Reese Witherspoon and Mia Wasikowska blew us away in the travelogues “Wild” and “Tracks,” respectively. Patricia Arquette broke our hearts as the single mother in “Boyhood.” Julianne Moore channeled an Alzheimer’s-stricken professor in the haunting “Still Alice.” Tilda Swinton ruled the school in four films, as did Jessica Chastain. Ava DuVernay dazzled us with the Martin Luther King Jr biopic, “Selma.” Gillian Flynn adapted her bestselling novel Gone Girl for the big screen. Jenny Slate kept us rolling in “Obvious Child,” the funny-as-fuck “abortion comedy” written and directed by Gillian Robespierre. Lake Bell sent up adult women who talk like babies in “In a World,” which she wrote, starred in, and directed. Angelina Jolie directed “Unbroken,” the highly regarded portrait of Louis Zamperini. Amma Asante helmed the historical drama “Belle.” Gia Coppola (yes, Sofia’s niece and Francis’s granddaughter) made an admirable debut with her coming-of-ager, “Palo Alto.” With “Foxcatcher,” “Her,” and “Zero Dark Thirty” independent producer Megan Ellison continued to emerge as Hollywood’s most potent new weapon. And with the rise of girl-empowering Young Adult-centric films like “Divergent” and the “Hunger Games” films, young women were even recognized as a force to be reckoned with at the box office.
That said, despite a recent study revealing that men still dominate the small-screen landscape both on and off screen, even a great year for women in film pales in comparison to any year for women in television. Sure, we could argue that’s because TV is viewed as a domestic medium, harkening back to when ladies allegedly lounged at home with their shows while husbands earned the bacon. But here are five more-evolved reasons why TV is better for women. Continue Reading →
August 15 marks Julia Child’s 102nd birthday. That’s hardly a banner anniversary – remember the media celebration two years ago for her centennial? – but Julia Child deserves a red-carpet bonanza every year. Certainly her birthday should be recognized as a national holiday by the food world. If not for the late cookbook author and television host, its media empire wouldn’t exist – at least not in all the glory that it currently enjoys.
Yes, we have Julia to thank for all the Americans who eat something besides TV dinners every night. (The powers-that-be at Swanson may not feel so grateful.) But we also have Julia to thank for the glut of food porn, er, television that comprises an industry unto itself. The entire Food Network should credit Julia as its real founder. Without Julia, there’d likely be no Emeril Lagasse, Jamie Oliver, Tom Colicchio, Barefoot Contessa, or Pioneer Woman in our public eye. There’d probably not even be an Anthony Bourdain or a “Hell’s Kitchen.” (There’d still be a Rachael Ray, though. With her aggressive cheer and predilection for shortcuts and catchphrases, Ray always seems one gelatin mold away from being the new Betty Crocker.) Continue Reading →