Top 10: Breakthrough Performances Directed by Women


It’s evident that women directors have difficulty getting recognition for their work. Particularly, recognition from awards bodies. However, they also never receive credit for some of the acting careers they’ve launched. Whether they’ve plucked actors from obscurity or jump-started their careers, they single-handedly helped them become in-demand talents.

Here is a list of ten of the best breakthrough performances directed by women:

10Michelle Rodriguez in “Girlfight” (2000)
dir. Karyn Kusama

9Harris Dickinson in “Beach Rats” (2017)
dir. Eliza Hittman

8Sasha Lane in “American Honey” (2016)
dir. Andrea Arnold

7Adepero Oduye in “Pariah” (2011)
dir. Dee Rees

6Vera Farmiga in “Down to the Bone” (2004)
dir. Debra Granik

5David Oyelowo in “Selma” (2014)
dir. Ava DuVernay

4Gugu Mbatha-Raw in “Beyond the Lights” (2014)
dir. Gina Prince-Blythewood

3Evan Rachel Wood in “Thirteen” (2003)
dir. Catherine Hardwicke

2Carey Mulligan in “An Education” (2009)
dir. Lone Scherfig

1Jennifer Lawrence in “Winter’s Bone” (2010)
dir. Debra Granik