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Introduction to Women Writers Week 2024

When Chaz Ebert invited me to become an editor at rogerebert.com, she said it was her plan to have at least half of the reviews and articles on the site written by women. I was thrilled to be a part of that effort, and especially happy to be a part of Women Writers Week in 2022, and 2023, now an established annual tradition.

Women Writers Week is not about the idea that there is some singular perspective that women bring to movies or to the world. What I love most about it is the variety of voices we are able to feature, with essays, interviews, and appreciations, along with the reviews of this week’s releases.

I’m not going to speculate too much about why so many of our beloved contributors wanted to write about horror, this year, but we had a number, all with exceptional insight and context.  Ashley Bardhan looks at the popular convention of the “final girl” in horror movies, Beth Accomando discusses of body horror in 2023’s “Dead Ringers,” Gabrielle Moss discusses the many new “Frankenstein” variations, as does Lisa Fox with thoughts on “Lisa Frankenstein” and “Poor Things,” and Olivia Collette shares her thoughts on “Poor Things” as it relates to the common movie trope of “born sexy yesterday.”

I’m always glad to have our writers take a deeper look, and so we have appreciations of great films like “The Straight Story” (Ally Johnson), “In America” (Valerie Kalfrin), “Bob Marley: One Love” (Niani Scott), “Napoleon Dynamite” and characters on the spectrum (Violet LeVoit), “Closer” (Jourdain Searles), “Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves” (Lauren Coates), and the Marilyn Monroe classic “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” (Laura Boyes). For those who know Lily Gladstone only from “Killers of the Flower Moon,” Cortland Jacoby has an appreciation that will tell fans where they can find more from this exceptional actor. Nea Ching looked back at “Priscilla” and “Virgin Suicides” director Sofia Coppola.  Jana Monji interviewed members of Hollywood’s Costume Designers Guild. Carla Renata looks back on women in the film industry in 2023 and Cristina Escobar writes about Latinas in film. Lawyer and journalist Ashley Merryman gives us a list of some of her favorite movies about the law.

I love it when our writers bring their personal stories to help illuminate what movies tell us. Danielle Mathias wrote movingly about growing up as a queer kid looking for representation like we saw last year in “Bottoms.” Caroline Madden writes movingly about how the Daisy Ridley character in "Sometimes I Think About Dying" makes her feel seen. 

Sherin Nicole has an essay about sci-fi heroines whose predictions have come true that will have you wondering which gizmo will be a part of our lives next. Marya E. Gates writes about the influences silent films still have in contemporary music. Mira Singer, whose impeccable copy editing was essential to Women Writers Week, writes about redemption in movies, focusing on the original animated “Avatar” that inspired the new live action series.  Sarah Knight Adamson, who gave us an early look at "Killers of the Flower Moon" last Women Writers Week, tells us about the female point of view in films, including the upcoming Jeff Nichols film featuring Jodie Comer, "The Bikeriders." 

We also have some great interviews. Hannah and Cailin Loesch interviewed actor/writer/producer/director Brit Marling ("A Murder at the End of the World"), and Maureen Bharoocha, director of “The Prank.”  I interviewed Gary Lane and Camille Hardman, directors of a new documentary about the making of the beloved classic, “9 to 5” and our own Chaz Ebert about her new book on forgiveness, empathy, compassion, and kindness.

We are delighted to share these talented writers and their fascinating, provocative, and witty contributions as our tribute to Women’s History Month and to women filmmakers, and the women who write about movies. We hope it will inspire you to check out some of the movies they recommend, and we know you will want to add them to your list of favorite critics.

The Table of Contents of this year's pieces. For compilations of our past Women Writers Week installments please see 20132016201720182019202020212022, and 2023.

Nell Minow

Nell Minow is the Contributing Editor at RogerEbert.com.

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