|Director Joe Wright with actress Saoirse Ronan|
So, here's what I found so interesting...
This international trailer is more representative of the tone and story of the film than the US version.
English 30-something year old director Joe Wright guided the discussion in an unexpected direction last Saturday. He strode on stage looking very much like the stereotypical Hollywood bad boy with sunglasses still on, a coffee in one hand and pushing back his hair with the other. I would never have guessed he'd spend most of his time advocating for portrayals of true female empowerment in film.
Wright spoke vehemently about the sexual objectification of little girls in the media today using the padded push-up bikini for female children available at Abercrombie and Fitch as an example. He went to say that items like that or the Spice Girls videos weren't "girl power." Female empowerment isn't about sex, it's about brains. The character of Hanna, coming from such isolation, exists outside of those societal pressures that favor looks over intelligence. Without mentioning the title, Wright compared Hanna to Sucker Punch, saying that images of girls in pig tails and tiny outfits kicking ass weren't empowering. At one point the director said, "feminism wasn't supposed to be a fad. It was supposed to change the fucking world."
The teenage Ronan echoed Wright's assertions. She added that characters like Hanna were good because they were not sexy. The actress went on to say that the media needs more interesting young women like Hanna because it forces the public to talk about issues like female empowerment.
The panel sneak peeks of the film didn't provide much more detail than the glimpses available in both the international and US trailers so I can't comment on how obvious the theme of female empowerment is through the story. So, for those of you going to see it this weekend, please let me know what you think and if the theme is prevalent. I'm hoping it is, not only because it'd be nice to have a new kick-ass heroine but also because I really like the idea of a cocky Hollywood bad boy espousing the virtues of brains over beauty.