Live Poll: Favorite Movie Heroine of 2019

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Which of these heroines from 2019 is your favorite?

List: https://www.imdb.com/list/ls091066187/
Poll: https://www.imdb.com/poll/cYCIRnGij4A/


In 2018, only 35 percent of films included ten or more female speaking roles, according to a study at San Diego State University, while 82 percent of movies had at least ten male characters with speaking roles so the historical underrepresentation of women in movies continues. There is good news, though: women protagonists in film became more prominent in 2018 and it seems that has continued in 2019. To celebrate these female protagonists, which of these heroines from 2019 is your favorite?

Suggestions, as always, are very welcome, especially because, so far, I'm behind in the movies of this year that I've seen. In fact, I haven't seen most of these movies so if you think any don't belong, please let me know. Thank you. (I hope to see many films by early January, though, so hopefully I'll catch up. :-) )

Inclusion Criteria:

1. Women, girls, and trans-women from feature films released during 2019 (beyond film festivals).

2. A few characters from movies officially released in 2018, but not included in the 2018 poll, are included for reasons such as that they were more widely released and seen in 2019 than in 2018.

3. Characters who represent the empowerment of women in some way. 

A few more criteria may be added as the poll develops. 
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rubyfruit76, Champion

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Posted 3 months ago

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Ed Jones(XLIX)

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rubyfruit76, Champion

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Yeah, I often forget to turn the list to "public." Surprisingly, I noticed it before I saw your post, which is rare. Thanks for the heads up. 
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mihailo.razvigor

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Lupita Nyong'o played the main hero AND the main villain in Us (2019).
You can freely add both of them as separate characters.

I really like how that film handled the fact that two of its characters are both highly capable females (in a survival horror film), unlike a certain 2019 film with a certain Captain as its leading hero, which, in my opinion, was a souless corporate product to attract girls (to make a lot of money) and claim diversity (to appease the critics).
(Edited)
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rubyfruit76, Champion

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I will, although all I meant by that is that it's a list of heroines and the doppelgänger is a villian -- I'm imagining that I know what you mean, though, because you used the word capable for both and that's cool to know. 

Oh and I counted: about half wouldn't be on the list if it were a list of characters from films that I respect so that's more hopeful than "most of the films...wouldn't be on the list," like I first said. : ) 
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mihailo.razvigor

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Thanks! 'Us' is on HBO this Saturday and I've been planning on watching it very soon but I'll go ahead and add her now.
So... have you watched it?
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I have, I liked it, and I especially liked Adelaide. Lupita Nyong'o was very good in both parts. Her performance is one of my two or three favorite things about the film and you're right: both characters are smart, capable, and strong and I quite liked that. 
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mihailo.razvigor

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Well, now you know why I wasn't sure whether Adelaide belongs on this list.
SPOILERS for Us (2019)
SPOILERS
SPOILERS
Sure, at the very end, she remembered who she really is - one of the Tethered. However, until that moment, she was bravely protecting her family, because she believed she was, in fact, Adelaide. And, to be honest, no matter who she really is, that was HER real family. So, yeah, come to think of it, she CAN be called a heroine.
(Edited)
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That's a really good way to put it. Until reading your post, I was questioning whether to leave her on because -- well, you know, it's tricky; it's not clear cut. You're so right, though, so I'll leave her on. 

Thanks for your post because I wanted to leave her on but didn't know if she really fit but your explanation nails it. : )
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leavey-2

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My choice: Beverly Marsh from 'It Chapter Two'
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Didn't see "Chaper Two" yet but I loved Beverly as a kid. She was awesome. 
(Edited)
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Ed Jones(XLIX)

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My Choice


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NDbportmanfan 1

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Added; thank you!
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NarniaisAwesome

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Suggs:

Elsa and/or Anna from Frozen 2
Bo Peep from Toy Story 4
Rey from Star Wars
Ruby Roundhouse from Jumanji
Maleficent and/or Aurora from Maleficent 2
Nala from The Lion King
Dora from Dora
Hattie Shaw from Hobbs and Shaw
Mothra from Godzilla: King of the Monsters
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Ohh, that's right: Rey will be in a 2019 flick - I'm so glad I can add her. I'm really tired right now but, soon, I'll add as many as I can from your list. Thank you!
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I've added five so far and may add more -- I just haven't found the time to do so yet but will soon. Thanks again.
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cinephile

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Birdbox is from 2018.
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Please see the inclusion criteria (#2). 
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Pencho15

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I have only seen 19 2019 movies so far and most of the female lead characters that represent strong women from those are already on your list.

