And there you have it, I have come to the end of my sampling of Netflix’s Emotional Movies Featuring a Strong Female Lead. Based on the five films that I viewed, I found that Netflix’s categorization of these films is pretty accurate. While certain subjective aspects of the films should be accounted for – such as the degree to which one finds them ‘emotional’ – on the whole Netflix precisely characterized what a viewer can expect from these films.
The lack of female roles in contemporary cinema is a point that has been belabored plenty by film journalists and critics. If anything, this categorization of films is valuable for compiling a pretty decent selection of strong female characters across a range of time periods, genres and national cinemas. Of course this does not come without issue. I question the need to set aside a category specifically for films with female characters – does this really signal progress toward an even playing field for women in film? Additionally problematic is the association between ‘emotional movies’ and ‘female characters’. Regardless of these issues, I commend Netflix for bringing together a broad array of films with (mostly) strong and dynamic female leads.
But saying that these films were accurately categorized isn’t to recommend them all. There was a pretty broad scale of quality among the films I viewed, some far more watchable than others. For your viewing convenience, here are the best and worst of “Emotional Movies Featuring a Strong Female Lead”.
Most emotional film: Imitation of Life
Strongest female lead: Shin-ae (Do-yeon Jeon) Secret Sunshine
Worst female lead: Dawn O’Neil (Charlotte Gainsbourg) The Tree
Least emotionally affecting film: Like Crazy
Most misplaced film: XXY
Best to Worst:
- Secret Sunshine
- Imitation of Life
- Like Crazy
- The Tree
Next Netflix Gener-a-thon: Understated Independent Dramas
- Another Earth (Mike Cahill, 2011)
- After Fall, Winter (Eric Schaeffer, 2011)
- It’s Kind of a Funny Story (Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck, 2010)
- Curling (Denis Côté, 2010)
- The Myth of the American Sleepover (David Robert Mitchell, 2010)