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Tough Teen Girls in the Movies of 2010

posted by Nell Minow

The Washington Post’s Ann Hornaday has a terrific year-end round-up about an unusual trend in 2010 movies, tough teen girls. From gritty dramas like “Fish Tank” and “Winter’s Bone” to ultra-violent fantasies like “Kick-Ass” and “Let Me In” (both starring Chloe Grace Moretz, who was a wise and confident middle schooler in “Diary of a Wimpy Kid“), from a fairy tale (“Tangled“) to a western (“True Grit“), to an armor-wearing, dragon-slaying Alice in Wonderland, teen girls were brave, strong, adventuresome, and bent on justice.

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Why now? The success of “Twilight” helped show Hollywood that young women wield considerable force at the box office, so studios have understandably started to pay attention. Actresses like Angelina Jolie (“Salt,” “Mr. and Mrs. Smith”) and Milla Jovovich (“Resident Evil”) have proven that action isn’t just the sole purview of Y chromosomes. And we may be seeing a generational shift whereby writers and directors raised with an expectation of gender equality bring that sensibility to their filmmaking.

This is a trend I hope to see more of in 2011.

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