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precarious since 1997 | by maryann johanson

attention, Hollywood: the wild success of Gravity means audiences have no trouble identifying with a female protagonist

gravitybullock

Hi, Hollywood. You know how you just avoid making movies with female protagonists because you keep insisting that no one wants to see them? And now Gravity is the biggest movie of 2013 in North America that isn’t a sequel or a remake or a reboot or based on a comic book? Yeah. That $222 million? Plus another $208 million globally? And whatever huge cash prize the film is going to rack up now that it’s open in the U.K., too? That’s for awesome space FX and glorious 3D, sure, but also for Sandra Bullock, who spends most of the movie on her own fighting to survive in a storytelling scenario that works as well as it does because it demands that the audience identify with her. Utterly and completely and intimately.

See? People are okay with that — even dude-people! — and will still fork over hard cash to see a woman doing, you know, interesting stuff. Using her brain and everything! And Sandy doesn’t even have to get raped or kidnapped or threatened or menaced or abused. She doesn’t have to fight to save a child. She’s not looking to get married. She’s got nothing to live for… except herself.

And moviegoers have not been exploding from the shock of this.

Oh, and you know how George Clooney teases Bullock’s character cuz her name is Ryan Stone, and isn’t Ryan a guy’s name? And Stone replies, “Dad wanted a boy”?

That’s aimed right at you, Hollywood.

(It’s true, at least, that Alfonso Cuarón had to fight the studio to keep his central character a woman. They wanted a man.)

But you got a girl, and she is kicking ass on behalf of your profit margin.

So there.

SEE ALSO: “only 18 percent of 2013’s US wide releases are exclusively about girls or women (and 60 percent exclusively about men)”


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