#8 – Shug Avery, The Colour Purple (1985)
Based on the 1982 Pulitzer prize winning novel of the same by Alice Walker, The Color Purple focuses on the life of black women living in Southern America during the 30’s. The main character is Celie (played by Whoopi Goldberg in an Oscar nominated role) who’s upbringing is nothing short of heartbreaking; by the age of 14, she has 2 children and is married to a local widower, Albert Johnson. When Shug Avery, one of Albert’s old flames, comes to live with them, she shows Celie the wonders of life and how it feels to be loved. Directed by Steven Spielberg, the film was nominated for 11 Oscars.
#7 – ‘The Bride’, Kill Bill Vol. 1 & 2 (2003-4)
The Bride, who features in Quentin Tarantino’s bloody tale of an ex-assassin (Uma Thurman) who wakes up from a coma after being left for dead on her wedding day only to seek revenge on those responsible, is arguable the most powerful woman (at least in regards to violence, anyway) on the list. Remorseless, highly trained and with nothing left to lose, she lays waste to anyone who threatens to stop her from achieving her ultimate goal: killing Bill, the leader of the assassin group she once worked for. The film itself pays homage to a plethora of genres and styles, including Spaghetti Westerns and martial arts; The Bride’s attire in one of the most memorable scenes in cinema history is almost identical to that what Bruce Lee wore in Game of Death.
#6 – Brandon Teena, Boys Don’t Cry (1999)
Now this is an unusual one. It’s based on true events of a teenage boy who moves to a small Nebraskan town where he attracts a lot of attention from girls and becomes quite popular. Thing is, he’s hiding one fact about himself: he was born as a girl. When his best friend finds out, Brandon’s life is torn apart and what follows is one of the most disturbing and heart wrenching stories of human ignorance. Like a lot of films on this list, it earned an Oscar for, unsurprisingly, Female in a Leading Role for Hilary Swank. The levels that the males in the film sink to has to be seen to be believed, and the strength of the female character comes from staying true to her beliefs and desire to be a man.
#5 – Erin Brockovich, Erin Brockovich (1997)
Julia Roberts gave an Oscar winning performance in the true story of an unemployed single mother who becomes a legal assistant and almost single handedly brings down a California power company accused of polluting the water supply. A fantastic underdog story; It’s like The Rainmaker, but with a woman.