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I’ve noticed that a lot of you, my readers, are just as much fans of a good book or movie as I am. Therefore, I figured that a good way for us to celebrate International Women’s Day this year is with a virtual movie night. So ladies, grab some wine, put popcorn in a bowl and settle in for a girl’s only movie-thon featuring some truly amazing women!
Why do we celebrate Women’s Day
International Women’s Day is celebrated every year on March 8th. It is a day to commemorate the struggles and sacrifices of the women who fought so that we have a more just and well governed society today (although much still needs to be done). Because women’s rights are human rights and any society that supports its women gets an improved standard of living for all its citizens in the end.
Historically speaking, in the beginning there was no set date for its celebration. It is said that the particular date is an anniversary of a protest by women garment workers in New York on March 8, 1857. However, this is debated by historians.
Truth be told, there is still much way to go before true equality for all people is achieved. For instance, according to the Telegraph:
“A gender pay gap persists across the globe and women are still not present in equal numbers in business or politics. Figures show that globally, women’s education, health and violence towards women is still worse than that of men.” – The Telegraph, UK
35 movies with a strong female lead
So, in order to get us all inspired to pursue our dreams and goals, whatever they may be, from a big family to a big career, here is my selection of 35 movies with a strong female lead.
1. Breakfast At Tiffany’s – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0054698/
A young New York socialite becomes interested in a young man who has moved into her apartment building, but her past threatens to get in the way.
2. Legally Blonde – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0250494/
Elle Woods, a fashionable sorority queen is dumped by her boyfriend. She decides to follow him to law school, while she is there she figures out that there is more to her than just looks.
3. Erin Brockovich – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0195685/
An unemployed single mother becomes a legal assistant and almost single-handedly brings down a California power company accused of polluting a city’s water supply.
4. Mona Lisa Smile – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0304415/
A free-thinking art professor teaches conservative 1950s Wellesley girls to question their traditional social roles.
5. Out of Africa – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0089755/
In 20th-century colonial Kenya, a Danish baroness/plantation owner has a passionate love affair with a free-spirited big-game hunter.
6. Wonder Woman – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0451279
When a pilot crashes and tells of conflict in the outside world, Diana, an Amazonian warrior in training, leaves home to fight a war, discovering her full powers and true destiny.
7. The Queen – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0436697/
After the death of Princess Diana, Queen Elizabeth II struggles with her reaction to a sequence of events nobody could have predicted.
8. The Iron Lady – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1007029/
An elderly Margaret Thatcher talks to the imagined presence of her recently deceased husband as she struggles to come to terms with his death while scenes from her past life, from girlhood to British prime minister, intervene.
9. Kill Bill – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0266697/
The Bride wakens from a four-year coma. The child she carried in her womb is gone. Now she must wreak vengeance on the team of assassins who betrayed her – a team she was once part of.
10. Million Dollar Baby – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0405159/
A determined woman works with a hardened boxing trainer to become a professional.
11. Lara Croft: Tomb Raider – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0146316/
Video game adventurer Lara Croft comes to life in a movie where she races against time and villains to recover powerful ancient artifacts.
12. Terminator 2: Judgement Day – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0103064/
A cyborg, identical to the one who failed to kill Sarah Connor, must now protect her ten year old son, John Connor, from a more advanced cyborg. But this time, Sarah has evolved into a full-scale kick-ass mother who won’t let anybody hurt her child.
13. Alien – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0078748/
After a space merchant vessel perceives an unknown transmission as a distress call, its landing on the source moon finds one of the crew attacked by a mysterious lifeform, and they soon realize that its life cycle has merely begun.
14. The Long Kiss Goodnight – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0116908/
A woman suffering from amnesia begins to recover her memories after trouble from her past finds her again.
15. Gone With The Wind – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0031381
A manipulative woman and a roguish man conduct a turbulent romance during the American Civil War and Reconstruction periods.
16. Juno – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0467406/
Faced with an unplanned pregnancy, an offbeat young woman makes an unusual decision regarding her unborn child.
17. Persepolis – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0808417/
A precocious and outspoken Iranian girl grows up during the Islamic Revolution.
18. Thelma & Louise – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0103074/
Two best friends set out on an adventure, but it soon turns around to a terrifying escape from being hunted by the police, as these two girls escape for the crimes they committed.
19. Queen Christina – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0024481/
Queen Christina of Sweden is a popular monarch who is loyal to her country. However, when she falls in love with a Spanish envoy, she must choose between the throne and the man she loves.
20. The African Queen – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0043265
In Africa during World War I, a gin-swilling riverboat captain is persuaded by a strait-laced missionary to use his boat to attack an enemy warship.
21. His Girl Friday – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0032599/
A newspaper editor uses every trick in the book to keep his ace reporter ex-wife from remarrying.
22. Nine to Five – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0080319/
Three female employees of a sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot find a way to turn the tables on him.
23. The Color Purple – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0088939/
A black Southern woman struggles to find her identity after suffering abuse from her father and others over four decades.
24. Clueless – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0112697
A rich high school student tries to boost a new pupil’s popularity, but reckons without affairs of the heart getting in the way.
25. Fried Green Tomatoes – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0101921/
A housewife who is unhappy with her life befriends an old lady in a nursing home and is enthralled by the tales she tells of people she used to know.
26. Whale Rider – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0298228/
A contemporary story of love, rejection and triumph as a young Maori girl fights to fulfill a destiny her grandfather refuses to recognize.
27. Little Women – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0110367/
Louisa May Alcott’s autobiographical account of her life with her three sisters in Concord, Massachusetts in the 1860s. With their father fighting in the American Civil War, sisters Jo, Meg, Amy and Beth are at home with their mother, a very outspoken women for her time. The story tells of how the sisters grow up, find love and find their place in the world.
28. Orlando – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0107756/
Young nobleman Orlando is commanded by Queen Elizabeth I to stay forever young. Miraculously, he does just that. The film follows him as he moves through several centuries of British history, experiencing a variety of lives and relationships along the way, and even changing sex.
29. Bend it like Beckham – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0286499/
The daughter of orthodox Sikh rebels against her parents’ traditionalism and joins a football team.
30. A League of Their Own – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0104694/
Two sisters join the first female professional baseball league and struggle to help it succeed amidst their own growing rivalry.
31. First Wives Club – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0116313/
Reunited by the death of a college friend, three divorced women seek revenge on the husbands who left them for younger women.
32. Dirty Dancing – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0092890/
Spending the summer at a Catskills resort with her family, Frances “Baby” Houseman falls in love with the camp’s dance instructor, Johnny Castle.
33. Emma – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0116191/
While matchmaking for friends and neighbours, a young 19th Century English woman nearly misses her own chance at love. Film adaptation of the classic Jane Austen novel, starring Gwyneth Paltrow
34. Elizabeth & Elizabeth: The Golden Age – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0127536/
A film of the early years of the reign of Elizabeth I of England and her difficult task of learning what is necessary to be a monarch, starring the amazing Cate Blanchett.
35. The Joy Luck Club – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0107282/
The life histories of four Asian women and their daughters reflect and guide each other.
Finally, I’m excited about two upcoming films, not yet released, but coming soon to theaters: Ocean’s 8 and The Book Club. Both movies feature the cream of the crop of female actors, from Sandra Bullock to the forever-young-and-gorgeous Jane Fonda (btw did you just see her in this year’s Oscars? I mean, this is one stunning 81-year-old!)
These are the trailers for both movies:
Happy International Women’s Day!