Manohla Dargis writes in the New York Times about the dearth of women on the big screen:
Nobody likes to admit the worst, even when it’s right up there on the screen, particularly women in the industry who clutch at every pitiful short straw, insisting that there are, for instance, more female executives in Hollywood than ever before. As if it’s done the rest of us any good. All you have to do is look at the movies themselves — at the decorative blondes and brunettes smiling and simpering at the edge of the frame — to see just how irrelevant we have become. That’s as true for the dumbest and smartest of comedies as for the most critically revered dramas, from “No Country for Old Men” (but especially for women) to “There Will Be Blood” (but no women). Welcome to the new, post-female American cinema. ...
Last year only 3 of the 20 highest-grossing releases in America were female-driven, and involve a princess (“Enchanted”) or pregnancy (“Knocked Up” and “Juno”). Actresses had starring roles in about a quarter of the next 80 highest-grossing titles, mostly in dopey romantic comedies and dopier thrillers. A number of these were among the worst-reviewed movies of the year, including “Premonition” (Sandra Bullock) and “The Reaping” (Hilary Swank) ... The days of “Million Dollar Baby,” for which Ms. Swank won an Oscar, and “Speed,” which rocketed Ms. Bullock to stardom in the summer of 1994, feel long gone.
Well, maybe all the women in Hollywood were otherwise engaged in the remake of The Women, scheduled for an October release. In the fabulously bizarre 1939 original, directed by George Cukor (and based on Clare Boothe Luce's smash-hit stage play), all the performers (even the animals!) were female. I could happily re-watch it every couple of years for the snappy dialogue and the gloriously over-the-top performances by Joan Crawford and a very young Rosalind Russell, among many others. The remake is directed by Diane English, perhaps best known as the executive producer of TV's Murphy Brown. And the cast is a Who's Who of Hollywood actresses, most of them at least 20 years older than their counterparts in the original version: Meg Ryan, Annette Bening, Candice Bergen, Cloris Leachman, Carrie Fisher, Bette Midler, etc., etc.