Despite the Academy’s recent efforts to diversify its largely homogenous membership, women remain severely underrepresented in cinema. In 2016’s highest-grossing films – only half of which passed the sexism-measuring Bechdel test – they comprised a meagre 29 per cent of protagonists. Given that women account for 52 per cent of moviegoers, this simply is not good enough. But there is hope. This year, the smash hit Wonder Womanbecame the most profitable female-directed film of all time; Sofia Coppola’s Best Director win at Cannes disrupted 56 years of male dominance; and actresses’ co-stars are accepting lower salaries to fight the gender pay gap. To quote Cate Blanchett: “Films with women at the centre are not niche experiences. Audiences want to see them and, in fact, they earn money.” As London’s Feminist Film Festival draws to a close, we round up five of our favourite girl-power movies.
1. Rough Night (2017)
Carefree boozing takes a sinister turn in Rough Night, wherein Jess (Scarlett Johansson’s) hen party is derailed after she and her girlfriends accidentally kill a stripper. Featuring an impressive all-female ensemble peopled with Broad City and Saturday Night Live alumni, the film is subversive in that, unlike many wedding-based comedies (27 Dresses, My Best Friend’s Wedding, Leap Year…), it forgoes a romance plot in favour of typically male-connoted pastimes such as foul-mouthed banter and mile-a-minute slapstick. Another wonderfully agenda-resetting characteristic of this movie is that it is the man who is objectified, rebalancing the bias illustrating that women on screen are statistically more likely to be partially naked than their male counterparts (26.2 and 9.4 per cent respectively).
A woman’s alternative to The Hangover.