Strong women in the movies

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Within the last two months, three powerful films have been released on DVD.  All of these films feature strong women in the central roles.  All of these women were portrayed by award-winning actresses.

0025192258879_p0_v3_s118x184.jpgIn this heated political season, we often lose sight of the fact that women gained the right to vote just about 100 years ago.  The fact that today a leading candidate for the presidency is a woman would probably astound women suffragettes of the 19th and 20th centuries.

“Suffragette” is the story of a poor, young, married woman living in late 19th century England.  She works long, tedious hours in a laundry.  Gradually, she becomes involved in the suffragette movement, which results in her going to jail, losing any rights to her son, and being thrown out of her home by her husband. Carey Mulligan portrays the young woman whose entire life is changed by her gradual conviction that woman have the right to vote.

Saoirse Ronan is a young Irish woman who leaves Ireland in the 1950s to seek a better life in “Brooklyn.”  The film dramatically captures how it feels to leave your family, friends, and country and start a new life in a new country.  The film accurately captures the time period and the setting.  Saoirse Ronan’s gives a powerful performance as a woman torn between her Irish culture and her new country.0024543213024_p0_v1_s118x184.jpg

Also set in the 1950s, “Carol” starring Cate Blanchette and Rooney Marra is the story of a love affair between two women.  Blanchette plays the older woman who is immediately attracted to the younger character played by Marra.  0013132630267_p0_v2_s118x184.jpgDirector Todd Haynes has once again vividly captured the time period. “Far From Heaven” another film by Haynes also set in the 1950s dealt with an interracial romance.  The director in both films transports the viewer to another time when anyone who deviated from the strict moral guidelines of the day was risking everything.

These three films were great acting vehicles for these great actresses.  Hurray for the ladies.

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