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.
The truth, so the old adage goes, will set you free. Not so for CBS 60 Minutes producer Mary Mapes (Cate Blanchett) who found herself in the middle of an ethical and political maelstrom when she aired a 2004 story questioning then-President George W Bush’s Air National Guard service record. It included as evidence two military documents which, it transpires, may not have been authentic; a fact which resulted in a public investigation and the loss of jobs for many of those involved, including long-time anchor Dan Rather (Robert Redford)
Screenwriter Nick Hornby’s masterful adaptation of Colm Tóibín’s bestselling novel may be set in the 1950s, but its ideas about immigration, displacement and the evolution of the family unit are entirely modern in their outlook thanks to its female-centric narrative.