2018 has dawned with the promise of change.
The last couple of months of 2017 were dominated by a tsunami of accounts exposing systemic abuse in Hollywood, and beyond. Powerful men have lost their jobs, as more and more women feel empowered to share their stories. In that context, it feels appropriate to look to the future of the business, to the rising stars who will, hopefully, be spared the experiences of some of their predecessors, and give us memorable performances without fearing what they might have to trade for them.
The three top-grossing films of 2017 — Wonder Woman, Beauty and the Beast, and Star Wars: The Last Jedi — had female leads. So far, 2018 appears to be similarly promising, with exciting projects by women in front of and behind the camera.
And yet, those real-world successes still aren't translating into gold statues or globes. The 2018 Golden Globes nominations were disappointing for their lack of recognition of women directors, despite several good candidates. (Greta Gerwig? Dee Rees? Patty Jenkins? Anyone? Bueller?) Our hope then, is a new generation who will push for gender parity in the industry, and push women's stories forward.
Click through for a recap of the 20 actresses whose names you need to memorize before next year's awards season.
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