Why does the nearly-universal critical acclaim for "Wonder Woman" feel so ... triumphant? Could it possibly be because here in the midst of our seemingly interminable fight for female equality and parity here in Hollywood and the wider world of business and politics, it gives us a symbolic glimmer of light?
But this time it's more than symbolic; it's actual. Because the film was directed by Patty Jenkins. A woman. And as we all know, a woman-directed comic book tentpole has been a nonexistent commodity. Until now.
So maybe--like owning property and getting the vote--directing big Hollywood blockbusters is NOT only for boys, and when a woman does it (OMG) the world does not end. In fact, it might even get better. Go figure.
The proof is in the product. Catch these reviews:
The AP's Lindsey Bahr wrote: "Like the heroine at its center, Wonder Woman the movie rises with powerful grace above the noise. It's not perfect, but it's often good, sometimes great and exceptionally re-watchable."
"Wonder Woman is smart, slick, and satisfying in all of the ways superhero films ought to be," (Chris Nashawaty of Entertainment Weekly) "How deliciously ironic that in a genre where the boys seem to have all the fun, a female hero and a female director are the ones to show the fellas how it’s done." (EW)
"Finally, here’s a DC movie with real warmth and humor — mostly in the form of banter between Gadot and Pine." (UPROXX)
And my personal fave:
"Wonder Woman’s best moments come less from the saw-it-coming plot twists and effects-heavy fights, and more from Diana seeing the outside world mired in World War I, expressing her disgust at its injustices, and setting out to right them." (Joshua Yehl, IGN)
Hmmm. Could it be that the entertainment universe (on both sides of the camera) is craving some good old fashioned pre-2016 American moral values? And that a woman-centric and directed film can deliver them? Call me crazy, but it gives me hope.