Your definitive feminist guide to 2019’s must-see movies

Posted by for Life

Vital viewing for all those who prefer a hefty dose of female empowerment alongside their popcorn…  

The future of cinema looks seriously bright, if these awesome female-led films of 2019 are anything to go by. And trust us when we say there’s definitely something here to suit all tastes.

Bookworms will want to check out the upcoming adaptations of Little Women and Where’d You Go, Bernadette, while period drama addicts have the likes of ColetteMary Queen of Scots and The Favourite to enjoy.

If you’re into your biopics, The Best of Enemies, A Private War, If Beale Street Could Talk and Can You Ever Forgive Me? are guaranteed to sate your needs, while those who prefer action-packed flicks should check out Captain Marvel, Charlie’s Angels, Destroyer and Star Wars: Episode IX. 

This year’s Sundance Film Festival has brought some incredible new movies to the fore, including Chinonye Chukwu’s Clemency, Awkwafina’s The Farewell, and Ask Dr. Ruth, a thought-provoking documentary about Holocaust survivor and sexual revolutionary Dr. Ruth Westheimer. With Frozen 2 and Aladdin in the mix, there are even a few films to show off to the young feminists in your life – and more than a few rom coms, too: think Isn’t It Romantic? and Last Christmas, for starters. 

The best news of all? All of the above films are merely the tip of the #girlpower iceberg. So, without any further ado, here’s our pick of the movies you simply can’t afford to miss in 2019…

  1. 1. Vita & Virginia

    Starring: Elizabeth Debicki, Gemma Arterton, Isabella Rossellini

    This film is set to bring the love affair between socialite and popular author Vita Sackville-West and literary icon Virginia Woolf to life – and, while little is known about the project currently, we’re hopeful that the stellar cast will do this fascinating true story justice.

    When it’s in UK cinemas: a cinema release date has yet to be confirmed

  2. 2. Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile

    Starring: Lily Collins, Zac Efron, John Malkovich

    Serial killer and necromancer Ted Bundy (Efron) described himself as “the most cold-hearted son of a bitch you’ll ever meet”. His murders prove that statement true: indeed, shortly before his execution in 1989, he confessed to the murders of 30 women committed in seven US states between 1974 and 1978.

    This film was originally supposed to be told entirely from the point of view of Bundy’s former girlfriend Elizabeth Kloepfer (Collins). For years, Bundy hid the truth from her – and, indeed, for years she denied the truth herself. Over time, though, she slowly began to realise that the man she was living with was a killer, and was forced to make a decision: could she turn the love of her life over to the police?

    However, critics have suggested that this promise of a ‘woman’s POV’ has not been fulfilled, with Chris Evangelista of Slash Film saying: “The film should’ve stuck entirely to Elizabeth’s POV – that’s where the heart of Extremely Wicked really lies. It’s strange that [Joe Berlinger, director] and company never seem to realize that. This should’ve ultimately been the story of Elizabeth Kloepfer, and her journey to reclaim her life after being manipulated for so many years. Instead, Ted Bundy steals the show.”

    When it’s in UK cinemas: Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile will be available to view in cinemas and on Sky Cinema from 3 May.

  3. 3. Clemency

    Starring: Alfre Woodard, Aldis Hodge, Richard Schiff, Wendell Pierce, Richard Gunn, Danielle Brooks

    Chinonye Chukwu is rapidly becoming one of the most exciting directors in Hollywood, and her latest film promises not to disappoint.

    Prison warden Bernadine Williams (Woodard) is the protagonist of this movie, and years of carrying out death row executions have taken a toll on her. As she prepares to execute another inmate, Bernadine must confront the psychological and emotional demons her job creates, ultimately connecting her to the man she is sanctioned to kill.

    When it’s in UK cinemas: Clemency premieres at the Sundance Film Festival in January, but a nationwide cinema release date has yet to be confirmed.

  4. 4. Where'd You Go, Bernadette

    Starring: Cate Blanchett, Judy Greer, Kristen Wiig, Billy Crudup

    It was the novel of 2012, so it makes sense that Where’d You Go, Bernadette is getting the silver screen treatment at long last. A social satire, it perfectly sums up what is sick and sad about American life as it relays the story of an agoraphobic architect named Bernadette Fox (Blanchett), who goes missing prior to a family trip to Antarctica. Can 15-year-old Bee track down her hilarious and volatile mother?

