This daring drama out of Saudia Arabia centers on a street smart and confident 10-year-old girl named Wadjda, who dreams of buying a bicycle so she can race with a neighborhood boy. However, living in Riyadh, this simple wish would be an affront to the cultural standard…not that Wadja will be dissuaded. This marks the narrative feature debut of Saudi Arabia's first female filmmaker Haifaa Al-Mansour, who has previously created a string of celebrated shorts as well as the acclaimed documentary Women Without Shadows.

This pick is for my inner fan girl. Director Neil Jordan is responsible for pitching the teenage me full force into everything Anne Rice thanks to his sexy, gothic adaptation of Interview With a Vampire. With Byzantium Jordan returns to vampire tales, this time centering on a deadly female duo, played by two of my favorite modern-day lady badasses, Hannah's Saoirse Ronan and Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters' Gemma Arteron. What's not to like?

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