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.
3. Whip It (2009)
A heartwarming coming-of-age tale of female friendship, Whip It marks Drew Barrymore’s first foray into directing. The indie cool girl Ellen Page plays Bliss, a disaffected teenager stifled by the ennui of small-town life in Texas until she enrols in a roller-derby team. Alongside a boisterous sisterhood of single mothers (Kristen Wiig) and squad leaders (Juliette Lewis), Bliss smashes stereotypes – and her opponents – with ever-increasing confidence. Her newfound pastime, and burgeoning relationships with her fellow athletes, helps her develop into a self-assured woman both on and off the track.
When you’ve binged GLOW too quickly and are in desperate need of more Lycra and miniskirts.