In addition to her work in film, Nora Ephron was a journalist, playwright, and novelist; unsurprisingly, her stock in trade is words. Crucially, what she does with these words is to give women room. For these women at the center of her films, there is, above all, space. Space not simply to be the best version of themselves, but all the versions of themselves: confident, neurotic, right, wrong, flawed.
‘Arrival’ is yet another in a long line of alien invasion movies, but it’s also so much more than that. It’s the story of a single extraordinary woman who steps up to save the human race, armed with nothing more than her ability to communicate. It’s a story of hope — and it’s one that audiences need to hear right now.
…I’m left with the feeling that Tom Ford’s second feature film is a love letter to sexist movies instead. … Like a lot of sexist stories, ‘Nocturnal Animals’ is vague about its attitude toward women, because it doesn’t truly regard women as anything but objects – things that derive meaning only through their relationship to the real subjects, men.
The actress added, “Being an artist and being a mom sometimes keeps you at odds and not to say you can’t do it, but an artist can feel very isolated, very narcissistic, and being a parent needs to be something completely different and so I understood that sort of thing and trying to make the right decisions and then getting caught in a lie with your child. That was something I found really fascinating and I was really interested by that dynamic.”
Until the release, ‘Big Eyes’ looks like a promising movie to end off the empowering year of the woman. Flexing in the face of men, Margaret Keane’s story translates to roadblocks women surpass on the daily at the workplace and at home. Depending on how Burton captures Margaret’s story, Amy Adams has the opportunity to do women justice and end off the year of feminism with a bang–a big-eyed bang.
The men get the most attention for their greed and corruption. However, if we look a bit closer, the films’ women are the ones who can be traced to plant bigger, fatter seeds of avarice. This wouldn’t bother me, as I’m always in favor of more complex female characters (even if they’re unsympathetic), but what strikes me is that we barely notice these scenes. The women become victims and damsels, when oftentimes the ideas were their own.
Is this some kind of 21st century version of the femme fatale? A woman who is coercive–not only sexually, but also financially–but who isn’t taken seriously as a power player? Is it just embedded in us to not notice women’s power or ignore their parts in the narrative?
But, as a woman in the audience, my relationship to these types of characters, who are reliably, predictably, boringly male, is fraught. I relate to them, but only insofar as I must continually reinvest in the myth that men are the only people who are truly capable, truly deep enough, of having wrenching crises of the soul. Even though I know this to be false in reality—women experience alienation and existentialist ennui, too (I can’t believe I even just typed that)—I am deeply troubled that the experience of this sort of angst seems to be the exclusive province of men in our cultural imagination.
Bitch Flicks staff writers Amanda Rodriguez and Stephanie Rogers talk about the critically acclaimed Spike Jonze film ‘Her,’ sharing their thoughts while asking questions about its feminism and thematic choices.
Added on is the fact that American Hustle is less about the hustle and more about the American dream; each character portrays ambition and insecurities in the quest for more: a better community, more money, security, power, fame, recognition, leading to that great American end, excess.
Check out what we’ve been reading this week–and let us know what you’ve been reading/writing in the comments!
Movie poster for The Fighter This guest post by Jessica Freeman-Slade previously appeared at Bitch Flicks on February 2, 2011. The adage of “Behind every good man is a great woman” is worn out, particularly in the realm of boxing movies. You can reduce the entirety of Rocky to the battered Stallone’s anguished cry of […]
Movie poster for Man of Steel This guest post by Natalie Wilson previously appeared at the Ms. Magazine Blog and is cross-posted with permission. Amy Adams is amazing as Lois Lane in Man of Steel. Her version of Lois is fearless, witty and wise. Diane Lane and Ayelet Zurer as the respective mothers of Superman […]