Women have almost always been treated unfairly in Hollywood.
Whether it be how much they’re paid, the types of roles they’re offered or the things they’re asked to do for those roles, actresses have often been treated as less than in both the past and current movie industries. What makes matters worse is that this mistreatment has become the norm. Many people don’t question the gender disparity simply because that’s the way it has always been.
However, the tide has started to change in recent years. In light of movements such as #MeToo and Time’s Up (as well as women generally just being fed up), there is real change starting to unfold in Hollywood.
“This Changes Everything” is a documentary that explores the treatment of women in every aspect of the Hollywood movie industry. It’s basically an hour and a half long piece of investigative journalism, which aims to expose all of the different injustices that have occurred within the film industry.
With this film, Director Tom Donahue has crafted an absolutely enthralling and informative experience that leaves audiences not only shocked by its contents, but legitimately educated enough to contribute to the conversation and make a difference.
What works best about “This Changes Everything” is that there isn’t a single narrator. It’s not one person standing there rambling or doing a voiceover that explains everything. The entire film is driven by its interviews. Donahue interviewed dozens and dozens of different actresses, producers, directors, screenwriters and women from every aspect of the industry. Big names such as Jessica Chastain, Meryl Streep, Rashida Jones, Tiffany Haddish, Reese Witherspoon and Zoe Saldana (amongst others) all appear in the film to inform the audience about their experiences as women in Hollywood.
Reading about issues in articles online with statistics and generalities can be informative, but seeing all of these women come together and talk about their individual experiences makes the audience care. Viewers have fallen in love with so many of these actresses through popular television and film over the years. It almost feels like they’re friends, and hearing about all of the absurd ways they’ve been mistreated makes the film quite emotional at times.
For example, there’s a point in the film where Chloë Grace Moretz details her experiences during the filming of the “Carrie” remake from 2013. Moretz, who was 15 years old at the time, was asked to wear artificial breasts to make her chest stand out more. When she asked why she had to do that, all she was told was that it was a note from the studio.
“This Changes Everything” does more than provide emotional anecdotes. Donahue also did his research, providing an incredible amount of data regarding how much women are paid, how many roles or jobs they are offered, as well as the amount of screen-time they get in comparison to men. Most of the time, these numbers aren’t just spoken, they are visualized on-screen through a series of different infographics and charts. By presenting the information through these graphics, the audience follows along instead of just tuning out as soon as percentages and data are depicted.
“This Changes Everything” is a documentary that is incredibly important, and everyone should try to see it. We are all aware of the injustices in the entertainment industry, but this documentary helps viewers to truly understand and comprehend how big of an issue gender disparity is in Hollywood.