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.
It is a universally held view, fuelled by stiff photographs and stilted archive footage, that early 20th century women were dour, passive and unable to crack so much as a smile through those stiff upper lips. The perception of suffragettes is generally no different, a group who campaigned for their right to vote through respectful discourse and peaceful protest.