10 female-led films to stream in the Czech Republic during lockdown

By Ryan Keating-Lambert

Although far from perfect, the representation of women in film has improved in recent years. From Rosamund Pike’s ‘Marla’ in I Care A Lot to Olivia Colman’s ‘Queen Ann’ in The Favourite, the below list is a mix of recent titles that more than demonstrate that remarkable and inspiring women can now be found everywhere in film, and you should not only listen to what they have to say but give them a round of applause this International Women’s Day. Majority of us are also still in lockdown, so you have no excuse! Happy watching!

1. Pieces of a Woman (2020)

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From Hungarian director Kornél Mundruczó, Pieces of a Woman is a raw and emotional journey into the life of one woman’s grief. Martha Weiss, played by The Crown’s Vanessa Kirby, struggles to cope with overwhelming grief after she loses her baby during childbirth. 

This award-winning film also stars Shia LeBouf and the wonderful Ellen Burstyn and is a beautiful film about coming to terms with grief, but be warned, it is a bit of a tearjerker. Kirby was also nominated for a Best Actress Golden Globe for her powerhouse performance in the film.

Where to watch? Netflix

 

2. Atomic Blonde (2017)

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Credit: New Statesman

Charlize Theron is a formidable on-screen presence in this wonderfully entertaining and state-of-the-art fight film from one of the director’s of John Wick.

Atomic Blonde is set in 1989 with MI6 agent Lorainne Broughton (Theron) who’s sent to Berlin to investigate the murder of a fellow agent, and recover a top secret list, that escalates into a neon lit symphony of brutal fight scenes executed with gracious precision by its talented cast including both Theron and James McAvoy as her Berlin partner agent David Percival, who both must’ve walked away with a sh*t-load of bruises.

Where do I watch it? Netflix

 

3. Horse Girl (2020)

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Credit: Polygon

Horse Girl is a lively exploration of one girl’s madness and frustration. What starts off as a quirky indie comedy that we’ve seen a hundred times before soon turns into a wonderfully unique representation of mental health that’s both heartfelt and hypnotic. And Brie is fantastic.

The film centres around Sarah (Alison Brie) who lives a simple life, training horses and working in a crafts store. But when she starts to experience bizarre episodes of sleepwalking and other disturbing behaviour, she worries that she may succumb to the same future as her late grandmother…

Where do I watch it? Netflix

 

4. The Favourite (2018)

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Credit: Cinemart

Directed by Yorgos Lanthimos (The Killing of a Sacred Deer, The Lobster), master of the Greek Weird Wave, The Favourite is an Oscar-winning historical dramedy starring Rachel Weisz, Olivia Coleman and Emma Stone as three women competing for power and friendship in 18th-century England.

The film cleverly makes use of Lanthimos’ trademark wit and robotic dialogue, not to mention award-winning performances from all three women (who also have equal screen time) to paint a wonderfully absurd picture of royal ridiculousness. Watch it, and then watch it again. This film never gets old.

Where do I watch it? HBO GO CZSK

 

5. Suspiria (2018)

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Credit: EW

Based on the cult classic horror film by Dario Argento, the new Suspiria is more of a rebirth than a remake. A spellbinding and ambitious art film that cleverly, albeit brutally, assaults the senses with its nightmarish imagery and unrelenting violence. The very violence that occurs through abuses of power, both with politics and with women. It feels as timely today as it would have been confined within the wall of 1970s’ Berlin, which is where this feminist horror epic takes place.

Directed by Luca Guadagnino (Call Me By Your Name), Suspiria sees Susie (Dakota Johnson), a dancer and Mennonite from country Ohio, accepted into the prestigious Helena Markos Dance Company in Berlin. It’s shortly after that we learn of the witch’s coven operating within the school, led by the bewitching Madame Blanc (Tilda Swinton) and Mother Markos (Also Tilda Swinton).

Where to watch? Amazon Prime Video

 

6. A Private War (2018)

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Credit: Variety

Celebrated war correspondent Marie Colvin (Rosamund Pike) is as comfortable drinking with high society’s elite as she is with staring down warlords and fleeing from gunfire. Matt Heineman’s biopic is a wonderful tribute to Colvin and sees a brief history of her life as a journalist across multiple countries and warzones, from the hot and sweaty jungles of Sri Lanka to the war-torn streets of Homs in Syria.

Actress Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl) gives the performance of her career as Colvin, and was even nominated for a Golden Globe. On top of that, Marie Colvin is one of my idols – a legend among journalists. Please don’t miss this one.

Where do I watch it? HBO GO CZSK

 

7. The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson (2021)

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Credit: Netflix

This eye-opening documentary looks closely at the mysterious 1992 death of prominent trans activist Marsha P. Johnson who fought for the rights of the LGBTQ+ community and also played a pivotal role in the Stonewall riots.

Directed by David France, the documentary delves deep into the investigation of Johnson’s death by interviewing those who were close to her – many of whom believe that she didn’t commit suicide as originally thought, but was actually murdered in cold blood.

Where to watch? Netflix

 

8. I Don’t Feel at Home in this World Anymore (2017)

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Credit: Spotern

I Don’t Feel at Home in this World Anymore is a very underrated American indie comedy/thriller written and directed by Macon Blair and starring the wonderfully talented Melanie Lynskey and Elijah Wood. You simply HAVE to watch it for its unique brand of black comedy that borderlines absurdity.

The film sees Ruth (Lynskey) burgled which helps her find a new sense of purpose when she decides to track down the thieves with her odd neighbour (Wood). But they soon find themselves dangerously out of their depth against a pack of degenerate criminals.

Where to watch? Netflix

 

9. I Care A Lot (2020)

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Credit: Lenex web

Rosamund Pike returns with yet another brutal and fascinating character. And yes, I’m aware that this is the second film on this list starring the award-winning Gone Girl actress. I Care A Lot is a black comedy/thriller which sees Pike as ruthless guardian/con artist Marla, who uses her job to steal funds from the elderly. That is until she bites off a bit more than she can chew with Jennifer (Dianne Wiest) who has ties to the Russian mafia.

Fun fact: Pike recently won a Best Actress Golden Globe for her role in the film and accepted it from her hotel room in Prague. The actress has been in the city for over a year now filming new series The Wheel of Time.

Where to watch? Netflix

 

10. Annihilation (2018)

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Credit: The Movie Database

Guaranteed to ruffle your feathers… Alex Garland’s film is a provocative and fascinating work of science fiction genius. A marvel of modern cinema that deservedly earns a place in the sci-fi halls of fame.

Based on the best-selling book by Jeff Vandemeer, Annililation sees biologist Lena (Natalie Portman) and a team of scientists led by psychologist (Jennifer Jason Leigh) investigate the mysterious Area X, a quarantined zone inhabited by an alien ‘shimmer’ stemming from a coastal lighthouse. No one has ever returned, that is until Lena’s husband Kane (Oscar Isaac) shows up.

Where to watch? Netflix

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