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Female-Led “Captain Marvel” is 2019’s Highest Grossing Film

Marvel’s first ever female-led film, Captain Marvel, has eclipsed its predecessors with wild success. The film is now the highest grossing film of the year with a box office turnover of $938 million, surpassing Thor, Batman vs. Superman and Spiderman Homecoming.

The film stars Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, Lashana Lynch, Gemma Chan, Annette Benin, Jude Law and Ben Mendelsohn.

Larson plays the role of Caroline Denvers, or Captain Marvel, a soldier from the Kree military unit and former US Air Force pilot. For the role, Larson underwent extensive training through different defense sports and received consultation from the first female pilot for the US Airforce, Jeannie M.Leavitt.

In an interview with Harpers Bazaar’s, Larson discussed her fondest memories from filming Captain Marvel, saying “I’ve been thinking a lot about pre-production and working with the stunt team. We worked for a couple hours every day, and the camaraderie we built together helped build trust and a safe space for me. Learning how to punch, kick, and do judo throws when I’ve never done anything like that before [teaches you] to trust the people you’re working with. Learning these new skills totally changed my brain and changed how I played the character, too.”

Intersectional feminist breakthrough

In addition to Marvel’s long-overdue casting of a female lead, Captain Marvel signals another development—one that resonates globally. The diversity of the film’s other main female characters across different ages and ethnicities point to a much-needed intersectional representation of women in film.

Lashana Lynch plays Maria Rambeau, one of Denver’s closet, sister-like friend, while Rambeau’s daughter Monica is played by child actress, Akira Akbar. Annette Benning plays Denver’s mentor during her pilot years in Los Angeles, and Gemma Chan acts as Minn-Erva, a Kree sniper.

Speaking to the Collider about Maria’s characterization as a black mother, Lynch said, “We’re flipping a black single mother idea on its head and being like, ‘So, she’s a fighter pilot and a black …’ ‘Yes!’ I’m so glad she’s a black single mother. She don’t need a husband and she doesn’t need a boyfriend and she doesn’t actually need many males in their life because she’s only got one male that’s probably the best one, that’s her father.”

Critics’ opinions

Captain Marvel has so far gotten good ratings, garnering a 78 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, including an audience score of 60 percent out of over 76, 000 ratings.

QBP Reviews highlighted the valuable female input provided by the film’s directors and writers, such as Anna Boyden, in being able to apply these subtle nuances to carefully illustrate how, “it feels to live under an oppressive thumb in every facet of life.”

Medium Popcorn labeled the film, “boring, generic, by-the-book,” and National Reviews suggested, “Captain Marvel gives political cartoons a bad name.”

For those seeking reassurance about contemplating whether to see the film, perhaps Film Frenzy’s Matt Brunson suggestion of ignoring “the imbecilic MRAs, frightened fanboys, and all other insecure man-babies shellacked in misogyny” can act as all the encouragement you need.

 

See also: Highlights from the 2019 Oscars

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