Like all women, the Citizen Dames are in tune with each other. We can deduce what the other is thinking and, of course, we all love the same things! If you’ve listened to any of our episodes you just know how often we all agree. So this week we decided to swap our top 5’s with each of us doing the 5 of another Dame and looking at five of the best feminist films out there!
Denis Villeneuve is one of the most feminist filmmakers working today. But anyone who knows me knows that, while I love all of his works, Sicario is by far my favorite. He made certain that the role of Agent Kate Macer remained female, despite pressure from the studio to change it, and produced one of the greatest female heroes of all time in the process. He’s the real ally here.
Fifty Shades of Grey (2015)
Is there anything more feminist than a high-powered woman getting to assert her sexuality by being tied up by a sexy, sexy man? No, there isn’t. Besides, Jamie Dornan is so much sexier than pretty much any other actor.
Red Sparrow (2018)
Red Sparrow is an essential work of modern feminist filmmaking. We have Jennifer Lawrence as an abused woman who transcends her abuse by becoming a spy and high-class prostitute. And the camera treats her with such respect!
This is the film that cemented George Clooney in the pantheon of great actor-turned-directors. It’s such a well-constructed film, dealing with issues of race and, yes, feminism with a deft and subtle touch. Unfortunately, we also have to suffer through Oscar Isaac, who’s just the least interesting man on the planet. At least Matt Damon’s there.
The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997)
OK, so this isn’t feminist, though there is a woman—Julianne Moore, I think? But I was too distracted by Jeff Goldblum’s beauty to notice.
Who is the most feminist of all feminist allies? Tom Cruise! In fact, Tom Cruise has a canon of feminist features that will make you want to get into an airplane and hang out with your best girl!
Top Gun (1986)
There are many people who say Top Gun is the gayest straight movie of all time….and they’d be right. But, does no one remember Kelly McGillis as Charlie? Okay, sure her name sounds like a dude but she’s the one teaching the guys how to fly planes! And she also knows what she wants in life, ie Mr. Tom Cruise!
Interview with the Vampire (1994)
It is all about Claudia in this movie! She may be a thousand year old vampire trapped in the body of a 12-year-old, but she knows how to get what she wants – whether it’s a doll or a guy stepping in on her man. Yes, I know Tom’s Lestat dies, but all’s fair in love and vampire war, right?! Also, this movie is feminist for its sheer embrace of all things long hair and pancake makeup.
So……um a cursory glance at Wiki reminds me that Cruise’s character talks about women a lot. I mean, I’ve totally seen this movie……
Rock of Ages (2012)
There are plenty of gyrating, half-naked women in this movie who are owning their sexuality! I mean, the ’80s rock music scene was a great time for powerful women! And this movie has Tom Cruise singing next to (and maybe about) a woman’s ass. If that’s not a sign of feminism I don’t know what is!
The Mummy (2017)
I mean, one could make the argument that this is feminist if Tom Cruise wasn’t actually in it. (Wait, I’m Karen!) He resurrects women from the dead! He didn’t have to do that!
Four women? Check. A rich and interesting story? Check. Four debilitating social issues causing them to be broken past the point of fixing? Check. The surprising (completely un-pedestrian!) feminist hit of the first half of 2018 brings us rich, developed and fascinatingly feminist characters to sink our teeth into.
The Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
Two words…Joss Whedon. I mean, who writes better women out there? This is the movie where we finally get what we want: a Black Widow storyline!
The … Other…. Avengers (1998)
I mean, who says first is always best? This is the remake that finally fleshes out John Steed and Emma Peel, establishing the iconic duo in all their feminist glory.
Ready Player One (2018)
Steven Spielberg takes a tremendous step forward in his latest film. While he painted a vivid and detailed portrayal of newspaper publisher Kay Graham in The Post, he tackles feminist nostalgia in Ready Player One. In fact, the godly auteur speaks as a voice of a generation as he crafts Wade Watts into a well-developed, feminist ally for the future.
Blade Runner 2049 (2017)
This movie has lots of chicks in it. In fact, we get chicks in all forms! Most of them naked. In his 2017 tragically under-appreciated critical darling, director Denis Villeneuve feels at his most feminist, exploring the totally well-developed sexuality of his… two…. female characters.
What’s better than a female superhero? How about a female ANTI-HERO?? And this movie’s got it all! She’s got the combat-appropriate costume, the sassy alter ego, and a director who only needs one name. And this Catwoman is extra awesome because she doesn’t need herself a Batman!
Before Jennifer Lawrence strapped on red leather and started taking out bad guys in Red Sparrow, Jennifer Garner strapped on red leather and started taking out bad guys in Elektra. O, how far we’ve come, ladies! Elektra was such a fantastic character in Ben Affleck’s Daredevil that she got her very own movie! So, clearly, she was doing it right!
Jurassic World (2015)
You know a woman means business when she takes off her sleeved shirt to run around the hot, buggy jungle in a tank top. And Bryce Dallas Howard is ALL business in this Colin Trevorrow gem! After all, she’s far too busy saving her nephews that she can’t remember to worry about such female stereotypes as changing her shoes. Who’s got time for that when there’s a killer dinosaur on the loose eating babysitters?
Grease is the word and that word is feminist. Women with names? Check. Women with speaking parts? Double check. Women talking about something other than men? Um…I’m sure that must have happened at some point. You’ve got Sandy learning how to be herself AFTER she and Danny broke up. See? She didn’t change herself for a guy! She changed, and he changed, and they mutually decided to keep her changes instead of his.
The entire series is just one giant ode to feminism, really. But it all starts at the beginning when Bella Swan meets Edward Cullen. She sees Edward and knows instantly at the wise old age of 16 what she wants in life. And she spends the next four movies making it happen. Education? No. Career? Not for this enlightened lady! She wants herself a hot man. Even if he’s actually ice cold and 90 years her senior.