10 Reasons Why 2012 Was The ‘Year Of The Woman’ In Hollywood
1:10 pm, December 28th | by
There are many different discussions going on as to whether 2012 was the ‘Year of the Woman’ or not. There were a few steps backward for women this year, in the form of an awful lot of attempted political regulation of our uteruses, but there were other areas where women excelled, particularly in Hollywood. “The field is so much bigger now,” says independent filmmaker and NYU film school professor Christine Choy. “But I can still count the great female directors on one hand … and in general, they don’t last too long,” she adds. As Joel McHale said, “If women ran Hollywood, there would be hit romantic comedies about hunky male strippers, hugely successful film franchises about sparkly vampires and music and dancing competition shows would dominate the airwaves — wait, are we sure women don’t already run Hollywood?”
1.Carrie Matheson in Homeland and Maya in Zero Dark Thirty
2012 was the year of neurotic, intense female CIA agents. From Claire Danes's
tour de force performance as Agent Carrie Matheson on Homeland (which won her an Emmy) to Jessica Chastain's Oscar-buzz performance as "the girl who found Osama" in Zero Dark Thirty, the archetype of the sleek male CIA agent has some serious competition.
2.More and more women are taking power positions in Hollywood
It is not perfect, but it is getting better. Lauren Shuler Donner, producer of the
X-Men franchise, is hopeful.
“Women do run Hollywood. Are they the CEOs? No. But the ones who make the decisions are Emma and Amy and Hannah and Stacey and Donna. They certainly make a lot of the decisions. It will always be a male business, but I think this is a time when you look around and you can say women run the business — except at Paramount, Disney and Warners. The reason that I thought both
Spider-Man and X-Men were as successful as they were was, not only did Laura [Ziskin] and I have wonderful directors in Sam Raimi and Bryan Singer, but we instinctively understood that the characters had to be grounded in emotion. No matter how much action there is, there needs to be heart, and it needs to be personal.”
3.Rebel Wilson Is Going to be the Next Melissa McCarthy
Melissa McCarthy's career is on fire. She has two comedies coming out including a female cop buddy film with Sandra Bullock). Rebel Wilson, who starred in
Pitch Perfect and Bachelorette, has quickly become the new "it girl" in comedy. I hate to focus on the fact that both of these ladies are plus-sized — what we really need to highlight is the fact that they're getting great roles, stealing every scene they're in and showing the world there's room for a new kind of leading lady.
4.Lena Dunham and Girls
Holy cow. I don't know how this woman could top this year. Her show
Girls, which she writes, directs and stars in, became part of the national conversation even before it premiered. Part of that was because she is not your typical young female TV star, filming her character's sexual escapades not in perfectly lit scenes with Coldplay playing in the background, but rather making them look as awkward and uncomfortable as possible. In April, Dunham told CNN, "I don't look like everybody that you usually see on television. I wanted to make sure to cast actresses who were beautiful, but beautiful the way that your sexiest friend is beautiful, not beautiful the way that someone who is on a CW show is beautiful."
She nabbed a $3 million book deal, was a Glamour Woman of the Year and was TIME's Coolest Person of the Year (which is way more awesome than just being person of the year.) She is also humble and has dealt with criticism beautifully. “I don’t always like myself, and I don’t always like the people that I love, and I don’t understand why I have to like the people on TV."
5.Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are hosting the Golden Globes
Every year since they debuted on
Saturday Night Live has been "the year of Tina and Amy" but finally someone at an awards show took note. SNL’s Seth Meyers tweeted, “Poehler and Fey hosting the Golden Globes is excellent news for those who love good times.” You are so right Seth.
6.The Tuesday night Fox Line Up
Raising Hope isn't really about girl power, but the rest of the shows on Tuesday night on FOX sure have a lot of women in charge. The surprising Ben & Kate shows off the natural comic talent of Dakota Johnson (and the brilliant Lucy Punch), who plays a single mom. Then we have New Girl, which showed this fall that it was more than a first season hit, and finally Mindy Kaling's The Mindy Project. Kaling created a show featuring a single, smart, quirky ObGyn who tries to live her romantic life by living according to romcom rules (isn't that how we all do it?).
Bella Swan would get her ass kicked by Katniss. This year we finally got a heroine we could root for. She is strong, she is good and she is smart. (Also: if critics want to keep calling Jennifer Lawrence fat, they can shove it.)
8.The films that came after 'Bridesmaids'
Bachelorette, For A Good Time Call..., Pitch Perfect. What do all of these films have in common? They were all hilarious and are female-driven. Bridesmaids was a game changer for women in the film industry.
“For 10 years, people were really afraid that there wasn’t an audience for an R-rated female-centric comedy,” says
Bachelorette writer/director Leslye Headland. “( Bridesmaids) proved that there was. I think it will get hundreds of movies made.” Not only did Bridesmaids make $288 million worldwide but it also earned two Oscar nominations. According to Hollywood Reporterwriter David Friendly the Bridesmaids effect has resulted in all the major film studios asking “Where’s our Bridesmaids?!”
“Really what you see in the last 10 years is … this groundswell of female writers and sometimes female directors being accepted by the comedy community,” said Leslye Headland. “And then you get to 2011, where Bridesmaids did something that’s actually never been done, which is an R-rated, female-centric comedy that makes money.” Keep them coming!
9.A woman played the Vice President and the Secretary of State on TV this year
This was the year of women in political power on television. We watched Julia Louis-Dreyfuss's hilarious performance as Vice President Selena Meyer on
Veep and Sigourney Weaver played the Secretary of State on USA's Political Animals. It was a blatant ode to Hillary Clinton's political career, but who cares? It was fun.
10.Pixar had it's first female leading lady
Pixar characters have become part of the cultural zeitgeist and children (and adults) finally got to see a young girl in the drivers' seat. She was a fiery redhead, a skilled archer and uncommonly brave. This year Hollywood met Merida.
Brave was a monster hit for Pixar, and hopefully a sign of more good female leads to come.