Guest Writer Wednesday: Film Review Roundup

In lieu of a guest review this week, we’re posting links to reviews of a few women-centric films we haven’t yet discussed at Bitch Flicks. Enjoy!


Starring Annette Bening and Julianne Moore
Written by Lisa Cholodenko and Stuart Blumberg
Directed by Lisa Cholodenko

Roxie Smith Lindemann at Roxie’s World writes:

… what finally—and deeply—disappointed us about the film, despite the splendid performances and some pitch-perfect moments of dialogue, were what felt like multiple failures of imagination in its depictions of lesbian sexuality, long-term partnership, and queer family-building. In the end, to use a metaphor in keeping with the film’s upscale SoCal look and value system, The Kids Are All Right opts to put new wine in an old narrative bottle, and the result is a vintage that looks good but leaves a nasty, corked aftertaste.

… the film gratifies the straight male fantasy that what every lesbian needs is a good roll in the hay and presents lesbian relationships as cheap imitations of the worst heterosexual marriages: like them in being riven by conflict, frustration, and inequality, unlike them in lacking the almighty penis …


Starring Jennifer Lawrence and John Hawkes
Written by Debra Granik, Anne Rosellini, and Daniel Woodrell (novel)
Directed by Debra Granik

Natalie Wilson at Ms. Magazine Blog writes:

The film offers an extraordinary portrait of the ways class and gender intersect, revealing how the patriarchal Dolly clan abuses not only drugs, but also its female family members. As such, the narrative offers a lesson about the feminization of poverty, illuminating how poverty’s vice is harder to escape and more likely to ensnare when one is female.

… this gem of a feminist film has been attacked for the very thing that makes it so unique and so rare: its understated, implicit feminist narrative that rails against patriarchy, violence against women, cold-hearted capitalism and militarism, as well as critiquing the insidious and complex ways females are framed first and foremost as objects for male use and abuse.

Also, be sure to check out Part I and Part II of Lisa R. Pruitt’s posts at Saltlaw on “Winter’s Bone” and the Limits of White Privilege.


Starring Emma Stone, Amanda Bynes, and Patricia Clarkson
Written by Bert V. Royal
Directed by Will Gluck

MaryAnn Johanson at FlickFilosopher writes:

This wonderful, hilarious, subversive film is a smart, witty smackdown to the slew of “dweeby teenaged boys on a quest to lose their virginity” movies we’re currently under barrage from, not to mention the general unfairness of how the universe treats women who own their sexuality. Easy A overtly shames the slut-shaming of our culture, the bizarre pressures that tells us girls and women that we must be sexy all the time, but for Christ’s sake, don’t actually have sex—except under certain strict conditions—unless you want to be labeled a slut, and humiliated for it.

… As satire goes, this is brilliant stuff. As an exploration of the tangled web of popularity and individuality teenaged girls have to navigate, and do so at more peril than boys do, it’s damn nigh unparalleled. More’s the pity.


  • Posted October 20, 2010 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the shout-out, Bitch Flicks. We did a followup post on The Kids Are All Right that examined its negative depiction of family within the context of queer ambivalence toward family. That post is here.

  • Posted October 20, 2010 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    Awesome! Thank you for the additional link!