I got into an argument with my Mom early yesterday morning about some family drama. It seriously ruined my Wednesday. I couldn't even put together this post. I was blocked up, a bit depressed. I couldn't figure out, of all the movies with great female casts, which ones I wanted to highlight. Then, I took a few out of my list and came up with what follows...
...a tribute to a few movies of my childhood, with Female Ensembles, that my Mom LOVED and watched repeatedly, so that she could feel something, empower herself through stories of female empowerment, and, of course, get a good cry.
So, cry with me today, people, on this glorious summer Thursday, another one for Wandering through the Shelves' Thursday Movie Picks.
Here they are:
The Color Purple
dir. Steven Spielberg, 1985
Maybe a bit of a cheat as far as there are several prominent male characters, but this movie belongs to its women, strong Southern Black women...in the most triumphant of ways, as it follows the downtrodden Celie (Whoopi Goldberg), the powerful Miss Sofia (Oprah Winfrey), and the lovely Shug Avery (Margaret Avery), across 40 years in the South. It is Spielberg's first dramatic masterpiece and should be watched by every single person ever...period.
dir. Herbert Ross, 1989
I have no qualms with liking this movie, probably dubbed the quintessential "chick flick" or what they used to call the "women's weepie." I don't care. The biggest reason being the absolute perfection in the way it captures the American South. And the characters! All those memorable female characters, a cast featuring Sally Field, Julia Roberts, Daryll Hannah, Dolly effin Parton, and Shirley Maclaine. It seriously gets no better. And it also helps that the better part of this movie takes place in a Southern beauty shop much like the one my Mom has run in our small Southern town for 25 years now.
Fried Green Tomatoes
dir. Jon Avnet, 1991
An old lady (Jessica Tandy) strikes up a conversation with an unhappy, overweight Southern housewife (Kathy Bates) by chance in the elder's nursing home. She spins a tale of Depression Era Georgia and the lifelong friendship between two women (Mary-Louise Parker and Mary Stuart Masterson) who survive love and death and abuse and motherhood as owners of the Whistle Stop Cafe a.k.a. the restaurant of my dreams.
Here. Have a tissue.