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The 17 Most Inspiring Women in Movies

There are 100s of thousands of inspirational women around the world.

But something is to be said about the women from our favorite movies who inspire us all to be bold, be strong, and kick ass. Here are our top picks for the 17 most inspiring women in movies.

17. Jordan O’Neill, G.I. Jane

She can do one-armed push-ups and looks hot with a buzzcut. That is all.

16. Mrs. Robinson, The Graduate

Though her motives were dubious at best, we found ourselves inspired by this cougar’s unwavering faith in the power of beauty. And her willingness to use that power to get what she wanted.

15. Sally Albright, When Harry Met Sally

As unruly as her mop of curls, Sally is fierce and funny, with a witty retort for each of Harry’s zingers. She’s unabashed and unashamed…as evidenced by her explosive scene in Katz’s deli.

14. Elektra, Elektra

Say what you will about the quality of the acting, we were inspired by those abs.

13. Bridget Jones, Bridget Jones Diary

Men may fail you, but wine and girlfriends never will. We were inspired by Jones’ humor, her charm, and her ability to forgive herself for being human.

12. Annie Hall, Annie Hall

She’s hilarious. She’s exuberant. She rocks menswear. Sure she’s a little neurotic, but who isn’t? Perhaps that neurosis is what enables Ms. Hall to take chances, live boldly, and let her freak flag fly. Even if she’s not always sure what she wants out of life, she’s willing to risk failure to find it. We should all be so brave – and so smartly attired.

11. Iris Simpkins, The Holiday

Sometimes nice girls finish first. We were inspired by Iris’s kindness. We were jealous of her cottage.

10. Mary, Mary Queen of Scots

You can go home again. And you can reign.

9. Norma Rae Webster, Norma Rae

Based on the plight of Crystal Lee Sutton, this film reminded us that it’s always worth it to stand up for what you believe in.

8. RollerGirl, Boogie Nights

Come on, she got busy with Mark Wahlberg while wearing roller skates. Need we say more?

7. Princess Leia, Star Wars

She made a bathrobe and cinnamon-bun-head look sexy, to say nothing of the chain mail bikini. But what really inspired us was her ability to grab a ray-gun and face the bad guys.

6. Marge the Police Chief, Fargo

She cracks cases, captures a killer, and speaks out for human decency, all while heavily pregnant in sub-zero temps. We’re inspired.

5. Juno MacGuff, Juno

Despite being, ahem, thrust into a challenging situation, Juno remains grounded, funny and wry. She stays true to herself and accepts the responsibility of being with child–despite being little more than a child herself.

4. Elle Woods, Legally Blonde

We loved that there was more to Elle than her bikini body and naturally blonde hair. Throughout this movie, Elle grows from a ditzy, boy-crazy sorority girl into a smart, self-assured woman. She displays a strong sense of right and wrong, a deep sense of compassion, and a fabulous sense of style.

3. Milly Wilder, Because I Said So

We adored Milly’s quirky charm, devotion to her family, and eventual ability to trust her own instincts on matters of soufflé and men.

2. Olive Hoover, Little Miss Sunshine

She may not yet be a fully fledged woman (she’s only seven-years old), but little Olive exhibits many mature, evolved qualities. She’s sensitive to the feelings of others. She’s loyal. She trusts that the people around her have her best interests at heart. She’s willing to try new things–her “talent” is evidence of this.

1. Leigh Anne Tuohy, The Blindside

She could have ignored the big black kid walking along the road on a rainy night. She could have locked the doors and driven on. But she didn’t. She reached across race and socio-economic lines, invited him into her home and, eventually, into her family. We are inspired by Leigh Ann Tuohy for letting her moral compass, rather than Southern expectations, be her guide.

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