The two missing are Bo Peep from Toy Story 4, which was suggested above and that I think is a great choice as a popular film and because they changed a character that previously had very little to do to make it key in the plot.

The second one is Noomi Rapace as Sam Carlson a bodyguard in the middle of a political thriller in Close

From films I have not seen yet, I think the following are relevant for the poll:

It hasn't been released but the new version of Little Women which apparently has a more feminist view should probably have at least one character on the list, and it is called to be an award contender.

Dora the explorer has also been mentioned above.

There's Brittany from Brittany Runs a Marathon

A very small film but Michelle Payne from Ride Like a Girl
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Enthusiastically, seconding the unexpected activist that was Bo Peep. She stole the film for me.

Little Women (as I understand it) is a sequel to the events of the book. But isn't Jo the heroine of the first book and might likely qualify here as well?
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I was definitely going to add Jo, even though I haven't seen the film yet, and I will also add Bo Peep - enthusiastically, lol. Thanks for the suggestions.

Pencho, I will also add as many of your other suggestions as I can fit -- and I prefer small films and that's mostly what I see so I appreciate the 'Ride Like a Girl' suggestion. The characters from the big blockbusters are on the list to be as fair and broad as possible but I haven't actually seen most of the big action movies and relied on what I read for those entries.
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New suggestion: Marta Cabrera from Knives Out.
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Added; thank you!
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Just a heads up (rather than a rebuke) but 'Destroyer'  was a 2018 film (as officially recognized by the Academy AKA AMPAS).

The same thing might be said about On the Basis of Sex (2018) given it's limited release in 25 December 2018


I'll vote for Elsa from 'Jojo Rabbit' as Rosie from 'Jojo Rabbit', her resistance activity was mostly hidden offscreen to the viewer and Jojo and hinted to the viewer.
(Edited)
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The second inclusion criteria is "A few characters from movies officially released in 2018, but not included in the 2018 poll, are included for reasons such as that they were more widely released and seen in 2019 than in 2018."
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Umm...? You have more than 35 options. What happened? Pretty sure you know that's unacceptable (poll creation wise).

It might make things easier if you remove 2018 Bird Box and Destroyer. While movies with less than 1000 votes like 'Ride Like a Girl'You can keep if you pare down the obvious ones out.

Grace from 'Ready or Not' 
for instance? It's good she's has self-preservation in mind. But how does that make her a heroine?

Or can you group all three Terminator Dark Fate women (into a single image option) as you paired up other same movie options?

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I'm sorry, Stephen, I think I may have missed this post of yours, unfortunately. Yeah, I went up to 39 at one point just so I could see all of them in one place to try to figure out how I was going to get it to 35. I really wanted to keep Bird Box and Destroyer because I thought they fit in well and I figured I could justify it because they were distributed more widely in 2019: for instance, my city didn't get Destroyer until spring of 2019 and I didn't see ads and trailers on Netflix for Bird Box until 2019 so I didn't get to add them to 2018's list.

Grouping all three from Terminator is a great idea and something I wanted to do but I couldn't find an image in which all three are visible and recognizable. That was a big annoyance, actually, lol. 

I felt compelled to leave the smaller films in because, as you probably know, I prefer smaller, indie films and, while I didn't see 'Ride Like a Girl,' it seemed perfect and I love to think that polls can get smaller films some well deserved exposure. I especially wanted to give 'Waves' a bit of exposure because that film is exquisite and my favorite film of the year -- she was also my self-indulgence option, lol. 

