Top Ten Best Films for Women

Sep 28, 2000

I'm not saying these are the best films ever made; that is too sweeping a definition. I am saying that I believe these are the best films for women ever made. Why? Because they have heroines who are strong even if they are flawed, or who learn and grow, or who are so real you can get right inside their skin.

Here's my list:

1. Nell
Jodie Foster is so wonderful in this role of the "wild" girl, with her own language, no experience with other people others, yet a pure, clean, deep spirit that taught those around her more than they ever taught her.

2. Ever After
Now this is a Cinderella story!! The Prince gets rescued as much as he rescues, if not more, and this Cinderella knows how to stand up for herself. The movie is funny, charming, and I recommend it for every little girl over the age of 3.

3.How to Make an American Quilt
The strength and beauty of women's friendships has never been captured better on a film, and Wynona Ryder's character displays how people can change and grow beautifully.

4. Steel Magnolias
Julia Roberts was not a superstar yet, but she gives a great performance here in this saga that celebrates the joys and sorrows of life, love, motherhood, friendship, and plays each universal theme with absolute fidelity and stunningly real performances.

5.Pretty Woman
Julia again, in quite a different take on Cinderella. Her charming, sassy prostitute may not be very real, but this is a fairy tale, darlings, and as such it is a treasure. And it has my favorite line, when (gorgeous) Richard Gere asks what happens after the hero rescues his lady, and Julia answers,"She rescues him right back." Ahhh...

6. Miss Firecracker
Holly Hunter shines in this story of a woman who learns that fitting in and being popular are not as important as being unique and being yourself. I love a movie that hits all the right chords with me, and this one does.

7. Crimes of the Heart
Beth Henley is a wonderful writer, and while these women are a little "eccentric," shall we say, I love the relationship between the sisters.

8.Erin Brockovich
So I love Julia Roberts. She's a great actress, she's beautiful, and I love the characters she plays. They are always strong and spunky, and that fact that this one is also real, the story is true, and the message is of major importance makes this movie extra special.

9. The Fisher King
OK, this one is not strictly a women's movie, but it's my favorite movie of all time, and I absolutely love the women in it; the feisty, fiery girlfriend of the tortured ex-deejay and the deceptively mousy love of Robin William's divine madman, who turns out to have spirit and loyalty far beyond what anyone might have seen on the surface. And, this is one of the great mythic hero's journeys ever filmed.

10.Driving Miss Daisy
Miss Daisy has every quality I have listed as desirable. She has spirit, and a strong will, and she won't be patronized or coddled. She also has less desirable qualities, but during the course of the movie she learns much about the value of friendship, real respcct for others regardless of color or status, and the need to sometimes accept the help of others despite one's pride, and that is a wonderful lesson: that even age does not stop the learning and growing process.

These are my favorites: they are not in any particular order of preference, but they come hardily recommended for any women's movie marathon.

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