Kimberly Peirce Modernizes Carrie and Hollywood Culture

Today is the anniversary of the release date of the 2013 remake of Carrie, so we’re celebrating its director, Kimberly Peirce. 

Kimberly Peirce is a talented and well-loved director, known for psychological deep-dives and aesthetic cinematography. She is best known for her first feature film, Boys Don’t Cry (1999), which won the Academy Award for Hilary Swank’s performance as the lead. Boys Don’t Cry is based on the real-life story of a trans man, Brandon Teena, played by Hilary Swank. Though nowadays it’s agreed upon that a woman playing a trans man isn’t representative of the trans experience, we can still acknowledge the importance of portraying a trans narrative in 1999, when telling these stories wasn’t as common. 

Kimberly’s next film was Stop-Loss, which was a moving story about soldiers in the Iraq war. Then, in 2013, Kimberly directed the remake of the cult-favorite Carrie, modernizing the narrative not only by incorporating social media into the story but also by adding psychological and sociological context to Carrie’s supernatural abilities. 

In the words of FF2 Media Editor-in-Chief Jan Lisa Huttner, Kimberly’s Carrie: “Whereas Brian De Palma made a Hitchcock “horror film” back in 1976, today in 2013 Kimberly Peirce is more concerned with psycho-drama. So her take–even with all the same plot points–gives more weight to the mother figures (Julianne Moore as “Margaret White” and Judy Greer as “Ms. Desjardin”), as well as the dynamics of girls in groups.” Kimberly’s adaptation of Carrie won the 2014 People’s Choice Award for Favorite Movie. 

Kimberly has long been a champion of queer and woman-focused narratives in her films. She is also a founding member of ReFrame, an organization dedicated to ending discrimination against women and people of color in Hollywood, and she is also the head of the Diversity Committee for Directors for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Kimberly is talented and forward-thinking, both in her films and outside of them. 

© Julia Lasker (10/18/22) FF2 Media


Read Sophia Jin’s celebration of Kimberly Peirce here. 

Read Katusha Jin’s review of Stop-Loss here. 

Read Jan Lisa Huttner’s review of Carrie here. 

Read about Kimberly’s election to the 2017-2018 board of governors for the AMPAS here. 

Tags: AMPAS, Boys Don't Cry, Carrie, chloe grace moretz, Hilary Swank, Kimberly Peirce, Stop Loss

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As an associate for FF2 Media, Julia writes reviews and features for films made by women. She is currently a senior at Barnard College studying Psychology. Outside of FF2, her interests include acting, creative writing, thrift shopping, crafting, and making and eating baked goods. Julia has been at FF2 for almost 4 years, and loves the company and its mission dearly.
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