Want A Major Motion Picture About You? Be Dead And Famous, Ladies

Neta Snook and Amelia Earhart in front of Earh...
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Why do women have to be dead and famous to be the star of a popular film? So asks New York Times‘ film critic Manohla Dargis in today’s paper.

The latest two entries are Amelia Earhart, in a new film played by Hilary Swank and Coco Chanel, played by Audrey Tautou. Safely buried, the messier details of their lives hidden in the end-notes or indices of their multiple biographies, only then, Dargis argues, can women be resurrected and burnished to Hollywood’s standards. Sometimes the gutsiest and most accomplished women have made some decidedly controversial choices about other areas of their lives. Seems obvious to me, but I think that also scares off producers.

There are so many women, dead and alive, whose lives and choices intrigue me. I’d be happy to pay $12 for a well-made movie about: Benazir Bhutto, Indira Gandhi, Margaret Thatcher, Canadian suffragist Nellie McClung, birth control advocate Margaret Sanger, social activist Dorothy Day, women’s wear maker Lena Bryant, physician and surgeon Virginia Apgar, scientist Marie Curie, photographer Margaret Bourke-White, journalists and war corespondents Marguerite Higgins and Martha Gellhorn, shooter Annie Oakley, explorer Isabella Bird and Gertrude Bell, the first woman to work for British military intelligence in 1915, an expert on the Mideast.

Who would you like to see a film about?

5 thoughts on “Want A Major Motion Picture About You? Be Dead And Famous, Ladies

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Caitlin Kelly - Broadside – Want A Major Motion Picture About You? Be Dead And Famous, Ladies - True/Slant -- Topsy.com

  2. Fruzsina Eordogh

    Erin Brockovich is still alive!

    Caitlin, I am thankful they are at least making two of these movies, and in one year no less! I didn’t watch that cooking one Julie & Julia because sorry, I don’t really care about cooking…. I can’t remember the last movie I saw about an influential (or “game-changing”) modern female. Devil Wears Prada, based loosely on Anna Wintour? Does that count?

  3. Caitlin Kelly

    True. I saw Julie and Julia and enjoyed it, but didn’t love it. And the Devil Wears Prada is one of my favorites, although it’s not a true bio-pic. I still want to see many more films about the amazing women out there, past and present. I liked “Erin Brockovich” because the film didn’t make her out to be a saint.

  4. Caitlin Kelly

    She’d be great. I’m intrigued by how many cool and interesting women on my list are named Margaret or some variation.

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