It is interesting how, from two years to now, the protagonists of the films nominated for the Oscars have been changing a lot. Of course, with an increasingly diverse gym, different movies begin to appear. If in 2015 there were no female protagonists on the nominated list for Best Picture, we now see these actresses almost halfway through the nominated 2018 Oscar films with Me, Tonya, Lady Bird, Three Advertisements for a Crime, and The Shape of Water , among others.
However, the academy follows a trend that goes beyond their votes. 2017 was the year of Wonder Woman, The Beautiful and the Beast and Operation Red Sparrow, films that do not need the coveted award to generate interest and form fans (especially in the case of Wonder Woman). 2015 was no different, with films that quickly gained attention, such as The Sufferers, Crisis Specialist, Carol, Joy: The Name of Success, relying on names like Jennifer Lawrence and Sandra Bullock.
We can say then that academia is, in one way or another, conforming to this trend that already existed in the film industry. But what made this type of character start to be more used?
One of the answers is the search, by studios and independent cinema, for a new way of telling old stories. Who is a writer, especially a screenwriter, knows that there are no completely unique plots that have not been counted in any way (what is The Form of Water but a work strongly inspired by Beauty and the Beast?). What gives originality to a plot is the way ancient stories are reformulated.
Women protagonists in roles that did not appear previously is part of this. Even popular productions that go straight to video streaming services, such as Stranger Things on Netflix, show this (for those who see the series, just remember the overpowering little girl named Onze).
In an industry that shows aversion to risks and tries to predict future success through remakes and works that had previously been successful, the use of actresses in the lead role often gives an old story the “something new” that the public would you like.
(This article original language is portuguese. This translation was made with Google Translate)