Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Friday Box Office: 'Adaline' Bumps 'Furious' for a Day; 'Kurt Cobain' Big in 3 Theaters Friday Box Office: 'Adaline' Bumps 'Furious' for a Day; 'Kurt Cobain' Big in 3 Theaters Remembering Film Critic Richard Corliss (1944-2015) Remembering Film Critic Richard Corliss (1944-2015) Cannes: Denis Villeneuve Says Drug War Film 'Sicario' Is "Very Dark" and "Quite Violent" Cannes: Denis Villeneuve Says Drug War Film 'Sicario' Is "Very Dark" and "Quite Violent" How Do You Solve a Problem Like Erika? Universal Hires Husband to Write 'Fifty Shades Darker' How Do You Solve a Problem Like Erika? Universal Hires Husband to Write 'Fifty Shades Darker' 'Age of Ultron' Director Joss Whedon on Self-Doubt and Why It's His 'Rio Bravo' 'Age of Ultron' Director Joss Whedon on Self-Doubt and Why It's His 'Rio Bravo' Watch: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Tina Fey, Patricia Arquette and Amy Schumer Hilariously Slam Hollywood Sexism (NSFW) Watch: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Tina Fey, Patricia Arquette and Amy Schumer Hilariously Slam Hollywood Sexism (NSFW) CinemaCon: How Tom Cruise Stole the Paramount Show CinemaCon: How Tom Cruise Stole the Paramount Show Meet the Director of 'Tangerines,' the 2015 Dark Horse Oscar Nominee You Missed (Exclusive Video) Meet the Director of 'Tangerines,' the 2015 Dark Horse Oscar Nominee You Missed (Exclusive Video) LA Film Fest Unveils Horror Slate, More World Premieres, Zoe Cassavetes Film LA Film Fest Unveils Horror Slate, More World Premieres, Zoe Cassavetes Film Cannes: Directors' Fortnight Lines Up Vet Auteurs and American Indies Cannes: Directors' Fortnight Lines Up Vet Auteurs and American Indies Joe Wright's 'Pan' Gets Fall Release Date: Good News or Bad News? Joe Wright's 'Pan' Gets Fall Release Date: Good News or Bad News? Seeing Ryan Gosling's 'Lost River' Through Composer Johnny Jewel's Eyes (STREAM SOUNDTRACK) Seeing Ryan Gosling's 'Lost River' Through Composer Johnny Jewel's Eyes (STREAM SOUNDTRACK) 3 Women Genre Directors Get SF Film Society Fellowships 3 Women Genre Directors Get SF Film Society Fellowships Here's Why Jon Stewart Quit 'The Daily Show' Here's Why Jon Stewart Quit 'The Daily Show' Watch: From Tarantino to Cronenberg, Great Directors Talk the Art and Anxiety of Filmmaking Watch: From Tarantino to Cronenberg, Great Directors Talk the Art and Anxiety of Filmmaking Specialty Box Office: 'True Story' and 'Child 44' Flop as 'Ex Machina' Lures Audiences Specialty Box Office: 'True Story' and 'Child 44' Flop as 'Ex Machina' Lures Audiences Tribeca Film Festival Matches George Lucas with Stephen Colbert: “I’m gonna tear you a new one, George" Tribeca Film Festival Matches George Lucas with Stephen Colbert: “I’m gonna tear you a new one, George" 10 Films Booed at Cannes That Every Cinephile Should See 10 Films Booed at Cannes That Every Cinephile Should See 5 Things You Didn't Know About Lars von Trier, Who's Going Back to Work 5 Things You Didn't Know About Lars von Trier, Who's Going Back to Work 7 Things to Learn from 'Mad Men' Creator Matthew Weiner About Compelling Storytelling (EXCLUSIVE VIDEO) 7 Things to Learn from 'Mad Men' Creator Matthew Weiner About Compelling Storytelling (EXCLUSIVE VIDEO)

2012 Heroine Worship in Movies, from Katniss Everdeen and Hushpuppy to 'Bridesmaids' and 'Girls'

Thompson on Hollywood By Sophia Savage | Thompson on Hollywood December 9, 2012 at 1:46PM

The New York Times' A. O. Scott recaps the year in Heroine Worship, when it was still news when women actually carry a movie that scores at the box office. He writes: "There is a smattering of evidence to support the impression that [things have changed], because 2012 was, all in all, a pretty good year for movies and also a pretty good year for female heroism." But why, he asks, do we still need to make a fuss about heroines such as Katniss Everdeen in "The Hunger Games" or Hushpuppy in "Beasts of the Southern Wild"?
1
Heroine Worship 1
Emmanuelle Riva ("Amour") | NYT

New York Times critic A. O. Scott recaps the year in Heroine Worship, when it was still news that women can actually carry a movie that scores at the box office. He writes: "There is a smattering of evidence to support the impression that [things have changed], because 2012 was, all in all, a pretty good year for movies and also a pretty good year for female heroism." But why, he asks, do we still need to make a fuss about heroines such as Katniss Everdeen in "The Hunger Games" or Hushpuppy in "Beasts of the Southern Wild"? The way our culture rushes "to celebrate movies about women has a way of feeling both belated and disproportionate," writes Scott. It should not be a big deal when these films exist--rather "it should have been a bigger deal when such movies didn’t."

Heroine Worship 2
Jennifer Lawrence ("Hunger Games") | NYT

The subjects often become unduly criticized and held accountable, like "Girls" creator-star Lena Dunham, who was "not quite allowed just to explore her own ideas and experiences. She was expected to get it right, to represent, to set an example and blaze a path," Scott writes.

As for the new millenium, Scott reminds us of what had become of the comedy genre before "Bridesmaids" unnecessarily shocked people by its very existence:

"Movie comedy, once a lively, if tilted, battlefield of the sexes, regressed into an aggressive puerility that was the flip side of macho superhero self-pity. The big joke, repeated endlessly (and sometimes wittily) in Adam Sandler vehicles, school-of-Apatow farces­ and up-from-mumblecore slackfests is that guys can reject all the traditional trappings of maturity — jobs, manners, hygiene — and that girls will sleep with them anyway. And the girls in these movies are not called on to do much else, except be mommies, nice or mean, symbolic or actual. They can serve as the object of or the audience for the guys’ jokes but rarely the agents of humor in their own right."

Scott's piece accompanies a portfolio of thirteen actresses (among them would-be awards contenders Marion Cotillard, Jennifer Lawrence, Naomi Watts, Keira Knightley, Elle Fanning, Anne Hathaway and Emmanuelle Riva), in order "to acknowledge the range and depth of 13 remarkable and very different actresses, and also to convey, through the suggestive medium of pictures and words, an array of intriguing, troubling, inspiring and contradictory possibilities."

After all, writes Scott, "the things that women do — the people they insist on being — remain endlessly controversial."
 

This article is related to: The Hunger Games, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Pitch Perfect, Bridesmaids, Women in Film, Lena Dunham


E-Mail Updates