March 24, 2011

MRQE Rewind: Strong Women in Film


With the upcoming Zack Snyder film Sucker Punch coming out this weekend, we thought it would be appropriate to create a list of the most powerful female roles in film. Forever, Hollywood has broadcasted and embodied the idea of the leading man and the powerful roles they play. Though, from films like the bio-pic Frida (starring Salma Hayek), depicting one of the world’s most talented modern artists, to Steven Spielberg’s The Color Purple, which embraced racial divides and sexism, woman prove they can be a presence and influence in films; they can hold their own and embody the role of the lead character. View the list below and let us know who you think the strongest leading ladies are.



Charlie's Angels (2000) - MRQE Metric: 63

To begin let’s start off with a trio of women that probably could make James Bond nervous, the ladies of Charlie's Angels. The concept of three gorgeous women working for a private investigation agency began in the late 1970’s with a television show of the same name that originally starred Farrah Fawcett, Kate Jackson, and Jaclyn Smith. Later in 2000, Joseph McGinty Nichol, known as McG, directed the revamp of this film, which held the stunning cast of Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz, and Lucy Liu. Released to decent critic allure, these women held their own and proved that a little ass-kicking can go a long way.\




G.I. Jane (1997) - MRQE Metric: 58

Ridley Scott's G.I. Jane redefined what a strong woman was and how she was viewed in the Military Corp. Starring Demi Moore--shaved head and all--she played the role of an U.S. Navy Special Warfare Group trainee, Lt. Jordan O'Neil. Her character was required to go through a grueling process, which was both physically and emotionally, challenging. After dealing with pressure from authorities and stress from training Lt. O’Neil, came out on top to prove everyone wrong; a truly "anything you can do, I can do better" moment.




Frida (2002) - MRQE Metric: 69

Art legend, Frida Kahlo, was a Mexican painter that died from failed health, with suspicion of an enforced overdose. Between her marriage to famed Mexican painter Diego Rivera, and her affair with Leon Trotsky, Frida was a true lover. She also possessed a talent and skill, which came forth in her quite personal paintings, that excelled her to international fame. In 2002, Salma Hayek took on the role of portraying this legendary surrealist painter. Falling short of their 14 nominations from academies across the board, one would think this film would have received more recognition – between the Academy, Golden Globes, BAFTA, and Screen Actors Guild Awards, Frida only won four titles, which were mostly makeup and music. Still a strong role to play, Salma Hayek as Frida was flawless in this film.




Persepolis (2007) - MRQE Metric: 82


Persepolis is a French animated film about a young girl living during the Iranian Revolution. When an outspoken, juvenile girl, Marji, attempts to stand up for her beliefs in 1970’s Iran, her parents send her off to school in Vienna. Realizing the changing world of Iran, Marji, upon returning home, is faced with the challenge of deciding what life to live. Her confidence, passion, and ambition come forth and echo to women about power and stance in society. The film is shot in a black-and-white style that makes the film look more vintage, and the role played by Chiara Mastroianni as Marji is both remarkable and noteworthy. She brought her character to new depths unseen before in on-screen.




Mulan (1998) - MRQE Metric: 79


Another animated flick we put in this category is Mulan, one of the most beautifully animated Disney pictures to ever to hit the silver screen. Released in 1998, Mulan is about the Chinese legend of Hua Mulan. This film was widely successful due to the close anthropological relation it had to the true Chinese culture (before production, Disney sent all their designers to China to observe the Chinese environment so the film could be comprehensible to both the Asian and Western markets). This film has been critically acclaimed for its success on both the U.S. and foreign markets and for such a strong acceptance among the Chinese audience.




Chicago (2002) - MRQE Metric: 82


“Chicago, oh, Chicago!” Talk about strong women, within the first twenty-minutes of this flick, one woman kills her husband and sister for sleeping together, while another shoots her boy-toy and makes her husband take the blame. From sex, to scandal, to celebrity and fame, these women want it all and they--in the end--successfully, possess it all. They have the looks, they have the talent, and they have the charm to get out of basically anything. This film was nominated for numerous awards and won Best Picture at the Academy Awards and Golden Globes in 2002.






To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) - MRQE Metric: 92


Jean Louise “Scout” Finch, of 1962's To Kill a Mockingbird (played by Mary Badham), is the protagonist; and, with the support of her kid brother Jem (played by Phillip Alford), they both realize how dark the world can be. Their father is a lawyer, and through sneaking around and following him, these two young children were exposed to things like racism, prejudices, and the evils of murder. This unveiling of the harsh real world helped Scout to not only support her father in his trial, but to be a guidance of wisdom for her father through the harsher times in the film. Scout taught herself to turn her vulnerabilities towards the world into optimistic view points. This film was praised it was the first rendition of the 1960 novel by the same title written by Lee Harper.





Erin Brockovich (2000) - MRQE Metric: 74

Erin Brockovich is one of Julia Robert’s strongest roles and one that truly launched her into fame and big Hollywood stardom. Talk about a powerful and strong woman, Brockovich, which is based off a real story, chooses to stand up as a single mother against the U.S. West Coast energy corporation the Pacific Gas and Electric Company for malpractice. This woman, through working as a desk clerk filing pro-bono papers, discovers wrong in a company, blows the whistle, and chose to fix it. Brockovich eventually won her case against and was rewarded $333 million for the lawsuit, which was to be divided amongst the 648 plaintiffs in this case. This film can make you laugh and cry, though the universal emotion of the audience upon seeing this flick is, "Wow, that woman really did something remarkable. You go girl!"





The Color Purple (1985) - MRQE Metric: 78

Then we have The Color Purple. This challenging and emotional film usually leaves audiences quite speechless. Dealing with poverty, racism, and sexism, The Color Purple stars Whoopi Goldberg and Oprah Winfrey. This flick was an early 1900’s glance into life in North Carolina. Both produced and directed by Steven Spielberg, he was given much negative criticism for this film due to the racial issues that arose in the black community as the production of a white producer/director. Yet still, The Color Purple was nominated for 11 Academy Awards and five Golden Globes, but only won Goldberg a Golden Globe for her role as Best Actress in a Drama. This flick was originally adapted from the 1982 novel by Alice Walker and in 2005 became a Broadway musical.





Million Dollar Baby (2004) - MRQE Metric: 84

One of the few female athletic films that exists on the market today, Million Dollar Baby is memorable not only for the solid role Hilary Swank undertook, but also the dress she wore to accept her Academy Award for Best Actress. This flick is about an established ex-boxer played by Clint Eastwood that brings up a young, aspiring heavy hitting amateur female actress played by Swank. Million Dollar Baby taught young girls to follow their dreams no matter what profession or hobby they desired to possess. A great film all around and truly the embodiment of a powerful woman; this flick was a Blockbuster smash.



Check out these Honorable Mentions:

1 comment:

  1. I've seen some of the movies and they've really touch me as a person. Sometimes, women leads are better than men when it comes to emotional factor of a movie.

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