The top ten most iconic female characters. Interesting. I love the idea of this blogathon (I’d never heard that word until a week or so ago, but i like it) as it is a good challenge; a good thinker/head scratcher. Dell on movies created this blogathon and its progress can be followed here. I hadn’t come across Dell’s blog before, but at first glance it looks like yet another great movie-blog to follow. I’m finding more and more as the months go by, being relatively new round these parts I haven’t come across a huge amount yet, though I know they are out there!
Many thanks must go to Nat from Writer Loves Movies for the invite, one of the blogs I have come across in my short time on WordPress. It’s a site that I frequent, go check it out if you haven’t! It looks great and reads great too. “Writer Loves Movies” is also a title that seems to describe me perfectly as well, assuring I couldn’t forget the site’s title if you paid me! Additionally I whole-heartedly agree with her addition of The Hunger Games‘ Katniss Everdeen. Sure, I haven’t seen a single Hunger Games flick, in fact I recall making a loud statement of “FUCK THE HUNGER GAMES!” in a previous post… Somewhere. But, the power and influence of her character is not something I have missed, and I imagine for younger audiences Katniss is the epitome of an iconic female character. Nice work Nat!
These are the guidelines to this blogathon (still running strong since June), quoted from Dell’s original post:
A list of 10 iconic female movie characters has been made. That list will be assigned to another blogger who can then change it by removing one character (describing why they think she should not be on the list) and replacing it with another one (also with motivation) and hand over the baton to another blogger. Once assigned, that blogger will have to put his/her post up within a week. If this is not the case the blogger who assigned it has to reassign it to another blogger.
Pretty easy to follow then eh? These are the ten characters as it stands before I spew forth my reasons for removal and replacement:
Ten fantastic, iconic characters. Not the easiest job to get rid of one then!…
… But that is the challenge, and I am up for it! After much internal deliberation, I know which of these iconic figures I shall replace with my own dubious choice. It feels even more dubious given that I am a male… I am curious as to what others think of my choice. It was not an easy decision, that much is certain. First off, I feel I can’t take off Princess Leia simply because I don’t like Star Wars, that would just be silly. I haven’t even seen a single Star Wars movie in its entirety, yet I know that name. Then we have Scarlett O’Hara, and again despite not having seen the movies she is a part of, I have heard of them, I know what they are and their importance to cinema. If that isn’t iconic I don’t know what is, and to take her off simply because i haven’t seen the movies she is a part of again doesn’t feel right at all. Beyond this though, the rest of the list is stellar… As is to be expected. I had a bit of trouble choosing one, changing my mind many a time. The other eight characters are all from films that I love, all characters that belong in such a list. Two Uma Thurman characters in the list works, as both those characters are memorable beyond belief and have true staying power. Those remaining are my real choices, and after some thinkin’… And some more thinkin’, I finally made my decision.
The character I am taking off is Clementine Kruczynski. Now I love Eternal Sunshine… and have seen it many times, it is one of the few romantic films that I really, really like. But, she isn’t a character that stuck with me. She is an interesting and complex character, but in my opinion not as iconic or memorable as my choice, who I feel goes through a massive variety of emotions while developing from almost nothing to a learned, multi-faceted character. She is not as complex a character as Clementine Kruczynski, I don’t think one could doubt that, but in my opinion her journey and development as a character made her my instant choice.
So then… Who the fuck am I talking about?
My choice is Leeloo from The Fifth Element. I can’t say I’ve seen the film recently, it isn’t a favourite of mine, but that character always has stuck in my head as a unique and fascinating female main character; an interesting spin on the femme fatale concept. She goes through a bit of everything throughout her appearance on-screen. When I first got an invitation from Nat, Leeloo was who immediately came to mind. Yes, I had to look up the actress’s name. But this is about characters, not who played them. And if we are talking about iconic female characters, I instantly think of The Bride, already on this mega-list, and Leeloo. In fact, I checked the list immediately, honestly expecting her to be there.
Why do I think she is an iconic character? The development of her character arc covers a lot of ground. First she is the embodiment of innocence and blissful ignorance, speaking gibberish that really does sound like a ‘divine language’, or at least a language of some sort. Then she progressively becomes more human and develops an unforgettable personality. She is the romantic figure in the movie, but this doesn’t dominate her unique character at all. She kicks some ass, but she is not bulletproof either; she is vulnerable. And of course she saves humanity despite learning about our warring ways, finally realising that there are things that make humanity worth saving. She is a surprisingly deep character given the story she is a part of, which isn’t exactly original or complex, but is fun as all hell and Leeloo’s personality makes the movie for me, and is a character I shall never forget. Oh, and she is literally the titular character of the film. She truly is one of the last interesting creations by Luc Besson.
Other characters that were going through my mind was Rosemary from Rosemary’s Baby, the main contender to Leeloo, though like I said, Leeloo was who instantly came to my mind when I first saw the criteria, and I found it hard to find a good reason to replace Clementine with anyone other than Leeloo. Other characters that were floating about my cranium: Carol from Repulsion – the first movie I ever saw that featured a lead character who was not only female but also ruthless and unsettling; The Female (Scarlett Johansson) from Under The Skin, though being such a recent movie I hesitated to add her to this list; and the same applies to Emmanuelle Seigner‘s Vanda from the recent Venus In Fur. Several other female lead characters made quite an impression this year, but I am sticking to my guns – Leeloo is the only choice I can see ranking among the others in that formidable list. Twenty years on and her character still seems fresh and unique.
I am passing the proverbial baton to Geoff from The Telltale Mind, a site filled with interesting and varied posts relating to comics and movies, among other things. Go check it out! In the meantime, I look forward to seeing what Geoff comes up with next.
And please, let me have it! Is my pick moronic? If you think so, tell me why!
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