Headline April 14, 2016/ ''' *GENDER-BENDING FILMS* : GREAT HONORS ALL* '''



*IN OUR *BRAND IS CRISIS*  -Sandra Bullock bites into a meaty role, playing a political strategist hired to rescue the-

Presidential campaign of an unpopular, elitist Bolivian candidate, 

Inspired by Rachel Boynton's  2005 documentary of the same name in which the gurus were all men, the movie stars Bullock in a role originally intended for George Clooney-

Reshaping it to fit a likable star whose brand is playing professional women -astronaut, FBI agent,  -at home in a work place of men-

Bullock's political pro, Jane Bodine, nicknamed  Calamity, is brilliant and ruthless but also a mess, because endearing dishevelment and episodes of lovable recklessness are hallmarks of any Bollockian woman.

As written by Peter Straughan {*Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy*}, directed by David Gordon  {*Pineapple Express*}  and produced by Clooney and Grant Heslov, this Jane is a great gift to the star.

Jane is first seen amid a crisis of faith after a series of her campaigns flop. She lost those races to candidates manage by her nemesis, played with weaselly joy Billy Bob Thornton and, ultimately, a call to political conscience.

That last inflection. the undertone in many  Clooney- Haslov productions   -*Argo*,  *The Ideas of March*  and  *Good Night, and  Good Luck*  -is meant to be the takeaway.

But it also the easy way out of a bitterly absurd story-

As would  American Presidents may well pay experts to advise on focus-group-tested adjustments in sound bites, hairdo, talking points and the optics of whether a candidate's sleeves should be rolled up  -all the better to convey the brand.      

Sandra Bullock believes the Sony hack was a blessing in disguise. ''Thank Goodness Hollywood got a real spanking,'' she says.

''It's hard because why should I complain? Very few people get to do what we get to do. I know as a woman in the business, the likelihood of me still working at my age was almost impossible, and yet here I am.''

''Other women felt exactly the same way,'' she adds. ''And we felt shame because of it. Now something has shifted. All the women started bonding and going-

!WOW!, -why don't you get this? You did an amazing job. Why aren't you getting part of the merchandising?' We came together, shared this information and supported each other.''

Men, too, are pitching in. After Lawrence's essay, Cooper promised that he would share what what he's making with female colleagues before they link their own deals.

Judd Apatow, who built his career on raunchy  bro-coms, is now partnering writers and performers. Like Kristen Wiig  {Bridesmaids}, Lena Dunham {*Girls*} and Amy Schumer {*Trainwreck*}, *Mad Max* director George Miller even ferreted a female lead into a dude-heavy franchise.

Theorn's Furiosa frees a group of female sex slaves from their master, leaving behind a message written on the wall:

''We are not things.'' Furiosa then outshoots, outdrives and outalks Tom Hardy's grunting Max.

Feminists went wild for the character  -and so did the rest of the world, as  *Fury Road*  racked up $375 million in ticket sales.

Despite the success of films like *Frozen* and  *The Hunger Games*, studios seemed determined to lumber behind. ''Those are called  'the exceptions' by studios, says Bullock.

Director Gordon Green, whose films have varied from blockbuster comedies like  *Pineapple Express*  to intimate indies like *George Washington*, says he admires Bullock's refusal to be limited by her resume or her gender.

''You don't find too many people in this industry willing to take risks , to step outside their box.''

Bullock shakes off the compliment. ''I've been told I put on blinders and just crash forward.'' she says, ''without considering the repercussions.''

As Lawrence joked in her essay, Hollywood stars negotiating for a few extra million dollars, a few more lines and a few fewer nude scenes might elicit eye rolls from most.

 But their success could determine whether popcorn nibbling preteen girls-

Will come to think of themselves as the apple of some man's eye or as an FBI agent, an astronaut or a political consultant. 

''This is bigger than Hollywood,'' says Bullock. ''It's not just about the money and the roles. It's how we are perceived and talked about. Why we are considered not as worthy just because of our sex?''

That's precisely why she asked to turn James into Jane. 

With respectful and loving dedication to all the Students, Professors and Teachers of the world. See Ya all on !WOW!  -the World Students Society and the Ecosystem 2011.

''' The Brief '''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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