BetteBack October 27, 1991: Women directors soar, leading ladies shrink

Cedar Rapids Gazette
October 27, 1991


There’s a lot of talk about the rising profile of women directors this season, with Jodie Foster’s “ Little Man Tate,” Mary Agnes Donoghue’s “ Paradise” and Martha Coolidge’s “ Rambling Rose” in theaters now, and BarbraStreisand’s “ The Prince of Tides” due out in December.

But what about leading roles for women? The outlook isn’t particularly plentiful from the more than 75 movies due to open before the end of the year.

Only two female roles between now and Dec. 31 command automatic attention:

”¢ The New York psychiatrist in “ The Prince of Tides” played by Streisand.

”¢ And the USO entertainer played by Bette Midler in “ For the Boys,” a dramatic movie with songs in which Midler sings, dances and jokes.

Some possible contenders:

”¢ Annette Bening has abovethe-title billing in “ Bugsy,” opposite Warren Beatty, but even her closest associates say they haven’t yet seen the film, which is due in late December.

”¢ This year’s women’s ensemble film is “Fried Green Tomatoes,” due out just in time for Oscar consideration. But two of 2 its stars are recent best actress ”¢ Oscar winners: 1990’s Kathy ”¢ Bates and 1989’s Jessica Tandy.

”¢ Nicole Kidman has virtually * the only woman’s role in Touchstone Pictures’ “ Billy Bathgate,” starring Dustin Hoffman.

”¢ The oft-nominated Glenn Close in “ Meeting Venus” and Isabelle Huppert in the French- produced “ Madame Bovary.”

Plus it will be difficult to overlook the splashy roles played by^ Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis in “ Thelma & Louise.” And, of course, there’s Foster’s performance in the current “ Little Man Tate,” but that competes * with her “ Silence of the Lambs” ”¢ role earlier this vear.

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