Rest, Relax and Revive with a Few of Hollywood’s Strongest Female Characters
Post holiday hoopla and the end of year business bustle, it’s important to take a few hours here and there to restore equilibrium and find inspiration for the coming year. Watching movies–even the ones you’ve seen a dozen times before–is a great way to unwind. When you make time for yourself this week, don’t forget this wonderful collection of movies with strong female actors and resilient female characters.
- Hope Floats – Birdie Pruitt (Sandra Bullock) returns home to Texas after her husband humiliates her on national television by announcing his affair with her best friend. No longer the “Queen of Corn” and obviously not the success she was once predicted to be; Birdie learns that she has more strength than she gives herself credit for.
- Steel Magnolias – Overflowing with a vibrant and powerful cast of women including Sally Field, Dolly Parton, Shirley MacLaine, Daryl Hannah, Julia Roberts and Olympia Dukakis, the movie revolves around a local beauty salon and the friends who gather there. You’re sure to laugh, cry and cheer them on.
- Eat, Pray, Love – Elizabeth Gilbert’s memoir comes to life in this movie starring Julia Roberts. The film tracks Gilbert’s post-divorce, voyage of self-discovery around the world.
- Legally Blonde – Reese Witherspoon makes you fall in love with Elle Woods, the sorority girl turned Harvard Law student. Even if her antics aren’t totally realistic, one can’t help but cheer for a woman who seems to say, “Why not?”
- Erin Brockovich – This true story of a single mother/legal assistant who takes on a California utility company polluting the city water supply has viewers instantly rooting for the underdog. Julia Roberts plays Brockovich with the perfect blend of grittiness and guts.
- Fargo – Marge Gunderson, a pregnant sheriff from Brainerd, MN, will stop at nothing to solve three murders that take place in her jurisdiction. Frances McDormand is brilliant as Marge, for which she won an Academy Award for Best Actress.
- Dirty Dancing – When Frances “Baby” Houseman heads to the Hamptons on a summer holiday with her family, it never occurs to her to mind being called Baby or that she will have to weigh her beliefs against those of her parents. She soon learns the importance of standing up for what she believes in and doing what is right, not what is convenient.
- Silkwood – Based on the true story of Karen Silkwood, a metallurgy worker at a plutonium plant who was a labor union activist and whistleblower killed in a suspicious car accident. The film calls to question the balance between worker safety and bottom line and the potential dangers of questioning the powers that be. Karen Silkwood is portrayed by Meryl Streep with a supporting cast including Cher and Kurt Russell.
- The Color Purple – The film tells the story of the daily struggles of an African American woman Celie Harris (Whoopi Goldberg) and her friends in early 1900’s North Carolina. It was a breakthrough role for Oprah Winfrey and includes Margaret Avery, Danny Glover and Laurence Fishburn.
- 9 to 5 – What happens when you cross a tight-knit team of secretaries? They retaliate and mayhem ensues. It’s debatable which of the strong female leads–Dolly Parton, Jane Fonda, or Lily Tomlin–steals the show when they take on Dabney Coleman as the original horrible boss, Franklin Hart, Jr.
- Coal Miner’s Daughter – The biographical story of country music great, Loretta Lynn, the movie features Sissy Spacek as Lynn and Tommy Lee Jones as her husband Doolittle. It follows Lynn’s rise to fame from her humble Kentucky upbringing through her tenacious push to stardom.
Whether you spend the two hours or 24 hours of the new year devouring the movies on this list, you cannot miss with these audacious characters.5