Even though women’s equal rights have existed since the 1970s, sadly, many women’s roles in movies are still lacking. A lot of women are portrayed as shallow creatures that only care about clothes, romance, and food.
These shallow roles do not portray women in their true light- as strong, caring individuals who face the same struggles and hardships as men.
The following upcoming movies go beyond the typical rom-com roles and really show strong women in challenging roles. These roles show just how important strong female leads can be, and buck the tradition of placing women in “cute” or “sexy” roles 100 percent of the time.
Sandra Bullock in Gravity
Sandra Bullock started as a vapid Hollywood star, but has moved past her early, silly roles. In Gravity, she plays an astronaut stranded in space. Her spacecraft and space station are destroyed, and she is left completely alone. This is a rare role for a woman.
Women are rarely given solo roles. This is an exciting step for the increase in serious roles for women in Hollywood. As the main actor in the film, and sometimes the only actor, Bullock gets the chance to show how gender doesn’t matter in a movie- only good acting matters. The movie is due to be released in the fall of 2013.
Dame Judi Dench in Philomena
Judi Dench has played strong women in movies for years, which was a challenge in the early days of Hollywood. She has spent the last several years playing a major role in the James Bond franchise, but now she is striking out on her own. Philomena is the story of a woman who gave up her child for adoption as a young woman. Years later, she determines to find that child.
Elizabeth Olsen in Therese Raquin
Elizabeth Olsen may be one of the youngest Hollywood stars, but she shows the world that inexperience does not have to equal bad acting. She has starred in heavy movie roles already, including Martha Marcy May Marlene and Kill Your Darlings.
In 2014, she stars in Therese , a movie about a young married woman in the 1800s who has an affair and then plots to kill her sickly husband with her new lover. Women as “evil” characters are still largely ignored in Hollywood, and giving the chance to such a young actress is an opportunity to show just how strong of an actress Elizabeth Olsen can be.
Angelina Jolie in Maleficent
Piggy-backing on strong women in evil roles is the story of Maleficent. This movie tells the Sleeping Beauty story, not from Beauty’s prospective, but from Maleficent’s.
In this dark role is strong actress Angelina Jolie, who has paved the way for many heavy roles for women throughout her career.
If these movies are successful, it will show Hollywood that women are tired of seeing themselves portrayed as minor characters in the lives of men. More movies should showcase characters for themselves rather than oversimplify gender stereotypes.
Movies with strong women will only continue to be made if they sell, so it is the responsibility of movie-goers to support the movies with leading women roles to show the world that women are more than simply sex symbols or sidekicks.
This is a guest post by Lindsey Mcmahon. Her interests are entertainment, television, parenting and health but she is constantly extending her field of view to incorporate interesting news suggested to her by her readers. She currently works for DirectTVDeal.com.