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.
While its English language title may invite easy comparisons to Richard Linklater’s celebrated opus Boyhood, French filmmaker Celine Sciamma’s coming of age drama Girlhood is far more accurately represented by its native language moniker, Bande des Filles (‘Band of Girls’). Indeed, its depiction of teenage life in the depressed projects of suburban Paris has, tonally speaking, more in common with 2001 TV WWII epic Band of Brothers than Linklater’s sepia-toned account of growing up under the California sun.