Finding great women on film is like hunting for that elusive remaining basselope, Rosebud. They're out there, somewhere, if you have the patience to look. After a 2010 where the Top 20 films saw female characterizations improving from wild-eyed women obsessing about men to little girls loving dinosaurs and cowboys, 2011 arrives with a little bit of hope in the air.

Unfortunately, it's hope dashed by the numbers game. The numbers are pretty rough for the first half of 2011. Less than 40% of the films feature female leads or co-leads. Only 3% are directed by women. Now to be fair, indie films often pick up a reasonable amount of the slack, and release schedules for 2011 are still being formulated. But as of now, you might want to fire up that entertainment unit and make your own retro playlist of female fare, stopping briefly to hit the theaters in March, a month that offers some of the most diverse characterizations and the most directorial offerings by women.

Hit the jump for the January-June run-down.
categories Columns, Cinematical