the man claiming to have made their careers.

Bombshell will disgust you, anger you, sadden you, but ultimately it is a narrative of empowerment. Trust me, this is not one to be missed.

7. Hidden figures (2016)

Remember these names. Katherine Johnson. Dorothy Vaughan. Mary Jackson.

These three dynamite African-American women, played by Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monáe, worked at NASA during the Space Race; a significant historical period for astronomical science and a time when segregation was widespread in the United States. As mathematicians, they played a vital role in America's first launch of an astronaut into orbit yet are rarely remembered or acknowledged.

More than their intellect, Hidden Figures illustrates the bravery and resilience of Johnson, Vaughan and Jackson in the face of rampant misogyny and racism (misogynoir). Recognising the issues surrounding the director's inclusion of a white saviour narrative, Hidden Figures still succeeds in telling a truly captivating story about the black women who made history; a story that should have been heard decades ago.

honourable mentions

Legally Blonde (2001), The Color Purple (1985), Suffragette (2015), Revenge (2017), Erin Brockovich (2000), On The Basis Of Sex (2018), Frida (2002), Girlhood (2014), Roma (2018), The Watermelon Woman (1996), Appropriate Behaviour (2014), Thelma and Louise (1991).