6 Most Powerful Girl Bosses in Hollywood

The tides have been shifting in Hollywood where female directors are starting to become not only more common, but also more powerful. In the last three decades, women have risen up as some of the top talents behind both blockbuster movies and award-winning features. Here are six notable women in Hollywood that have stood out as some of the best film directors.

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Kathryn Bigelow
Among the most versatile of female directors, Kathryn Bigelow began her career directing everything from a biker drama (The Loveless), western horror (Near Dark) and surfer crime thriller (Point Break). But she is best known now as an award-winning director for her military drama The Hurt Locker (2009), earning her the Oscars of both Best Picture and Best Director. This was followed by another military drama, Zero Dark Thirty (2012), which earned just as many award nominations. Her most recent work is the American crime drama Detroit (2017).

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Ava DuVernay
DuVernay grew up near Compton and used her experience and interest in black culture to conceive the strong independent dramas of I Will Follow (2010) and Middle of Nowhere (2012). She would then move onto directing the award-nominated Martin Luther King biopic Selma (2014). Her acclaim was enough to consider her for the director of Marvel’s Black Panther movie, but she decided to move onto her civil justice documentary 13th (2016) and is currently directing Disney’s fantasy feature A Wrinkle in Time (2018).

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Penny Marshall
Starting her career as an actor, Penny Marshall worked were way up from acting into directing some of the most memorable movies of the 1980s and 1990s. How could anyone forget Tom Hanks masquerading as a chipper kid in Big (1988), Robin Williams as a tender caregiver in Awakenings (1990) or Geena Davis as a plucky baseball player in A League of Their Own (1992)? She has additionally served as a producer on such films as Cinderella Man (2005) and Bewitched (2005).

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Catherine Hardwicke
Hardwicke made a big impression early on with her directorial debut of Thirteen (2003), a teenage drama that was nominated for multiple awards and won the Dramatic Directing Award from the Sundance Film Festival. She would later go on to direct the religious drama The Nativity Story (2006) and helm the first entry of the vampire romance series Twilight (2008). Her most recent picture was the UK romantic comedy Miss You Already (2015).

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Sofia Coppola
Even though she was heavily ridiculed for her lackluster early performance in her father’s The Godfather: Part III, Sofia later blossomed into a talented and award-winning director. She started off small with the short film Lick the Star (1998) and festival darling The Virgin Suicides (1999), but quickly rose to acclaimed status with her unorthodox romantic comedy Lost in Translation (2003), pairing Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson. She went on to helm the more lavish productions of the alternative history of Marie Antoinette (2006) and the crime comedy The Bling Ring (2013). Her most recent effort was the historical drama The Beguiled (2017).

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Amy Heckerling
Would you believe that a woman directed some of the raunchiest of comedies? Her first films were that of the comedies Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982) and National Lampoon’s European Vacation (1985). She went into a bit of a baby phase with her filmmaking by directing the baby comedies Look Who’s Talking (1989) and Look Who’s Talking Too (1990), but she would bounce back with the unique satire of valley teens in Clueless (1993). Her most recent film was the 2012 vampire comedy Vamps (2012).

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