‘The Handmaid’s Tale,’ which stars Elisabeth Moss as June/Offred, is a hard watch in terms of emotional drama. But the TV series, which is the first prestige drama to focus intimately on a woman’s perspective of a dystopian world, rivals ‘Game of Thrones’ in terms of visual splendor.
Whit Stillman’s adaptation celebrates this power. Taking the text off the page necessarily removes it from the female form in which it is written and therefore extends the realm of female power. … Jane Austen is one of the most, if not the most, famous female authors in the world. Yet, over the course of a series of progressively shittier adaptations… a great comedian and social satirist has been pigeonholed as a romance writer.
The film captures the self-deconstructions, the collisions, the rebuilding, and the acceptances of women who live with and in spite of brokenness. It functions as a kind of thesis for resilience, and a specific female-driven resilience, unafraid of battle wounds, that often is reserved only for men.
After chronicling the clashes among family, football, and adolescence in ‘Bend it Like Beckham,’ Gurinder Chadha delves into similar territory with the ebullient coming-of-age tale ‘Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging.’ An adaptation of the 1999 novel ‘Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging’ by the late Louise Rennison, the film tells the story of Georgia Nicolson, a teenager growing up in Eastbourne, England, whose entry into the world of romancing boys is as fraught and funny as you might expect.
Director Martha Fiennes unlocks this costume classic for a modern audience, deftly allowing the two main characters to take their share of the center stage to tell their stories. While Ralph Fiennes’ Onegin plays a familiar type of romantic male, Liv Tyler’s Tatyana is not often familiar, even in modern love stories. She does not play the martyr, pining for someone she can’t have, but rather takes stock of what she needs in life and makes her choices accordingly, regardless of how others may feel.
It’s great to see a character whose fatness is a part of her identity without being a point of dehumanization, but the films try to make Fat Amy likable at the expense of other characters, positioning her as acceptably quirky, in contrast to the women of color, who are portrayed in a more two-dimensional manner, or Stacie, who is unacceptable due to her promiscuity. Ultimately, the underlying current of stereotype-based humor puts the film’s fat positivity in a dubious light…
My intent is not to claim that ‘Twilight’ is a perfect movie, but rather, I want to argue that it has more virtues than it is given credit for, and to point out that its dismissal is frequently based on pervasive sexist attitudes. I am not speaking for the other films in the series — all directed by men — but rather, the first film, which was written and directed by women (Melissa Rosenberg and Catherine Hardwicke, respectively), based on a novel written by a woman. There are many valid reasons why one may not enjoy ‘Twilight,’ but it is important to recognize that it is unfair and sexist to dismiss the film and its fans based on the fact that it is a romance told from a female perspective.
‘Certain Women’ belongs to the four women at its core: Laura Dern’s fragile, exhausted stoicism, Michelle William’s neutrality laced with sharp edges, Lily Gladstone’s quietly powerful grasp of the feeling of new love, and Kristen Stewart’s almost-sweet awkwardness, are what make Certain Women worth the trip.
…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.
On first glance, it may well appear that the film follows the usual trappings of the romance genre, in which the young women eventually marry the men that they love, who fortuitously possess more than ample funds to elevate them and their families from poverty, thereby “saving” them. …If we delve a little deeper into Lee’s adaptation it becomes clear that the sisters are not saved by the men they marry, but rather by each other, and multiple times throughout the story.
Two sets of sisters, different in circumstance but alike in experience: the four Romanov Grand Duchesses of Russia and the four Lisbon sisters from 1970s Michigan in ‘The Virgin Suicides.’ … Clear links between the two sets can be drawn, but ultimately reveal that in both situations, living in a gilded cage only leaves behind a haunting memory.
However, the clearest, most poignant development that comes through growing with the films is how ultimately, the love story between Jo and Bhaer and the unrequited love story between Jo and Teddy mean little juxtaposed to the love shared between the four sisters. They are one another’s hearts and souls, evident as Jo writes her novel at the end of the film.