I hate to use the same theme from last week, but the Oscars are still so recent and relevant to what is happening in the media in terms of females on film.
Cate Blanchett’s acceptance speech for Best Leading Actress exemplifies a lot of what this blog has been talking about: female characters in television and film, and what it means to society and its relationship to the audience.
For those who were unable to watch the Oscars this past Sunday, here is the link to her acceptance speech:
The main part of her acceptance speech that stood out to me was when she declared: “….those of us in the industry who are still foolishly clinging to the idea that female films with women at the center are niche experiences. They are not. Audiences want to see them and, in fact, they earn money. The world is round, people.” This, of course, got a loud applause from the audience, and has been brought up in numerous discussions revolving around the Oscars. The reason why she brought this up was because she was exclaiming how grateful she was for “Blue Jasmine” to have remained in theaters for so long after its release.
According to a recent article on Indiewire.com, in 2o13, of the top 100 movies of the year, those with a female protagonist earned 20% on average more than those with a male protagonist. “The Hunger Games” starring Jennifer Lawrence is a clear example in this shift to popular female protagonists.
Another fact that is important to note is that even though these movies made so much money, of the 100 top movies of the year, the majority of them were male-driven. This means that even though female-protagonist films were in the minority, they still held their weight at the box office, which exemplifies the audience’s acceptance and want for female-driven stories.
Hopefully given the popularity of “Blue Jasmine” and many other films with female protagonists, these levels will even out to fifty-fifty so that the gender of a protagonist will become just a part of the overall character and story.