Keisha Castle-Hughes became the then youngest Best Actress Oscar nominee back in 2002 for her portrayal of Pai, a 12-year-old looking to become the next chief of a Maori tribe, however tradition dictates that only males can take the position.
[Image: Newmarket Films]
While it is true that the all female led "Ghostbusters" was something of a box office disappointment, that was of little surprise when you consider the horrifically misogynistic takedown of the film ahead of its release by fans of the original. But it is nowhere near as bad as people tried to label it, and is in fact an often funny, if a little silly, sci-fi adventure.
The luscious romantic comedy is a delightful crowd-pleaser, which mixes whimsy with heart in hypnotic fashion. Still the most successful French-language film in U.S box office history.
[Image: UGC-Fox Distribution]
Julia Roberts picked up the Academy Award, BAFTA, Golden Globe, and Screen Actors Guild for her titular performance in Steven Soderbergh’s biopic, which revolves around Erin Brockovich investigating a contamination of water that is causing devastating illness to its residents, but is being covered up.
Gal Gadot is already regarded as an icon for her portrayal as Diana Prince in Wonder Woman, which was a defiante and empowering celebration of femine power. Plus it was ridiculously entertaining, too.
[Image: Warner Bros]
One of Disney’s most underrated films, "Mulan" revolves around her impersonating a man so that she can be drafted to the Chinese military instead of her ailing father. Mulan gets assistance from her family’s guardian spirit Mushu, who is voiced by the indomitable and hilarious Eddie Murphy.
The film that turned Reese Witherspoon into a star, "Legally Blonde" might be a tad predictable, but she makes it shine with originality, humor and nuance. Thanks to Witherspoon’s performance, Elle Woods became a figure of female empowerment, as she overcomes the constant judgements to flourish as a lawyer.
[Image: Metro- Goldwyn-Mayer]
One of the best films of 2016, according to no less a source than the National Board Of Review, "Hidden Figures" grossed the astonishing amount of $236 million worldwide. It revolves around three female mathematicians that worked at NASA during the Space Race and calculated flight trajectories for missions while at the same time fighting the inherent racism of the United States
[Image: 20th Century Fox]
“Mad Max: Fury Road”
"Mad Max: Fury Road" isn’t just one of the best blockbusters ever. It has been widely praised for its positive depiction of characters with disabilities, as well as being labelled a defiantly feminist film by scholars. It is plainly obvious why, too, as Charlize Theron’s Furiosa and its various other unique female parts are all incredibly original, idiosyncratic and bodacious.
[Image: Warner Bros]
It has been a tumultuous year for women and film.
The worldwide wave of sexual assault and harassment allegations made against some of the biggest names in Hollywood was a damning indictment of the rampant gender equality in the movie industry.
However, the countless acts of bravery of those that came forward to make these revelations has inspired a much needed change in the industry, as studios, producers, and anyone with even a tiny iota of power now knows that they will never ever be able to get away with such atrocities again.
But while we wait to see the impact of these behind the scenes changes, it has actually been a hugely successful year for women and cinema anyway.
"Wonder Woman" was a critical, financial and cultural phenomenon, undoubtedly inspiring an entire generation of moviegoers, while Greta Gerwig became just the 5th woman in history to be nominated for the Best Director at the Oscars thanks to her work as the writer and director of "Lady Bird."
There’s more, though, as “Black Panther” was a proudly feminist blockbuster that was elevated because of the superb performances of Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Letitia Wright and Angela Bassett, and later this week "A Wrinkle In Time" is released, which is the first film costing over $100 million to be made by an African American female director.
Obviously much more needs to be done, but it at least feels as though some progress has been made. So with Thursday March 8 marking International Women’s Day there has never been a better time to sit down and watch some empowering feminist movies.
International Women’s Day was first observed in the early 1900s, and it is designed as a day where the globe comes together to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women, while acting as a call to action to accelerate gender parity.
Those of you looking for another way to mark the occasion should have a click through the gallery above to pick out an empowering feminist movie to watch on International Women’s Day.