Heroines & Their Hairdresser
IT SEEMS I waited too long to write my obligatory piece on “The Vanishing Heroine in American Movies,” and events have now passed me by. One swallow may not make a summer, but three or four? In any event, of the five actresses nominated for this year’s Academy Award, only one of them played the notoriously conventional female role of hooker (Valerie Perrine, in what’s essentially the hooker’s role in Lenny). Of the other four, all played strikingly assertive, and, in three cases, strong-willed and independent women; and that acknowledged exception to the rule, Barbra Streisand, wasn’t even among the nominees.
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