    When it’s in UK cinemas: 22 March

  5. 5. The Best of Enemies

    Starring: Taraji P. Henson, Sam Rockwell

    The Best of Enemies tells the true story of Ann Atwater (Henson), a civil rights activist in Durham, North Carolina, and her battle with the Ku Klux Klan leader C. P. Ellis (Rockwell). Eventually, the two agree to co-chair a two-week community meeting to deal with a court-ordered school desegregation decree, which changes both of their lives in a very big way.

    When it’s in UK cinemas: 5 April

  6. 6. After the Wedding

    Starring: Michelle Williams, Julianne Moore, Billy Crudup, Will Chase

    A remake of the 2006 Academy Award-nominated film of the same name, After the Wedding tells the story of a woman Isabel (Williams) who runs an orphanage in Calcutta that gets a mysterious donation from someone in the US. She ventures to America where she meets the multi-millionaire Theresa (Moore). Their lives intersect over the weekend, as Theresa’s oldest child is getting married. And, as the title suggests, what happens after the titular event is where the true drama begins.

    When it’s in UK cinemas: After the Wedding premieres at the Sundance Film Festival in January, but a nationwide cinema release date has yet to be confirmed.

  1. 7. Late Night

    Starring: Emma Thompson, Mindy Kaling, John Lithgow, Hugh Dancy

    Directed by Nisha Ganatra, Late Night sees legendary late-night talk show host (Thompson) shake up her programme’s dynamic by hiring her only female staff writer as a means to “smooth over diversity concerns”. However, her decision “has unexpectedly hilarious consequences as the two women separated by culture and generation are united by their love of a biting punchline”.

    When it’s in UK cinemas: Late Night premieres at the Sundance Film Festival in January, but a nationwide cinema release date has yet to be confirmed.

  2. Wild Rose

    8. Wild Rose

    Starring: Jessie Buckley, Sophie Okonedo, James Harkness, Jamie Sives, Julie Walters, Bob Harris

    If you loved Lady Bird, this is the movie for you. Rose-Lynn Harlan (Buckley) has been released from prison, been reissued with her fringed white leather jacket and matching cowboy boots, and kitted out with an anklet that enforces curfew every night. Before too long, she is back at her mother’s house in Glasgow, and working on making her dreams of breaking into the country music scene. Too bad, though, that her mam (Walters) isn’t on board with the idea…

    When it’s in UK cinemas: 19 April

  3. 9. Eighth Grade

    Bo Burnham’s directorial debut Eighth Grade has received accolades for its authentic depiction of teen life, and for good reason. It brings us the story of Kayla (Elsie Fisher), a 13-year-old girl whose online presence as a confident vlogger is wildly at odds with who she is at school: a desperately lonely girl who struggles with social anxiety. In her final days of middle school, though, Kayla determines to overcome her fears before moving on to a major new phase in her life.

    When it’s in UK cinemas: 26 April

  4. 10. Aladdin

    Starring: Naomi Scott, Nasmin Pedrad, Mena Massoud, Will Smith

    We’ve all seen the original, and we all know the story. However, Disney has revealed details about its new live-action Aladdin remake, which seem to suggest that Jasmine is finally set to become the feminist hero we always wanted.

    “Jasmine’s main objective at the beginning is to really protect her people and to do right by them,” explains Naomi Scott, who will be portraying the princess on screen. “She definitely isn’t a finished article at the beginning of the movie, but she has this beautiful arc and progression, and she goes from asking for what she wants to just taking it, and displaying that she is a leader.” 

    The film will also introduce another female character for Jasmine to “bounce her ideas and dreams off of”, according to director Guy Ritchie. Dalia, played by Nasmin Pedrad, will “help Jasmine navigate the suitors attempting to win her hand”.

    “Jasmine is so resilient and independent in this version, she’s focused on things other than which boy she’s going to end up with,” Pedrad says. “She really wants to be a leader, and Dalia really supports that but at the same time wants to make sure she doesn’t get in trouble.”

