A Dude to Direct Hillary Clinton Biopic

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by Melissa Silverstein
May 1, 2013 2:00 PM
9 Comments
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As we previously reported, a biopic about everyone's favorite lady and potential presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton is in the works. The Black List scripted penned by Young II Kim focuses on the early adulthood of Hillary Rodham who has just been appointed the youngest lawyer on the House Judiciary Committee which was then working on the impeachment of President Nixon. The film focuses on how this young, bright star is caught between her potential political future and her former boyfriend, Bill Clinton, who is teaching in Arkansas. 

Buzz around the script has been building since it was named to the Black List late last year.  This will be a terrific opportunity for a young actress to dive into what will most likely be a meaty leading role.  Remember what happened to Meryl Streep when she played another female politician in the Iron Lady?  She won the Oscar.  

While we are excited for the film we are wildly disappointed, and quite frankly angry, that the directing job went to a man, James Ponsoldt who directed Smashed and the upcoming Spectacular Now.

Hiring a guy to direct the movie about the woman who is working her ass off to put more women in leadership positions around the world in a gigantic slap to everyone working on gender equity issues.  Hiring a woman for this film would make a statement -- a really good statement -- that yes, a woman can direct the movie about the early years of the most powerful woman in the world.

I am wondering what Hillary Clinton herself would say about this.  But I say bullshit.  This is just such a dumb move because instead of people writing a positive story about the implications of having a woman direct a movie about Hillary Clinton, the story now is that the folks in Hollywood won't even hire a woman to direct a movie about Hillary Clinton.  I'd love to know who -- if any -- women were interviewed for this job.

Hillary Clinton Biopic 'Rodham' Taps Director James Ponsoldt (Exclusive) (The Wrap)

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More: Hillary Clinton, Politics

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9 Comments

  • Sage | August 31, 2013 1:13 PMReply

    So tired of seeing ALL MEN, all the time. Really, after FORTY frigging years of 'equality,' when do we start being non-equality? For the last number of years, I've tried to ONLY buy/give my money to WOMEN where I have a choice.

    Women are STILL not even at 25% of the equation in any area of MONEY. Politics, decision-making positions at work, journalism, photography, film-making, government jobs, private corporations, etc., ad nauseum. Now we're into FOOTBALL season, ALL MEN, all the time? HUGE money maker. MEN watching men. Nothing in this country has WOMEN showing up on TV five days a week being worshipped by time and money. At ALL. Why? Because women are boring? Stupid? Uninteresting? Only good to look at/give money too/spend time on when they are between five and twenty-five? Where are the brains of women showing up? Where does our society support women as much as men? No where. Bottom line. As a woman, you are valued by the time and money that gets ‘exchanged’ for your ‘work.’ And where most women are given time and money is in the ‘Beauty’ department. Talking heads on news programs, advertising directed towards looking ‘younger,’ and smelling better. Women over FORTY are pretty much nowhere in media, news, films, journalism, corporate offices, etc.

    I try and only buy American made products. I also try to only support/give time/buy WOMEN supporting ideas/agendas/products.

    Our young women in America at a subconscious level know they are considered just a beauty vessel to look at. God forbid you have a brain. Or drive.

    It is typical that this film was awarded to a man, no matter that he has the best experience. And WHY does he have the best experience? Because he has already had the male-supported network in film making backing him through out his career, starting probably in high-school. He’s a proven commodity already. (Really, I am NOT taking anything away from him or his work. He is an excellent film-making. NOT personal to him, just him as a generic MALE.). So he’s already got a few excellent films under his belt. This is the way the way world works. All good. Now how do we get high-school girls, then women, more interested in pursuing something besides clothes and eye makeup? I don’t know. Really. But NOT HAVING WOMEN out there, being creatives, financing projects, being 50% of the people in the corner offices and at the designing boards, etc. does NOT HELP them.

    And so yeah, the search and then decision to have this movie made by WOMEN is important. So frigging tired of still, after forty years, seeing this be an issue. Since the seventies, we’ve been taking about equal pay, equal work, equal access. How’s that working out for you?????? Women are ‘displayed’ now more than ever before. For how they look and not how they work and think. Change the time and money and award work to WOMEN. Men still have their clubs, and office meetings, and golf trips. Fuck them. Give your time and money to WOMEN. Do it for your daughters and grand daughters. Show them that being smart is better than being pretty. Or is it? What does our society MIRROR back to our Daughters and Sons?

  • Star | May 2, 2013 10:45 PMReply

    Wow, Ms. Silverstein's misandrist attitude is troubling (and utterly hypocritical).

  • CS | May 2, 2013 1:23 AMReply

    I find it fascinating that no one, most notably the author of this article, is judging this director based on his body of work. I saw his most recent film (The Spectacular Now) at the Boston Film Festival last week and it was astoundingly real and poignant. And the young woman Shailene Woodley is the best thing about the film. I'm not the only one who feels that way based on the audience comments And the young man who directed the film was extraordinarily articulate at the q&a afterwards. I think he'll do a wonderful job if this film is any indication to how he feels about women. I find it absurd how Ms Silverstein is judging his ability to direct a female centric film based on the fact that he has a penis. (Or at least we assume - the q&A didn't probe that area.) I think the author of this piece should take a long hard look in the mirror and then actually do some research by seeing this mans work (and maybe reading the script if its available) before posting uninformed, hypocritical and inflammatory articles. And to think that The Hurt Locker was directed by a woman....

  • Kathy | May 2, 2013 12:47 AMReply

    Bummer. They should have hired a feminist woman director.

  • Mark | May 1, 2013 5:34 PMReply

    Hypothetically - if a big name female director was offered the job and passed, isn't it in the best interest of the producers to choose the next best person, regardless of gender? Ponsoldt is very talented.

  • Melanie | May 1, 2013 3:03 PMReply

    Bummer. And I don't think it's necessary to "do research" to know that the results suck.

  • Ugh | May 1, 2013 2:44 PMReply

    Really? We're going to write this completely speculative, reactionary piece without bothering to talk to Temple Hill about the female directors they targeted? Please do some research first. It's only fair.

  • Maria Giese | May 1, 2013 2:43 PMReply

    Grrr... And worse, the producers of the film, Wick Godfrey and Mary Bowen, make up the team so famous for firing Catherine Hardwicke after her visionary helming of “Twilight” had turned a schlocky vampire book into a billion dollar global media franchise. They also produced "Revenge," an episodic TV show about a women seeking—well, revenge. How many women directors did they hire? Out of a total of THIRTY episodes. ZERO! Then, Isaac Klausner is overseeing the project for Temple Hill. Klausner is the associate producer on the Twilight films. These boys must feel very proud of their success with female driven films directed exclusively by men.

  • No | May 1, 2013 2:10 PMReply

    Go get 'em!

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