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    10 greatest female directors of the 90s

    Although you may not know it, some of the best and most iconic films of the ’90s were directed by females. Of course, some huge names in the industry like Steven Spielberg and Ridley Scott were also working here. But the filmmakers on hand have just as much talent to offer, and arguably more original titles under their directing belts due to their lesser-known status. Hunger, if you will, to finally achieve recognition.


    And that’s what they ended up doing. It’s worth noting that a lot of these filmmakers have worked with some of the hottest stars that Hollywood has had to offer to produce their titles as well. All that said, these are the best female directors of the ’90s, ranked.

    10 Lynn Ramsey

    The Mouser by Lynn Ramsey
    Pathé distribution

    Although undoubtedly among the least known names on the list, Lynn Ramsey She caused a stir with critics when it came to her directorial debut: Mouser (1999). She wrote the script on top of giving the final product its general sense of direction, as it follows the budding relationships of three children within Glasgow, Scotland.

    The plot reveals itself much deeper than that brief premise. And sure enough, the result wasn’t exactly a hit at the global box office. But Scottish director Lynn Ramsay has nevertheless given up the award for Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer at the BAFTAs. Pretty cool stuff, even if you haven’t necessarily recreated that success since then.

    9 Nancy Myers

    A scene from The Parent Trap
    Buena Vista Photo Distribution

    In another case of a filmmaker who celebrated his debut in the 1990s, Nancy Myers released parental trap (1998) – remake of the 1961 film of the same name, which was adapted from Eric Kastner’s 1949 novel titled Lisa and Lottie. And for the most part, the reboot has outperformed the original from a commercial standpoint.

    Critics had positive things to say about both iterations, regarding the reboot over creative and recent development by Myers. It brought a new sense of authenticity to parental trapAnd, of course, it is worth noting that the proposed feature film represents the wonderful role of actress Lindsay Lohan. Together, she and Nancy Meyers made one of the best comedies of the decade – along with other standouts like Dennis Quaid and Natasha Richardson – the director finally landing here at number nine.

    8 Casey Lemon

    Eve Bayou
    Trimark Photos

    thanks for the Eve Bayou (1997), this is another example of a film director’s debut in the 1990s. Regarding this particular project before Casey Lemon: It stars Samuel L. Jackson as Louis Baptiste, a highly respected Mississippi physician, with two daughters and a wife. But one night, as they are seeing many friends, one of his daughters witnesses him having an affair.

    It’s an underrated title from a contemporary point of view – at the time of release, though it went down as the most commercially successful independent film of its year, taking $14 million from a $4 million budget. And it was this feat that led to a selection winning the Library of Congress for preservation in the National Film Registry. Impressive stuff from Kasi Lemons, and the overall affordable product no doubt still stands today.

    7 Penny Marshall

    Tom Hanks and Geena Davis are in a league of their own
    Columbia Pictures

    While you may not recognize Penny Marshall By name, you’ll no doubt remember the titles of her projects from the ’90s: getting up (1990) and a league of their own (1992), for example. The former features Robin Williams alongside Robert De Niro, while the latter boasts an impressive cast. These are the most high-profile ones from the current decade – although they are far from the only ones.

    As I took out A man’s renaissance (1994) and Preacher’s wife (1996) before taking a break until the next decade. And while these two films have much less name value than these two aforementioned, they helped land Penny Marshall here at #7.

    6 Sofia Coppola

    Kirsten Dunst as Lux Lisbon
    Paramount Pictures

    Easily among the most recognizable names on the list, Sofia Coppola I got my big break in the industry via The Godfather: Part Three (1990) from earlier in the decade. Of course, this was directed by her father, Francis Ford Coppola, and her role as Mary Corleone was largely panned across the viewing panel.

    But when she made her directorial debut several years later with… Virgin suicide (1999), Operation Redemption Begins. A psychological drama starring James Woods, AJ Cook, Kirsten Dunst, and many others, it received rave reviews from critics and, despite not making waves in theaters, is now considered a cult classic. It could be argued that Coppola is at the forefront of these efforts with its follow-up lost in translation (2003), however Virgin suicide It remains a notable appearance from the ’90s.

