Amy Huff, our Director of Online Content, has put together some of her favorite movies with strong female characters in honor of Women’s History Month.
Seeing as how I was a history major, this seemed like the perfect opportunity to pipe up with my favorite women in historical(ish) movies.
Tea with Mussolini
This is one of my favorite movies in part because of the historical significance of the time period (the outbreak of WWII), but it also has an incredible line up of actors including Maggie Smith, Judi Dench, Joan Plowright, Cher, and so on.
Gorgeous period piece with Joan Plowright, Mia Farrow and the late Natasha Richardson which at first glance my not seem like an ode to women, but stick with it.
I love Susan Sarandon, and she knows how to bring the greatness. Sarandon’s take on motherhood in this flick is especially difficult. She plays the mother of seven sons, one of whom may have been killed in the bombing of a marine base. How does she cope with her own grief while still being the touchstone for the rest of the family?
Julie & Julia
Julia Child, as portrayed by Meryl Streep, shows how hard work, dedication and a passion for life can change the world. I exaggerate only slightly. I don’t want to think about the world without brie and profiteroles or a perfect roast chicken.
I know, another period piece, but history’s important, people! You may not have heard of this short-lived queen, but the story is beautiful.
This isn’t a ploy to work in Susan Sarandon again, but if it happens, it happens. My mother, sister, and I watched this during Christmas when we were growing up and it was a favorite tradition. More importantly, the March women’s struggles are universal and Louisa May Alcott is kind of a rock star. Growing up with all the transcendentalists couldn’t have been easy!
Out of Africa
We all talk about getting away, but Karen Blixen packed it up and moved to Africa in 1914, living on a plantation in an unhappy marriage. The movie is lovely and the young Robert Redford is too.
Helen Mirren’s portrayal of Queen Elizabeth the II was fantastic. In a movie documenting an event fairly recent in all of our memories, she was going to be under incredible scrutiny and she delivered. Amazing performance and terrific movie.
Selma Hayek rocked the unibrow in this terrific flick by Julie Taymor. The film was fantastic and conveyed the larger-than-life personalities of Frida Kahlo and Diega Rivera, and the stunning art they both created.
A League of their Own
It’s the All American game and when played by Geena Davis, Lori Petty, Rosie O’Donnell, and Madonna in super cute pink outfits, it reaches awesome! I know, I’ve set the movement back, but I love myself some pink 40’s pinup looks.
Other notable performances include Judi Dench as “M” in Goldeneye. A woman, and Judi Dench no less, as James Bond’s boss — serious greatness. Also, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Gina Torres as Zoe in Firefly: a woman who could bring the badass and rock the wife gig. Plus, a post without Firefly wouldn’t be right.