    Colour us intrigued.

    When it’s in UK cinemas: 24 May

  5. 11. Animals

    Starring: Holliday Grainger, Alia Shawkat, Amy Molloy

    Based on Emma Jane Unsworth’s best-selling book of the same name, Animals explores the eternal question: must you change your lifestyle in your 30s, or can you keep partying until the bitter end?

    Laura and Tyler are two young women who have been tearing up the city streets for ten years, leaving a trail of angry drug dealers and spent men in their wake. Now Laura is engaged to be married and her teetotal classical pianist fiancé, Jim, is away overseas. Tyler wants to keep the party going, but Laura is torn between the constant temptations provided by her best friend and the promise of a calmer life with Jim on the horizon. As the wedding draws closer, the duo’s limits are tested, along with their friendship.

    When it’s in UK cinemas: Animals premieres at the Sundance Film Festival in January, but a nationwide cinema release date has yet to be confirmed.

  6. 12. How to Build a Girl

    Starring: Beanie Feldstein, Emma Thompson, Sarah Solemani, Chris O’Dowd, Alfie Allen, Caitlin Moran

    That’s right, Caitlin Moran’s hit novel How To Build A Girl is getting a star-studded movie makeover.  The book – a non-fiction memoir – introduces us to Johanna Morrigan (Feldstein), a young Wolverhampton local who’s struggling to get to grips with the “incredible unfolding” that comes with puberty. We see her figure out what to call her vagina (think “slang names, pet names, made-up names”), teach herself about masturbation, battle her raging hormones and navigate all the usual issues that come with being a teenage girl. 

    Desperate to get out of her home town and make a name for herself, she eventually moves to London, where she reinvents herself as Dolly Wilde, a fast-talking lady sex-adventurer and music critic. Gaining notoriety as an enfant terrible, she has finally figured out how to build a girl – but is this the girl she wanted to build?

    When it’s in UK cinemas: a nationwide cinema release date has yet to be confirmed.

  1. 13. The Kitchen

    Starring: Melissa McCarthy, Tiffany Haddish, Elisabeth Moss

    Andrea Berloff’s directorial debut looks set to be one humdinger of a comedy-drama. With some of the biggest names in Hollywood on the bill, The Kitchen sees the wives of Irish mobsters take over organised crime operations in the Seventies in New York City’s neighborhood Hell’s Kitchen after the FBI arrests their husbands.

    When it’s in UK cinemas: 20 September

  2. 14. The Farewell

    Starring: Awkwafina, Tzi Ma, Diana Lin, Zhao Shuzhen, Lu Hong, Jiang Yongbo

    Billi (Awkwafina), a headstrong Chinese-American woman, is forced to return to China when her beloved grandmother is given a terminal diagnosis. However, she is shocked when she learns that a) her family have decided to keep grandma in the dark about her own illness, and b) they are staging an impromptu wedding to see grandma one last time.

    Director Lulu Wang says: “The main character has to go back to China and there are all these different layers of China. There’s Chinese and American generational culture, and there are different degrees of American culture. There’s the Chinese grandmother who grew up with the Communist Army, the uncle who moved from China to Japan — so it’s still Asian culture, but with certain differences. In [The Farewell], I really wanted to explore the nuances of those gaps between these different family members. One thing that unites them is the love of the grandmother.”

    When it’s in UK cinemas: The Farewell premieres at the Sundance Film Festival in January, but a nationwide cinema release date has yet to be confirmed.

  3. 15. Ask Dr. Ruth

    Starring: Ruth Westheimer

    This is the documentary that everyone is talking about at Sundance, and for good reason. Chronicling the incredible life of Dr. Ruth Westheimer, a Holocaust survivor who became America’s most famous sex therapist, director Ryan White doesn’t shy away from his subject’s painful past as he charts her career at the forefront of the sexual revolution.

    When it’s in UK cinemas: Ask Dr. Ruth premieres at the Sundance Film Festival in January, but a nationwide cinema release date has yet to be confirmed.

