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The Last Word: Starring Strong-Willed Women

Mark Pellington is the director of The Last Word, a film that encompasses the roles of strong-willed women.

The film is about Harriet, a retired businesswoman played by Shirley MacLaine, who decides to write her own obituary. She works with Anne, a young journalist played by Amanda Seyfried, and as the story unfolds, they develop a friendship which deeply impacts both women. You see the transformation of both characters within the film and how they learn to truly know themselves.

Pellington has been very vocal on how he felt about working with actors such as MacLaine. She noted it should not go unnoticed what a strong woman in film can accomplish, and the influence she can have on others.

Found on the KCET website, Pellington stated, “As the director of The Last Word, I was given an opportunity to work with a star like Shirley MacLaine. It can be daunting to work with a star, but you step in and rise to the challenge and they help you become a better director. It was an honor to work with her, and to direct her, and to capture and shape a great performance.

Pellington was not the only one who had endearing remarks about MacLaine. According to The Hollywood Reporter website, at the premiere of the film MacLaine’s co-star, Seyfried, said she’s fearless! She speaks her mind; she knows what she wants.”

In the film industry, it is important for women to stay fearless, just as MacLaine does. She sets a great example for the success that can be achieved when you embrace this mindset and work hard for what you want.  

MacLaine’s excellent work in film has not been ignored. Some of her accomplishments include the Cecil B. DeMille Award for Lifetime Achievement, international best-selling author ten times, the prestigious American Film Institute’s Life Achievement Award, and France’s cultural award, the Legion of Honor, which was presented by France’s Minister of Culture and Communication at the French Cinematheque.

On February 28th, 2017 MacLaine was awarded the KCET Cinema Series Lumière Award. This award recognizes excellence, artistry, and innovation by an actor or filmmaker for their outstanding contribution to film.

On receiving this award, MacLaine commented, “I am incredibly honored to be the recipient of the KCET Cinema Series Lumière Award. The Last Word is written mostly from the point of view of a woman born in the 1930s, when women were not considered a force in business. If she wanted to be successful, she had to throw her weight around. That’s what this character does, but she’s funny at the same time.”

It is interesting to see the connection that can be made with women in business then and now. No matter which way you look at it, it is important for women to push hard and strive to be strong willed.

The Last Word opened in theaters on March 3rd and is still out, so do not miss the movie before it is too late!

Featured Image by Alexandre Chassignon on Flickr
Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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1 Comment

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    Zoé Kraft

    March 23, 2017 at 2:32 pm

    This is such an important topic. I am a woman involved in the film industry and I can’t stress enough how important it is for us to support one another. Thank you for writing this.

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