To be honest, I didn’t know if I was going to write anything about Wonder Woman. So many journalists and critics have written excellent, insightful pieces about the film, its importance and impact that it seemed unnecessary to add my voice to the fray.
But then, in the same week, I saw a scathing Guardian headline which described Gal Gadot as a ‘weaponised Smurfette’ and a comment from someone I (still) follow and admire on Twitter which suggested that, while Gadot is good, the film itself was ‘nothing to get excited about.’ #RedRag.
Women in film was a hot topic in 2015, both behind and in front of the camera, and there’s no doubt that gender disparity remains a huge problem for the industry. This year has, however, seen a number of filmmakers create strong, memorable and diverse female characters, and I wrote the following piece in celebration of the best of them for the British Independent Film Awards ceremony brochure.
Screenwriter Alex Garland has penned some excellent works of modern fantasy cinema, including 28 Days Later, Sunshine and Dredd, and stays firmly in the science fiction realm with his directorial début. Here, he explores the consequences of truly successful artificial intelligence not with bombastic, apocalyptic effects or high-minded science but, ostensibly, through the prism of human emotion. His futuristic vision is no less ominous for its relatively low-key approach but, disappointingly, falls back on genre cliche and a tired depiction of gender relations.