Chastain troubled by women's representation in films at Cannes

The Woman Walks Ahead star was a juror during the 2017 Cannes Film Festival in France - where Sofia Coppola won Best Director for The Beguiled - and used her platform to give her honest opinion of numerous festival's films, and in particular, how the female roles were depicted.

Jessica Chastain, pictured May 26, 2017 at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival, said women were misrepresented at the festival. "It was quite disturbing to me, to be honest - with some exceptions", Chastain said. "We are missing a lot of stories they can tell, not just about female characters but their view on men", she said. "They have their own point-of-view".

She told the audience during a press conference that after viewing so many films as a jury member, she is still dismayed at how women are portrayed, saying, "I do believe that if you have female storytelling you also have more authentic female characters".

"Here's a woman who is over-prepared, and ambitious".

Statements like these put Chastain in a small but mighty circle of female celebrities consistently advocating for women's equality.

Fuck yeah, girl! But let's unpack this: Her comments seem to be directed at, or at least inspired by, two-dimensional "reactive" female characters she saw in movies written/directed by men at the festival; the Cannes competition films aren't in theaters yet, so we'll have to wait and see if it becomes clear what characters she's talking about.




A lot of this comes down to perception, which is always a hard thing to argue.

While Chastain's words were highly noted, she wasn't the only female to speak out on the depiction of women.

Chastain's point really is simple: If you get more women involved in making film, film will naturally reflect the actual experiences of women, rather than putting forward approximations of clichés that have been recycled too many times to be compelling in any way. "The Beguiled" director was only the second woman awarded with the honor, and the first since 1961.

These issues will never be resolved to everybody's satisfaction.

This year, two women won prizes at the festival.

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