5 Disappointing Film Heroines of 2013

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Gravity (2)

There’s usually something admirable about even the most disappointing female leads. It may seem nitpicky to point out certain flaws in characters that are well-liked by many, but it’s important to take note of when and where film representations of “strong” women fall short. In the end, it’s not the characters themselves being criticized but more so the decisions writers make when realizing them.

We all have a woman in our lives that could knock the socks off most the female roles in Hollywood films. Unfortunately, movies have the power to reach people on a scale in a way that your aunt, mom, or sister just can’t. For that reason, it becomes particularly important to be critical. With that said, here’s a list of five disappointing film heroines from 2013.

1. Gravity: Dr. Ryan Stone

Gravity follows Dr. Ryan Stone during her first trip to space as a medical engineer and her fight to survive when a cloud of debris hits the craft housing her and her fellow team members. After the first 30 minutes of disaster, the film’s point was made — we get it, space is hard. It makes good sense that Stone would be struggling. It’s her first time in space and she’s not an astronaut so much as a medical scientist.

Logically, everything clicks, but this criticism isn’t so much about logic as it is about the basic facts of the story. Why choose to make George Clooney the experienced and calm voice of reason? Why have the storyline revolve around Stone’s lost child and her role as a mother, not as a scientist, and certainly not as a survivor?

It’s not that flawed characters can’t be great. Flaws can allow characters to be more than just a one-dimensional figure for which greatness comes easily. However, Stone’s flaws don’t function as a highlighter for her strengths.

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