Films About Women Part 11

1 August: Osage County

August: Osage County benefits tremendously, as far as I’m concerned, from the medium. It was originally a play, which I have neither read nor seen. I cannot help but feel that I might be a little harsher on it if I saw it as a play. After all, it would be yet another play about yet another dysfunctional family. That is American theater’s bread and butter.


However, with the superabundance of superhero movies and action films, August: Osage County feels fresh. As I said in my introduction to the Films About Women series, it is a film about women that is NOT a chick flick. There are some moments of women bonding, but they are overshadowed by the plethora of personal and familial problems. It is dark, but it is not exhausting or draining. When it was over, I felt invigorated.

This film stars Meryl Streep and she is brilliant as the formidable, vicious, pill popping matriarch. Julia Roberts is also excellent as the daughter. This is a film with many movie stars and they are all wonderful in this film. It is an ensemble piece, and the truly work wonderfully together.

2 The Birds

The Birds is another iconic Hitchcock film. (Is there any other kind?) It stars Tippi Hedrin as Melanie Daniels. It is a film about a woman, a man, and his family who find themselves at the center of a strange, horrific development: the birds begin to attack humans.

Its’ a scary film, even fifty years later. Hitchcock knows exactly how to develop the suspense throughout the film, with hints at the events to come until it overwhelms the viewer.

Hitchcock The Birds

I haven’t seen this film in a few years, but it is, obviously, a classic. Yes, it has spawned imitations, sometimes hilariously ones, but there is only one The Birds.

3 With Love, From the Age of Reason

I’m ending with another film I saw at the Cleveland Film Festival. This is a French film about a woman who is in an uncomfortable stage of her life. All of a sudden, she receives a letter from her childhood self.

The Age of Reason

It’s an unconventional comedy with plenty of whimsy and fantasy thrown in. The lead actress is wonderful, as she begins to re-evaluate her life and her relationships.

It’s fluffy, but it’s wonderfully charming and definitely wins over the viewer.

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3 Responses to Films About Women Part 11

  1. Paul S says:

    This is an interesting series of posts, and from this instalment I particularly like The Birds.
    Tippi Hedren, in what was her first film role, is fantastic in my opinion. She displays a remarkable confidence as Melanie Daniels, a strong female character in a genre that is usually populated by women playing the victim. The tension in the film doesn’t only come from the bird attacks either. It’s present early on, in the relationships between the key characters. You have Melanie and Mitch’s potential romantic relationship developing, Mitch’s controlling mother played by Jessica Tandy and the presence of Mitch’s former lover in Suzanne Pleshette. It had all the makings of a potential Hitchcock murder mystery even before the intervention of the murderous birds.

    • That’s an excellent evaluation of The Birds! You’re right, the family dynamic is very strong in the film. The first time my mom and I watched it, we commented how the mother character grew throughout the film.

      I need to watch this movie again!

  2. Pingback: Films About Women 15 | emmasrandomthoughts

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