It’s hard to believe that Fall is approaching so rapidly, before you know it, it’ll be comfy sweater weather. However, while you’re still busy running around in the heat, I’ve compiled a list of empowering movies for those days when you just want to sit inside.
#1 Wild (2014)
This movie gained notoriety during the 2014 Academy Awards with nominations in both actress in a leading role (Reese Witherspoon) and actress in a supporting role (Laura Dern). This film is based off a personal memoir of the same name written by Cheryl Strayed,
Cheryl does what we all dream of doing when life becomes difficult, she packs up and heads out on her own. She backpacks along the Pacific Crest Trail, starting in the Mojave Desert and ending in Washington. Throughout the film, you see flashbacks to what Cheryl’s life was, along with the changes that happen right before your very eyes. The film is quite literally a journey to self-discovery.
#2 Frozen (2013)
It wouldn’t be a movie list if it didn’t include Frozen, an animated film that became a cult classic in a matter of weeks. And why shouldn’t we add this film to our list? Ana and Elsa have paved the way for future strong female characters in children’s movies.
If you’ve been waiting for the hype to die down before viewing this film, wait no longer. It is a must-see film for everyone. It is a story about two orphaned teens, continuing their royal family line but one sister(Elsa) has a dangerous secret that is uncovered during her coronation which causes her to flee. It is up to the other sister(Ana) to bring her family back together and restore order to their little kingdom.
Two things about this film that make it so empowering are that it puts into question all of those stereotypical fairy-tale romances where the couple gets married after only hours of knowing one another and the films ends with love like most fairy-tales do but this time it is the love between two sisters that saves lives.
For those of you complaining of the heat, this is the film for you.
#3 Whip It (2009)
In many empowering movie lists there is always a sports-related film. Usually the film included in those lists is A League of Their Own, which is about an all female baseball league that is playing while the men are at war. It definitely deserves an honorable mention in this list however, I thought it’d be fitting to include a more contemporary film about women and sports.
I give you the female-dominated world of roller derby. Whip It, starring the very lovable and fabulous Ellen Page, is about a teen girl, living in a rural Texas city who is struggling to find where she belongs. After attending a roller derby game in a neighboring city, she decides to lie about her age in order to join the team and become “Babe Ruthless.”
If you like badassery and tough women who aren’t afraid of getting a little bloody, then this is a the film for you. If that isn’t the selling point, then the fact that this film was written by Shauna Cross, based on her novel Derby Girl, and directed and co-produced by Drew Barrymore should be.
#4 Amèlie (2001)
This film is for those that enjoy the occasional foreign film. Set in Paris, this romantic-comedy is about a young, eccentric girl who decides that she wants to improve the lives of those around her by doing good deeds. She creates her own little world and along the way finds love.
How’s that for a love story? Romance aside, there is love shown through our main character for her friends that she helps throughout the film. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in our own lives that we forget about those around us and this film reminds us that we are not in this world alone, we need each other.
#5 Norma Rae (1979)
Although the majority of our list is contemporary films, it wouldn’t be an adaquate movie list without a classic. This film tells the story of a true woman leader, played by the great Sally Fields, Norma Rae is a textile worker that is sick of miniscule pay and the dangerous work environment (the title character’s mother actually experiences temporary deafness due to her work environment) and decides to rally her co-workers together to start a union.
If petite, little Norma Rae can arouse the support of other textile workers despite all of the threats and attempts to shut her down made by her employers, then there is no telling what any woman can do. Norma Rae shows that if you have passion and persistence of an issue then there are no limitations on achieving your goals.
Now gather all of your girlfriends for a movie night, pile on the couch with some snacks and enjoy. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry but most importantly you will feel empowered afterwards.