Have you ever wondered what being a woman of the 19th century was really like? Hillary Swank portrays it beautifully in this drama/romance that should be added to our High School library for all young women to see. Swank portrays a young defiant, Alice Paul, a political activist in Iron Jawed Angels, in which the director, Katja von Garni re-creates the history of the beginning of an end to women’s suffrage. The heart warming, true story of Alice Paul and Lucy Barnes is riveting to the soul.If you’re a mother, daughter, or a woman in today’s world you can thank these women for giving us our freedom to vote by watching this amazing story of courage and hope.
The story begins in September of 1912, with only a hand full of states allowing women to vote. Alice Paul and Lucy Barnes (Frances O’Conner) join forces with Anna Howard Shaw (Lois Smith) and Carrie Chapman Catt (Anjelica Huston) who are the leaders of NAWSA (National American Woman Suffrage Association) founded by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B.Anthony. President Woodrow Wilson is adamantly against this movement and abuses his power as president to try and keep women in their place. Eventually Paul and Barnes split from NAWSA to form the NWP (National Woman’s Party) This brilliantly written script has many innuendos of these scholarly ladies acting a bit like men in order to make the point that women can and should have equal rights.
The plot thickens when Ben Weissman (Patrick Dempsey) tries to seduce the beautiful Alice Paul.Weissman shows Paul how to feel sexy, and that it’s okay to feel like a woman. Von Garnier has incredible insight on how to make a woman feel beautiful when she flashes pictures of Paul taking a bath, shots of her lips, and her smiling. The only unsettling part of the movie is the scenes in the jail at Occoquan. Again Garnier uses her talent to snap shot an incredibly horrible act of injustice. Women of the NWP were falsely arrested and held against their will.But the most surprising character was Emily Leighton (Molly Parker) who started out with supporting her influential husband Senator Leighton (Joseph Adams).
She demonstrates a true image of a “trapped” wife. Not knowing the actual events of this era will make you want to learn more by watching this timeless movie and the story it tells. Hillary Swank is brilliant and depicts Alice Paul with true inspiring life. The end of this movie is truly a new beginning for women to follow, women of today, and women of our future.I give this movie Iron Jawed Angels, two thumbs up, with a high five and/or a secret handshake, isn’t that what some boys do? I’d like to ask you to broaden the minds of other young women by passing this movie down generation to generation, so that the lives of the women who fought so hard for our political freedom and equality can be the strength and the bond that keeps us moving forward to allow us to follow our dreams as women American Citizens.