Fall is always a great time for movies. After all it’s when all the Oscar contenders begin to roll out. (Many of which may premiere this September at the Toronto International Film Festival.) But all those choices could be dizzying! To narrow things down this season, consider penciling these seven must-see films into your schedule—and the best part about them? They are all directed by women.
With major awards ceremonies having a history of shutting out female filmmakers for consideration—there have only been five women nominated for best director in Oscars history, and Kathryn Bigelow is the only woman to ever win the category—this new crop of female-led films serves as a reminder that some of the most interesting Hollywood stories are, yes, indeed coming from women. From a group of savvy strippers in Hustlers to the trials and tribulations of being a 19th-century teenager in Little Women, there’s something for every moviegoer this fall. Here are the seven films we’re most excited for this fall.
1. Hustlers (September 13)
This star-studded affair, directed by Lorene Scafaria, follows a clever group of strippers—Jennifer Lopez, Constance Wu, Cardi B, Lili Reinhart, Lizzo, and more!—who band together to con their wealthy Wall Street clients. The screenplay is actually based on a real-life New York Magazine article, titled “The Hustlers at Scores,” but this fictional movie version? Consider it the perfect hybrid: Ocean’s 8 meets Showgirls.
2. Harriet (November 1)
Director Kasi Lemmons tells the story of abolitionist Harriet Tubman (played by Cynthia Erivo), who escaped slavery and became an American hero by freeing hundreds of slaves and changing the country’s history forever. It’s largely believed that it will be a major player in the upcoming awards season. Added bonus: Janelle Monáe costars as a mentor who prepares Tubman for her mission.
3. Charlie’s Angels (November 15)
This reimagined version of the 1970s action series—directed by Elizabeth Banks, who also plays a Bosley in the film—stars Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott, and Ella Balinska as three weapon-wielding angels who work for their mysterious boss, Charlie. Noah Centineo, the internet’s collective boyfriend, also costars. Now it’s also hard to outdo the 2000s trio of Cameron Diaz, Lucy Liu, and Drew Barrymore—but with Stewart proclaiming, “I think women can do anything,” before proceeding to beat up a dude? It’s a strong start.
4. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (November 22)
Directed by Marielle Heller, this biographical drama is based on the real-life friendship between journalist Tom Junod and TV star Fred Rogers (known as Mister Rogers), who is played by Tom Hanks. The plot follows Junod, a jaded magazine writer who is assigned to profile Rogers and in the process learns about empathy and kindness; consider it the feel-good movie that 2019 most definitely needs.
5. Queen & Slim (November 27)
Melina Matsoukas (who has done a ton of Beyoncé’s music videos!) directs a drama—written by Lena Waithe, no less—about a young black couple (Daniel Kaluuya and Jodie Turner-Smith) who is on a first date when they are pulled over for a traffic infraction. Things escalate, and Kaluuya’s characer kills the officer in self-defense, which sends the duo on the run. Indya Moore, Chloë Sevigny, and Flea also star.
6. Portrait of a Lady on Fire (December 6)
This French film, starring Noémie Merlant and Adèle Haenel, is directed by Céline Sciamma (Girlhood and Tomboy). The plot is set in Brittany, France, in 1770 and follows the young daughter of a French countess who develops an attraction to a female artist commissioned to paint her wedding portrait. (Sort of like 2018’s lesbian thriller Lizzie with Sevigny but even artsier.) The film already won the Cannes Film Festival’s prestigious Queer Palm prize this year. Could it also be an Oscar contender come 2020?
7. Little Women (December 25)
This film adaptation of the classic Louisa May Alcott novel is directed by Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird) and stars a stellar cast including Emma Watson, Saoirse Ronan, Meryl Streep, Timothée Chalamet, Laura Dern, and more. It follows four teenage girls living in Massachusetts in the 1860s, following the Civil War. Plus, with Chalamet as the 1800s boy next door? It’s a must-see.
Originally Appeared on Vogue