End Of The Year Almanac #3: Films About Female Survival


It hasn’t been until recently that I’ve begun connecting the dots between various films I’ve seen.  Although I fully acknowledge there’s nothing new under the sun, it’s interesting to find mini-genres that filmmakers and viewers find themselves visiting again and again and again.

This mini-genre was one of this year’s unexpected discoveries.  Why were there so many films available about women in isolated areas, fighting or running for their lives?  I liked to joke, “It’s not like equal rights are under threat or something.”

Read on.  Maybe these are parables.

Note: click on the links below to watch trailers and find out where these films are available.

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Wildlike – Mackenzie (Ella Purnell) runs away from her abusive uncle and begins hiking home through the Alaskan wilderness with the help of a stranger she befriends (Bruce Greenwood).  I think of this as the dramatic companion to Taika Waititi’s Hunt For The Wilderpeople, which I wrote about yesterday.  The stage is the same, but the subject matter is more serious.

Into The Forest – Evan Rachel Wood and Ellen Page star in a film about two sisters who are forced to live off the land after a mysterious power outage and the collapse of civilization.  Guess who starts showing up at their place to mess with them?  Yeah, this is already getting sad.

Jane Got A Gun – Natalie Portman and Ewan McGregor finally get to co-star in a movie that doesn’t suck in which McGregor and his henchmen try to break into Portman’s cottage and she’s like, “No.”

The Keeping Room – A group of soldiers try to break into a house on a Southern plantation and Brit Marling, Hailee Steinfeld and Muna Otaru are like, “No.”

October Gale – Tim Roth tries to break into Patricia Clarkson’s vacation house so he can murder someone and she’s like, “No.”

Autumn Blood A group of local bullies try to break into Sophie Lowe’s house in this challenging film where there is not one line of dialogue uttered.  Lowe never says, “No,” but she makes it pretty damn clear.

Slow West – The bulk of this film is Michael Fassbender and Kodi Smit-McPhee seeking McPhee’s first love after she disappears, but it turns out she doesn’t want to be found.  The film ends with her and her father (Game Of Thrones’ Rory McCann/The Hound) holding them off from entering their abode with gunfire.  To say the least, they’re totally like, “Hell no.”

Sweetwater – January Jones doesn’t even wait after a local tyrant messes with her and leaves her house, shooting anyone who is threatening her life.


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