Opening July 15, AWFJ’s Movie of the Week is Ghostbusters, the hotly-awaited new all-female reboot of the beloved sci-fi franchise from director Paul Feig (Bridesmaids, The Heat, Spy). Read on…
When he announced that he was making an all-female Ghostbusters, Feig became the target for controversy and outcry; accusations ranged from gender box-ticking to anger than he was tinkering with such an established, 30-year-old franchise. That all pales into insignificance, however, when compared to the potential importance this movie has for the issue of women in film. If it’s successful – and there’s no reason to suspect it won’t be – it will finally prove beyond all doubt that there is a market for films featuring a predominantly female cast.
And what a magnificent cast it is. Comedy legends Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones step into the shoes of the spook-busting foursome (with Thor himself, Chris Hemsworth, taking the role of their hapless secretary in another bit of gender-switch genius). All of these ladies are exceptional performers with a natural gift for comedy, and it is an unparalleled treat to see them given such a high-profile film to shoulder.
Fieg, too, is a director with an inherent flair for delivering films packed with genuine laughs, and is enough of a fan of the original to stay true to its legacy while moving the narrative into the 21st century.
Let’s hope that, with this bold, trail-blazing Ghostbusters, the outdated idea that women can’t take the lead in film is finally laid to rest.
AWFJ Movie of the Week Panelists Comments:
Pam Grady: Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig head the ensemble in this all-female Ghostbusters remake, but while the controversy has centered around whether the women can fill the shoes of the likes of Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd, the real questions are: What could possibly take the place of the absurd genius of the original film’s Stay-Puff Marshmallow Man and will it be anywhere near as funny?
Nell Minnow: Can a female-led remake of Ghostbusters overcome the meltdown of the fanboys?
Nikki Baugham: I could not be more excited about this all-female Ghostbusters. Not only is it a chance to see four superb women take charge of one of my favouite franchises, but it is a crucially important, ground-breaking step forward in terms of redressing the gender balance in modern film. Bring it on.
Directors: Paul Feig
Release Date: July 15, 2016
Running Time: 116 minutes
Principal Cast: Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones
Screenwriters: Paul Feig & Katie Dippold
Production Companies: Columbia Pictures, Feigoco Entertainment, Ghostcorps, LStar Capital, The Montecito Picture Company, Pascal Pictures, Village Roadshow Pictures
Distributor: Columbia Pictures
Official Site & Trailer
AWFJ Movie of the Week Panel Members: Thelma Adams, Nikki Baughan, Anne Brodie, Candice Frederick, Pam Grady, Leba Hertz, Loren King, Cate Marquis, Jennifer Merin, Nell Minow, Perri Nemiroff, Liz Whittemore, Jeanne Wolf.
Edited by Sandra Kraisirideja, AWFJ.org Associate Editor