French actor Marion Cotillard is in the news today for saying that there is no place for feminism in Hollywood.
In an interview with October's Porter magazine, the La Vie en Rose star said:
Film-making is not about gender... You cannot ask a president in a festival like Cannes to have, like, five movies directed by women and five by men.
For me it doesn’t create equality, it creates separation. I mean, I don’t qualify myself as a feminist. We need to fight for women’s rights but I don’t want to separate women from men.
Cotillard has a point - difference is often used to justify inequality. But many female actors have raised their voices on the pay gap, ageism and the lack of female directors and producers in the industry, not to mention the absence of people of colour.
As for on screen: many films feature few female characters at all, and those that exist are often wooden stereotypes or sex objects (or both).
'I give up', we hear you cry. 'It's basically impossible to be a Good Feminist and enjoy a movie.'
Not so fast. There's recent evidence that films that pass the Bechdel Test, (ie, have more than two named female characters, who talk to each other, about something other than a man) actually make more money than those that don't.
While the Bechdel Test is just a baseline measure, the growing calls for change both inside and outside the industry bode well for more representative female characters too.
The politics of who makes up the behind-the-scenes team is a trickier issue to solve. That said, we proudly present the following 20 mainstream films that feature kickass, brilliant women. None are perfect - but they're all trailblazers:
1. Jackie Brown (1997)
2. Amelie (2001)
3. The Colour Purple (1985)
4. Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
5. All About Eve (1950)
6. Mulholland Drive (2001)
7. Frozen (2013)
8. Pan's Labyrinth (2006)
9. The Gold Diggers (1983)
10. Erin Brockovich (2000)
11. Thelma and Louise (1991)
12. Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore (1974)
13. Little Miss Sunshine (2006)
14. Alien (1979)
15. The Hours (2002)
16. Aliens (1986)
17. The Rain People (1969)
18. The Hunger Games (2012)
19. Secrets & Lies (1996)
20. Mean Girls (2004)
Feminist Netflix & Chill: at your fingertips.