2019 was a banner year for awesome films and television shows written, created and fronted by women—it was the year that female-empowerment productions broke records and that women showrunners and directors changed national perspectives on critical matters, such as abuse and mental health, and made us heartily laugh.
Below are some of the highlights.
The Top 10 Feminist Films of 2019
Hustlers embodied girl power as it presented the true story of a small group of exotic dancers making their way out of the club in hopes of gaining a stronger chance at financial stability, only for their plans to backfire. Featuring an all-star cast—Keke Palmer, Lili Reinhart, Constance Wu and Jennifer Lopez—Hustlers told the dynamic story of a group of women using their skills to their advantage.
#9: Captain Marvel
Captain Marvel was one of the most anticipated action films of the year from the MCU. Starring Brie Larson, Captain Marvel was arguably one of the biggest box office action hits this past year, showing that women are more than capable of dominating the superhero market.
Based on the true events of CEO and mogul Roger Ailes being exposed for his incessant sexual harassment, Bombshell is a biting docudrama that shows the dangers of going against the powerful white male structure and its alliances. The film is an exciting, suspenseful and agonizingly real look into the experiences of the women—Megyn Kelly, Kayla Pospisil and Gretchen Carlson—who worked together to expose the disgustingly abusive power structure at Fox News.
Starring Regina Hall, Issa Rae and Marsai Martin, Little is a fun twist on what it’d be like if you woke up as your 13-year-old self. In addition to the film featuring all Black leads, it also must be recognized that the young Marsai Martin became the youngest Executive Producer of a film. Shout out to the girlboss calling the shots at only 14!
Needless to say, Beyoncé proves that she’s the baddest in her Homecoming documentary detailing the extreme preparation behind her iconic Coachella performance in 2018. Queen Bey let us take a rare glimpse into the rigorous developmental process of her performance—from the beginning stages of auditioning dancers and formulating the concept of the performance to her own restrictive lifestyle. Beyoncé exemplified strength as she shared what it meant for her to finally be back on the stage, her home, through an incredible presentation of Black culture and the beauty within it.
Directed by Olivia Wilde, Booksmart shined through as it focused on two best friends on their last day of high school. In an attempt to make up for all of the fun they missed during high school, the two teens embarked on a memorable night journey to fun and self-discovery. The hilarious film was more than just a depiction of a wild night, as it displayed the beauty of teenage female friendship and growth at its core.
#4: Queen & Slim
Melina Matsoukas and Lena Waithe are the powerhouse creative duo we’ve been waiting for—and they took romance to a new level with Queen & Slim. The film, featuring Daniel Kaluuya and Jodie Turner-Smith, uses a fascinating what-if approach to give a new perspective on the police violence against African Americans. While the main characters are on their first date, their night of romance turns into a night of destiny as they become fugitives after an encounter with a cop goes completely left. Queen & Slim provides a captivating view of race, police violence and Black love.
#3: Late Night
Mindy Kahling and Emma Thompson are dynamic in this entertaining comedy about a late-night show host trying to revive her show after a humbling experience. The film comically tackles the notion of diversity in the entertainment industry while also showcasing the importance and necessity of women supporting each other.
The film Animals is an honest look into friendship, maturity and fear as it closely examines the bond between two women who are on the cusp of their thirties. The film is a sincere look into fear, co-dependency and love through the lens of two best friends still trying to figure things out.
Based on one of history’s most powerful abolitionists that exhibited strength and resilience, Harriet embodies the fiery spirit and courage of the legendary Harriet Tubman. Focusing on Harriet’s perspective, the film shows a glimpse of how Black people empowered and uplifted each other in order to survive the chains of slavery. Starring Cynthia Erivo and directed by Kasi Lemmons, the film uses a fantastic cast of Black actors to bring Harriet’s story of vigilance and might to life.
Click to page two for the top 10 TV shows!