Ewan McGregor remains a favorite with his latest comments on Birds of Prey, Or The Fantabulous Emancipation Of One Harley Quinn. The film is centered on a Gotham based group of lady anti-heroines facing off against McGregor’s Black Mask, who’s a nasty piece of work. With the project’s female director and writer, we can expect it to be feminist, and now the stars are confirming that particular angle.
McGregor told French site Premiere (as translated by Heroic Hollywood) that “What interested me with Birds of Prey is that it’s a feminist film” and the script takes a “true look” at misogyny and sexism. He says the script finds a “subtle way” to address everyday sexism, including things that “we say as a man we do not even realize” are sexist. If this isn’t enough to prove that McGregor is stan-worthy as well as get you hyped for Birds of Prey, I don’t know what will.
While I usually am hesitant to instantly trust a feminist label being applied to a film by a man—because sometimes male ideas of feminism and what actually makes a feminist movie can be two separate things—I trust McGregor’s read on this film. Not because I’m a fan of his (though I am), but because he’s explaining why the film is feminist so thoughtfully and because of the creative team involved.
McGregor’s full quote, which you can read at Heroic Hollywood, speaks to both the extremes and the subtleties of misogyny. Yes, men can be depicted as monstrous abusers, but there’s an insidious everyday sexism that men can display through mansplaining, talking over women, and even gaslighting women by claiming their experiences aren’t true to reality. A truly feminist film not only calls out the larger abuses of women but the smaller ones as well.
These comments showcase a deeper understanding of feminism that goes beyond the basics, and hopefully that is reflected in the script. I have high hopes given that Margot Robbie is producing, Cathy Yan is directing, and Christina Hodson is writing. A female creative team means that the script will hopefully delve deep into feminist themes in an honest, female gaze-y way, rather than a surface-level way. The trailer already puts the female gaze heavily on the characters, which means that hopefully the finished product will not try to appeal to the male audience by watering down themes or trying to go for the male gaze.
McGregor’s comments are fantastic, and hopefully indicative of what the final project will look like. After the masculinity issues present in some superhero projects, it’ll be nice to have a project that’s unapologetically feminist. Long live Yan and her crew, it seems.
(via Heroic Hollywood, image: Warner Bros)
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