9 Feminist Films That Have Defined 2019

By Molly Biddell |
30th September 2019

It’s without a doubt that 2019 has been the year for putting women at cinematic centre stage. And so it should be. Against the #MeToo backdrop of fourth wave feminism, it is glorious (and essential) to see so many kickass female thespians rising up the ranks. Hurrah! Finally! From action to comedy to period drama, superwomen in all forms have been sassing our screens. There are buckets of female talent out there, fizzing with power and potential and so we’ve compiled a list of this year’s defining female-led films for you to peruse at your pleasure and make sure you have ticked all of them off by the time 2020 comes around….

Captain Marvel

Captain Marvel

This is the first Marvel movie to feature a female superhero in the lead role, and Brie Larson absolutely nails it. A natural superhero, she is fierce, strong and incredibly good at kickboxing. This latest tale from the Marvel universe heads back in time, to mid-90s America, complete with Nirvana soundtrack and video stores. The storyline itself if a mashup of past and present, earthly and unearthly, but it works, made all the more Marvelous by Larson’s characteristic panache.

Released: March 2019

Little Women

Little Women

With a star studded cast including Emma Watson, Saoirse Ronan, Meryl Streep, Laura Dern and Timothée Chalamet and directed by Greta Gerwig of Ladybird fame, this adaption of Little Women is already making a big splash. Gerwig is looking to give Louisa May Alcott’s classic 1868 novel a breath of modern fresh air, saying ‘even though it does take place in the 19thcentury…we wanted it to feel like it was present right now’. There is no doubt that this will be Boxing Day’s must see.

Release: December 2019

Charlie’s Angels

Charlie’s Angels

This is the third in the Charlies Angels series, with a killer trio of women at the helm. Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott and Ella Balinska bring a whole new level of sass. Globally renowned for their brains and badass action skills, they will not disappoint. Written and directed by Elizabeth Banks (of Hunger Games and Pitch Perfect fame), this is a serious celebration of power women. Pistols, killer outfits and Miley Cyrus’ new single – what’s not to love?

Release: November 2019

The Favourite
Olivia Colman in the film THE FAVOURITE. Photo by Atsushi Nishijima. © 2018 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation All Rights Reserved

The Favourite

If you haven’t seen The Favourite, which rock have you been hiding under? Not only did Olivia Colman bag herself an Oscar for Best Actress for her performance as Queen Anne, it was nominated for nine other Oscars, five Golden Globe Awards, and won ten British independent Film Awards. So why all the fuss? Well, it’s just a divinely black comedy that delves deep into a dysfunctional politico-sexual love triangle between Queen Anne and her two ladies in waiting, who happen to be cousins. It involves a lot of bunnies, duck racing, badgers, outfits to die for and three phenomenal lead actresses (Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz alongside Colman). The Favourite started 2019 off on the right (female) foot, with gender power-play at its very dark heart.

Released: January 2019

Judy

Judy

Renée Zellweger stars in this heart-warming biopic about the iconic Hollywood star Judy Garland. Navigating the tragedy of Garland’s life – acrimonious divorces, drug dependence, financial turmoil and a difficult mother-daughter relationship, Zellweger brings a heartfelt, authentic and gutsy performance. Tender and tearful, but ultimately an ode to Garland’s belief that whatever, the show must go on. Less Spanx and bunny outfits, more rainbows and yellow brick roads.

Release: October 2019

Mary Queen of Scots

Mary Queen of Scots

Queens doing what Queens do best – scheming, manipulating and duelling. Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie give incredibly talented performances, bringing to life the power of 16thcentury politics, at their most electric. In this historic epic, men are almost always duplicitous, nasal and slimy, and are almost always rinsed by these two Queens. For a feminist history lesson with plenty of pouting and icy stares, this is it.

Released: January 2019

Bombshell

Bombshell

There’s a new movie capturing the attention of the masses and the silence of its trailer is possibly one of the most powerful introductions of a film to date. Bombshell delves into the complex, tainted and torn history of women who’ve been conditioned to self-censor in the face of workplace sexism. In an age of #MeToo, it’s perhaps unsurprising that the new movie, starring Margot Robbie, Charlize Theron and Nicole Kidman, has got eyes all over it and a towering amount of trailer views.

The actresses are playing the real-life women Gretchen Carlson (Kidman) and Megyn Kelly (Theron) and Margot Robbie’s character is fictionalised. The movie recounts the chilling tale of the toppling of Fox News’ former chairman and CEO Roger Ailes, which came before the #MeToo landscape of more of an openness towards sexual assault in the work place. CEO Roger Ailes stepped down after more than 20 women, including Kidman and Theron’s characters, accused him of sexual harassment and the film, we believe, couldn’t come at a more apt time.

Release: December 2019

Colette
C_04287_R Denise Gough stars as Missy and Keira Knightley as Colette in COLETTE, a Bleecker Street release. Credit: Robert Viglasky/Bleecker Street

Colette

Another of this year’s ‘let’s finally put women back into our history books’, and this one whacks Keira Knightley straight into centre stage. Starring as Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette, a young woman, entangled in a love affair with Willy, whom she becomes a ghostwriter for. After a series of revengeful affairs and subsequent novels, Colette begins the battle to have the novels acknowledged as hers. It is a French feminist power ballad through and through, righting a few of the wrongs of history.

Released: January 2019

On The Basis Of Sex

On The Basis Of Sex

You can tell from the title that this might just be one gender stereotype bender, and it sure is, in style. This is the real life story of Ruther Bader Ginsburg and her struggles for equal rights, what she had to battle to overcome in order to become a U.S Supreme Court Justice. The forceful Felicity Jones stars as Ginsburg, and despite criticism for an overly schmaltzy tone, the story itself is such a powerful ode to a superwoman, it had to be on my list.

Released: February 2019

 

 

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