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How Cinematography Shapes Female Characters

March 5, 2014

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I have a giant girl crush on Amy  Adams. She brings depth to her American Hustle character, skillfully portraying her strength and vulnerability. However, while I watched the film, I was frequently distracted by the close-ups of her boobs. It is impossible not to notice them because often the camera pans her whole body before beginning a scene or opens with a shot of her boobs. I understand that her character uses her charm and sexuality as part of the con but did we need to see her cleavage as many times as we did in the film? I find this camera work problematic because it takes away from her performance and the audience’s ability to see her as more than a sex object.

This is also a question I have for other Oscar-nominated films such as, Wolf of Wall Street. While the director could argue that nudity, strippers, etc. are necessary to display Jordan Belfort’s outrageous life style of sex and drugs, I don’t think every scene in that film was essential to the plot or point of the movie. I am not arguing for the removal of all sexual images in film but opening a discussion about how women are portrayed in a certain way and the cinematographic choices that reinforce these negative views of women.

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