Reese Witherspoon’s Pacific Standard shines a light on female-driven films

The women behind Pacific Standard

In my last post about my 2015 Oscar predictions I briefly mentioned that both “Gone Girl” and “Wild” were produced by the same company and that I would be going into detail about it on a future post and here it is. This blog is about providing my own take on industry news but also a place where I can highlight aspects of the entertainment business that often don’t get the space they deserve.

This is the case with Pacific Standard, a relatively young production company, created by actress Reese Witherspoon and producer Bruna Papandrea, that focuses on bringing to the screens strong female lead characters. Refreshing, right?

The two women got together after Reese came to the realization that there’s a big scarcity of strong female-driven features being made and decided to get in the game. She wasn’t wrong – a study by the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media recently found out that fewer than 30% of all speaking roles in movies are given to women, and worse, women make up the same small fraction of lead protagonists.

Rosamund Pike in “Gone Girl”

Reese and Bruna have done amazing work so far with two stunning films, “Gone Girl” directed by David Fincher and starred by Rosamund Pike and “Wild”, directed by Jean-Marc Vallée and starred by Reese. Both actresses’ performances were acclaimed by the critics and received Oscar nominations, the results of which will be seen this Sunday. Box office-wise, “Wild” did ok but “Gone Girl” was an absolute hit, snatching over $350 million worldwide. (Here we must consider that “Gone Girl” not only had Fincher attached to it but was also marketed as a male-driven movie..Isn’t that interesting? I wan’t to believe this was an effort to conceal the plot twist but there’s a voice in the back of my head that knows better.)

Reese Witherspoon in “Wild”

As a woman, a humanist and someone who strives to dedicate my work to creating value to the world I have nothing but admiration for these two inspiring ladies and the great service to humanity they’re doing. I, for one, am looking forward to their next projects and will be there when they come out.

Like the story? Variety has a great article that goes on in further detail about Pacific Standard, check it out!

How do you feel about how women are portrait in entertainment?

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8 thoughts on “Reese Witherspoon’s Pacific Standard shines a light on female-driven films

  1. leyregranda says:

    I can’s be happier for this kind of proposal. Women are often presented by media in roles that are not realistic. Media is women’s biggest enemy. If we want things to change is important to change the way media present us as we live in a society where media power is almost everything. I you want to change people’s mind you have to start changing the messages they get from media, specially film, as audiovisual content has a stronger persuasive power.

    I recommend you to watch “Miss Representation” a documentary about how the media’s often disparaging portrayals of women contribute to the under-representation of females in positions of power, creating another generation of women defined by beauty and sexuality, and not by their capacity as leaders.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalia H.V. Justino says:

      Ótimo post Mari, eu não havia lido ainda. É exatamente o mesmo tema – pouquíssimos filmes são produzidos com mulheres como personagens principais e a maioria dos que são produzidos retratam mulheres que não são reais. Exatamente por isso que esse lance dessa produtora me chamou tanta atenção. Um filme que eu acho que é gigante e tem ótimas personagens mulheres é Hunger Games, já reparou? Principalmente o último..

      Like

    • Natalia H.V. Justino says:

      Hey Izzy, I’m glad the post brought something new to your attention. I too have found a lot of new respect for these ladies after finding out about all of this. I truly believe that these type of contributions help a lot towards a much needed cultural shift. Also interesting to see a couple of gender equality nods at last night’s Oscar ceremony.

      Like

  2. Barbara Rose says:

    Absolutely agree. Strong roles for women seemed to be emerging decades ago, but somehow it’s still so difficult to get a movie made with a female protagonist! Seriously? Women are more than 50% of the population. Check out the stats on women in the director’s guild. If women make up more than half of the audience, why is it so difficult to get a female hero on screen? Why are we still told, when submitting a script with female leads that it will be a hard sell? Great blog. It’s uplifting to see this topic in play.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Natalia H.V. Justino says:

      Hi Barbara, I’m really glad you enjoyed it! And you’re right, for many years in a row now women have indeed been the majority amongst movie goes even though we’re pretty badly represented on screens most of the time. The MO of the film biz takes a part in this as movies keep getting more expensive to produce and tent-poles have to hold the fort making studios extremely risk averse (i.e. Fast and Furious 17 and so many others). It’s great to see though that when good material get’s produced it finds a decent welcome by exhibitors and does a great job at attracting viewers proving that these are not necessarily niche films. Also interesting to note that these ladies are doing it smart by betting on projects that derive from successful books, thus minimizing their risk.

      Like

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