Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Ready for our close up, Mr. DeMille

Let’s face it, the box office can be boys town. The summer blockbuster season is always problematic, what with its things that go boom and bang and bust. But Oscar season isn’t always kind to the ladies either. Last year, only one of the Best Picture nominees – “The Reader” – centered around a female lead (and she was used largely in flashbacks/forwards). When the serious business of making serious films comes up, it’s usually films about serious men doing serious things that get all the attention. Hell, this year there is even a film called “A Serious Man.” No, I’m not kidding.

The thing is, Oscar-nominated films with virtually no women in them (think “No Country for Old Men,” “Saving Private Ryan,” “There Will Be Blood,” “The Shawshank Redemption,” “The Departed”) are so common that no one gives them a second thought. But think back to the films that featured almost no men that have been nominated. It’s really hard, isn’t it? Looking back 40 years I could only really find one: “The Hours.” Sure, it had men in it but they were relatively minor characters. Wow.

But this year, with any luck, some strong women will break through and remind us that even in the movies, a woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle. A look at the female-fronted films coming up this season that, for the most part, seem to pass the Bechdel Rule. We are women, hear us chomp on popcorn.

Amelia (opens Friday)

Go find another Oscar dress, Hilary. You’re going to need it.

Precious (opens limited Nov. 6)

This film will probably break my heart, but with any luck by the time it’s over it will lift it up as well.

Women in Trouble (opens limited Nov. 13)

Ten women and one day. Works for me.

The Lovely Bones (opens Dec. 11)

This book was quietly riveting. If the movie is even half as good (and somehow improves on the unfortunate “Ghost” ending), I’ll be riveted again.

Nine (opens Dec. 25)

Fellini sure loved the ladies. And what lovely ladies they are. Let’s hope some of them get to actually talk to one another about something other than his fictional doppelganger.

It’s Complicated (opens Dec. 25)

This one may not end up passing Bechdel’s rule, but – come on – it’s Meryl Streep.

So, any of these catch your eye? Or any I missed? Oh, and see you at the multiplex.


;) babs said...

I'm looking forward to watching WOMEN IN TROUBLE and IT'S COMPLICATED.

maybe AMELIA too. mira nair is great.
and hilary with short hair looks yummy!
but richard gere...?

NONtRENDY said...

I'm looking forward to The Lovely Bones, but the book was so good I'm afraid of how the movie will end up. I also agree about the whole ghost thing too.

wrongway said...

Blah! to same old I am so sorry story lines about cheating husbands!

But yes because of Meryl it looks a tad more interesting.

Norma Desmond said...

It's Complicated and Nine... I will probably see both of those on opening day and then multiple times.

Amanda said...

You forgot about "Coco before Chanel" with Audrey Tautou. Looks like it will be a great film with a great leading actress.


dc said...

Of course WHIP IT passes the Bechdel test.

SuperTex said...

i've got the same feelings regarding 'precious'.

oh meryl, i don't care if you're "a bit of a slut"

Joan said...

Julie/Julia. I wish Amelia hadn't come out the same year. Meryl rocked so hard as Julia Child, and neither husband cheated.

Anonymous said...

Amelia - I get the sense that they skipped right over the fact that Amelia was a dyke, don't know I'll wait till I see it but; if they did what a travesity.

Morgan said...

That is one sexy shot of Swank.

Weezy said...

Looking forward to seeing it, but this pic my weekend crush