March is Women’s History Month. This year, I would like to shine a spotlight on some of the female characters who both push against the glass ceiling and inspire us.
Behind Her Eyes (Netflix): It would have been easy to peg Adele (Eve Hewson) as the wronged wife and Louise (Simona Brown) as a modern version of Glenn Close’s character from Fatal Attraction. But both women are given the opportunity to be fully fledged characters that go well beyond the stereotypes.
Bridgerton (Netflix): For non-fans of the BPD (British Period Drama), Bridgerton would just another Jane Austen-ish historical romance/drama. But fans know that though women are second class citizens in this world, they have other abilities that are not obvious to the naked eye. My favorite characters are Eloise Bridgerton (Claudia Jessie) and Lady Danbury (Adjoah Andoh). Instead of mindlessly following in her elder sister’s footsteps, Eloise would love to be free of the constrictions that women are placed under in the 19th century. For her part, Lady Danbury is a badass who knows of her place in society and uses her experiences wisely.
WandaVision (DisneyPlus): Every female character in this series is fully formed. As we learn more about this world and the women who inhabit it, their humanity is revealed in a manner that is normal and natural. They are allowed to be who they are without being pegged as certain character types and forced into boxes that can be easily checked off.
P.S. That series finale last night was nothing short of mind blowing. I don’t know about anyone else, but I am ready for season 2.
Law & Order: SVU (NBC): For a television show to last twenty plus years, it has to have a certain something about it. In a nutshell, what makes it stand out is the difficult subject the show brings to the forefront and the capable female detectives whose job it is to solve the crimes. At the head of the unit is Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay). Though she has been working sex crimes for decades, the job has not hardened her. She can be tough when she has to be, but she can also be compassion and humane. Amanda Rollins (Kelli Giddish) has fought against her demons and survived. That alone is worth its weight in gold. The newest and youngest member of the squad is Katriona Tamin (Jamie Gray Hyder). Though she still has a lot to learn, she has the passion and the drive to bring the criminals to justice.
Readers, what other female characters inspire you? Feel free to leave a comment in the comment section below.
2018 has been an interesting year for movies. Below is my list of the top ten movies of 2018
Widows: Women in action movies are at best the romantic significant other and at worst, the damsel in distress. Widows flips the genre and the expected narrative on its head and tells the story of four women who take fate into their own hands after the deaths of their criminal husbands.
The Wife: Based on a book by Meg Wolitzer, Glenn Close plays a woman who questions her life choices as her husband reaches the peak of his career.
The Favourite: Queen Anne (Olivia Coleman) may sit on the throne of England, but she is not the one who is really leading country. Two women in her court vie to be her favorite and to gain power that only comes from being close to Queen.
A Star Is Born: A Star Is Born is the 3rd reboot of a narrative that audiences have seen since the 1930’s. Unknown Ally (Lady Gaga) sees her career dreams turn into reality while her mentor/lover’s career flails due to addiction issues.
Crazy Rich Asians: Based on a book by Kevin Kwan, Rachel Chu (Constance Wu) travels from New York City to meet her boyfriend’s family for the first time. The visit is a bit more turbulent than Rachel expects.
Aquaman: Based on the comic book of the same name, Jason Mamoa plays Arthur Reed, a man who is born of two worlds and must choose where he belongs.
This will be my last post of 2018. Thank you so much for visiting and reading my blog, your support means the world. Wherever you are this New Years Eve, have a safe and happy one. I will see you in 2019.
When a book is adapted into a film, fans of the novel will often ask how close the film is to its literary predecessor.
Earlier this year, The Wife, based on the book by Meg Wolitzer hit theaters starring Glenn Close and Jonathan Pryce. Published in 2003, the book is about the breakdown of a marriage and a woman’s courage to step away from said marriage.
Joan and Joe Castleman have been married for decades. Joe is one of the preeminent writers of his generation. Joan’s writing abilities is equal to her husband’s, but she decided long ago to abandon her own dreams of writing professionally and support Joe in his career. While flying with Joe to Europe so he can receive an award for his work, Joan makes the decision to walk away from the marriage.
The narrative takes place in two different time periods: the 1950’s when Joe and Joan met and the present time, when the secret of Joe’s success and their marriage is revealed.
Full disclosure, I saw the movie before I read the book. Not surprisingly, changes were made from the narrative in the book to the narrative in the film. That being said, the book stands on its own as a testament not only to a woman’s abilities, but also the unfortunate innate inclination in heterosexual women to subvert their needs, abilities and desires to please their male significant other.
Compromise is key of any successful long-term relationship, marriage included. But what happens when one half of the relationship compromises to the point of giving themselves up to please the other half?
In the new movie, The Wife (based on the novel of the same name by Meg Wolitzer) Joan Castleman (Glenn Close) has been married to her husband Joe Castleman (Jonathan Pryce) for decades. Joe’s career as a novelist is the stuff of legends. At the beginning of the story, Joe learns that he is to receive a Nobel Prize in literature. While they are in Sweden for the awards ceremony, the secret of their marriage and Joe’s successful career comes into the light.
The film seamlessly jumps between two different time periods: The early 90’s when Joe receives his award and the late 1950’s when Joe and Joan meet. Back then Joan (Annie Starke, Glenn Close’s IRL daughter) was an undergrad who wanted to write. Joe (Harry Lloyd) was Joan’s English professor. Can this marriage survive or will the unspoken dirty laundry of the past destroy it?
This movie is absolutely brilliant, for multiple reasons. Not just because of the supposed happy marriage between Joan and Joe then unravels, but also because of the truth about many women, especially when it comes to love and marriage. In order to keep their relationship/marriage going and their partner/spouse happy, many women will subvert their needs and desires.
I absolutely recommend it. In fact, I would not be surprised if the movie did well come awards season.