It made us wonder, who are the female characters who really stood out to the Squeamish team?
Naming them has been harder than we thought it would be. The Bechdel test might have been around for a while, but it is often sadly overlooked and certainly hasn't rocked the industry as you might have anticipated (not really, but wouldn't it be nice if stuff like that made a dent?). And even if women talk to each other about something that isn't men, does a heated discussion about shoes make for a rounded character? Depends what kind of shoes we suppose.
We thought long and hard about the screen presences who have remained with us...
2. Odd though it might seem - I have favourites of everything including sides of the body, letters of the alphabet, GSM of paper... - I don't actually have a favourite female film character. It would be incredibly easy to segue into a well-trodden rant about the lack of appropriate female role models in films, or the mother/whore/hooker-with-a-heart-of-gold narrow band of female characters, but that's lazy. And while it might be true, it's not true of me. I don't have a favourite female film character because I don't watch very many films. Over the years I've been impressed by most of the characters Angelina Jolie has played, the awesome princess from Brave, Sarah Connor... But none of them have been my favourite, or would be so now. That being said. I don't think I could pick a favourite female character from books or TV either. F1Kate
3. I found it oddly difficult to pick a favourite female character. Partly because, like F1Kate, I don't watch many movies. And partly because, despite my mind telling me there are LOADS of awesome women portrayed in film when I tried to name them I drew a blank. An honourable mention has to go to Shrek's Princess Fiona - always on equal terms. Still awesome as an ogress, and not looking for something that will take her 'back' to being 'pretty'. I think she is wonderful. But to find the female character who first chimed with me I have to delve into my childhood memories: Wednesday Adams Rude, obnoxious, difficult and dangerous. A heroine to all the strange little girls out there. And there are more than you think. Squeamish Louise
4. For me the word ‘female’ is redundant in this Friday Five. The greatest film character ever is Ellen Ripley from Alien and its sequel Aliens. Sci-Fi films are generally quite good at portraying woman as heroes, certainly more so than other genres – there are dozens of films where a kick-ass woman takes out rooms full of enemies, whilst spinning like a ballet dancer on a carousel. Sadly, in most of these films the woman is little more than a hyper-sexualised one-dimensional sexbot. Ripley is different. She’s an actual person. She’s a complex character who experiences the whole range of emotions (not all positive – she’s rude, aggressive and downright objectionable at times), has fears and doubts, rather than just being a whirling dervish with a pair of hand-guns. Hell, she doesn’t even bother putting on make-up before fighting for her life!
She was also fortunate enough to be played by Sigourney Weaver, one of the greatest actresses ever. Sadly she may have been too good. With the exception of Princess Leia in Empire Strikes Back and Sarah Connor in Terminator 2 there hasn’t really been a female character on her level in years. As much fun as it is to watch a leather clad woman take out a room of bad guys I think we’re ready to have another strong, competent female hero. Gareth
5. I have watched a lot of films and I very much like Cher in everything she does but although you may think the contrary, Cher is a real human being and not a fictional character of American pop/film folklore so she sadly cannot be my favorite female character. I will have to give you my top 3 I'm afraid, I cannot choose a mere one!
At 3: Dawn Wiener from Welcome to the Dollhouse. Life is shit, her name is pretty crappy but Dawn stands up for herself, sees the silver lining and bloody well gets on with it while wearing the best clothes ever to grace the silver screen.
2: Helen Lyle from Candyman. This incredibly beautiful and educated woman is tough enough to go into the projects and fight her ancestor's dead lover and a philandering husband while she's at it. Can't keep a good woman down, even when she turns bad.
1: Tess McGill. She is pro-active, positive and she won't let anyone, male or female, get in the way of her career, hence the name of the film Working Girl, which could have been the name of the dire Pretty Woman but thankfully it was not. Hedwig of Hedwig and the Angry Inch also deserves a special mention because they are awesome! Squeamish Nicola