March 8 is International Women’s Day, a worldwide celebration of women’s achievements and the progress they have made, as well as a reminder of the progress they have yet to make. “How will you construct a gender-equal world?” is a question posed by the International Women’s Day website this year’s theme, #EachForEqual. If you’re having trouble coming up with an answer, try surrounding yourself with strong women who serve as role models.
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Even if the Academy of Motion Pictures doesn’t seem to honor female directors, there are still a number of powerful films made by, for, and about women. Some of these films received Academy Awards recognition, while others did not. This month is Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day, and all of these films are worth seeing. A narrative like that of Katherine Johnson or Ruth Bader Ginsburg will encourage you to be your best self and achieve your goals, as well as make positive change happen.
To celebrate the achievements of all the women who have come before you, host a viewing party with your friends and watch one of these best feminist films. When it comes to history and characters, it’s not a good idea to overlook about the contributions of women. You can learn a thing or two from Jo March. Watch these films before you do anything else.
1. Hidden Figures (2017)
a list of the best female-driven films (2017)
It is based on the true story of NASA’s first three black female astronauts, who are the focus of this film. A mathematician named Katherine Johnson (Taraji P. Henson) was instrumental in the success of the first American space missions. Mary Jackson, an aerospace engineer at NASA, is played by Octavia Spencer, while Dorothy Vaughan is played by Janelle Monáe.
2. Carol (2015)
A married mother, Carol Aird (Cate Blanchett), and a younger woman, Therese Belivet, meet in Carol, which is based on Patricia Highsmith’s 1952 novel The Price of Salt (Rooney Mara). Their romance begins when they happen across each other at Therese’s place of employment during the peak of the holiday shopping season. There was an unforgiving time in history when these two were in love.
3. The Help (2011)
With Emma Stone playing white Mississippi society girl Eugenia “Skeer” Phelan, the story is based on the 2009 novel by Kathryn Stockett about “the help” working at her wealthy friends’ homes.
Aibileen, played by Viola Davis, is the only housekeeper who is prepared to speak out at the beginning. The spunky Minnie (Octavia Spencer) and the rest of the crew soon follow her lead and begin speaking up for themselves.
4. On the Basis of Sex (2018)
These events are inspired by Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s ascent to the top of the court, where she is known as The Notorious RBG.
Marty, played by Armie Hammer, is a well-known, jovial husband, while Felicity Jones portrays his wife.
5. Little Women (2019)
Louisa May Alcott and her heroic sisters, Jo and Meg, are as much the focus of Greta Gerwig’s Little Women adaption as Alcott.
Starring Saoirse Ronan, Eliza Scanlen, Laura Dern, Timothée Chalamet, Florence Pugh, Meryl Streep, and more, the film has a stellar cast.
6. Becoming Jane (2007)
When Anne Hathaway portrays a young Jane Austen, her parents’ desire to marry the grandson of Lady Gresham’s wealthiest heiress has her resisting (Maggie Smith). She already has lofty creative goals, and a loveless marriage would only serve to derail those plans. The destitute lawyer she meets instead inspires her future works.
7. Erin Brockovich (2000)
An unemployed single mother, Erin Brockovich (Julia Roberts), is involved in an automobile accident for which she is not to blame. As a result, she gets her attorney (Albert Finney) to hire her as a legal assistant at his office. Upon further research, she discovers that the water in a nearby village has been tainted, leading to a slew of deadly diseases. A actual story inspired these events.
8. Eighth Grade (2018)
A 13-year-old girl called Kayla is struggling to get through her final week of middle school in Bo Burnham’s film, which was directed by the male comedian. All middle schoolers may identify with this. We send our warmest greetings to all the Kaylas out there.
9. The Favourite (2018)
England and France are at war in the early 1800s. The throne belongs to Queen Anne (Olivia Colman), although she is not in charge. It’s actually Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough (Rachel Weisz), Anne’s best friend and longtime lover, who is in charge of military strategy. Abigail Masham (Emma Stone), Sarah’s cousin, takes over as the monarch’s new “favorite” once she learns how to seize control from Sarah.
10. Thelma and Louise (1991)
Thelma (Geena Davis) and Louise (Susan Sarandon), a lively, independent waitress, embark on a road trip to get away from their mundane existence. One night in a bar, Louise shoots and murders an intruder who is trying to assault Thelma, and her departure quickly turns into an attempt to flee the law. It’s worth rewinding and seeing the entire movie if you’ve only watched it for the memorable finish.
11. Gloria: In Her Own Words (2011)
An in-depth look at how one of the most influential feminists of the 20th century came to start Ms. Magazine, this film chronicles her life from her difficult upbringing in Ohio to her time at Smith College. Ms.’s birthplace in New York City, where she now lives, is also shown in flashbacks.
12. Steel Magnolias (1989)
You’ll want to jot down the names of all the talented females in this film just to keep track of who’s who. In addition to being a newlywed and dealing with diabetes, M’Lynn (Sally Fielddaughter )’s Shelby is a role model for people everywhere. Despite her mother’s disapproval, she has a strong support system when it comes to having a baby with her new spouse. In this film, Dolly Parton, Olympia Dukakis, Shirley MacLaine, and Daryl Hannah all play leading roles.
13. Amazing Grace (2018)
Aretha Franklin’s 1972 Los Angeles gospel concert at New Temple Missionary Baptist Church is included in this documentary. Sidney Pollack directed the film, which was supposed to be released in 1972 but was delayed until Franklin’s family consented to let it be released after her death in 2018.
14. Suffragette (2015)
Carey Mulligan plays a working wife and mother named Maud in this biopic about the British suffragette movement, which is based on a true incident.
Meryl Streep portrays Emmeline Pankhurst, a real-life suffragette.
15. Wild (2014)
Witherspoon plays a grieving author who resolves to hike the Pacific Crest Trail as a way to cope with losing her mother in Cheryl Strayed’s 2012 novel, Wild. Making up one’s mind to go on a hike is only the beginning of the journey. As she embarks on the arduous journey, she encounters her greatest psychological challenges yet.
16. A League of Their Own (1992)
There are fewer Americans playing America’s favorite pastime during World War II since so many of the country’s men are serving overseas. Baseball, of course, is a need for us! Tom Hanks and Geena Davis star in this Penny Marshall-directed picture about a Midwest all-baseball women’s club. Geena Davis and Madonna also appear.
17. Booksmart (2019)
Amy (Kaitlyn Dever) and Molly (Beanie Feldstein), two straight-A students who decide to have one wild night before college in Olivia Wilde’s directorial debut. As they attempt to party with the “cool” kids, things get out of hand and they discover that they were the cool ones all along. Galentine’s Day in the style of Leslie Knope is a given with this one.
18. Queen of Katwe (2016)
Phiona (Madina Nalwanga) is a ten-year-old Ugandan girl living in the Kampala slum of Katwe. She meets David Oyelowo’s Robert Katende (David Oyelowo) and learns how to play chess from him. When Phiona is a chess master, her world is transformed. The film also features Lupita Nyong’o, who plays a supporting role.
19. Homecoming: A Film By Beyoncé (2019)
With this film, we get a look at how and why Beyoncé’s 2018 Coachella performance came to be, and what inspired the Grammy-winning singer to perform with the theme “Black Girl Magic.” If you’re going to see Beyoncé, make sure to stick around for the highlights.
20. 9 to 5 (1980)
As three women who are fed up with their pompous and sexist employer, Dolly Parton, Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin star in the film (Dabney Coleman). However, they end up doing much more than just teaching him a lesson. Women who dare to make it are the ones who bring about true change, as the film’s message makes clear.