movies & entertainment

15 Best Women-Led Hollywood Films Of 2020

Karthika S Nair | Dec 26 2020
Image credits: BP creatives

The year 2020 turned out to be a big slap on the faces of filmmakers who were looking forward to big releases this year. Several films were limited to OTT releases while others were postponed. 

Both theatres and streaming platforms saw many films that continue to help people get through the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Here are some women-centric Hollywood films you can take a look at;

1. A Fall From Grace 

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Popular actor Tyler Perry wrote and directed this compelling American thriller. 'A Fall from Grace' is about a black woman who gets entangled in a sensational case and the attorney who defends her.

Crystal Fox plays the lead role as Grace Waters and Tyler Perry also co-stars in the film. The film was released on Netflix and was watched by 26 million during its first week.

2. Birds Of Prey 

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Oscar-winning actress Margot Robbie's breakout performance as Harley Quinn compelled the filmmakers to give her her own movie. 

'Birds Of Prey' is an all-woman starter film, directed by Cathy Yan. 

The film follows Harley's life and crimes after her breakup with supervillain Joker. 

'Birds of Prey' was well-received and is regarded as one of the best films of DCEU. However, the COVID-19 pandemic and the film's R-rating affected its box office. Still, it managed to become the ninth highest-grossing film of the year. 

3. The Invisible Man

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Leigh Whannel who is known for his films 'Saw' and 'Insidious' series, wrote and directed this horror thriller with Elisabeth Moss in the lead role. 

The film is a modernised version of HG Well's cult classic 'The Invisible Man.' 

Moss plays a woman who believes she is being stalked and gaslit by her abusive boyfriend and ultimately deduces that he has acquired the ability to become invisible. The film was successful at the box office. 

4. All The Bright Places

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'All The Bright Places' is a teen-romantic film, directed by Brett Haley based on a screenplay by Jennifer Niven and Liz Hannah.

Popular actress Elle Fanning stars in the lead role as a girl suffering from survivor's guilt, following an accident. 

The film intends to open a dialogue on teen mental health and undiagnosed disorders like bipolar.

5. Mulan 

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'Mulan' is the live-action remake of the popular Disney film based on the Chinese 'Ballad of Mulan.' 

Directed by Niki Caro, 'Mulan' sees Yifei Liu playing the lead role as a girl who saves her father by enlisting in the King's army dressed as a man. 

'Mulan' is the first big-budget film to be released directly into the OTT due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

In the theatrical release, the film underperformed though it received good reviews. 

6. Wonder Woman 1984

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'Wonder Woman 1984' is the much-awaited sequel to the 2017 blockbuster film 'Wonder Woman.' Patty Jenkins returned to direct the film with Gal Gadot and Chris Pine as Wonder Woman and her love interest Steve Trevor respectively. 

The duo faces off against super villains Maxwell Lord (Pedro Pascal) and Cheetah (Kristen Wiig). 

7. Dangerous Lies

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'Dangerous Lies' is an American thriller released straight to Netflix. Camila Mendes, who is known for her breakout role as Veronica Lodge in 'Riverdale' stars in the lead role in this film directed by Michael Scott. 

Mendes plays a caregiver who gets drawn into a web of lies after a wealthy elderly man dies and leaves his estate to her.

8. The Old Guard

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'The Old Guard' is the breakout action film of the year, directed by Gina Prince Bythewood. 

Hollywood star Charlize Theron stars as Andromache "Andy" of Scythia, an immortal who leads a team of immortals. They are vigilantes who go after bad people and save others. 

Whenever Andy and her team save someone then he or she, or their progeny ends up doing something good for the world. KiKi Layne co-stars as a marine who is also an immortal. 

Read: 15 Best Women-Led Bollywood Films Of 2020 

9. Enola Holmes

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'Enola Holmes' is a mystery film based on the series by Nancy Springer. 

Directed by Harry Bradbeer, the film is about a teenage sister of the already-famous Sherlock Holmes (Henry Cavill), Enola played by Millie Bobby Brown. 

Apart from covering Enola's deductive skills, the film also covers the misogynist society that puts social norms and restrictions on women by men. Feminism is seen at par with madness. Women indulge in politics because they know that the world doesn't suit them well and fight for change.

10. Ava

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'Ava' is an action film helmed by Tate Taylor and written by Matthew Newton. Jessica Chastain stars in the lead role as a spy turned assassin. 

She tries to reconcile with her estranged family but her attempts turn against her after she becomes a target herself after a hit goes wrong.

Colin Farrell, Geena Davis and John Malkovich co-stars in the film. 

11. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

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Oscar-winning actress Viola Davis stars as the legendary blues singer Ma Rainey opposite Chadwick Boseman who appears in his final film. 

The film is directed by George C. Wolfe and written by Ruben Santiago-Hudson, based on the play of the same name by August Wilson.

Viola Davis and Chadwick Boseman were lauded well for their respective performances.

12. Black Beauty

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'Black Beauty' is a drama film written and directed by Ashley Avis, which was released directly into OTT platform Disney+.

The film stars Mackenzie Foy in the lead role along with Kate Winslet and Iain Glen. 

The film is based on the Anna Sewell novel based on the same name. It is a touching story about a teenage girl's relationship with her horse.

13. Shirley 

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Popular TV actress Elisabeth Moss stars as legendary novelist Shirley Jackson who is known for her cult classic 'Haunting Of The Hill House.' 

The film is based on a novel by Susan Scarf Merrell and is directed by Josephine Decker based on a screenplay by Sarah Gubbins.

'Shirley'  premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on January 25, 2020, where Decker won a U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Auteur Filmmaking.

14. A Call To Spy 

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Lydia Dean Pilcher directed this film based on a script by Sarah Megan Thomas. 'A Call to Spy' is a world war II spy thriller about three women who worked as spies in Churchill's Secret Army. 

Bollywood actress Radhika Apte played an important role as an Indian spy named Noor Inayat Khan. Khan spied on the Nazis but she was eventually captured. 

15. Misbehaviour 

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Philippa Lowthorpe directed this British comedy-drama based on a screenplay by Gaby Chiappe and Rebecca Frayn, from a story by Frayn. Keira Knightley and Gugu Mbatha-Raw star in the film about beauty contests and the women's liberation movement. 

The film also deals with the uproar after the first black woman was crowned Miss World. 

Read: 12 Must Watch Women-Centric Hollywood Films Released In 2019