We watched Whip It a couple of weeks ago, and it was fun. It’s about a misfit teenager, played by Juno’s Ellen Page, who takes to the violent, extreme sport of Roller Derby. Much to the chagrin of her parents. It’s a quintessential sports movie, with the loser sports team coming from behind to win the great championship, and love, and acceptance. It’s everything that Eastwood’s Invictus wasn’t.
Yeah, I’m comparing a roller derby movie to Invictus, and I’m saying roller derby wins.
But the real feature of this movie is that it’s the directorial debut of Drew Barrymore. And she shows she’s got it where it counts. Every major character in this movie is female, and the point-of-view shows. It’s a movie by women about women, but it’s hard hitting and takes no prisoners. The reason it’s worth pointing this out is that this is extremely rare in Hollywood. This year we have two examples– Whip It and Kathryn Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker, which might clean up at the Oscars.
[P.S. Manohla Dargis at the New York Times did an extraordinary piece on the lack of women filmmakers in Hollywood.]