12/10/2014 09:10 am ET Updated Dec 10, 2014

The Best New Strong Female Characters Are The Weak Ones


Back in June, I wrote about the problem of Trinity Syndrome: The phenomenon of bad-ass women movie characters who get intimidating introductions and impressive bona fides, but ultimately are only around to be broken down, sidelined, rescued, or won. But Trinity Syndrome is largely a summer problem, the province of action, genre, and blockbuster movies. The cooler winds of winter are bringing a wave of female-led movies and female characters in general who have their own form of strength, which looks peculiarly like weakness. Few of these women would last a single round in the ring with capable, aggressive Trinity Syndrome victims like The Lego Movie’s Wyldstyle, or How To Train Your Dragon 2’s Valka. None of them are necessarily physically powerful, good with guns or quips, or prone to handing male characters their heinies in a showdown. But their comparative vulnerability is what makes them interesting—and what drives their stories.

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