While it was released back in early June, conversations revolving around Patty Jenkins' Wonder Woman have shown no signs of slowing. The superhero movie was met with universal acclaim and made some serious money at the box office, but one iconic director has taken umbrage with it. James Cameron is apparently not a big fan of Wonder Woman, claiming that Gal Gadot's costumes and portrayal were objectifying and seen through the male gaze. But Jenkins has since responded, and addressed Cameron's criticism with a lengthy post on her social media. She said,
James Cameron's inability to understand what Wonder Woman is, or stands for, to women all over the world is unsurprising as, though he is a great film maker he is not a woman. Strong women are great. His praise for my film Monster, and our portrayal of a strong yet damaged woman was so appreciated. But if women always have to be hard, tough and troubled to be strong, and we aren't free to be multidimensional or celebrate an icon of women everywhere because she is attractive and loving, then we haven't come very far have we.
Talk about a mic drop. Let's break down exactly what both Patty Jenkins and James Cameron are trying to say.
James Cameron's main issue with Wonder Woman seems to be that Gal Gadot is such a conventionally attractive person. She was a model, and Diana Prince always looked absolutely stunning during the length of the film. Cameron compared this to Sarah Conner's portrayal in the first two Terminator movies. Actress Linda Hamilton never got to be dolled up, especially in Terminator 2; she spent the film fighting tooth and nail for the survival of both she and her son. Cameron apparently thinks this choice would have made Wonder Woman's success far more important.
Patty Jenkins; however, believes the opposite. She maintains that female characters should be free to be both beautiful and strong, if the character calls for it. Charlize Theron certainly didn't get to be glam for her Academy Award performance in Monster, so the director worked on both sides of the issue. She went on to elaborate more via her Twitter post, saying:
I believe women can and should be EVERYTHING just like male characters should be. There is no right and wrong kind of powerful woman. And the massive female audience who made the film a hit it is, can surely choose and judge their own icons of progress.
While James Cameron and Patty Jenkins certainly don't seem to agree on this issue, there is good that is coming from their very public exchange. It's all contributing to dialogue regarding proper representation of women in media, which is something both directors feel passionately about. Hopefully we'll see dynamic female characters who all look different from each other.
Wonder Woman will be available for home release on streaming August 29th, and physical copies on September 19th. In the meantime, check out our 2017 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.