Women in film

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iron lady

I am ashamed to say this but I do not think women are equal when it comes to movies. The portrayal of women always follows the typical stereotype of either being a mother or a sexual object. Even with some of the best performances given by female actresses. I feel that there are no decent roles for women in Hollywood. This may simply be down to society. I decided to right this after reading about a quote from film director Danny Boyle. On talking about the film Trance:

‘”Elizabeth’s obviously a classic femme fatale, using her allure, her beauty to manipulate the men but I didn’t want the icy blonde Hitchcock kind of thing…

It’s a big problem for a lot of those actresses. They play the apparent lead in a film but when you look at the part it’s not that great, they’re like a figurehead.”

I feel that what Boyle is trying to say is no matter however good the role is for the woman, they will always be portrayed in the same way. One film that I hoped would be different from every other film was The Iron Lady. Meryl Streep portrayed the late Margret Thatcher the first and only British prime minister of Great Britain. This was an incredible role for any woman actress to have. Still elements of her life include being a mother which is true so could not be ignored but it was to follow the struggle of her  being oppressed as a woman politician in a world dominated by men. The film however was not good. rather than focusing on the determination of a woman overcoming the battlews of being a female in politics, it was watered down to a pathetic film about dementia. This showed Margret Thatcher struggling to deal with the loss of her husband rather than something that could have been so special. I feel that this is one of Meryl streep’s worst performances ever and I think it is an insult that she won the academy award for this role.

But most other roles for women make them objects of sexual desire and nothing else. Jennifer Lawrence received an Academy Award this year for Silver Linings Playbook. As much as I liked the film I felt that her performance was too typical of a woman playing a woman and nothing else.

Men appear to be far more versatile in movies and I think if you only had one academy award fro performance and not actor and actress most years if not all years the male actors will always pick it up. Perhaps because there is too much pressure on women to wither be objects of sexual desire or a mother their roles in films are limited. Women do hold a place in society and most woman stay  their place in a matriarchal society rather than fight this. Mothers are important for the role of life and I am not having a go at woman just merely pointing out that roles in films are limited and rarely have the right amount of grit for actresses to give a decent performance.

For non matriarchal roles most actresses continue to be objects of sexual desire.The femme fatale is a common role for a women in a film and many people believe roles like these to be empowering, however these characters are using their sexuality to get what they want rather than logic. Some women do find the idea of using their sexuality empowering but that should not be the way to get what you want.

I hope that writers will be able to create better roles for women but also I can understand them keeping with how they are now. That is how society sees women and therefore it will be a difficult transition. This seems to be more of an equality to issue rather than a writers issue. Until 100% equality is reached between men and women, women will continue to be portrayed in this way in cinema.


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