Pixar is releasing its first ever movie with a female as the lead. This of course is "Brave" and it looks absolutely wonderful. After I see Prometheus and Snow White and the Huntsmen, this is high on my list of must sees. Pixar was overdue to have a female lead and this got me thinking about my fave female characters/heroines/roles. Now a lot of such lists would have you believe that in order to be a strong female role model you have to be slaying vampires, werewolves or the Lord of the Nazguls. You must take on cyborgs, aliens and computers run amok. You must avenge yourself against the man who killed your fiance', and you must help dispatch Vader and the Sith. You have to dodge trees that come alive and try to consume you whole. You need to levitate a plane while holding back the waters of a ruptured dam. And you have to look great in a jumpsuit the whole time you are doing it---and maintain your hairdo!
But what about all the rest of us! My jumpsuits days are happily in my past, I would likley faint if I encountered an axe-wielding anything, and quite honestly my chances of getting in trouble off–world really aren't very high. So here are some more realistic role models for us regular womenfolk---I actually polled a bunch of co-workers, male and female to help me compile this list.
Steel Magnolias – any and all of the ladies
Olympia Dukakis in Moonstruck
Katherine Hepburn as Rose in African Queen
Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice---Liz came up time and time again---and in particular, this version
Susan Sarandon in The Client
Jennifer Lawrence as Ree in Winter's Bone
Shirley Maclean in Guarding Tess – no copies at the moment (that's two for Dukakis and two for Shirley)
Almost anything with marvelous Meryl---but for this post let's go with Out of Africa
Annie Sullivan (Anne Bancroft) as The Miracle Worker
There are so many to choose from but I think I will keep some in reserve for another post. Just for fun check out Movieline Magazine/AFI's 100 Best Female Character Roles. Now those appearing on their list aren't necessarily role models or people we in any way want to emulate, but rather they are great female movie roles (CPL has an amazing number of them).
And despite my opening paragraph I DO really love a kick-butt heroine in an action role---thus making my favourite ever ---yes, you probably guessed---Ripley from Alien and Aliens. Man- how many times have I blogged about Alien(s)!!