Do Women Matter to Hollywood?
The shit hit the fan this weekend when Nikki Finke posted on her Deadline Hollywood blog that Warner Brothers President of Production Jeff Robinov verbalized a sentiment that has been unofficial in Hollywood for some time -- studios don't believe that making movies with women as the lead are viable vehicles any longer.
Based on all my research this is not news, this has been going on for some time, it's just that someone had the gaul to say it out loud that seems to shock people.
So Mr. Rabinov, since Ben Stiller underperformed this weekend in the Heartbreak Kid, should he not be given another leading role? Jodie Foster did practically the same money as Stiller yet she is deemed a failure, but the thought that Ben Stiller - OR ANY MAN- shouldn't be given another lead in films is never discussed.
Read Nikki's piece: No Women Leads at Warners
Reese Witherspoon opens in Rendition on October 19th. Reese plays the very pregnant wife of an Egyptian-American man who is whisked off a return flight from a business trip and taken to an African country under the absurd US policy of "extraordinary rendition."
This is quite a political film for Reese who has mostly been known for her lighter roles. Meryl Streep plays the CIA villain who makes the deicsion to have this man removed from the plane. (Full review to come nearer to opening) Reese has a lot of pressure being the highest paid female actress.
From the Times in London
According to the most recent survey by the film-trade paper The Hollywood Reporter, Witherspoon, who is 31, is now America’s highest-paid actress, outstripping Julia Roberts and Angelina Jolie. She has been able to command a salary of $15m a movie for the past four years, since the twin successes of the first Legally Blonde film and the romantic comedy Sweet Home Alabama. Her status was cemented when she won a best-actress Oscar in March 2006 for her spirited performance as June Carter Cash, singer and long-suffering wife of the country legend Johnny, in Walk the Line.A Testing Time for Reese Witherspoon
TV is much more welcoming to women because the people who work in the TV business rather than the film business understand that women do watch TV and that there should be programming for women on TV. ABC (is the best network for women in my opinion) will launch the Women's Murder Club this Friday based on the James Patterson novels. I haven't seen any of the shows, but I am always interested in a show that has four female leads. ABC is banking that women and men will watch the show because they can get the women with the female characters and the men with the procedural aspects.
I'm a bit apprehensive because the creators of the the are Brett Ratner (director of the Rush Hour franchise) who prides himself on his womanizing, and Joe Simpson, father to singers Jessica and and Ashlee. But they did hire a female executive producer Sarah Fain and writer Liz Craft so...
Here are some quotes from an LA Times piece.
The female detectives on "WMC" are trying to have it all -- career and a personal life too. But will modern audiences find their balancing act a touching reflection of career women's plight today? Or will a group of crime-solvers who fret over guy troubles at the scene of a horrific murder just seem like pop culture's latest setback for feminism?ABC Likes Its Chances in Murder Club
Around the Web
Cate Blanchett's Golden Touch (LA Times)
Margaret Cho Bares it All for a Good Laugh (NPR)