Movies are a great source of entertainment, no doubt about that. But ever so often there comes along a movie or a character that has the potential to make you think; that lights a spark in you, no matter how tiny that might be. Here is a list of female protagonists that have inspired me – by their strength, by their sensitivity, by their sense of life and by their determination to follow their hearts.
1. Paula Patton as Ms Rain in “Precious”
Possibly the most heart-wrenching movie of 2009, “Precious” is the story of an eponymous obese teenager, played by Gabourey Sidibe. Living what can only be described as a horrific life, she abused by her mother and raped by her father. She grows up to be unloved, angry, fat, and illiterate, taunted and harassed by all because of her weight.
Bringing a sense of hope into her life is Ms. Rain, a beautiful teacher who genuinely cares about what happens to Precious and wants her to have the same kind of opportunities that other students have. By the end of the movie, you know that Ms. Rain has given a lot more than hope to Precious – she has given her a sense of confidence and self worth.
2. Julia Roberts as Erin Brockovich in “Erin Brockovich”
The quick-witted, spunky, no-nonsense, fiery character of Erin Brockovich is forever imprinted on the mind of anyone who has seen this movie. With absolutely no background or training in law, she is able to bring a major corporation down to its knees through hard work, grit and determination. In addition, she is also a single mother trying to bring up her children right and face all the adversities of her life chin up. What’s not to love about this character?
3. Sandra Bullock as Leigh Anne Tuohy in “the Blind Side”
If Precious was heart-wrenching, I would describe The Blind Side as heart-warming. Leigh Anne Tuohy, a rich white woman, opens the doors of her home and heart for the gentle giant of a character Michael Oher – a black kid dismissed by most as a “dunce”.
Leigh Anne, however, refuses to give up on him, and encourages him into becoming the greatest legend in American Football. For a woman who can look beyond the color of a boy’s skin, who can invite a total stranger into her house with absolutely no prejudice, Leigh Anne exhibits the true meaning of being open hearted.
4. Hilary Swank as Maggie Fitzgerald in the “Million Dollar Baby”
Maggie Fitzgerald might come across as a tough character, but there’s more to her than meets the eye. A combination of her passion for the sport of boxing and her persistence in following this dream through make her a powerful character. And yet, you can see that she is vulnerable and sensitive as well, adding a whole new dimension to her persona. You simply have to salute her grit and determination.
5. Nikki Blonsky as Tracy Turnblad in “Hairspray”
In a world that has become oppressed with pencil thin, size zero figure, it’s refreshing to bump into a character who doesn’t allow her excessive weight to stand in way of her ambition. She demands respect for who she is and is not ashamed of her body or its size. Tracy goes on to becoming a dancer on a popular TV show, using her newfound celebrity status to fight racial segregation rampant in her home town.
6. Jodie Foster as Sarah Tobias in “the Accused”
It’s not easy for a gang-rape victim to come out in public and demand justice for the heinous act that was committed against her. It becomes even more difficult if the victim is accused of being of “questionable character” that somehow had it coming to her. And yet, she doesn’t stop fighting! If that isn’t admirable, what is?
7. Julie Andrews and Maria in “the Sound of Music”
The other characters on this list inspire you with a sense of strength; however, the clumsy, clueless yet adorable Maria appeals to you with her vibrant sense of life. Her simplicity and innocence, her melodies and songs bring a father close to his children and help her find her true love.
Which among these characters is your personal favorite? Who do you draw your inspiration from?
Top image source: aceshowbiz.com