  4. 16. The Woman in the Window

    Starring: Amy Adams

    The plot of The Woman in the Window (based on the very same thriller which Stephen King called “unputdownable”) may feel a little familiar to fans of The Girl On The Train. It follows agoraphobic Anna Fox (Adams), who, afraid to leave her New York City home, spends her time watching old films, drinking too much, and watching her neighbors for entertainment. But one night she sees what she thinks is a crime occurring across the street. 

    This poses some big questions: what is real? What is imagined? Who is in danger? And, above all else, who is in control?

    When it’s in UK cinemas: 27 September

  5. 17. The Goldfinch

    Starring: Nicole Kidman, Sarah Paulson, Willa Fitzgerald, Ansel Elgort

    Published in 2013 to critical acclaim, Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch follows the story of Theo Decker (Elgort), a young man who survives a terror attack at an art museum that claims the life of his beloved mother. Following the traumatic incident and a split-second decision in its aftermath, Theo’s life is unalterably changed, and quickly, he finds himself immersed in a world of crime, deception, and second chances.

    When it’s in UK cinemas: 11 September

  6. 18. Charlie’s Angels

    Starring: Kristen Stewart, Ella Balinska, Naomi Scott

    Elizabeth Banks is at the helm of this new Charlie’s Angels story, which follows three female private detectives living it up in LA. 

    Charlie’s Angels, for me, is one of the original brands to celebrate the empowered woman since its debut in the Seventies,” Banks said in a statement. “This film honours the legacy of Charles Townsend and his agency while introducing a new era of modern and global Angels. I couldn’t to bring this chapter to fans around the world.”

    Banks will also star in the new Charlie’s Angels movie as Bosley, who is the communication between the Angels and Charlie.

    When it’s in UK cinemas: 1 November

  1. 19. Troupe Zero

    Starring: Viola Davis, Allison Janney, Mckenna Grace

    In rural 1977 Georgia, a misfit girl dreams of life in outer space. So, when a competition offers her a chance to be recorded on NASA’s Golden Record, she recruits a makeshift troop of Birdie Scouts, forging friendships that last a lifetime.

    When it’s in UK cinemas: Troupe Zero premieres at the Sundance Film Festival in January, but a nationwide cinema release date has yet to be confirmed.

  2. I Am Mother

    20. I am Mother

    Starring: Hilary Swank, Rose Byrne, Clara Rugaard, Tahlia Sturzaker

    Oscar winner Hilary Swank is teaming up with first time director Grant Sputore for I Am Mother, a nerve-shattering horror which sees a teenage girl (Rugaard) raised underground by a robot mother designed to repopulate the earth following an extinction event. Their unique bond, though, is threatened when a blood-drenched stranger (Swank) is taken in by the teen, only to find herself at odds with her gear-and-piston parent. Overnight, the stranger casts doubt on Mother’s claims about the outside world and begins to unravel the fabric of their insular family. Unsure whom to trust, the girl begins to probe into Mother’s dubious nature and uncovers the truth of her greater mission.

    When it’s in UK cinemas: I am Mother premieres at the Sundance Film Festival in January, but a nationwide cinema release date has yet to be confirmed.

  3. 21. Sonja – The White Swan

    Starring: Ine Marie Wilmann, Valene Kane, Eldar Skar

    Sonja - The White Swan tells the true story of Sonja Henie (Wilmann), one of the world’s greatest athletes and the inventor of modern figure skating. In 1936, though, she decides to try something new and heads off to Hollywood with big dreams of becoming a movie star. Go figure. Naturally, she proves a massive success and quickly becomes one of richest women in her time, always surrounded by fans, lovers and family, never alone. But as she gets older, she becomes more and more obsessed with clinging on to her fading spotlight… and everything collapses when she falls, drunk on the slushy ice, in Rio de Janeiro.

    When it’s in UK cinemas: Sonja - The White Swan premieres at the Sundance Film Festival in January, but a nationwide cinema release date has yet to be confirmed.

