A University of South California study revealed what we already knew was true–Hollywood’s biggest films are seriously lacking diversity. Between 2007-2014, only 30.2 per cent of speaking or named characters were women.
The report also found that most characters in top-grossing films last year were: white (73.1 per cent), straight (only 19 characters were gay/lesbian/bisexual), and young (19.9 per cent of female characters were 40 to 64 years old). Most of these films were also directed by men, only 1.9 per cent had female directors.
Considering that women make up half of the population and workforce, the numbers are shocking. In light of this news, we’ve asked our colleagues and rounded up our favourite films of women, by women and for women.
You can read the full report here.
Directed by: Catherine Hardwicke
Written by: Catherine Hardwicke and Nikki Reed
Starring: Evan Rachel Wood, Nikki Reed
In a time when Hollywood made high school look like Bring It On, Thirteen offered a completely different representation of what it meant to be a teenage girl. It was raw, emotional and was so relatable to what was going on around me at the time. Even though I watched it once when I was 15, it left a lasting impression and has stuck out as one of my favourites ever since.
PITCH PERFECT 2
Directed by: Elizabeth Banks
Written by: Kay Cannon
Starring: Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Hailee Steinfeld, Brittany Snow
Hands down, one of the funniest movies I saw this summer. Almost all of the main characters are women, and they don’t spend the movie doting on their male counterparts. Plus, in their World Championship performance at the end of the movie, the first song they take on in Beyonce’s ‘Run the World (Girls)!’
Directed by: Gillian Robespierre
Written by: Gillian Robespierre (based on the short film by Anna Bean, Karen Maine, Gillian Robespierre
Starring: Jenny Slate, Gaby Hoffmann
In writer-director Gillian Robespierre’s debut feature Obvious Child, both romantic comedy tropes and the often taboo subject of abortion are tackled in a refreshingly honest, yet still funny, way that is rare in movies. Jenny Slate (formerly of Saturday Night Live and Kroll Show) gives her best performance yet as a comedian who is going through a tough time – losing a job and a boyfriend – and accidentally gets pregnant by a stranger. It’s heartwarming, real, and a story that can only be told by a strong cast of females behind and in front of the camera.
Directed by: Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee
Screenplay by: Jennifer Lee
Starring: Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel
Because I am admittedly a five-year-old child, this is my pick. The film is a beautiful animated adaption of the classic tale “The Snow Queen”. If you somehow haven’t seen it yet despite all the mass amount of marketing and promotion, go watch it right now. It’s a story about sister love, family love and over all, self-love. Plus the two lead girls are both bad ass in their own way so it gave me some serious female pride. It’s a great movie that every girl should see at some point in their lives. And the animation is pretty awesome too.
NOW AND THEN
Directed by: Lesli Linka Glatter
Written by: I. Marlene King
Starring: Rosie O’Donnell, Demi Moore, Melanie Griffith
Following the lives of four best friends, Now & Then highlights the awkward struggles that come with saying goodbye to childhood while being thrown headfirst into womanhood. The overall message here—embrace the challenges that come with growing up, and remember, no matter how different you become, your forever friends will always be there to walk you through the tough times.
Directed by: Lone Scherfig
Written by: Nick Hornby (Based the memoir by Lynn Barber)
Starring: Carey Mulligan
Set in 1960s London, An Education seems like every schoolgirl’s fantasy: Jenny (Carey Mulligan), a bright cultured student, meets an older, charming, wealthy man–he’s the only on who understands her. He loves music and art as much as she does and takes her to beautiful places and buys her nice things.
After a turn of events, she learns the hard way that there are more important things than having a boyfriend that all your friends are jealous of. Also it’s a friendly reminder that any man who is interested in young/borderline illegal girls is almost certainly creepy and gross (Looking at you, Tyga and Woody Allen).