A good year for women on film, as exemplified in new releases The Eyes of My Mother, Miss Sloane, and more
Matthew Lickona 5 p.m., Dec. 9
Maybe the people at Pixar really are sexist - or at least, deaf to women. Because their first feature with a female protagonist actually includes this tagline combo:
In a land of tradition...a hero will rise? Ooh, wait, let me guess: the hero will be...untraditional! No, wait, don't tell me the hero will be...a woman?
Gasps, faints, is revived with smelling salts, because back in the days of smelling salts is when such a revelation would have been surprising.
Speaking of back in the day, that's when Brave is set, because how else are we going to make a girl's struggle to break free of repressive gender norms in any way dramatic or compelling?
The trailer suggests that our hero(ine) will face a terrible bear - the same bear that bit off her father's leg so long ago. (Just for kicks, this is her father, standing next to her mother. Hello, proportionality? Why yes, I would like a wife who is roughly the size of my arm. Thanks much!)
But of course, that's not the real enemy. The real enemy is Mom and her traditional ways: "A lady enjoys elegant pursuits!"
Because if there's one thing Scottish clans were famous for, it was their elegant women.
Samurai Jack has much to teach us.
No wonder our hero(ine) is soon declaring "I want my freedom!" Her mother warns her, asking, "But are you willing to pay the price that freedom will cost?" These words are so unsubtle and artless that they hit home, even as they make us pine for the days of Ratatouille and Up. Later, our hero(ine) reminds herself (and us): "Careful what you wish for, my mother would say."
Interestingly, the Incredible Mr. Limpet would say the same thing.
But every trailer has one key image, one magic moment that sums everything up. That moment comes later. Here it is. The older gentlemen is bellowing, "Feast your eyes!"
Message received, Pixar.