5 films you didn’t know were by female directors

But you should

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With irresistible rom-com Say When hitting the cinemas this week (starring Keira Knightley and Sam Rockwell), we commend director Lynn Shelton - the woman behind the camera, whose previous credits including television gems, New Girl, Mad Men and The Mindy Project.

In the directing world, we already know the Spielbergs and Scorseses, so here are ELLE's top five films you didn't know were directed by women...

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The Hurt Locker

American war film The Hurt Locker focuses on a three-man explosives team, and was lauded for its intensely shot portrayal and emotionally tactful performances. In fact, the film went on to scoop an astounding six Oscars, one of which was Best Director for Katherine Bigelow – the first woman to have ever won this accolade.

An Education

Carey Mulligan’s breakout role saw her star as a 16-year-old schoolgirl in 2009 drama An Education. Based on journalist Lynn Barber’s memoir of the same name, the film was directed by Lone Scherfig – and rightly nominated for an Oscar afterwards. Recognise the name Lone Scherfig? That might be because the Danish director’s other credentials include romcom, One Day (with Anne Hathaway), and recent posh-boy feat The Riot Club.

American Psycho

Yes, that film with Christian Bale, and the facemask, and the axe. American Psycho sees a truly terrifying performance from Bale as Wall Street banker, sociopath and serial killer Patrick Bateman. But little did you know, the film was directed by Canadian screenwriter and director Mary Harron, who had to sculpt Bale into the infamous psycho.  

We Need To Talk About Kevin

Starring Tilda Swinton and Ezra Miller, the film eerily centres on a mother struggling to come to terms with the actions of her son after a school massacre. A veritable double-whammy, this film was not only helmed by a female director – Lynne Ramsay – but the original book of the same name was penned by a female author, Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction-winner Lionel Shriver.

Wayne’s World

Known for its ridiculous humour and memorable catchphrases (party on, Garth!), oddball comedy Wayne’s World has become a cult favourite since it was first released in 1992. Starring Mike Myers in his feature film debut, it’s relatively unknown that the film was in fact directed by Penelope Spheeris. Utterly daft, but an undisputed classic – Spheeris, we salute you.

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