It may only be February but 2017 is already shaping up to be a monumental year for film and the representation of women in film in particular. Hollywood has long been accused of being a male-dominated industry and with this year’s Academy Award nominations reflecting this; it is time to shine a light on the movies that showcase the epitome of female talent in front of as well as behind the camera.
This movie tells the previously untold story of how African-American mathematician Katherine Johnson (Taraji P. Henson) was hired by NASA to be “a computer in a skirt” and help send astronaut John Glenn into space to become the first American to orbit the Earth in 1962. Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monae complete the ensemble by playing Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson as the trio endured racial segregation – with the movie placing an emphasis on how they had to walk half a mile to use the “coloured” women’s bathroom – and sexism on a daily basis in the workplace whilst performing calculations that were responsible for one of the most important space flights in US history. Hidden Figures delves into an area of cinema that most directors are scared of venturing into but with Wes Anderson-esque cinematography and an all-female leading cast, it tells the story of how friendship and triumph prevailed in a time when the civil rights movement had only just begun.
Kelly Reichardt confirms her presence as one of America’s greatest up-and-coming filmmakers as Kirsten Stewart and Michelle Williams star in this intersecting tale of three women living in Montana. Based on a series of short stories by Maile Meloy, "Certain Women"progresses at a steady, if stagnant, speed as we slowly become accustomed to Reichardt’s style of finding beauty in a series of quiet and rather unremarkable events. She has constructed an almost flawless tale of female empowerment despite her tendency to rely on emotion rather than storyline but it is this, as well as the A-list cast, that sets it apart from any other indie film of its generation.
As well as conveying a strong, female lead, "Wonder Woman" also has the accolade of being directed by Patti Jenkins, the brains behind Best-Actress winning Monster (2003) which depicts the life of convicted serial killer Aileen Wuornos. Although this is her first major theatrical release since then, she is certainly making up for lost time with a $100 million budget and a main character that promises to revolutionise our perception of what a superhero should look like as Jenkins claims: "We’ve spent years treating male heroes in certain ways. I just applied those same tropes to her, and all these incredible radical moments suddenly appear to an audience.” You will have to wait until June to view it on the big screen but the trailer has already proven that it will be well worth the wait.#Hidden Figures #Certain Women