When it comes to cinema, women have fought a long and hard battle to get a proper representation both on and off-screen. While the fight continues, over the decades we have seen films that became a milestone in the portrayal of women, breaking barriers and stereotypes women have long been subjected to in this stream of art.
Such women-centric films, to put it simply, may develop a culture of their own due to which fans talk about them and inevitably promote them to other viewers- at workplaces, drawing rooms or even social media. These films weren't instantly popular upon their release, some of them were suppressed but also kept alive by their true fans till an era when the audience was mature enough to appreciate them. From the portrayal of complex women to a tongue-in-cheek take on gender-based stereotypes, these films are as diverse as it gets.
Here are some women-centric cult classic films that are loved by viewers even today:
2001 American comedy film Legally Blonde is based on Amanda Brown's novel by the same name. The film stars Reese Witherspoon, Luke Wilson, Selma Blair, Matthew Davis, Victor Garber and others. Witherspoon plays the character of Elle, a sorority girl, who decides to attend the Harvard Law School to win back her ex-boyfriend. As the film progresses, Elle bashes many stereotypes and prejudices against blonde women while becoming a self-confident and successful lawyer.
This 2009 horror-comedy follows the story of a high school girl who gets possessed by a demon and goes on a killing spree, murdering her male classmates while her best friend tries to stop her. The film features Megan Fox, Amanda Seyfried, Johnny Simmons, and Adam Brody in major roles. While the film received mixed reviews from the critics which praised the performance, it emerged as an eminent feminist film and became a cult classic during the MeToo Movement.
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Thelma and Louise
Released in 1991, Thelma and Louise is one of its kind. The film revolves around two women named Thelma and Louise, who embark on a road trip when the latter kills a man when he was trying to rape the former. The film is ledby Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis, along with Harvey Keitel, Michael Madsen, Christopher McDonald and Brad Pitt as supporting cast. The film was initially criticised for portraying men in the bad light, however, over the years, it has amassed a great following and was also selected by the Library of Congress to be preserved in National Film Registry.
Pride and Prejudice
This 2005 film is based on iconic author Jane Austen's 19th century novel by the same name. The film is directed by Joe Wright and stars Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen in the lead roles. It gained a cult status among those who are fans of classical novels. The film was highly appreciated by the audience for remaining true to the original essence of its source and also received four nominations at the 78th Academy Awards. The film follows the story of free-spirited Elizabeth Bennett and the aloof romantic hero, Mr. Darcy and how two people with contrasting personalities fall in love with each other.
The French romantic-comedy Amélie is also known as Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amélie Poulain. Released in 2001, the film includes an ensemble cast of French actors like Audrey Justine Tautou, Mathieu Kassovitz, Rufus, Lorella Cravotta, Serge Merlin, Jamel Debbouze, Claire Maurier and Clotilde Mollet among others. The film revolves around a waitress who attempts to change the lives of others around her while dealing with her own insecurities. The film depicts the contemporary Parisian life and proved to be one of the biggest international French films.