mad in pursuit journal

DISPATCHED FROM THE CROSSROADS, AT THE intersection OF harrowing & heroism

Women's Movie Adventures

We watched "Dark Water" last night — a really scary movie. A woman trying to make a home for herself and her daughter after a divorce, moves into a crappy but affordable apartment. The apartment starts turning on them (as crappy apartments do) — or is the mom just losing her mind because of her own issues?

It got me thinking about other movies where a woman takes the lead on an adventure. There is something that has to be done, involving a huge amount of personal risk. But the woman needs to battle her personal demons before she can accomplish the task at hand.

"Dark Water" (2005). Dahlia must give her child a safe home. But her own parents abused and abandoned her, so she is especially vulnerable to her own feelings of abandonment.

"Silence of the Lambs" (1991). Clarice is determined to show how capable she is in catching a gruesome serial killer. But her childhood fears and issues of abandonment must be confronted too.

"Looking for Mr. Goodbar" (1977). Theresa is looking for love and approval from men. Her history of scoliosis has left her with a terrible body image and insecurities about her lovableness, so she winds up looking for love in all the wrong places.

"Erin Brockovich" (2000). Erin sets out to make a career for herself as clever David against rich Goliath. At the same time she needs to make a home for her kids and overcome the legal profession's prejudice against unschooled women who dress like trailer trash.

I didn't get very far... There are so many more movies where men are at the center of the action. I need to go through the movies we've looked at lately -- or check the Meryl Streep filmography.


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