Actresses on the Stubborn Sexism of Hollywood (New York Times)

carol

Great article and interviews with many people in Hollywood on the role of women in movies. From The New York Times,

Carol, Laurel, Jules, Therese, Maud. These are just a few of the lead characters in a fall season that is by all accounts a big one for female-driven movies.

“Freeheld,” based on a documentary, stars Julianne Moore as the terminally ill New Jersey police detective Laurel Hester, who becomes an advocate for gay rights when government officials prevent her from assigning her pension benefits to her domestic partner (played by Ellen Page). Based on a Patricia Highsmith novel, “Carol” is a 1950s melodrama with Cate Blanchett as the married title character and Rooney Mara as her lover, Therese, that has already won accolades at Cannes. “Suffragette” tells the little-known story of the militant women’s emancipation movement in England, directed and written by women, with Carey Mulligan as Maud, a foot soldier in the fight. “The Intern,” directed by Nancy Meyers, follows Jules (Anne Hathaway), an Internet entrepreneur struggling to manage her company’s success with the help of an intern (Robert De Niro) who’s a senior citizen.

From 2007 through 2014, women made up only 30.2 percent of all speaking or named characters in the 100 top-grossing fictional films distributed in the United States, according to a report released in August by the University of Southern California. Only 19.9 percent of female characters were 40 to 64 years old. Only 1.9 percent of the movies were directed by women. And the numbers for minority women are even worse.

The movie industry is “failing women,” Manohla Dargis of The Times has said.

Is this fall’s crop an exception or a possible sign of a shift afoot? Certainly there are no major films built around women of color on the horizon. So we asked actresses, writers and directors (including a few men) from forthcoming films about what’s changed, what needs to change and how. They didn’t always agree, and the subject won’t be settled anytime soon.

Read the entire article for the great comments from some of our favorite actors, screenwriters, directors and producers.

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