8 (well kind of 9 … ) Great Female Characters in Film

In accordance to the celebration of women that today is (International Women’s Day) I thought I’d celebrate by listing five great female film characters.

Kim Novak as Judy Barton and Madeleine Elster

The hauntingly beautiful performance (see what I did there?) by Novak has made Vertigo rise up to the classic status it deserves. This dual role played excellently by Novak is one of those you have to see yourself to understand and appreciate. The dark and twisted love affair between Novak and Stewart takes on complex levels of infatuation, obsession and explores the dephts of the human psyche.

Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia

Sarcastic, strong and with balls the size of Texas, Leia kicks some Imperial ass. A great addition to the highly male world of Star Wars Leia holds her own as one of the most memorable and sexiest female characters the big screen has seen.


Julie Christie as Lara

Dr. Zhivago’s mistress and inspiration Lara is a troubled yet strong woman struggling between right and wrong, yearning for a revolution both personally and politically. Living in a world that’s crumbling down Lara survives through resourcefulness and inner strenght.

Frances McDormand as Marge the Police Chief

And it’s a beautiful day… In the midst of woodchippers and Swedish criminals Marge the Police Chief creates a calming atmosphere of the balance of loving wife and professional woman; she might not be the most memorable character of the bunch but surely she’s the glue that holds one of the Coen’s best, Fargo, together.

Barbara Stanwyck as Phyllis Dietrichson

In Double Indemnity Dietrichson is the epitome of the ‘femme fatale’, a cold exterior to match the even more ruthless inside; Stanwyck harnesses all of her sexual energy onscreen to play one of the most devilish accounts of women ever, defining the Film Noir woman.

Jodie Foster as Clarice Starling

In order to save lives from the hands of a serial killer Clarice Starling needs to let the worst psychopath alive inside her head. The Silence of the Lambs portrays a great and twisted connection between a strongheaded yet profoundly fragile Starling and Hannibal Lecter.

Sigourney Weaver as Ripley

Ripley is as bad-ass as anyone can get. Forcefully battling aliens in creatively titled Alien Ripley is a force to be reckoned with; she’s stayed in history as one of the toughest action heros of all time.

Marion Cotillard as Edith Piaf

La Môme tells the story of a talent that defined a generation, Edith Piaf, thought technically not a film character, Cotillard’s amazing portrayal of this even more amazing woman and her extraordinary life deserves a mention as one of the most moving life stories I’ve seen on screen in past years. The soul is what it’s all about.

Congratulations to all the women out there; Happy Women’s Day!

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17 responses to “8 (well kind of 9 … ) Great Female Characters in Film

  1. Wow, that Silence of the Lambs pic looks so old somehow! Weird. ‘Cause it doesn’t feel that the actual movie is that old yet.

    I agree with you on Leia 100%. That girl is so amazing, she’s a princess but not a picky one, she knows what to do when things get a bit tricky.

  2. Pingback: Open Bar: March 10 — ANOMALOUS MATERIAL·

  3. Awesome list Anna, and totally appropriate for celebrating women around the world! I really should see Dr. Zhivago in its entirety, especially after reading your description of Lara. And Ripley, yep, as bad ass as any woman (or even man) can get.

  4. Nice list! I would have done an exception for Sarah Michelle Gellar playing Buffy in the TV-series and probably tried to squeeze in Geena Davis from Long Kiss Goodnight.

    • Sure, Buffy’s not on here due to the TV status, and actually haven’t seen Long Kiss Goodnight, so will have to check that out : – )

      • That’s why I would make an exception for Buffy. If you ask me thats best female character of all in books, films, videogames, music etc.

  5. Funny to see how half of the strong female characters are James Cameron creations. And yes, Leia was my model : sexy but not too much, sharp tongue, leadership, cleverly funny and brave. Why politicians are not like that in real life ?

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