It’s funny how perception works. In a year where the two films at the top of the box office for 2017 so far are driven by women – Beauty and the Beast and Wonder Woman – the summer was considered a failure. The Last Jedi is bound to top the year as the highest grossing, which will push these two films down a notch but you will still have three, count ’em, THREE films at the top that star women. But Patty Jenkins has really changed the game for women directors with her unequivocal hit. The question is, can Wonder Woman break the curse of the Academy’s phobia of superhero movies?
The Academy has nominated films like The Towering Inferno, Star Wars, Jaws and Fatal Attraction because they represented cultural benchmarks. I dare say that the year the first woman represented a major party and won the popular vote mirrors the success of Wonder Woman. Sure, that could also explain why so many films so far headed for Best Picture might also star women – well behaved and otherwise. But come on, it was the first year we watched a woman run and the first year we watched a female superhero fight without the help of the heroes. Many women cried while watching Wonder Woman. It became a cultural phenomenon and has given women the chance to say that they can drive home a $400 million film.
It would be a really ballsy move for the DGA to nominate Jenkins. We already wrote the women who might have a better chance at making the cut, since they aren’t representing the superhero genre, which many in the Academy believe is ruining Hollywood. We know this is probably a long shot but it’s still worth pointing out what a big deal this is. Jenkins has also signed for the sequel, another big history moment.
We did not want to talk about women directors without bringing up Patty Jenkins who made one of the biggest hits of the year.