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It’s completely cliché but any parent will tell you this is the hardest job in the world. As fulfilling as it is, the mundane of the everyday can gnaw away at you, especially for mothers. For artist-parents on hiatus from their careers, the ache of missing out is particularly painful. When you see your friends on TV…you’re so happy for them…and disappointed with yourself. That’s not something anyone wants to admit or talk about, but there it is.
So you need a pick me up. A burst of inspiration. A shot of the feel-goods.
What do I do? I look for a good inspirational movie. When you’re running low on motivation, a good movie can help to reignite your enthusiasm. Whether they are true stories or fictional, an inspirational movie can uplift your spirits.
AND in honor of Women’s History Month, I have compiled a list of movies that feature female protagonists. So you won’t find Forrest Gump or Schindler’s List, but hopefully you’ll find a film on this list you have never seen before.
Loglines from IMDB
- A League of Their Own – Two sisters join the first female professional baseball league and struggle to help it succeed amidst their own growing rivalry.
- Amelie – Amélie is an innocent and naive girl in Paris with her own sense of justice. She decides to help those around her and, along the way, discovers love.
- Beasts of the Southern Wild – Faced with both her hot-tempered father’s fading health and melting ice-caps that flood her ramshackle bayou community and unleash ancient aurochs, six-year-old Hushpuppy must learn the ways of courage and love.
- Becoming Astrid – Biopic of Swedish writer Astrid Lindgren, the author of numerous children’s books and creator of Pippi Longstocking.
- Bend It Like Beckham – Two ambitious girls, despite their parents’ wishes, have their hearts set on careers in professional soccer.
- Booksmart – On the eve of their high school graduation, two academic superstars and best friends realize they should have worked less and played more. Determined not to fall short of their peers, the girls try to cram four years of fun into one night.
- Burlesque – A small-town girl ventures to Los Angeles and finds her place in a neo-burlesque club run by a former dancer.
- Coal Miner’s Daughter – The life of legendary Loretta Lynn, the dirt poor Appalachian Mountains girl who rose from humble beginnings to become the “Queen of Country Music.”
- Dreamer – Cale Crane catalyzes the rescue and rehabilitation of Sonador, a race horse with a broken leg.
- Driving Miss Daisy – An old Jewish woman and her African-American chauffeur in the American South have a relationship that grows and improves over the years.
- Eat Pray Love – A married woman realizes how unhappy her marriage really is, and that her life needs to go in a different direction. After a painful divorce, she takes off on a round-the-world journey to “find herself”.
- Erin Brockavich – An unemployed single mother becomes a legal assistant and almost single-handedly brings down a California power company accused of polluting a city’s water supply.
- Fame – A chronicle of the lives of several teenagers who attend a New York high school for students gifted in the performing arts.
- Freedom Writers – A young teacher inspires her class of at-risk students to learn tolerance, apply themselves and pursue education beyond high school.
- Frida – A biography of artist Frida Kahlo, who channeled the pain of a crippling injury and her tempestuous marriage into her work.
- Frozen – When the newly crowned Queen Elsa accidentally uses her power to turn things into ice to curse her home in infinite winter, her sister Anna teams up with a mountain man, his playful reindeer, and a snowman to change the weather condition.
- Frozen II – Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, Olaf and Sven leave Arendelle to travel to an ancient, autumn-bound forest of an enchanted land. They set out to find the origin of Elsa’s powers in order to save their kingdom.
- Gorillas In The Mist – The story of Dian Fossey, a scientist who came to Africa to study the vanishing mountain gorillas, and later fought to protect them.
- Harriet – The extraordinary tale of Harriet Tubman’s escape from slavery and transformation into one of America’s greatest heroes, whose courage, ingenuity, and tenacity freed hundreds of slaves and changed the course of history.
- Hidden Figures – The story of a team of female African-American mathematicians who served a vital role in NASA during the early years of the U.S. space program.
- Jane – The life and work of the renowned primatology scientist, Jane Goodall, especially on her research about chimpanzees.
- Joy – Joy is the story of the title character, who rose to become founder and matriarch of a powerful family business dynasty.
- Julie and Julia – Julia Child’s story of her start in the cooking profession is intertwined with blogger Julie Powell’s 2002 challenge to cook all the recipes in Child’s first book.
- Lady Bird – In 2002, an artistically inclined seventeen-year-old girl comes of age in Sacramento, California.
- Legally Blonde – Elle Woods, a fashionable sorority queen, is dumped by her boyfriend. She decides to follow him to law school. While she is there, she figures out that there is more to her than just looks.
- Matilda – Story of a wonderful little girl, who happens to be a genius, and her wonderful teacher vs. the worst parents ever and the worst school principal imaginable.
- Miss Congeniality – An F.B.I. Agent must go undercover in the Miss United States beauty pageant to prevent a group from bombing the event.
- Moana – In Ancient Polynesia, when a terrible curse incurred by the Demigod Maui reaches Moana’s island, she answers the Ocean’s call to seek out the Demigod to set things right.
- Mona Lisa Smile – A free-thinking art professor teaches conservative 1950s Wellesley girls to question their traditional social roles.
- Mulan – To save her father from death in the army, a young maiden secretly goes in his place and becomes one of China’s greatest heroines in the process.
- Norma Rae – A young single mother and textile worker agrees to help unionize her mill despite the problems and dangers involved.
- On The Basis of Sex – The true story of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, her struggles for equal rights, and the early cases of a historic career that lead to her nomination and confirmation as U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice.
- Over The Moon – In this animated musical, a girl builds a rocket ship and blasts off, hoping to meet a mythical moon goddess.
- Places in the Heart – In central Texas in the 1930s, a widow, with two small children, tries to run her small 40-acre farm with the help of two disparate people.
- Proof – The daughter of a brilliant but mentally disturbed mathematician, recently deceased, tries to come to grips with her possible inheritance: his insanity. Complicating matters are one of her father’s ex-students, who wants to search through his papers, and her estranged sister, who shows up to help settle his affairs.
- Queen of Katwe – A Ugandan girl sees her world rapidly change after being introduced to the game of chess.
- Radioactive – The incredible true story of Marie Sklodowska-Curie and her Nobel Prize-winning work that changed the world.
- Soul Surfer – Teenage surfer Bethany Hamilton overcomes the odds and her own fears of returning to the water after losing her left arm in a shark attack.
- Spirited Away – During her family’s move to the suburbs, a sullen 10-year-old girl wanders into a world ruled by gods, witches, and spirits, and where humans are changed into beasts.
- The Color Purple – A black Southern woman struggles to find her identity after suffering abuse from her father and others over four decades.
- The Devil Wears Prada – A smart but sensible new graduate lands a job as an assistant to Miranda Priestly, the demanding editor-in-chief of a high fashion magazine.
- The Diary of Anne Frank – During World War II, a teenage Jewish girl named Anne Frank and her family are forced into hiding in the Nazi-occupied Netherlands.
- The Farewell – A Chinese family discovers their grandmother has only a short while left to live and decide to keep her in the dark, scheduling a wedding to gather before she dies.
- The Help – An aspiring author during the civil rights movement of the 1960s decides to write a book detailing the African American maids’ point of view on the white families for which they work, and the hardships they go through on a daily basis.
- The Miracle Worker – The story of Anne Sullivan’s struggle to teach the blind and deaf Helen Keller how to communicate.
- The Sapphires – It’s 1968, and four young, talented Australian Aboriginal girls learn about love, friendship and war when their all-girl group The Sapphires entertain the US troops in Vietnam.
- Thelma and Louise – Two best friends set out on an adventure, but it soon turns around to a terrifying escape from being hunted by the police, as these two girls escape for the crimes they committed.
- Wadjda – An enterprising Saudi girl signs on for her school’s Koran recitation competition as a way to raise the remaining funds she needs in order to buy the green bicycle that has captured her interest.
- What’s Love Got To Do With It – The story of singer Tina Turner’s rise to stardom and how she gained the courage to break free from her abusive husband, Ike Turner.
- Whip It – In Bodeen, Texas, an indie-rock loving misfit finds a way of dealing with small-town misery after discovering a roller derby league in nearby Austin.
- Wild – A chronicle of one woman’s one thousand one hundred mile solo hike undertaken as a way to recover from a recent personal tragedy.
- Wild Rose – A troubled young Glaswegian woman dreams of becoming a Nashville country star.
- Wonder Woman – When a pilot crashes and tells of conflict in the outside world, Diana, an Amazonian warrior in training, leaves home to fight a war, discovering her full powers and true destiny.
- Working Girl – When a secretary’s idea is stolen by her boss, she seizes an opportunity to steal it back by pretending she has her boss’ job.
- Yellow Rose – A Filipina teen from a small Texas town fights to pursue her dreams as a country music performer while having to decide between staying with her family or leaving the only home she has known.
Hope you enjoy this list! How many have you seen?