  4. 22. Last Christmas

    Starring: Emilia Clarke, Michelle Yeoh, Henry Golding

    Emma Thompson is the director of this festive film, inspired by George Michael’s heart-breaking holiday anthem Last Christmas (see above). The story is centred around Kate (Clarke), a woman who makes more than a few bad life decisions – including taking on a job as an elf in a year-round Christmas Shop. However, Tom (Golding) walks into her life and… well, that’s when things start to change. It quickly becomes clear that nothing should work for these two. But sometimes, you gotta let the snow fall where it may, you gotta listen to your heart… and you gotta have faith.

    When it’s in UK cinemas: 15 November

  5. 23. Frozen 2

    Starring: Idina Menzel, Kristen Bell, Evan Rachel Wood, Sterling K. Brown, Josh Gad

    Frozen didn’t just give us some of Disney’s best songs to date: it also gave us two seriously inspiring princesses in the form of Anna (Bell) and Elsa (Menzel). And, as one of the studio’s highest-grossing films of all time, it makes sense that there’s a sequel in the works. 

    Details around the plot, however, are at a minimum. We know that our heroes are going far in the forest to uncover the truth about an ancient mystery of their kingdom. We know that there’s been a petition to see Elsa embark upon an LGBTQ relationship - a petition which the writers are well aware of. And we know that there are at least four new songs written by the Oscar winning team of Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lope, one of which is an evolution of Let It Go from the original movie.

    “We have a new song that I think is an evolution,” said director and writer Jennifer Lee. “It’s its own song… Bobby [Lopez] and Kristen [Anderson-Lopez] just delivered it three weeks ago. We’ve been working with them for two years and this song just came in and I love it.”

    When it’s in UK cinemas: 27 November

  6. 24. Star Wars: Episode IX

    Starring: Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver

    So much secrecy surrounds the upcoming Star Wars film, that even the title remains firmly under wraps. But we do know that it kicks off where The Last Jedi left off: Rey (Ridley) is grieving the loss of her mentor, Luke Skywalker, and beyond desperate to prove herself as a Jedi. 

    Naturally, Carrie Fisher’s death has had an impact on the plans for the next episode, as she was originally intended to be at the very centre of the plot. However, Leia Organa will appear using unused footage.

    “They have arranged it in the script and what was shot to bring her into the story in a way as if they filmed it yesterday,” the late actress’ brother Todd Fisher said. “Isn’t that magical, that the things that she shot a few years ago are frozen in time, so to speak, and been reborn into the final Star Wars where she is the character that needed to continue?”

    When it’s in UK cinemas: 18/19 December

  1. 25. Little Women

    Starring: Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Florence Pugh, Eliza Scanlen, Laura Dern, Meryl Streep

    Greta Gerwig, aka the Oscar-nominated filmmaker behind Lady Bird, has directed an adaptation of Little Women. And she’s roped in her Lady Bird lead Saoirse Ronan to star as bright and brilliant Jo, a girl who will cut off all her hair (“Your one beauty!” Amy puts it, as only Amy can) to pay for her father’s medical treatment. Anyone else bloody excited?

    When it’s in UK cinemas: Little Women is slated for a 25 December release in the US, so it is suspected that it will hit UK cinemas around the same time.

  2. 26. Official Secrets

    Starring: Keira Knightley, Matt Smith, Ralph Fiennes, Indira Varma, Monica Dolan

    Fancy something a little meatier than the norm? Official Secrets brings the true story of Katharine Gun (Knightley) to life for the very first time, and what a story it is, too. A British whistleblower, Gun famously leaked information to the press about an illegal NSA spy operation designed to push the UN Security Council into sanctioning the 2003 invasion of Iraq… and threw herself into the firing line in the process.

    When it’s in UK cinemas: Official Secrets premieres at the Sundance Film Festival in January, but a nationwide cinema release date has yet to be confirmed.

  3. 27. The Kindergarten Teacher

    Starring: Maggie Gyllenhaal, Gael García Bernal, Ato Blankson-Wood

    Maggie Gyllenhaal stars as a kindergarten teacher in New York who becomes obsessed with one of her students. How far, though, will she go to protect the child prodigy?

    When it’s in UK cinemas: 8 March

  4. 28. Captain Marvel

    Starring: Brie Larson, Gemma Chan, Samuel L Jackson, Jude Law

    Carol Danvers is Captain Marvel and she is, without a doubt, one of the most empowering female comic book characters out there. A former fighter pilot, cosmic hero and long-time Avenger, she’s a modern woman searching for self-liberation and her own sense of identity.

