“For so bravely and intelligently distributing the film … and to the audiences who went to see it and perhaps those of us in the industry who are still foolishly clinging to the idea that female films with women at the center are niche experiences. They are not. Audiences want to see them and, in fact, they earn money. The world is round, people.”- Cate Blanchett, Oscars 2014
Gone are the days of Scarlett O’ Hara, the damsel in distress whose emotional range is either frantic or a reckless romantic.Within the past 10 years, female roles have significantly changed. Two dimensional female characters and actresses are a thing of the past. Cate Blanchett’s Oscar win last Sunday for Best Actress in a Leading Role for her performance in Blue Jasmine solidified the fact that women have more of a presence in the entertainment industry than, say, 10 years ago.
The business is no longer shying away from female driven productions, which is a welcome change. Some of the most celebrated films in the past decade have either centered on or involved strong female roles. Actresses like Jennifer Lawrence and Angelina Jolie gravitate towards more complex characters and films. If you don’t believe me, check out Lawrence in Winter’s Bone and Jolie in Girl, Interrupted. Men and women are embracing more emotionally realistic female characters. Paul Feig, director of Bridesmaids and The Heat, is able to consistently capture not only comedic genius but he casts women who have the ability bring the films to life.
Televison has also picked up on the growing trend with shows like Girls and Homeland. Pushing the movement forward are advocates like Claire Danes and Lena Dunhman. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, who both starred on Saturday Night Live, went on to create and write two award-winning shows that were hilarious. Women are no longer confined to just being another “pretty face” or the helpless female. With strong writers, directors and producers, women are reshaping cinematic history.
It’s about time women started to gain ground in the industry. With the right material and opportunities, the trend will continue to grow.