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. The clocks have gone back, it’s dark and cold outside, so what better way to spend the dark evenings than in the cinema?! This month there’s dramas, rom-coms and the start of the Christmas-themed releases. Oh, and there’s a little film about wizards and another small animated film featuring well-known Disney characters.
The Nutcracker and the Four Realms
Directed by Lasse Hallström and Joe Johnston
Written by Ashleigh Powell and Tom McCarthy
When Clara (Mackenzie Foy) is transported to a magical world of her mother’s making, she’ll do anything to protect it.
The Nutcracker and the Four Realms is Ashleigh Powell’s first produced screenplay. She’s attached to adapt the books The Paper Magician and The Hazel Wood into screenplays.
Directed by Jesse Peretz
Written by Evgenia Peretz, Jim Taylor and Tamara Jenkins
After Annie (Rose Byne) breaks up with Duncan (Chris O’Dowd), she embarks on an unlikely romance with a famous singer-songwriter who happened to be Duncan’s favourite musician.
Tamara Jenkins is a writer-director who was Oscar nominated for her original screenplay The Savages (2007). Her latest film, Private Life, is a new Netflix Original. Evgenia Peretz is a writer and producer, Juliet, Naked is her second produced screenplay.
King of Crime
Directed by Matt Gambell
Written by Linda Dunscombe
The biggest player in British cyber-crime goes head to head against some Islamic extremists by playing the biggest scam of his life.
As well as writing King of Crime, Linda Dunscombe was also a producer on the film, and the films casting director.
Directed by Steve McQueen
Written by Gillian Flynn and Steve McQueen
Four women whose dead husbands’ criminal actives leave them in trouble, conspire to come together to survive the forces that are out to get them.
Gillian Flynn is an author and screenwriter who adapted her own novel, Gone Girl (2014) to critical acclaim earning her a Golden Globe nomination.
Directed by Paul Dano
Written by Paul Dano and Zoe Kazan
A boy witnesses his parents’ (Carey Mulligan and Jake Gyllenhaal) marriage fall apart.
Zoe Kazan is an actress and screenwriter whose acting credits include What If (2013), Meek’s Cutoff (2010) and The Big Sick (2017). Her previous screenplay was Ruby Sparks (2012) in which she played the titular role.
Directed by David Mackenzie
Written by Mark Bomback, Bathsheba Doran, David Harrower, James MacInnes and David Mackenzie
The story of how Scottish Robert The Bruce (Chris Pine) fought to defeat and repel the much larger occupying English army.
Outlaw King is Bathsheba Doran’s first feature film, but she’s written episodes of multiple TV shows including Broadwalk Empire and Masters of Sex.
The Other Side of Everything
Directed by Mila Turajlic
A documentary about Serbian filmmaker Mila Turajlic, who learns more about her family history and her country’s tumultuous political inheritance after opening a locked door in her mother’s apartment in Belgrade.
Mila Turajlic is a producer and director who was also the cinematographer for The Other Side of Everything.
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
Directed by David Yates
Written by J.K. Rowling
Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) tasks Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) to take down Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) who believes wizards are better than muggles.
J.K. Rowling needs no introduction. After writing the Harry Potter book series that turned into a global phenomenon, Rowling is now the writing the screenplays for the Fantastic Beasts series.
The Princess Switch
Directed by Mike Rohl
Written by Robin Bernheim and Megan Metzger
Netflix’s first Christmas themed film of the year, The Princess Switch is about how one week before Christmas, Margaret, the gorgeous Duchess of Montenaro, switches places with Stacy, a “commoner” from Chicago, who looks exactly like her.
Robin Bernheim is a writer and producer of films and TV shows including Quantum Leap and Star Trek: Voyager. The Princess Switch is Megan Mertzger is first produced screenplay.
Directed by Gregory Plotkin
Written by Seth M. Sherwood, Blair Butler and Akela Cooper
A masked serial killer turns a horror-themed amusement park into his own personal hunting ground.
Blair Butler is a writer, director and producer. Hell Fest is her first feature film. Hell Fest is Akela Cooper’s first feature film screenplay as well but she has written multiple episodes of the TV shows Grimm, Luke Cage and The 100.
Back to Berlin
Directed by Catherine Lurie-Alt
Documentary about eleven motor bikers have a mission to take the Maccabiah torch from Israel to the site of the infamous 1936 Berlin Olympics, for the first Jewish Olympic Games on German soil.
This is Catherine Lurie-Alt’s first film.
Written & Directed by Debbie Isitt
The fourth film about St Bernadette’s Primary School in Coventry and the staff and students there who audition for a coveted place in a spectacular Christmas rock musical competition.
Debbie Isitt has written and directed all four Nativity films – the first two films, starring Martin Freeman and David Tennant, are on Netflix if you fancy getting into the Christmas spirit early.
Directed by Erika Cohn
Documentary about Judge Kholoud Al-Faqih, the first woman appointed to a Shari’a court in the Middle East.
Erika Cohn is a producer and writer and The Judge is her second feature-length documentary.
Ralph Breaks the Internet
Directed by Phil Johnston and Rich Moore
Written by Phil Johnston and Pamela Ribon
Ralph and Penelope discover the internet and go on a whole new adventure.
Pamela Ribon is an actress, producer and writer whose previous screenwriting credits include Smurfs: The Lost Village (2017).
Directed by Sebastián Lelio
Written by Sebastián Lelio and Rebecca Lenkiewicz
Ronit (Rachel Weisz) returns home to her Jewish community after being shunned by them years before for her attraction to a female friend. When Ronit and Esti (Rachel McAdams) meet again their passions reignite.
Disobedience is Rebecca Lenkiewicz’s second feature film. Her previous film was Oscar winner Ida (2013) and her next film is Colette starring Keira Knightley which is released in the UK early next year.
The Wild Pear Tree
Directed by Nuri Bilge Ceylan
Written by Akin Aksu, Ebru Ceylan and Nuri Bilge Ceylan
An aspiring writer returns to his native village, where his father’s debts catch up to him.
Ebru Ceylan is a writer and director whose debut short film Kiyida (1998) was nominated for the Palme d’Or for Best Short Film at Cannes Film Festival. The Wild Pear Tree is her third feature-length screenplay.
And that’s it for this month’s Reel Women. That’s 16 films from a wide range of genres that are released in the UK that are made by women in November. Do let us know what you think of any of these films if you get a chance to see them – some might be easier to find than others!