Strange IndiaStrange India

The biopics nominated for Best Picture in this year’s Oscar race (OppenheimerMaestro) put famous men front and center, with little mention of the women who stood by them and helped them achieve greatness. That doesn’t seem right for an awards ceremony taking place during Women’s History Month.

If you want to right that wrong, we offer 10 empowering historical films that put dynamic, powerful women front and center—just in time for our annual celebration of the women who have shaped our past and created a bright future for all of us. 

Erin Brockovich (2000)

There’s a scene in this award-winning legal drama when George, the biker boyfriend of the titular character, demands that she choose between him and her job. At this moment, Brockovich, played by Julia Roberts, realizes who she is and the importance of her work, and she chooses her job. It’s a small moment in the film but also one of the most powerful.

Where to stream: Netflix, Digital rental

On the Basis of Sex (2018)

Felicity Jones puts in a powerful performance as Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The film, written by the Justice’s nephew, depicts her journey as a law student to become a co-founder of the Women’s Rights Project at the ACLU. She eventually walks up the steps of the Supreme Court building to become an icon. 

Where to stream: Digital rental

What’s Love Got to Do With It (1993)

While Tina Turner reportedly was not fond of the film about her life because it changed many of the details of her rise to rock superstardom, it does boast a breakthrough performance by Angela Bassett, who depicts the legend as a force of nature that no one could contain.

Where to stream: Digital rental

Persepolis (2007)

Coming-of-age dramas can feel a little routine, but there’s nothing typical about this black-and-white animated drama about a young girl during the Iranian Revolution who vows to stay true to herself even as her country’s social freedoms begin to diminish, affecting her and her family in considerable ways.

Where to stream: YouTubeDigital rental

Battle of the Sexes (2017)

It was one match that changed women’s tennis forever. In 1973, the sexist Bobby Riggs (Steve Carrell) convinced top tennis star Billie Jean King (Emma Stone) to play in a fateful game dubbed the “Battle of the Sexes.” Depicting a past that is still somehow related to our present, you can’t help but cheer for King, even if you already know how the match ends. 

Where to stream: Digital rental

The Young Victoria (2009)

On the surface, this historical drama about young Queen Victoria’s ascent to the throne has all the makings of an episode of The Crown. However, there’s a love story between a woman in power and a man who wishes to work with, not over, her that gives the film its heart. 

Where to stream: YouTube, Digital rental

Selena (1997)

Growing up under her father’s strict supervision, Selena Quintanilla Pérez grows into a strong woman and successful Latin pop star before the president of her fan club tragically kills her just as she’s about to cross over into the English-speaking market. This groundbreaking film features a stunning performance by Jennifer Lopez, who would become a multi-hyphenate star after its release. 

Where to stream: Digital rental

Gorillas in the Mist (1988)

Traveling to the Congo to study mountain gorillas, eccentric researcher Dian Fossey is met with resistance not only because of political unrest in the region but because of her gender. She eventually forms a bond with and protects these majestic creatures. Sigourney Weaver portrays Fossey, spending much of Oscar-nominated performance with the animals she studies (or men in costumes imitating them) to elevate what could have been a typical biopic into something more profound. 

Where to stream: Digital rental

Frida (2002)

This critically acclaimed biopic successfully links the titular painter’s life with her extraordinary work, which at the time was overshadowed by her oversexed spouse, Diego Rivera. But even as tragedy seeps into her life, Kahlo’s passion for her art never stops, as if she would die if she could no longer paint. 

Where to stream: Pluto TV, Paramount+ with ShowtimeDigital rental

Hidden Figures (2016)

Math got John Glenn into space—and three African-American women working for NASA (at a time when segregation and sexism were the norm) calculated the equations that got him there. While the film takes a lot of historical license to tell a crowd-pleasing story, it doesn’t take away from the fact that extraordinary females played a significant role in helping the United States win the Space Race.

Where to stream: Disney+, Digital rental

Source link


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *