Women. Aren’t they the most beautiful creation on earth? But women could also be the most complex creatures. It’s sad that a major part of the film industry around the world continues to stereotype women in cinema. But as cinephiles, we have always been inquisitive about the vastness of the cinematic universe and take pride in having explored a wide range of films outside of mainstream cinema. And this journey has had us stumbling upon numerous cinematic gems with powerful female characters at the helm. Filmmakers like Ingmar Bergman, Krzyzstof Kieslowski and Pedro Almodovar have explored the various facets of the female psyche. So, let’s celebrate women in cinema today. Here is a list of top movies that explore the complexities of women:
12. A Woman Under the Influence (1974)
This John Cassavetes classic tells the story of a woman whose mental troubles begin to take a toll on her relationship with the family and her loving husband. With a script that is highly acting-centric, Cassavetes lets Gena Rowlands breathe her presence on to the screen as she delivers one of the most astounding female acting performances of all time. Rowlands’ performance is incredibly powerful, richly layered and manages to bring out the human being in Mabel Longhetti. We see her pain and her feelings of desperation and searing angst are palpable. Truly one of the most complex portraits of women in cinema.
11. All About My Mother (1999)
Spanish auteur Pedro Almodovar is an eternal lover of women. The passion and verve with which he writes women is simply astonishing. His films feature strong women; bold, inspiring and fiercely determinant. ‘All About My Mother’ tells the story of Manuela, a single mother grieving the death of her son, who sets out on a journey in search of her son’s father. On her journey she meets women from different phases of life with struggles, dreams and desires. Almodovar infuses the film with melodrama but the characters are extremely well written and fascinating. These aren’t stereotypical women characters that are usually portrayed in mainstream cinema. These are people abused, ignored by a certain society and Almodovar gives life to them. The film was one of the very first to deal with trans-sexuality.