    She’s also got superhuman strength, endurance, stamina, flight, physical durability, precognition, and a perfectly amalgamated human/Kree physiology that renders her resistant to most toxins and poisons. Throw in the fact that she’s a talented pilot and espionage agent, and you have a true trailblazer for gender equality. She even has a practical costume.

    Now, at long last, Brie Larson will be bringing this trailblazing superhero to live on the silver screen, as Captain Marvel gets caught in the middle of a galactic war between two alien races. We can’t wait!

    When it’s in UK cinemas: Captain Marvel will be released on International Women’s Day on 8 March

  5. 29. What Men Want

    Starring: Taraji P. Henson, Erykah Badu, Aldis Hodge, Wendi McLendon-Covey

    This is one of those films that has the potential to be absolutely incredible, or… well, or absolutely terrible. We, though, are hopeful that What Men Want is going to fall into the former category.

    A gender-swap reboot of Mel Gibson’s What Women Want, the film sees sports agent Ali Davis (Henson) passed up for a well-deserved promotion. Again. So far, so relatable. As she wonders what she needs to do to succeed in a man’s world, though, she drinks a weird concoction that suddenly allows her to hear what men are thinking. Using her newfound ability, Ali starts to turn the tables on her obnoxious male colleagues while racing to sign the next basketball superstar… with presumably humorous results.

    When it’s in UK cinemas: 22 March

  6. 30. Rhythm Section

    Starring: Blake Lively, Jude Law, Sterling K. Brown, Tawfeek Barhom

    Directed by Reed Morano (oh she of The Handmaid’s Tale fame), Rhythm Section sees Blake Lively’s Stephanie Patrick assume a new identity. Why? Because she’s desperate to track down those responsible for the death of her family in a plane crash, and make them pay.

    When it’s in UK cinemas: 22 February

  1. 31. Isn't It Romantic?

    Starring: Rebel Wilson, Tom Ellis, Liam Hemsworth, Priyanka Chopra

    There has been some controversy around Rebel Wilson’s latest film, not least of all due to her comments about the representation of plus-size women on screen. However, there’s no denying that this frothy flick looks like a truly enjoyable cinema outing. The tale of an architect trying to make it in the big city, the movie sees our cynical heroine knocked unconscious during a subway mugging and magically wake up to find herself in an alternate universe. You guessed it: she’s the leading lady in her own rom com.

    The film seems to skewer every trope and poke fun at the genre we all know and love, while focusing the story around a plus-size woman who wants to do and have and be all the things that other women do and have and be: great jobs, beautiful apartments, wonderful friends and good relationships. We hope it lives up to our expectations.

    When it’s in UK cinemas: 14 February

  2. 32. A Private War

    Starring: Rosamund Pike, Jamie Dornan, Stanley Tucci

    Celebrated war correspondent Marie Colvin (Pike) is a woman who is as comfortable downing martinis with high society’s elite as she is brazenly staring down warlords and fleeing from gunfire. Driven by an enduring desire to bear witness and give voice to the voiceless, Colvin charges into danger, constantly testing the limits between bravery and bravado.

    When it’s in UK cinemas: 15 February

  3. 33. Us

    Starring: Lupita Nyong’o, Elisabeth Moss, Anna Diop, Winston Duke

    Could this be the most anticipated horror of the year? We really do think so: it is, after all, the brain child of Get Out’s Jordan Peele. 

    The first trailer, which sent shockwaves over Twitter when it was released, leaves us with far more questions than answers. Following Adelaide Wilson (Nyong’o), we watch as she (along with her husband and children) returns to the beachfront home where she grew up as a child. Haunted by a traumatic experience from the past, though, Adelaide grows increasingly concerned that something truly terrible is going to happen to her family. 

    Naturally, her worst fears soon become a reality. In the dead of night, four masked strangers descend upon the house, forcing the Wilsons into a fight for survival. But, when the masks come off, each stranger takes the appearance of a different family member. What the f**k is going on?

