WOMAN OR DOLL? HOW TO SPOT THE DIFFERENCE

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The Guardian film section asked me to write about women as dolls/inspired by dolls (consciously or subconsciously) in cinema, to tie in with Kristin Scott Thomas’ Barbie From Hell look in Nicolas Winding Refn’s Only God Forgives.

For years, Kristin Scott Thomas has been trashing her brittle English upper-classness in French films, but anglophone audiences who still think of her as posh Fiona from Four Weddings and a Funeral might get a shock when they see her in Nicolas Winding Refn’s ultra-violent revenge parable. Sample dialogue: “And how many cocks can you ‘entertain’ with that cute little cum-dumpster of yours?”

To read on, please click on the picture of Kristin Scott-Thomas to be whisked over to the Guardian website. I go on to write about not just Scott Thomas, but also Moira Shearer in The Tales of Hoffmann, Bette Davis in What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?, Daryl Hannah in Blade Runner and Kyoko Fukada in Kamikaze Girls.

Here are some other films I considered including (but didn’t):

Il mulino delle donne di pietra (Mill of the Stone Women) (1960) Rejected on the grounds of: the women were made of stone, as opposed to more traditionally doll-like materials such as plastic, say, or china.

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Dead Silence (2007) Rejected on the grounds of: spoilers.

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Mannequin (1987) Rejected on the grounds of: the show-window mannequin who comes to life is actually not a doll, nor even a mannequin, but an ancient Egyptian from the year 2514BC.

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