Sunday, January 29, 2023

Women Directors - 52 Week Challenge Week 1: Causeway

In 2023, I decided I wanted to watch at least 52 films directed by women, one for each week of the year, so I will chronicle that journey here.  I might not actually watch them week by week, but I pledge to watch at least 52 feature length films directed by women that I have never seen before.

I started just after the Oscar nominations were announced (which was in part the inspiration, since again, no women were nominated, despite in my opinion, the best directed film of the year, The Woman King, being directed by a woman. Of course, it somehow got zero nominations despite also having the greatest performance of the year as well, Viola Davis.)

Anyway on to movie one:

Causeway - directed by Lila Neugebauer

Week one will start a theme through the first few weeks, me catching up on films nominated for Oscars that I hadn't seen yet, it was a movie from AppleTV+ starring Jennifer Lawrence as an independent contractor that had gone overseas with the military and had been injured by an IED. The film is about her recovery from injury as well as her attempt at overcoming her PTSD.

It is a character study more than anything else, and as she is in everything, Jennifer Lawrence is very, very good.

Bryan Tyree Henry, probably best known for his role as the rapper Paper Boi in the tv show Atlanta is also incredible as her unlikely friend and perhaps confidant, receiving an Oscar nod for his role.

Neugebauer does a great job allowing the two characters to each develop through the story as we slowly learn the tragedies in each of their lives.

It definitely wasn't my favorite of the 2022 films that I saw, but it was well directed, and incredibly well acted, which is not just a testament to the actors, but a testament to the director as well, and so it was a good beginning to my commitment to watch 52 films directed by women in 2023.

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