    When it’s in UK cinemas: 15 March

  4. 34. If Beale Street Could Talk

    Starring: KiKi Layne, Stephan James, Regina King, Colman Domingo

    In early Seventies Harlem, daughter and wife-to-be Tish (Layne) vividly recalls the passion, respect and trust that have connected her and her artist fiancé Alonzo Hunt (James), who goes by the nickname Fonny. Friends since childhood, the devoted couple dream of a future together, but their plans are derailed when Fonny is arrested for a crime he did not commit.

    When it’s in UK cinemas: 8 February

  5. 35. Can You Ever Forgive Me?

    Starring: Melissa McCarthy

    Melissa McCarthy is famed for her physical comedy, but she’s set to take her first steps into drama with Can You Ever Forgive Me?

    Based on the real-life rise and fall of writer Lee Israel, the film details how her career was thrown into disarray after an ill-received (and unauthorised) biography about Estée Lauder was utterly panned by critics. Unable to support herself, Israel came up with a daring plan: to forge over 400 letters from deceased famous playwrights, actors, and writers, and sell them at the highest possible price.

    When one of her letters raises suspicion, Israel is forced to take her mission even further – but how extreme can things get before she’s caught?

    When it’s in UK cinemas: 2 February

  6. 36. Destroyer

    Starring: Nicole Kidman, Toby Kebbell, Tatiana Maslany, Sebastian Stan

    As a young cop, Erin Bell (Kidman) went undercover to infiltrate a gang in the California desert – with tragic results. Bell continues to work as a detective for the Los Angeles Police Department, but feelings of anger and remorse leave her worn-down and consumed by guilt. When the leader of that gang suddenly re-emerges, Erin embarks on an obsessive quest to find his former associates, bring him to justice and make peace with her tortured past.

    When it’s in UK cinemas: 25 January

  1. 37. Mary Queen of Scots

    Starring: Saoirse Ronan, Margot Robbie, Gemma Chan

    Mary, Queen of Scots has taken the traditional historical drama format and turned it completely on its head, helping to elevate this tale of 16th century scheming to entirely new levels.

    The story, for those who aren’t up to date on their Elizabethan history, focuses on the young and confident Mary Stuart (Ronan) and her attempt to wrestle the English throne out from under her cousin, Elizabeth I (Robbie). Needless to say, her plan is quickly foiled – and Mary soon finds herself condemned to years of imprisonment in a strange country, with her life at the mercy of the very same woman she attempted to betray.

    With a screenplay from House of Cards’ Beau Williamson, you can expect nothing but political intrigue and smart, powerful women doing their best to make their mark in a man’s world. Oh, and lots of luxe costumes, too.

    When it’s in UK cinemas: 18 January 2019

  2. 38. RBG

    Starring: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

    An intimate portrait of an unlikely rock star, the filmmakers of RBG explore how Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s early legal battles changed the world for women.

    Check out our review of the film here.

    When it’s in UK cinemas: 4 January 2019

  3. 39. Colette

    Starring: Keira Knightley

    The film follows Colette as she ghostwrites a novel – Claudine à l’école – about her school days: a novel that achieves national success and that her husband takes credit for. The book is particularly popular with young women of Colette’s own demographic – but she gets none of the attention or success. As she gains confidence, however, Colette decides she’s not going to sit and take it.

    When it’s in UK cinemas: 9 January

  4. 40. The Favourite

    Starring: Emma Stone, Rachel Weisz, Olivia Colman

    Another period drama, sure, but this “bawdy, acerbic tale of royal intrigue, passion, and betrayal” is set to be very different to the likes of Downton Abbey.

    Set in the 18th century court of Queen Anne (Colman), we see her secret romance with the Duchess of Marlborough (Weisz) thrown into disarray with the arrival of the young and beautiful Abigail (Stone).

    Starring three of our current best actors, and with The Lobster’s Yorgos Lanthimos on board as director, this definitely impressed our Under Her Eye critics: check out their review of the film here

    When it’s in UK cinemas: 1 January 2019

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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is editor of Stylist.co.uk, where she chases after rogue apostrophes and specialises in films, comic books, feminism and television. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.