NDbportman suggested Grace and, although I didn't see th film, I often agree with portmanfan so thought it was a safe bet -- and, again, I didn't see the movie, but I often find survivors heroic in a way that's really compelling and resonant, especially, for me, when the character is a woman. Am I getting the wrong idea about the character and movie?

I finally got down to 35 by getting rid of Charlie's Angels because it had a 4.5 rating and moving Eve from 'Just Mercy' to my 2020 list because while technically a 2019 movie, it wasn't released in the States, and many other countries, until 2020. I must have deleted someone else but I can't even remember who it was so I'm hoping that's indicative of an ok decision. 

Anyway, thanks for the input. 
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Won't you follow this up Ruby?
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Absolutely. I've just been waiting for a lot of films to be released. I do this poll every year in January. 
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Under construction bump.
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Great poll, my choise is Molly from Booksmart
I only saw about 4 movies on the list so I don't have much to choose from, but she is mature enough to be just a teenager.
Merry christmas!!
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Merry Christmas to you, too, Joe. I haven't seen most of the movies on the list, either, and now is the time of the year that I get to add characters from my kinds of films, which usually aren't released until the end of the year. I also liked Molly a lot and she may very well be my vote. She's definitely among my top few from all the movies I've seen this year (many that aren't on the list).  
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I have 10 comments about this study, they don't reflect my feelings about this poll, which I like a lot, but well, here it goes.... 

1/ The study centers on the 100 top domestic grossing films of 2018, why should this be reflective of reality?

2/ Especially since the highest-grossing films tend to belong to male-driven franchises, so there's an obvious bias from the start.

3/ Of course, that "bias" might extend to other genres that are historically male-centered like westerns, war or gangster movies, that was the same unfair comment about the lack of female representation in The Irishman, should we also complain regarding Das Boot or Lawrence of Arabia?

4/ Let's not forget after all that there have been female nominations in leading roles ever since 1928... 

5/ ... all right, there aren't many movie heroines in comparison with men but that doesn't mean women are underrepresented, simply that they're underrepresented as heroines. Fair enough.

6/ But what if -according to that study- a movie has a strong female protagonist but the film doesn't have more than nine women in speaking roles, in which category would we put it: the good one or the bad one?

7/ And why this "10" rule anyway? Some movies don't even have more than five main or secondary protagonists in each gender, should we really consider minor roles like a reporter, a bank clerk, a fast station attendant in the equation? 

8/ And while we're at it, isn't it the very point of empowerment to have a strong female protagonist surrounded by men? Isn't the delight of power to be conquered from those who try to prevent you from it?  So is the gender-balance cast-wise part of the problem? or the solution?

9/ In fact,  what if the reason why there's an underrepresentation of women in general is because not every film is looking for a heroic figure, and Hollywood is so busy looking for "strong female roles" that men are still having their usual losers/antiheroes roles... 

10/ What if quality mattered more than quantity?

So here are the 3 paradoxes or contradictions in this "representation" case :
--> female empowerment need men  to make its point
->  women are underrepresented as heroines because they're only portrayed as heroines
--> women will win when there will be more female losers in cinema
Thanks for reading.
(Edited)
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Totally agree with you ruby, and this is why Clarice is one of my all-time favorite heroines (interestingly, Foster was Oscar-nominated along with Sarando and Davis who played two other iconic heroines: Thelma and Louise) the fact that this young, highly ambitious but slightly insecure pint-sized single-handedly defeats a ruthless psychopath and even manages to lure a crime genius into helping her, by being nothing more than herself, not trying to use "men's" ways, and never indulging into seduction or other clichés, is a powerful statement about the power of women. My other favorite heroines on that level are Sarah Connor, Ellen Ripley and Norma Rae.

Today's depiction of powerful women reminds me of that great quote from Tootsie:  "I think I know what y'all really want. You want some gross caricature of a woman to prove some idiotic point, like power makes a woman masculine, or that masculine women are ugly. "
Today it's more like women have power by either embracing traditional masculine traits (strength, weapon-skills...) or feminine traits from a male perspective (sexiness, seduction...) or both.

