Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Celebrating the Bitch: Thelma & Louise

Twenty years ago Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis drove off a cliff into movie lore in Thelma & Louise. This “ground-breaking female buddy movie cum road-trip, crime spree and chase flick … deals with rape, a fatal shooting and sexual awakening, all to a country-rock soundtrack,” says Linda Diebel of the Toronto Star in her recent tribute to this Ridley Scott motion picture and its Academy Award-winning screenwriter Callie Khouri. Thelma & Louise hit many firsts for women. It was one of the first movies to portray women using violence as an alternative form of action; it was the first to effectively show the raw power of women locked in friendship; and the first to depict a passionate choice for liberty in death vs. a compromised life.

From introducing Brad Pitt as a sex symbol to portraying women as independent and powerful, Thelma & Louise still resonates with a visceral message two decades after their iconic leap into the Grand Canyon. The ending, in which the pair lock hands and sail over the canyon in Louise’s 1966 T-bird convertible, remains controversial even now.