Not the weaker sex: 20 films about strong and successful women

Nothing inspires confidence like motivational films about strong people. Especially if the brave women succeed and overcome difficulties on their way. The heroines from the selection of the best films about strong women are just that – independent, inspiring and charismatic. You have already heard many names, some characters are fictitious, but all of them will definitely not leave you indifferent.

Dr. Lisa (2020)

Among the novelties of cinema in 2020, a soulful Russian drama stands out, telling about one day in the life of palliative medicine doctor Elizaveta Petrovna Glinka. Today, the founder of the Fair Aid Foundation celebrates her 30th anniversary of living together with her husband, and a celebration is being prepared in the evening. And in the morning, Lisa will have to illegally obtain painkillers for the dying girl. On top of that, the police are following the woman . Everyone needs Dr. Lisa, and she cannot refuse those in need.

What do you think, is it worth filming a sequel, and what should be in it?

Genre:
Drama, biography

Actors:
Chulpan Khamatova, Andrzej Khyra, Konstantin Khabensky …

Country:
Russia

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 8.1

Age restrictions:
16+


By gender (2018)

A motivational biopic about successful woman Ruth Ginsburg based on a true story. In the mid-1950s, Ruth entered Harvard Law School. There were only 9 girls on the course among five hundred men. It was believed that the representatives of the weaker sex did not need to learn such a profession, and all they were looking for here was a rich husband. But Ruth was able to prove the opposite, becoming the supreme judge of the United States, the first Jewish judge and the idol of millions.

Original title:
On the Basis of Sex

Genre:
Drama, biography

Actors:
Felicity Jones, Armie Hammer, Justin Theroux…

Country:
USA, China, Canada

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.3, IMDb – 7.1

Age restrictions:
16+


Colette (2018)

A film about a famous French writer of the early 20th century. Sidonie-Gabriel Colette, along with her husband Willy, is a huge success in the high society of Paris. Everyone is discussing Willy’s writing talent. His novels become bestsellers, and he is a welcome guest at any reception. In fact, these sensational books for her husband are written by Colette, who is rather tired of this state of affairs. She is no longer ready to obey her husband. Moreover, soon Colette will show the world a new self – free, strong, independent, liberated and sexy.

Original title:
Colette

Genre:
Drama

Actors:
Keira Knightley, Fiona Shaw, Dominic West…

Country:
UK, USA, France, Hungary, Netherlands

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.7, IMDb – 6.7

Age restrictions:
18+


Being Astrid Lindgren (2018)

Astrid Lindgren gave the world wonderful stories about the red-haired Pippi, the Kid and Carlson, and Emil from Lönneberga. But don’t expect too much sentimentality from the biopic. A film about a woman who has achieved worldwide success, tells about the formative years of Lindgren as a writer. Indeed, on the path of the Swedish storyteller there was a place not only for joys, but also for suffering. The viewer will find out how strong the girl’s desire to create was, and what sacrifices she had to make.

Original title:
Unga Astrid

Genre:
Drama, biography

Actors:
Alba August, Maria Bonnevi, Trine Dyurholm…

Country:
Sweden, Denmark

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.2, IMDb – 7.1

Age restrictions:
16+


Hidden Figures (2016)

A historical drama about three black women who made a huge contribution to the development of NASA and took part in the preparation for the flight of the first US astronaut into space. Professional knowledge, strong will and serious ambitions helped them to leave their mark in history, despite gender and racial discrimination. The plot develops during the space race of two powers – the USSR and the USA, and all the historical facts in the film are built logically and believably.

Original title:
Hidden Figures

Genre:
Drama, biography

Actors:
Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monet, Kevin Costner …

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.6, IMDb – 7.8

Age limit:
12+


Revenge haute couture (2015)

The list of the best films about strong and successful women is complemented by a foreign drama with comedy elements based on the Australian novel of the same name. As a child, Tilly was taken away from her birth mother and expelled from her hometown due to false accusations of a crime. Years have passed – now she is a chic, stylish and smart woman who decided to return to her native land. The locals are in no hurry to accept Tilly. However, her undoubted talent as a seamstress and extravagant actions attract the attention of local ladies. Everyone wants a dress from Tilly.

Original title:
The Dressmaker

Genre:
Drama, comedy

Actors:
Kate Winslet, Judy Davis, Liam Hemsworth …

Country:
Australia

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.3, IMDb – 7.1

Age restrictions:
16+


Suffragette (2015)

In the 19th century, there was no feminism yet, but even then the question of gender inequality was acute. This is how the suffragette movement appeared, advocating for the granting of women the right to vote. Peaceful demonstrations and actions gradually developed into something more radical. Several activists united in the “Socio-Political Union of Women”. This is where the main character of the film comes in. Risking her job, family, freedom and even her own head, she continues to fight for her rights.

