In a time when we’re celebrating all things women, it seems only fitting that we’d give a shout-out to our favourite women-centric movies. Movies that go beyond the realms of just entertainment; movies that inspire, empower and generally make you feel proud to own a uterus.
Listed below you’ll find a range of movies that portray the kind of ball-busting, ceiling-smashing women that we want to emulate in real life.
1. The First Wives Club (1996)
Following an old friend’s tragic death, old college friends (Bette Midler, Goldie Hawn, Diane Keaton) reunite after 30 years. It doesn’t take long before they realize that all of their ex-husbands have wronged them significantly. and they decide that revenge is in order.Their combined high energy, sassy, go-getter approach means that these women succeed in getting anything that they set their minds to.
2. Fried Green Tomatoes (1992)
A movie that’s all about finding the strength within. Evelyn Couch (Kathy Bates) encounters an eccentric old woman in a nursing home and listens to her stories about powerful female friendship and drumming up the courage to swim against the tide. These stories spur Evelyn on to change her own life for the better.
3. Queen of Katwe (2016)
This female-directed documentary follows 10-year-old Phiona (Madina Nalwanga), a young girl living in Katwe, a slum in Uganda, whose life changes significantly upon being taught to play chess. Phiona is a natural at the game, and as we see her win competition after competition, we are hopeful of the bright future, free from poverty, that chess has the potential to bring her.
4. Wild (2014)
Following the loss of her mother, the end of her marriage and a pattern of self-destructive behaviour, Cheryl Strayed (Reese Witherspoon) decides to go on a life-changing, empowering journey. Taking place along the Pacific Crest Trail and, with no previous outdoors experience, Cheryl sets out alone to hike one of the longest and toughest trails in America.
5. The Devil Wears Prada (2006)
Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway join forces to depict the various trials of life as ambitious, career-focused women. An important take on the double standards that face women in the workforce.
6. Mona Lisa Smile (2003)
Katherine Watson (Julia Roberts) is a new teacher in an all-female college in the 1950’s. Opinionated and bohemian, Watson fights tirelessly for gender equality and has a big impact on her students as she makes them see that their futures hold more potential than simply becoming wives.
7. She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry (2014)
Mary Dore’s documentary follows the second-wave feminist movement in the 1960s and 1970s, with interviews with many of the women who took part in it. While it is challenging to watch examples of real-life injustice, it’s also highly uplifting to see what these women did, and how their actions paved the way for further progress down the line.
8. The Secret Life of Bees (2008)
In 1964 in the middle of the civil rights movement, 14-year-old Lilly Owens (Dakota Fanning) runs away from her abusive father with her caregiver, Rosaleen, (Jennifer Hudson). Together they are taken in by the Boatwright sisters and it’s here that Lilly experiences the power of women uniting together.
9. Frida (2002)
This is the true story of Frida Kahlo (played by Salma Hayek). The film portrays Frida’s tumultuous relationship with erratic and eccentric husband, Diego Rivera (Alfred Molina), but focuses on her outstanding professional achievements. Above all, Frida was someone who was able to overcome her health problems (she was injured in a traffic accident and battled ill health all her life), going on to become one of the most acclaimed artists in Mexican history, not to mention an internationally recognised icon.
10. “Suffragette” (2015)
It is early 20th-century Britain and as the suffragette movement gathers momentum, Maud Watts (Carey Mulligan) finds herself galvanized by political activist Emmeline Pankhurst (Meryl Streep). She subsequently joins a group of women who risk everything as they stand up for themselves, and for women everywhere. Starring Carey Mulligan, Anne-Marie Duff and Helena Bonham Carter