Last week saw International Women’s Day and today is Momma Bears Day. Celebrating women and mother’s has become quite an important thing for me in my life, more so since becoming a Mom, as I’m sure is the case in every woman’s life. I’m proud to be a woman and proud of being a Mum. So, let’s talk about those women who have brought strong female characters to our screens.
A friend and I were talking, a few weeks back, about how often you see a strong female lead, specifically in Dystopian movies since that’s what we both love to watch. The answer, we discovered, was not all that often. What about in the broader sense? Movies are still often male dominated storylines with the man as protector, over-ruler and saviour. He is shown to be the intellect, the savvy and the brawn. The woman, his sidekick, his love interest, is the one to be saved.
I realise this is a massive generalisation but it got me thinking about the movies that feature strong female leads. Netflix, with their obscure and bizarre categories, have a search function for Strong Female Leads which really doesn’t lead to much and is somewhat lacklustre in what they consider to be a strong female lead. Strong does not mean she has to go kick ass and knock a few heads about but, alas, Kill Bill sat there as their mark for what a strong female character has to achieve.
I have spent the guts of a few hours scrolling through Netflix to see what appeals to me, as a woman, in movies that have, what I consider to be, a strong female lead.
What I have found are women with intense intellect, women with hearts of pure sincerity, women with brawn and determination. And stories of women I have not seen as of yet. Here’s a few that may interest you.
Check out my other top favourite lists on Netflix here
Mirelle Amos changed crime detective shows for me. In the 90s as a kid I was addicted to the likes of Perry Mason and had a soft spot for The Father Dowling Mysteries. But they pail in comparison to the mystery and intensity brought to us in The Killing. Sarah Linden (Amos) is no Jessica Fletcher. She is an amazingly strong, diverse, intelligent but damaged human being who confronts hardships in her career and in her life with grace and sometimes dignity. She is a hard women who has dislodged herself from emotion to find answers. When emotion creeps in, we almost hurt with her. An incredibly intelligent woman she understands more about the dangers of life, relationships and wanting something more than you should.
It is years since I’ve seen Girl, Interrupted and I’m chuffed I’ve discovered its on Netflix so I can rewatch this one. Essentially, this film is based on the true events about a woman, Susanna Kaysen, who is diagnosed with a disorder and sent to a mental institution where she meets some incredibly interesting but broken women. It’s not the easiest film to watch but the characters are irrevocably real.
Ok, I know what you’re thinking. The Queen. Really? Yes, really. Now, I’m not an idiot. I know that a significant portion of the character traits displayed by Elizabeth as Queen in The Crown are subjective, possibly contrived and not to be seen as the true reality of the woman who sits on the throne. But the character played by Claire Foy is an undeniably fascinating one. Between politics, family dynamics and evolving with the changing times as the head of a monarchy, Queen Elizabeth undoubtedly has been tested numerous ways during her time. The Crown portrays a dynamic and strong character who faces more adversity any woman should ever know.
Kill Bill Vol 1 and Vol 2
I haven’t seen a single Kill Bill film despite this being one of the most iconic series with one of the strongest and powerful women at the helm. She kicks ass. Theres no denying that and it would be counter productive for me to ignore this character in the list. Starring Uma Thurman, the story revolves around an assassin who is shot by her ruthless employer, Bill. She lives and plots vengeance. I think she gets it in the end based on the amount of blood and guts that cut through the air.
Orange Is The New Black
Yeah, there are not enough words for the amount of strong, independent, damn right fierce, audacious, inspiring, crazy and hilarious women in this series. The writers of Orange Is The New Black have had a field day with bringing us women we want to see on our screens season after season. From Red to Taystee, Suzanne to Nicky, Poussey to Norma, there are a plethora of women in this series with insatiable personalities, stories and ideas.
On top of this lot we have quite a few more that have characters that may speak or sing to us. Characters that can open our eyes, hug our hearts and teach us a thing or two about life.
Tallulah; Call The Midwife; Alias Grace; Julie & Julia; Gilmore Girls; Glow; Jessica Jones; Orphan Black; Homeland and probably more
I’d love to know of any movies or TV shows you’ve watched on Netflix that have had a strong female lead! Leave a comment and let me know so I can add them to my list! Thanks
*** Disclaimer: As a member of the Netflix StreamTeam I have received a complimentary Netflix membership ***