With the surge of female creators rising Hollywood, it seems the world is due for a female-only aggregate site for reviewing content as well.
Miranda Bailey, likely best known for “The Squid And The Whale,” announced a new platform for female voices at SXSW. Cherry Picks will provide female-only reviews of film releases, and double as an aggregate site, not unlike Rotten Tomatoes. The reason for this, as stated from the websites splash page, is that the majority of published critics are male. For reasons that should be obvious, this can be an issue when a woman is looking for an opinion on something to watch from someone looking through a similar lens. In a press release, Bailey states that “For years now, our industry has been proclaiming that we need change to include more minorities and females on both sides of the camera…How can we possibly change what consumers consider good and worthy content if the majority of critics who tell them what to want are predominately older white males?”
This is a great question, one that wouldn’t have even been asked by many – male or female. There are plenty of films that have lived or died by the overall critical review. Could they have had a different fate if the larger demographic heard opinions that better reflected their own? “Mean Girls” is a mainstay on lists of “chick movies guys secretly love” but do women like it that much? Did female audiences like Paul Feig’s “Ghostbusters” movie from 2016 more than the media averaging shows?
Box office revenue is one thing for movies like “Wonder Woman,” showing that those types of movies can be successful, but not everything is a big budget tentpole. Just as many people likely saw “Wonder Woman” for the fact that it tied into the DCEU as they did because it was a landmark movie for its genre. What of the movies that rely on critic reviews though? Many people rely on things like Rotten Tomatoes or IMDB to know if something is worth their time and money. It might not be difficult for men to see why “Ladybird” is worth seeing, but those movies stand on their own. Can men understand what a dumb-fun movie that appeals to women would be? Can they properly praise a female equivalent of “The Hangover?” It’s doubtful.
A fresh perspective, isolated so it can be appropriately weighted, is something that can be a huge benefit to the way some consume media feedback for the movies they want to know about. It will be a while before the overall impact Cherry Picks has is evident. Hopefully, word of mouth and an active social media push puts this in front of the people who will benefit knowing it’s there.
You can check out a digital issue here before the site launches at the end of the month. Hopefully, Cherry Picks won’t remain overly niche for long and can provide a compelling and alternative view on the state of filmmaking.