Original title:
Suffragette

Genre:
Drama, biography, history

Actors:
Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham Carter, Brendan Gleeson, Meryl Streep…

Country:
Great Britain, France

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.9, IMDb – 6.9

Age restrictions:
16+


Joy (2015)

The script of the drama film about a famous woman is based on the real story of Joy Mangano. Since childhood, she was not like everyone else, and her dreams were special. The baby was always inventing unusual tools, showing the talent of the inventor. However, one talent is not enough for success and Joy knew it. Business acumen, perseverance and strong motivation led an ordinary girl to found a business dynasty. And the girl gained her first fame thanks to the miracle mop and hangers, which are still used by housewives.

Original title:
Joy

Genre:
Drama, biography

Actors:
Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Bradley Cooper, Edgar Ramirez…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.7, IMDb – 6.6

Age restrictions:
16+


Trails (2013)

The main character of the film, Robin, decides to cross the Australian desert alone and reach the Indian Ocean. On the journey, she will be accompanied by a dog and four camels. Having learned about the interesting plans of the girl, National Geographic magazine offers her a photographer to accompany her to capture the trip and make travel notes. For Robin Davidson, it’s not just a hike. Along the way, she tries to cope with personal trauma and become independent.

Original title:
Tracks

Genre:
Drama, biography

Actors:
Mia Wasikowska, Adam Driver, Rolly Mintuma…

Country:
Australia

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.0, IMDb – 7.2

Age limit:
16+


English Vinglish (2012)

A wonderful film about a strong-willed woman – a comedy drama with a high rating and positive reviews from the audience will take you to the atmosphere of modern India. Shashi has a family – a working husband, two wonderful children. Relatives treat her with disdain, but it is not enough for Shashi to be just a wife. Soon she will have to fly to New York alone, but there is one problem – this is not knowing English. The girl does not give up. She takes decisive steps to understand an unfamiliar language, overcome fears and find a place in life.

Original Title :
English Vinglish

Genre:
Drama, Comedy, Family

Actors:
Sridevi, Adil Hussain, Mehdi Nebbu…

Country:
India

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.8, IMDb – 7.8


Help (2011)

They cannot sit at the same table with the “owners”, use a common toilet and cutlery. But it is they who raise white children, feed them, wipe away tears, comfort and educate. This is a dark-skinned servant of the American South of the 60s. Brave girl Skeeter decides to team up with wise black housekeeper Aibelyn to write an honest book about what lies behind closed doors and beautiful facades. They will have to risk everything. In the struggle for equality, Skeeter can lose friends, love and status in society, and Abelin even her life.

Original title:
The Help

Genre:
Drama

Actors:
Emma Stone, Viola Davis, Bryce Dallas Howard, Octavia Spencer, Jessica Chastain …

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 8.2, IMDb – 8.0

Age Limits :
12+


Iron Lady (2011)

The film is one of the best films about strong women who have achieved success, and tells the biography of Margaret Thatcher from the moment when she had just set foot on the path of a political career . From her youth, Margaret goes ahead to her goal – to make history, to be the leader of the country, an influential statesman. Choosing permanent study and work instead of parties with friends and walks with boyfriends, she becomes the first woman who was really listened to in the political world.

Original title:
The Iron Lady

Genre:
Drama, biography

Actors:
Meryl Streep, Jim Broadbent, Susan Brown…

Country:
Great Britain, France

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.0, IMDb – 6.4

Age restrictions:
12+


Desert Flower (2009)

This is the real life story of fashion model Waris Dirie. At the age of 13, a Somali girl ran away from home and wandered for a long time until she reached London with other migrant relatives. After several years of hard work, she managed to achieve success in the modeling business. Today, Waris Dirie is known throughout the world as a UN special ambassador and founder of a fund to combat the cruel rites of her people. She ended her modeling career and focused on her main mission – helping women around the world.