    5 Nora Ephron

    The Leads of Sleepless in Seattle
    Tristar Pictures

    The last entry should be somewhat recognizable from a modern perspective, and that trend continues here Nora Ephron. But even if you don’t know her by name, you will undoubtedly recognize her works as Sleepless in Seattle (1993). With Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan in the lead roles, it has been considered as perhaps the definitive romantic comedy of the decade, and with justification.

    But Efron had plenty of other credits to her name throughout the ’90s: This is my life (1992), mixed nuts (1994) and Michael (1996), for example. And while those came in short mainly via the success board, her last films of the decade are in You’ve got mail (1998) proved to be an instant hit. And for what it’s worth, this project also featured Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan in the lead roles. Definitely a successful trio.

    4 Deepa Mehta

    Fire by Deepa Mehta
    Zeitgeist movies

    With regards to Deepa Mehta, the most noteworthy explicit films are from Elemental trilogyConsisting of fire (1996) and Land (1998), with water (2005) coming in the next decade. These are undoubtedly the most notable entries in this Indo-Canadian career. However, Mehta had two more films earlier this decade that should undoubtedly be written home.

    both of them Sam and I (1991) and Camila (1994) failed to make certain waves in cinemas, but greatly impressed critics across the board. What’s more, her success led to her most famous films, mentioned above fire And Land. The film is one of the first Bollywood feature films to focus on same-sex relationships and will always be relevant.

    3 Kathryn Bigelow

    Jamie Lee Curtis in steel blue
    Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

    She is probably best known today for her Oscar winning sweethearts such as Pain locker (2009) and Zero Dark Thirty (2012), in the current decade Kathryn Bigelow He had three notable films that are mostly overlooked from a modern point of view. Breaking point (1991) with Patrick Swayze and Keanu Reeves still has a decent name, and for good reason.

    but blue steel (1990) is often overlooked nowadays despite the appearance of Jamie Lee Curtis as the main character. Then there strange days (1995), a cyberpunk thriller with the likes of Ralph Fiennes, Angela Bassett and Juliette Lewis in the lead roles. Their performances were praised by critics and audiences alike, and the film as a whole features masterful filmmaking tactics from start to finish. It’s hugely underrated today and it helps land Bigelow here at #3.

    Related: Kathryn Bigelow’s best movies, ranked

    2 Claire Dennis

    Men on the Sand in Beau Travel by Claire Denis
    pyramid distribution

    Claire Denis, French director and screenwriter, deals with pressing themes and intense emotions throughout her acclaimed works. And because she is a writer and director who implements autobiographical elements into her historical lines, Denise could easily be identified as an author. There is no better example of art being seen to pay off so completely Bo Travel (1999).

    For anyone unfamiliar, it is best to correct this immediately. Bo Travel It is often considered among the greatest films ever made, not to mention The Decade in Hand. And that’s not the only piece Denise has done here, as she also shot Ninette and Bonnie (1996) just a few years ago. On everyone else’s list, you might come out on top.

    1 Jane Campion

    Holly Hunter at The Piano 1993
    Miramax Movies

    Although she made her directorial debut with my dear (1989) Turn-of-the-decade New Zealand director Jane Campion It has truly established itself as a powerhouse in the industry with its sophomore feature: An angel at my table (1990). It received widespread acclaim despite not holding much name value today, and no doubt has held up on rewatches. but with the piano (1993), Campion has received international recognition.

    In fact, the film received eight total nominations at the 66th Academy Awards, including Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay for Campion herself – which the latter won. Her next two films in lady image (1996) and Holy smoke! (1999) has somewhat divisive scores as far as critical consensus is concerned, but it doesn’t matter for the sake of this list. Campion released two masterpieces at the start of the decade and undoubtedly deserves to be at the top.

    Related: The best Jane Campion movies, ranked

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