More Friday Feminist Blogging
How many movies has this author seen, anyway?
Thanks to pandagon for the link: http://www.pandagon.net/
I'll write more on this later (maybe) but a role that immediately comes to mind is Isabella Rossellini in "Fearless," as Jeff Bridges' wife. I like the movie a whole lot in general, but I loved that her role was so different than the usual long-suffering spouse of the dysfunctional guy.
When Bridges' character couldn't get his emotional stuff together after surviving a plane crash that killed almost everyone else, Rossellini wasn't eternally sympathetic and furrowed-browed like one of those Anne Archer types (I can't avoid Ms. Archer often enough). She was irritated, angry and frustrated, and she told him that if he didn't start to make some progress she was going to leave him.
Now that's a real woman character. Not a by-the-numbers-villainess, not a limpid-eyed victim, not a robo-mommy, not arm candy, not a whore with a heart of gold, not a princess warrior babe.
A real woman with real emotions.
Kathy Baker in "Clean and Sober." Real, sympathetic, believable. A woman you might actually know. Too bad they had to kill her off.
Cherry Jones in "Cradle Will Rock." Historic, real, kick-butt, terrific.
Maureen Stapleton as Emma Goldman in "Reds." No big hammy stuff -- just real, funny, brilliant, wry. And the real Emma G. was as much of a woman as you could ever want.
Kate Winslet as Clementine in "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind." Not eye candy, not an agreeable romance item. Prickly, difficult, high-maintenance, heart-breaking. Real, with a twist of fantasy. Just like some actual women.
June Carter Cash as Sonny's mama in Robert Duvall's brilliant "The Apostle." Neurotic, loving, faithful, smothering, adorable, loveable. Real.
Patrick Swayze as Miss Vita Boheme in "To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything, Julie Newmar." The best girlfriend a girl could ever want. Elegant, loyal, confronational when necessary, generous, and sweet-hearted as can be. Also... Vita works out (I was not offended by the fact that the Stockard Channing character had to be rescued by a group of men in drag. A typical device and disappointing, but in no way minimized my response to the wonderful Swayze character).
Cate Blanchett in "The Gift." Strange, feared and fearful, possessed of psychic ability that freaks her out just as much as it freaks out some of her Savannah neighbors. Sad, beautiful, lonely, devoted to her kids. Fascinating, enigmatic, just like real small-town "witches."
Laura Dern as the vile, paint-fume-huffing, pregnant Ruth in "Citizen Ruth." Wonderful film, unsparing -- an ugly, skanky, bravura performance by Ms. Dern. Real.
There are more, but those are some of my favorites.
What are yours?