It wasn’t the fact that the entire movie was structured as Oscar-bait, nor was it the historical inaccuracies. I watched The King’s Speech with increasing frustration because every time Helena Bonham Carter came onto the screen, I thought, “Are they going to let her do anything? Or is she just going to sit on her husband’s stomach and quip one liners?”

From Reverence to Rape: The Treatment of Women in Movies by Molly Haskell. 444 pages. University of Chicago Press. $21.

Despite the narrowness of her role, Carter was nominated for an Academy Award, and on February 27, we’ll get to see which woman in a category full of girlfriends, wives, and mothers takes the award.

Hollywood is not a woman-friendly place, and the Academy Awards are an annual festival that hammers home that point. Once again there are… More…