Original title:
Desert Flower

Genre:
Drama, biography

Actors:
Leah Kebede, Sally Hawkins, Craig Parkinson …

Country:
UK, Germany, Austria, France

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 8.0, IMDb – 7.4

Age restrictions:
18+


Joanna – a woman on the papal throne (2009)

The plot of the film about a woman with a strong character who did the impossible does not apply to proven historical events. However, there is an opinion that the fact of ruling the holy throne by a woman could well be. At the beginning of the 9th century, a girl was born in the German wilderness. Jonah grew up as a wise girl, but the father, the priest, did not want to take into account the achievements of his daughter, considering women to be wicked creatures. However, she still managed to graduate from church school, get to the Vatican and take the place of the Pope.

original title :
Die Päpstin

Genre:
Drama, melodrama

Actors:
Johanna Vokalek, David Wenham, John Goodman…

Country:
Germany, UK, Italy, Spain

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.6, IMDb – 6.7

Age restrictions:
18+


Coco before Chanel (2009)

The film is an inspiration for fans of big fashion and biographical stories. Coco Chanel dressed the women in trousers, little black dresses, handed them bags with long handles and presented them with their favorite fragrance. And the world legend began with the employment of the orphan Gabrielle as a seamstress. Her path to glory was thorny and long. During this time, she changed her name, endured a lot of humiliation, learned real feelings and coped with the loss of a loved one. Only creativity helped the great Mademoiselle survive all the difficulties.

Original title:
Coco avant Chanel

Genre:
Drama, biography, history

Actors:
Audrey Tautou, Benoit Pulvoord, Alessandro Nivola …

Country:
France, Belgium

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.4, IMDb – 6.7

Age restrictions:
16+


Agora (2009)

This movie about a strong woman is worth watching, if only because of the wave of indignation that it caused among religious scholars and historians. The historical drama tells about Hypatia, the daughter of the Alexandrian mathematician Theon. From early childhood, the girl was distinguished by a critical mind and a penchant for science. She studied astrology, mathematics and philosophy. The rulers of ancient Egypt respected her and listened. While Hypatia shocked those around her with her scientific directness and her atheism, Christian fanatics seized power.

Original title:
Agora

Genre:
Drama, adventure, history

Actors:
Rachel Weisz, Max Minghella, Oscar Isaac …

Country:
Spain, Malta, Bulgaria

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.6, IMDb – 7.2

Age restrictions:
12+


Life in Pink (2007)

A biopic about the musical genius Edith Piaf consists of several parts intertwined in a chaotic manner. In the fate of the Frenchwoman with the most recognizable voice, everything was remarkable from childhood. Some compared the short but incredibly eventful life of the singer with a battle, others with a miracle. In recent years, Edith Piaf alternated stage with hospital wards, and passed away at the age of 47, having finally managed to sing her favorite anthem song “No, I don’t regret anything” for the whole of Paris from the Eiffel Tower.

Original title:
La môme

Genre:
Drama, melodrama, biography, music

Actors:
Marion Cotillard, Sylvie Testu, Pascal Greggory…

Country:
France, Great Britain, Czech Republic

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.9, IMDb – 7.6

Age restrictions:
16+


North Country (2005)

A film about a strong and independent woman who has become a hostage to the prejudices and stereotypes of society, tells the story of Josie Aim. After parting with her tyrant husband, a single mother returns to her native land. In order to independently provide for the lives of children, Josie gets a job in a coal mine. In the world of unceremonious men, she will have to defend herself from humiliation, fight for her rights, the opportunity to live and earn decently.

Original title:
North Country

Genre:
Drama

Actors:
Charlize Theron, Thomas Curtis, El Peterson, Frances McDormand, Sean Bean, Woody Harrelson, Jeremy Renner, Richard Jenkins…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.6, IMDb – 7.3

Age limit:
16 +


Million Dollar Baby (2004)

Coach forBoxing Frank Dunn is having a hard time. He never managed to raise a champion, his young years are long gone, and a difficult relationship with his daughter does not allow a man to have at least one kindred soul. Everything changes when the waitress Maggie appears in his hall, dreaming of becoming a professional boxer. More than anything, a strong but lonely girl wants to be believed in. Frank is reluctant to coach a woman, but Maggie’s unwavering resilience and tenacity cause the coach to change his mind.

Original title:
Million Dollar Baby

Genre:
Drama, sports

Actors:
Clint Eastwood, Hilary Swank, Morgan Freeman…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 8.1, IMDb – 8.1

Age restrictions:
12+


Erin Brockovich (2000)

Erin is a brash and self-assured American with three children by three different men. She is desperately trying to find a job, but all attempts fail. Until fate throws Erin circumstances that changed her life forever. A woman receives a modest position in a law firm, and a suspicious case about the machinations of a large company falls into her hands. A real feminist, Erin is not used to asking for help, she immediately grabs a unique chance herself, and resolutely goes for broke.

Original title:
Erin Brockovich

Genre:
Drama, biography

Actors:
Julia Roberts, Albert Finney, Aaron Eckhart…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.8, IMDb – 7.4

Age restrictions:
16+


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Jared Lambert/ author of the article

I’ve been writing about movies, TV shows and anime for over 3 years, and you may have seen my reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic.

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