Today is International Women’s Day – a day to celebrate everything that women have achieved so far and to recognise the importance of empowering each other. Below is a poem I wrote to show what it means to me:
I am very much an amateur poet but I thought this would be the best way to express what it means. There is still so much to be done to achieve equal opportunities for both sexes but today is a day in which we can celebrate all of the successes of women, and of the women who though they might not have done anything extraordinary, lift us up and inspire us in our day to day lives. For me, these people are my Mum, my sister, my gran, my nan and my friends. Each and every one of them support or give advice or are always there for me and I’m always so grateful to have them to act as my role models.
There are so many people out there currently too who are so inspirational; from Michelle Obama, Oprah, Malala, Emma Watson – they are all out there to spread the message of equality and empowerment. Today is a day for you to think as a woman ‘Yeah, I can do this. I can achieve my dreams. There is nothing stopping me.’ Today is about instilling belief in yourself, no matter how crazy, or how impossible you think you’re dreams might be.
To see some of the incredible things women can do, here are ten films that remind me of how strong and capable we are. Some are to do with the subject matter, some are incredible female lead performances, some are made by incredible female film makers.
- Lets talk about Greta Gerwig – Little Women was out late last year. Her directing debut Ladybird got her a directing nomination. Both feature incredible performances by Soairse Ronan, and Gerwig’s writing about the female experience is brilliant and touching. If you haven’t seen either of these then go see them!
- The Aeronauts, directed by Tom Harper but Felicity Jones’ performance as the Aeronaut, Amelia, was phenomenal and she gives one of the best action sequences I’ve ever seen in a female lead.
- Hidden figures features phenomenal performances by Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monae and Taraji P. Henson. Based on the book of the same name by Margot Lee Shetterly, all about the stories of the women behind the Apollo mission to get the first man on the moon. A really inspiring story, and a reminder of how the stories of many female figures in history are often forgotten and left behind.
- The Suffragette – to take you back to the roots of female suffrage
- Mary Queen of Scots, Directed by Josie Rourke and features two stellar lead performances given by Soirse Ronan and Margot Robbie about two queens and their struggle to hold power in a man’s world.
- Ophelia directed by Claire McCarthy. The film looks at the passive voice in Shakespeare’s Hamlet and tells Ophelia’s side of the story.
- Julie and Julia directed by Nora Ephron. A really great ‘Sunday afternoon’ watch. It’s a sweet plot all based around food, fame and role models. And it stars Meryl Streep and Amy Adams as Julie and Julia.
- Wonder Woman directed by Patty Jenkins. It’s all in the name so I couldn’t not include it in this list. Theres also Captain Marvel that came out in March last year which very much focuses on the oppression and rise of women. Both are great, but I found Wonder Woman a better watch because I don’t always like to be reminded of the oppression of women when i’m watching a film and it did kind of deter it off of the storyline.
- Becoming Jane – a story of acclaimed writer Jane Austin’s Life and the love story that supposedly inspired her novels. It is a romance with a more tragic ending than her novels but it also tells of her struggles to be a female writer and to be independent in a world in which she was expected to marry.
- Kathryn Bigelow – the first and only woman to win best director for ‘Hurt Locker’, she also directed ‘Zero dark thirty’ starring Jessica Chastain. Admittedly, I have only watched the latter and that was a really great film showing a woman in a profession full of men, and it was based on a true story.
- There is also a great short film called “Leading Lady parts” which was directed by Jessica Swale, its all about the hypocrisy of how films are cast.
There was also a preview today of Radioactive, a film about Marie Curie, starring Rossamand Pike and directed by Marjane Satrapi, that I wanted to see but couldn’t make it – to anyone who has seen it, what was it like? Was it good?
There are also so many other great films out there, but these are the first ones that came to my mind and were films I really enjoyed. I tried to stay fairly recent too, so sorry if I missed some golden oldies off of the list. Please feel free to leave any suggestions in the comments below – I need some new great female led/directed films to watch.