‘Little Woods’ and Other Films That Get Sisterhood Right

While fiction has often portrayed sisterhood as a tumultuous relationship, Nia DaCosta’s new film Little Woods manages to portray the familial bond without stereotypical tropes of competition, resentment or envy. Tessa Thompson and Lily James star in the poignant story of two half-sisters, struggling together through life’s challenges of poverty, grief and single parenthood. Like DaCosta, other filmmakers have managed to find the realism in sisterly bonds – usually female writers and directors.

Read through the titles below (a mix of big-budget comedies and independent films you may not have heard of) and see if your favorite onscreen sisters made the list. Was the film written or directed by a woman? Let us know!


Written by and starring Madelyn Deutch, The Year of Spectacular Men is a heartfelt comedy for anyone who feels stuck at the beginning. Watching it feels like a lifeline of sorts – that someone not only understands the post-graduate fledgling feeling, but can see the humor and lesson in it. Read our review HERE.


Night Comes On is a powerful and moving film about sisters. Through its distinctly female gaze, director Jordana Spiro is able to touch upon some of the formative female experiences in a way that neither glorifies nor minimizes them. The story itself is simple and predictable, but the dialogue feels so organic, that it’s almost as if it wasn’t scripted. Read our review HERE.


Co-written by Meg Leonard, Finding Your Feet follows Sandra (Imelda Staunton) when her husband of thirty-five years leaves her for a mutual friend. Lost and heartbroken, Sandra moves in with her adventurous and charming estranged sister Bif (Celia Imrie). It’s rare to see a movie with a cast of characters who are almost entirely retirement age or older, and it’s even rarer to see these characters portrayed in full depth. What results is a fun and poignant development on romantic comedy. Read our review HERE.


From writer-director Patricia Rozema, Into the Forest is a story of sisters struggling to survive in – pause for suspense – the forest. Set in the near future, sisters Nell (Ellen Page) and Eva (Evan Rachel Wood) live in a society that has become increasingly reliant on electricity for basic survival. When an unidentified force cuts off the power supply, 300 million people are left without the technology required for daily life. But what these two need the most to survive isn’t emergency generators or cans of food, it’s each other. Read our review HERE.

SISTERS (2015)

Screenwriter Paula Pell–a member of the Saturday Night Live team for the past decade and Emmy-nominated with the SNL team for recent anniversary shows–knows her stars perfectly. And director Jason Moore (best known for the first Pitch Perfect film) knows how the keep the whole dizzy, ditzy ensemble from going over the edge. Read our review HERE.

© Brigid K. Presecky (4/24/19) FF2 Media

Photos Courtesy of Neon, A24 and Parkside Pictures

Photos: Lily James and Tessa Thompson in Little Woods; Evan Rachel Wood and Ellen Page in Into the Forest; real-life sisters Madelyn Deutch and Zoey Deutch in The Year of Spectacular Men. 

Tags: Finding Your Feet, Into the Forest, Little Woods, Night Comes On, Sisters (2015), The Year of Spectacular Men

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Brigid Presecky began her career in journalism at Chicago's Goodman Theatre. In 2008, she joined FF2 Media as a part-time film critic and multimedia editor. Receiving her Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from Bradley University, she moved to Los Angeles where she worked in development, production and publicity for Berlanti Productions, Entertainment Tonight and Warner Bros. Studios, respectively. Returning to her journalistic roots in Chicago, she is now a member of the Chicago Film Critics Association and certified Rotten Tomatoes Film Critic.
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