Hard to avoid caricature with such limited ranges of depiction. That's why I loved Frances McDormand in "Fargo" : high professional skills and sweet personality, she can be friendly and protective but also straightforward and intimidating, and handles a complex investigation while pregnant. The film would have been a totally different experience if she was a man.

 
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 I would have done better to remain silent or to speak in french for such a complex subject because it seems like you found the same example that I would, but you used it in a completely different than I would 
(Edited)
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Désolé cher ami...
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rubyfruit76, great points about Clarice and... It's very much ironic that one of the only characters who treats her with certain degree of respect is Hannibal Lecter, easily a much more dangerous and depraved individual than practically anyone listed... But also much more intelligent and prone to recognize intelligence in others. He tests Starling once or twice to se whether she would see through him if he will try to emulate a typical male behaviour and when she does he drops the act. 

What I really love about Hannibal franchise in general is how complex the characters are: most are never just a function, they're a multitude of unique events which shaped individuals for better or for worse.That makes both antagonists and protagonists relatable to a degree. Thomas Harris's novels are arguably even better in that regard, although most of the audiovisual media based on the franchise provides great interpretations, as well. 
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Once again, ElMo, your perspective, intelligence, and writing humbles me. And you mentioned another one of my favorite heroines and characters -- Frances McDormand's Marge in Fargo; it doesn't surprise me that we both like her so much, too.

And Nikolay, you're so right about the Hannibal franchise creating complex characters and the compelling relationship between Clarice and Lecter. The complexity of Lecter, for example, is such a strong reason for the popularity of the franchise: we get the excitement that well written and developed villains evoke but also feel empathy for him and even cheer him on sometimes, all the while not being let off the hook because we are also forced to see his savagery, which translates his complexity into a complexity the audience contends with as we get to know him. You nailed it when you say that we relate to both the antagonists and protagonists. Have you read alll of the Thomas Harris novels? I've only read one but I thought it was great and the movies, especially Silence of the Lambs, definitely made me want to read all of them. 

Anyway, thank you, everyone, for such a cool discussion. 
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This is my opinion and it is strictly subjective:

I liked Alita, but mainly the first part (when she discovered the world etc.) after that it became annoying.
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Halle Berry as Sofia in John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum (2019).

I've submitted a few better (HQ) images of her. I'll give you the link once it's approved.
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Thank you! 'Added (although I used a poster photo for better cropping). 
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I haven't seen the movies but she seems like a good addition so thanks for suggesting her. She helped me figure out who to cut to get the number down from 38, while also getting to add someone. 
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Natasha Romanoff! :D
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Unless anyone notices anything really amiss, this is finally done, I think. (Yay! Thank you, everyone, for your help!)

Special thanks to  Narnia, Pencho, mihailo, NDbportman, and Boss for their suggestions of characters. & Much thanks to Stephen, ElMo, and Nikolay for inspiration and advice. 
(Edited)
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mihailo.razvigor

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Oh, I just saw Stepan also mentioned it in this thread.

But at least there's an image of all three of them together.
(Edited)
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Oh, you saw an image of them together? Maybe one was added later. As for me, I thought I had scrubbed the internet to find one where all three were readily visible and recognizable but couldn't find one. I'll certainly check the images again; maybe someone found something of the three that I could use because I wanted to do that from the start and got really frustrated that I couldn't find an image that would let me. Thanks: if there's one of all three, I'll be pretty happy. : )
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mihailo.razvigor

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There is. I posted a link to that image in my previous post.
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Oh, wow, you found one! It's so late that, at first, I didn't notice the link. How weird that it is not in Grace's photo gallery. Thank you so, so much!

Now, I have to go back and figure out who to put back in, lol, but it's worth it. : )
(Edited)
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Shoot, I don't think it will crop well but I'm keeping my fingers crossed. Either way, thank you. 
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