For the second year running, king of blogathons Dell at Dell on Movies is dedicating this week to movies with female protagonists. It’s Girl Week! From 21st - 27th November he’s aiming to post every single day, so be sure to bookmark his blog if you aren’t already to check his posts out. Dell has been kind enough to ask us all to contribute to this special week, so I thought I’d put together a list of my favourite leading ladies of movies released this year, so far at least!
It was actually quite shocking looking through my film journal for the year and seeing just how few of those movies have a woman in the leading role. Nonetheless, there are a few, and plenty others I haven’t actually seen yet, so let’s kick this off shall we?
Amy Adams (Nocturnal Animals, Arrival)
I didn’t think I would love an Amy Adams character any more than Mary in The Muppets. That probably sounds sarcastic, but I love that movie so much. So no, I didn’t think she could top that for me, and then November came along and brought not one, but two movies with Amy Adams as the lead, and she plays completely different roles in each. Susan in Nocturnal Animals is cold, and cruel, whereas Louise in Arrival is warm and kind, someone we can look up to. November 2016 shall forever be remembered as Amy Adams month in my eyes.
Mila Kunis, Kathryn Hahn & Kristen Bell (Bad Moms)
Too many times it’s been said that women can’t be funny. When the trailer for Bad Moms came out though I felt apprehensive. After the deeply disappointing How to be Single, this looked like the typical comedy where the only funny moments are in the trailer. Yet I think Bad Moms surprised a lot of people in the end. It’s funny from start to finish, with several scenes that had me holding my stomach to stop it from aching. Not only does this movie have an all-female leading cast, it has some great supporting actresses too!
Meryl Streep (Florence Foster Jenkins)
We can always count on the ever wonderful Meryl Streep to put on a good performance. Whilst Florence Foster Jenkins won’t make my Top 10 Movies of 2016 list, it’s still absolutely worth a watch just to see Meryl Streep do what she does best. It’s guaranteed to bring a smile to your face, and I still can’t comprehend just how difficult it must be to deliberately sing badly when you actually have an amazing amount of talent in that area.
Mary Elizabeth Winstead (10 Cloverfield Lane)
Until this year I’ve only seen Mary Elizabeth Winstead in smaller roles, and it wasn’t until after watching 10 Cloverfield Lane that I recognised her at all. She really holds her own as the leading character in this thriller. After being rescued/kidnapped and locked in a bunker, Mary plays a fighter trying to discover the truth, rather than a damsel in distress waiting to be rescued. It looks like she’s landed a big role in Season 3 of Fargo next year too, so I’m looking forward to that!
Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon & Leslie Jones (Ghostbusters)
Maybe it’s because I’d never seen the original (I have now) but I felt indifferent about the announcement of a remake of Ghostbusters. There was a lot of noise about an all-female cast and a lot of upset hardcore Ghostbusters fans, and then a rush to score the movie as low as possible days before it was even released. I loved it, for the record, and I watched the extended version with my family over the weekend and still loved it. Point proven, women are funny as hell!
Ellen Page & Allison Janney (Tallulah)
Tallulah is a movie that makes me so grateful for this blogging community, because I don’t think I would have even heard of it otherwise. I’d read glowing reviews and sometimes that’s all I need to go out (or stay in actually, this was on Netflix) and watch a movie straight away. Ellen Page might be the lead in this heartbreaking story about motherhood, but her co-star Allison Janney gives a performance just as strong.
So there you have it, my favourite leading ladies of the year so far. I’m sure if I re-visited this list at the end of year I’ll be adding at least Felicity Jones to it! Don’t forget to check out Dell’s blog to see his Girl Week posts.