The holiday season is here, and for film buffs, Christmastime brings the beginning of Oscar season. Though critically-acclaimed biopics are already baiting Academy voters everywhere, the New York Times Magazine has devoted much of the space in its Hollywood issue to notable women who have made a splash in the film industry this year.
One part of the Grey Lady’s girl power narrative is a 13-part video feature dedicated to 2012’s strongest leading ladies. This ‘web series’ (and I mean web series in the broadest sense of the term) is called Wide Awake, and it is equal parts impressive and mystifying. Check out the Anne Hathaway installment, where the Les Miserables and Dark Knight Rises star does some sort of colorful dance in an apartment she is cleaning:
The description for Wide Awake defines it as “A video gallery of dreams and transformations, featuring 13 actresses whose performances defined the year in film.” The ambiguity of such a tagline allows director Tierney Gearon to film each scene with plenty of symbolism and hidden meaning. I’m not sure why Rebel Wilson turns into a mermaid or how Keira Knightley manages to levitate a parasol, but Wide Awake‘s presentation is undeniably artsy.
In my mind, Wide Awake is notable not for its nebulous imagery, but for its cast; most of the thirteen actresses involved are Hollywood heavyweights, and several others (such as Beasts of the Southern Wild‘s Quvenzhane Wallis) could get there soon. Even if you can’t wrap your head around the intricate meanings woven through each installment, you can still enjoy watching your favorite actress from the previous year get a little extra screen time. Unless, of course, your favorite acting performance was Kristen Stewart in Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2, in which case you might want to check out a couple other films that were released this year.