I’ve been putting together a number of lists of movies, TV shows and other media that feature women that I have called kick-ass. (For an index to the lists, see the kick-ass women project page.) The lists so far are mostly about movies and shows in the action genre, with lots of nods to those women characters who can really kick some ass. As in physical kicking of physical asses. It has recently been suggested to me that it would also be nice to see more about movies with women who kick-ass in a more figurative sense: strong, courageous, intelligent and in control. Possessing of dignity, integrity and wit. So, here goes:
10 great movies with kick-ass women who don’t necessarily kick anyone’s ass
- Cold Comfort Farm (1995)
Flora Poste (Kate Beckinsale) is a witty young woman who likes to put things in order. She is not easily daunted, even by her somewhat menacing eccentric relatives. (This is one of my favorite movies, too. Also a very funny and pleasant movie.)
- Dolores Claiborne (1995)
This thriller features several strong and intelligent women characters, played by Kathy Bates, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Judy Parfitt.
- Contact (1997)
Jodie Foster plays Eleanor Arroway, a brilliantly kick-ass scientist. (I actually haven’t seen this yet, but have it on good authority that her character kicks ass.)
- Zero Effect (1998) Kim Dickens plays Gloria Sullivan, a young woman who brilliantly and calmly masterminds a scheme for her own ends. An excellent mystery movie overall, too.
- Shakespeare in Love (1998)
Viola De Lesseps (Gwyneth Paltrow) flouts tradition and disguises herself as a boy in order to pursue her desire to act on the stage.
- 10 Things I Hate About You (1999)
In this adaptation of Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew, Kat Stratford (Julia Stiles), is a high school girl who knows her mind. And knows a lot of other things, too.
- Saving Grace (2000)
Brenda Blethyn plays Grace Trevethyn, a courageous and innovative woman with a green thumb who turns to unusual measures to make money to save her house.
- Le Fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain (2001)
Audrey Tautou stars as Amélie, who uses her wit and creativity to make a difference in the world around her.
- Bend it Like Beckham (2002)
Parminder Nagra plays Jesminder ‘Jess’ Kaur Bhamra, a teenage girl who defies her traditional family’s wishes to pursue her love of football (as in soccer). Also features Keira Knightly as another footballer.
- Volver (2006)
This Almodóvar movie is dominated by strong women characters.Penélope Cruz stars as Raimunda, a daughter, a sister, and a mother of a teenage daughter. Courageous and resourceful, she pulls things together to protect her daughter after an incident where her daughter kills a man in self-defense.
This post is being kicked over to the //engtech group writing project #3.