While watching the likes of Will Smith or Chris Hemsworth (sigh) certainly has its perks, sometimes us ladies want to see a strong woman kick some ass. A reminder that as women we have all kinds of powers and can in fact dominate the business world - with or without a certain appendage.
Well, get comfy and ready for a treat. Whether you’re looking for a confidence boost to finally ask for a promotion or just on the lookout for some movie binge ideas, we have you covered. So, without further ado we bring you a satisfying stack of films for women with strong female characters that reminds us that women in business rock.
Sunshine Cleaning: sisters doing it for themselves
“Quirky and affecting, Sunshine Cleaning is a lovely dramedy bolstered by extraordinary performances.” S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media
The reviews have been mixed with many sarcastically dissing the uncanny link to ‘Little Miss Sunshine’ but - even if the storyline and premise has flaws - the leading lady cast makes up for it. Amy Adams and Emily Blunt play sisters who start a cleaning business together - sounds pretty boring? Well, more specifically a business cleaning up crime scenes.
Rose Lorkowski: [explaining her job] I mean because people don't realize the safety risks involved with the removal of - blood and body fluids.
Heather: I cannot imagine. You like it?
Rose Lorkowski: [bravely] Yeah. I do. Um, we come into people's lives when they have experienced something profound - and sad. And they've lost somebody, you know? And um, the circumstances, they're always different. But that's the same. And we help. In some small way we, um, we help.
While you might not be considering a career in this field, the characters ingenuity and determination to succeed will certainly remind you that there is opportunity in the most unlikely places if you look hard enough. One to watch to help you tap into your entrepreneurial side and widen your perspective.
Erin Brockovich: determination and sass always wins out
“Brockovich is brought to life with a hitherto unseen range by Roberts, enlivening the nascent grit with a splendidly foul-mouthed wit as she delivers the film's nicely timed comic relief. Lost is the gorgeous movie star and born is a real person: vulnerable, caring, balls of brass.” Ian Nathan, Empire
Based on a true story Julia Roberts dominates the role of a woman who decides to take on corporate America after discovering documents suggesting a California town’s water supply is infected with a deadly poison.
An inspiring story about a struggling single unemployed mother who wholeheartedly embraces a mission for justice, to save the lives and health of others. Way beyond the ditzy romanticism of Pretty Woman - as guilty a pleasure as it is… Big mistake! Big! Huge! - Julia Roberts plays this character with so much authenticity there’s no avoiding the empowering impact of this movie. If you’re lacking confidence and despondent about juggling family life and work, Erin will remind you that with determination anything is possible.
George: How many numbers you got?
Erin Brockovich: Oh, I got numbers comin' outta my ears. For instance: ten.
Erin Brockovich: Yeah. That's how many months old my baby girl is.
George: You got a little girl?
Erin Brockovich: Yeah. Yeah, sexy, huh? How 'bout this for a number? Six. That's how old my other daughter is, eight is the age of my son, two is how many times I've been married - and divorced; sixteen is the number of dollars I have in my bank account. 850-3943. That's my phone number, and with all the numbers I gave you, I'm guessing zero is the number of times you're gonna call it.
This is definitely a good pick for any mums worried they can’t study or work alongside parenting. If you want it enough you can make it work and greater access to elearning makes that even more possible.
Contact: never underestimate female intuition
“Less sci-fi blockbuster, more spiritual thinkpiece, this is a Close Encounters Of The Third Kind for the X-Files generation.” Neil Jeffries, Empire
The leading lady for this sci-fi drama Jodie Foster is already an inspiration off screen as a successful actress, film director and producer. Making her the ideal talented force to portray a head-strong SETI scientist Dr. Eleanor “Ellie” Arroway. What the heck is SETI? Well, it’s a broad term science geeks use to cover ‘searches for intelligent extraterrestrial life’ - aliens to you and me. There’s nothing more satisfying that watching a strong woman with hyper intelligence strut her scientific stuff and thwart her male counterparts skepticism, which is pretty much the premise of the film.
Ellie Arroway: So what's more likely? That an all-powerful, mysterious god created the universe, and decided not to give any proof of his existence? Or, that he simply doesn't exist at all, and that we created him, so that we wouldn't have to feel so small and alone?
There’s science, there’s alien abduction, there’s long convincing arguments delivered from a powerful woman and there’s plenty of inspiration that with determination and a bucket load of intelligence and confidence - women always get what they want and prove that they are right.
Devil wears prada: women don’t need to battle to succeed
“Sometimes over the top and sometimes sentimental, Prada is most notable for Meryl Streep's remarkably subtle performance as super-diva Miranda Priestly.’ Cynthia Fuchs, Common Sense Media
A movie that probably needs no introduction but definitely deserves a spot on our list of movies for women. Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway were at the time an unlikely pairing. All makes sense though when this classic shy girl dominates the world tale unfolds. A particularly inspiring watch if you fancy yourself a career in the fashion or publishing industry. Whether that is designing a website or running social media for a fashion magazine.
Andy: Ok, she’s tough, but if Miranda were a man no one would notice anything about her except how great she is at her job.
Historically women in business have battled it out to get to the top. Not just with their male colleagues but each other. Something this movie captures and initially seems to advocate but actually helps debunk. A great lesson and reminder to us all that us women in business need to rally together.
Sliding Doors: know your value, achieve your dreams
“A smart concept which will appeal to romantics everywhere.’ Angie Errigo, Empire
A classic movie that charts the fated story of one women in two parallel scenarios - the woman that caught the train and the one that missed it. Incidentally a movie responsible for my own apathy living in London refusing to rush to make a train.
Gwyneth Paltrow is the ideal actress to portray the leading lady Helen. A woman who is seemingly whimsical and easily manipulated but underneath it all holding the strength and talent to come out on top and start her own PR firm.
Helen: It’s Helen, actually. We met once, I interrupted you faking your orgasm. Sorry I can’t be more specific.
In the world where she loses her job and finds her man being ridden like a donkey, Helen hits rock bottom and proves ‘the only way is up’. What more do you need to dig deep and find the strength to believe things happen for a reason. Letting fate unfold as you boldly move forward with a career change.
The jury is in: women in business rock
If you’ve been on the fence about a career move or unsure whether you have what it takes to ask for that promotion - follow in the footsteps of these leading ladies and just do it. In fact, enough with sitting on your bums watching TV. We’re going to go all Judge Judy on you and say…
Here here! Order in this movie binging court. Stop making excuses and start making movie inspired career moves like these leading ladies!