IWD 2022 | 8 Movies With Inspirational Female Characters
International Women’s Day will be taking place this year on the 8th March 2022, and we wanted to do a series of blogs to inspire and get the conversation going about brilliant women in our lives.
Everyone watches movies – right? Seriously, name something better than planning a movie night, ordering a delicious takeaway and lounging on the sofa without a care in the world … A DREAM!
What makes a movie even more endearing is when there’s a strong female character lead who doesn’t conform to societal expectations. That is exactly the sort of movie which is perfect to watch for International Women’s Day 2022.
Keep in mind, we wish we had all the time in the world to list every single movie out there with inspiring female characters, but that’s just not the case. We’ve narrowed it down to some of the classics and newest films out there to watch.
Check out the top 8 down below and get your inspo for your next movie night!
1. Lara Croft (Lara Croft: Tomb Raider 2001)
Firstly, we begin with a fictional character – Lara Croft – who’s the main protagonist out of the video game, Tomb Raider. In 2001, the iconic Angelina Jolie starred as Croft as she raced against time and villains to recover powerful ancient artefacts.
When it comes to inspirational female casts, Croft throws away any stereotypes a woman has. She demonstrates strength, boldness and athleticism throughout as she battles her way to saving the world.
In video games, front and centre female characters just weren’t a thing until Lara Croft was born. Her fame and fortune came from the curiosity of gamers who had never experienced shooting bears, diving over booby traps and swinging between ledges whilst in control of a female character.
The film itself has had lots of controversy, as to whether the sex appeal of Croft is more of a statement, or whether she really does stand as a feminist icon. Despite this over sexualisation, we believe Croft gives young women a positive image of being independent, strong and a fighter. We also give huge creds to the movies by not giving Croft a romantic interest to help her out, as it highlights how she gets by without the need of a man!
2. Katniss Everdeen (The Hunger Games)
Katniss Everdeen, in comparison to Lara Croft, is a more recent protagonist who stars in the movie series – The Hunger Games. She has an inspiring role throughout, which is first illustrated when she steps up to take on the games in place of her younger sister. From this scene itself, you can already guarantee she’s a hugely inspirational female character to watch and fall in love with.
Everdeen features in all 4 of the movies, and she’s shown to battle her way through trying to destroy the Capitol who have society trapped into a web of death. Using her strong survival skills, incredible bow and arrow arm and sharp instincts, she’s able to help the districts to try and defeat the Capitol.
As an inspirational female character, we think she epitomises the phrase. She’s forced into a situation filled with violence, yet her only motivation is to care for, look after others and the districts around her. We’re completely OBSESSED.
3. Elle Woods (Legally Blonde)
Taking a step back from all the action and hopping on the fluffy pink train full of romance, shopping and law only leads us onto our next character – Elle Woods!
Woods is an absolutely brilliant female lead who stars as a sorority girl living the ‘dream’ life. She’s got two amazing best friends and a boyfriend to match, so really, what more could she want?
As you begin to watch the movie, you can already map out the stereotypical ‘blonde’ she’s portrayed to be. All she really seems to care about is the wedding to her BF – Warner. Little does she know, her journey through Law school will take her on her own path of self discovery. We, as watchers, begin to fall more in love with her role as the story connects together, and at the end she becomes an inspiration to all!
She encourages us to strive for what we want in life, whether it be something we’ve always dreamt of, or something totally out of our comfort zone. We learn that Elle believed she needed validation from others, when really the utmost important thing is creating her own success for her.
Once you get over the pink preppy school girl style, you truly see Elle has a heart of gold and would barely hurt a fly. We love her!
4. Celie (The Color Purple)
Celie (Whoopie Goldburg) from The Color Purple offers a completely different perspective to the protagonist when it comes to inspiring female characters. She endures racism, misogyny, and oppression throughout and portrays what life was like for her as an African American in the early 20th century.
Despite going through her experiences, Celie exhibits strength and growth through her independence as she learns how to break free from her life of abusers. She illustrates that no matter what life throws at you, keep strong and you can overcome it – there’s nothing more inspiring than that!
The film is based on the novel by Alice Walker and we recommend giving it a read first before watching the movie. It reflects their lives in more depth and will paint a picture no movie can ever get spot on.
5. Yu Shu Lien (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon)
Yu Shu Lien is an accomplished business woman and warrior, who encompasses strength and power within herself. She lives a life of independence and shows you can be a woman and badass at the same time.
Shu Lien has an extremely tough exterior, but the film allows her to crack and show her emotional side, which is something we adore so much!
The movie came out in 2000 and it’s a fan favourite for many over the years gone by. If you’re looking to watch it, you can find it on Netflix if you have a monthly subscription – it’s well worth the watch.
6. Hermione Granger (Harry Potter Series)
Everyone has surely seen the Harry Potter series by now and knows who Hermione Granger is – right? If not, we will let you in on one of the greatest movies ever made and let you crawl out from that rock you’ve been living under a little easier…
The movies began back as 7 fantasy novels, all written by the iconic JK Rowling. They take you on a whirlwind of a journey, following the lives of Harry Potter and his friends, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger. All of whom are students at Hogwarts, a school of witchcraft and wizardry.
Granger isn’t the forefront of the movie, however is an inspiring young role model for women across the globe. She’s got the perfect blend of a good heart, independence, strength and intelligence. Want someone to look up to? Hermione is your call.
7. All Three Women From Hidden Figures
Working at NASA comes with a mind blowing job title and many benefits, especially when you’re involved in one of the greatest operations in the world. African-American mathematician Katherine Johnson and her two colleagues, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson we’re the three who directly contributed to John Glenn becoming the first American astronaut to make three complete orbits of the Earth. However, their extraordinary lives often remained overshadowed by the accomplishments of their white male colleagues.
Themes such as racism and sexism are seriously prevalent in the movie and instead of backing down, these three women proved their intelligence and never backed down despite all odds. Their ambition, determination and resilience makes them brilliant role models for women around the world, especially black women in STEM.
8. Louisa Clark (Me Before You)
Last but certainly not least, we had to include a snippet about Louisa Clark in Me Before You. If anyone’s seen this movie they’ll know just how moving, motivating and emotional it is. Prepare for the worst, but definitely watch ‘cos it’s just too good not too.
Louisa Clark is a loveable character with a free spirit and a heart of gold. Desperate for money to live and after multiple trips to the jobcentre, she gets the most obscure opportunity to look after the Traynor’s disabled son – Will. You’re taken on a journey of their budding friendship, through all the ups and downs.
For inspirational female characters, Louisa Clark isn’t necessarily your strong feminist who defies all odds. In fact, she’s endearing, sweet and motivated to work hard to provide for her family. She’s not like all the other girls and sticks to her quirky, unique style. This shows women watching that they can be who they want and don’t have to conform to societal norms.
And there we have it, the list of 8 inspirational female characters in movies you need to watch in 2022! We hope you’ve enjoyed reading our list and let us know on our socials who your favourite female lead is if they’re not on this list. We know there’s LOTS more we could list, and like we’ve said we wish we had more time to write about more.
Check out our other IWD 2022 blogs here…