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April 27, 2023

Top Movies Written By Women

Once a closed shop with women mainly working as acttresses in the film industry in the post-war era, some extremely talented women have since broken through the glass ceiling. They have now seen their scripts represented on screen.

Today with more opportunities than ever, cinemas and the small screen is not short of heart-warming and compelling dramas written by women. Women in the industry today are directors, producers, runners and more.

This could be because more is being done than ever before to challenge what many perceive as the chauvanistic attitdutes and male-dominated culture of Hollywood. It could also be because new opportunites are arising outside of California with the rise of independent films and streaming services entering a golden age.

But also because there is more female talent than ever before in the industry. Let’s dive into some of the best films written by women.

You can also check out our list of favourite female directors here.

Lady Bird (2017)

Written and directed by Greta Gerwig, Lady Bird is a coming-of-age film that explores the relationship between a teenage girl and her mother in Sacramento, California. The movie was praised for its authentic portrayal of adolescence and unconventional protagonist. It received numerous accolades, including five Academy Award nominations.

Lady Bird (2017) - IMDb
Saorise Ronan stars as the main character Lady Bird in this coming-of-age tale written by Greta Gerwig

Lost in Translation (2003)

Written and directed by Sofia Coppola, Lost in Translation is a romantic comedy-drama that follows the unlikely friendship between a washed-up actor and a young woman in Tokyo. The film won an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay and is widely regarded as one of the best movies of the 2000s.

Thelma & Louise (1991)

Written by Callie Khouri, Thelma and Louise is an iconic feminist road movie. It tells the story of two women who go on a journey of self-discovery and empowerment. The film was a critical and commercial success and earned Khouri an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay.

Almost 30 years on its still a firm favorite amongst film buffs today.

Clueless (1995)

Written and directed by Amy Heckerling, Clueless is a modern-day adaptation of Jane Austen's Emma set in Beverly Hills, California. Cher, a wealthy high school student at the top of the school’s social circle, sets about match making for her teachers/

The film became a cult classic and is still beloved by audiences today for its witty dialogue and stylish fashion.

Heckerling's screenplay was praised for its clever satire and groundbreaking insights into teenage life in the 90s.

The Kids Are All Right (2010)

Written by Lisa Cholodenko and Stuart Blumberg, The Kids Are All Right is a comedy-drama that follows a same-sex couple and their two teenage children as they navigate their relationships and family dynamics.

It also explores what happens when the two children bring their father into their lives.

The film was praised for its honest portrayal of modern family life and earned four Academy Award nominations.

Postcards from the Edge (1990)

Written by the late great Carrie Fisher, Postcards from the Edge is a semi-autobiographical comedy-drama based on Fisher's own experiences as a Hollywood actress and her relationship with her mother, Debbie Reynolds.

The film features an all-star cast, including Meryl Streep and Shirley MacLaine, and was praised for its sharp writing and performances.

Juno (2007)

Written by Diablo Cody, Juno is a comedy-drama that follows a teenage girl who becomes pregnant and decides to give the baby up for adoption. The film was praised for its witty dialogue and heartfelt performances and earned Cody an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay putting her on the map as one of America's most talented female screenwriters.

A pregnant Juno shaking hands whilst Paulie at a camp in the middle of the woods
Juno is another coming of age movie written by a woman

It also taps into contemporary concern about teenage pregnancy by revealing the complexity of the issue whilst maintaining a sense of humour that appealed to a wide audience.

What can we learn from these top movies written by women?

These top films written by women were so popular and successful because they drew upon issues in the popular zeitgeist and made them relevant. Postcards from the Edge also drew on autobiography.

Consider how you can draw on popular issues that affect you and your own experiences when you are brainstorming for your next script.

If you’re struggling for ideas keep an eye on the Arc Studio blog for advice and don’t forget to download our FREE software.


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Top Movies Written By Women
Harry Verity

Harry is a professional writer. His first novel The Talk Show was published in the U.S and the U.K by Bloodhound Books in 2021 and he is currently working on adapting it for screen using Arc Studio. He's also written for Media Magazine - a UK magazine for students of A-level Film, Media and Television Studies. His journalism has appeared in The Guardian, Readers' Digest and Newsweek, amongst many other publications. He has just finished his second novel for young adults, set in a boarding school. He holds a BA in English from Loughborough University.

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