8 Films To Watch On Netflix This International Women’s Day
1/8 Marriage Story
There is no other Netflix original that quite compares to the way this film discusses the trials and tribulations of marriage, nuances of familial ties and the dreadful process of divorce—a complicated coast-to-coast one, no less. And apart from the thoughtful cinematography that goes hand-in-hand with the film's sensitive narrative, viewers will find themselves leaving with a different takeaway each time they catch it: from the different character quirks to the subtle mise en scène that adds to each shot.
Starring Scarlett Johansson who plays Nicole Barber, and Laura Dern, who won an Oscar for her role as Barber's powerful lawyer, these strong, unwavering female characters are the epitome of women supporting women in tough times.
(Related: The Best Society Weddings Of 2018-2019)
Beyoncé needs no introduction. And neither does her unforgettable #Beychella performance in 2018. Homecoming is a documentary that traces the journey of the star's Coachella performance—which also happens to be the most searched performance on Google—and showcases the challenges she had to face and overcome. The singer was initially supposed to take the stage in 2017 but was famously replaced by Lady Gaga after she found out she was pregnant. A year later, she conquered the stage after recovering from a difficult pregnancy and jumping straight into rehearsals as the festival's headlining act; witness the tremendous amount of hard work and creative talent that went into that 105min on stage.
Viewers will be awed as they get an intimate look at the way she values creative collaboration, how involved she is when it comes to strategising her performances, the attention to detail she possesses and her strong desire to celebrate black artists from all walks of life. We say strong female leaders who are at the top of their game not only find ways to overcome physical adversity but also constantly seek ways to better their community and others who struggle to be seen or heard on the main stage. With all the boxes checked for us to get inspired this International Women's Day, it's no doubt that this docu-film made it on our list this year.
3/8 The Devil Wears Prada
Hollywood icon Meryl Streep stars as the influential and ruthless editor-in-chief Miranda Priestly at one of the world's best fashion magazines in this memorable movie that is also an interpretation of Lauren Weisberger's novel about Vogue editor Anna Wintour. The film's narrative focuses on Priestly's relationship with her new personal assistant Andrea Sachs (Anne Hathaway), a news reporter who is clueless about fashion, set against the backdrop of New York City while providing a glimpse into the cut-throat industry. It's a fashion movie that is smart and comedic, and also showcases how capable women are in positions of power—so it comes as no surprised that it was one of the top-grossing films in 2006. Fast forward to 2020 and we're still obsessed with the characters in this cinematic powerhouse.
Quite simply put, you can't go wrong screening this classic to celebrate International Women's Day. We suggest grabbing some of your most ambitious girlfriends to make a night out of it, filled with popcorn and a bottle of wine (or two).
(Related: Meet The Cast Of Singapore Social, Netflix's New Reality Show About Young Singaporeans)
4/8 Bird Box
They say there's no greater love than the love of a mother. Bird Box is about a mother and her children seeking new beginnings as they attempt a dangerous journey through the woods and down a choppy river in hopes of finding a safe spot that's far from harm. But in order to succeed, all three of them would have to complete the trip blindfolded. Sandra Bullock's portrayal as a seemingly fearless mother in this apocalyptic shocker is relatable to mothers everywhere who have made unquestionable sacrifices for their children. Although most viewers would have paid more attention to the series of events that eventually erupted in chaos, we were mostly transfixed by how Bullock's Malorie Hayes managed to navigate her way through nail-biting situations while keeping her young children alive.
The movie may have left some film critics unimpressed, with The Guardian calling it "a bird-brained mess", but the fact that it was Netflix's biggest hit by the middle of 2019 should mean something.
(Related: Star Of Netflix's Singapore Social Mae Tan Reveals Behind-The-Scenes Details About The Show To Singapore Tatler)
5/8 The Princess Diaries series
Imagine waking up one day and being told that you're a princess. And no, not in terms of endearment by your parents, but an actual princess of a European kingdom. That's what happened to Mia Thermopolis (Anne Hathaway), who suddenly learned one day that she is the sole heir to Genovia, having inherited the throne from her father Philippe who had passed. As a high school student dealing with the awkward stages of teenhood, Mia had to be convinced by her paternal grandmother Clarisse (Julie Andrews) to be groomed into a refined princess as she may one day rule the kingdom. She eventually agreed and hilarity ensued. It's a fun comedy to watch with your girlfriends and beam from ear to ear as you watch Mia transform into the leader that she was born to be.
Before Mean Girls and Legally Blonde, there was the iconic teen flick Clueless. "Ugh, as if!", you say? The 1995 teen comedy was a phenomenal hit and is widely considered to be one of the best teen movies of all time. The movie's leading lady is Cher Horowitz (Alicia Silverstone), a wealthy Beverly Hills high school student who befriends a new student named Tai and decides to give her a makeover. Throughout the movie, Cher delivers some of the most unforgettable lines in movie history, including this: “May I please remind you that it does not say ‘RSVP’ on the Statue of Liberty.” If that wasn't a sign that she would one day run for president of the United States, we don't know what is.
The film has since developed a cult following amongst girls of all ages since then and we understand why—Clueless is about friendship, finding your own identity, and girl power. Besides, what's not to love about a strong go-getter who knows exactly what she wants in life?
If you're a '90s kid, you'd probably remember watching this animated musical-film by Disney in theatres. And if you're anything like us, you might have watched it more than just a couple of times again after. The film is about a young girl in ancient China who learns that her weak and elderly father is forced to go to war once again—but that doesn't sit well with her. So what does Mulan do? Why, she disguises herself as a man, dons her father's old armour and enlists in the army in his place of course. Nothing like a good 'ol Disney movie to teach women and girls everywhere on how it is possible to pluck up the courage needed to overcome life's obstacles, especially when family is at stake.
The year was 2013 and it seemed like every kid around the world knew the words to the movie's soundtrack, Let It Go. The musical fantasy film was a global hit and it's easy to figure out why. Elsa and Anna are the heiresses of Arendelle, with the former being crowned queen after they lost their parents during a storm. But Elsa's unpredictable magical powers become an insurmountable challenge for her, causing the sisters to fall out and Elsa eventually fleeing to an ice palace she built herself to live alone.
But back when Elsa and Anna were kids, their parents had taken them to see a colony of trolls whose leader warned Elsa that she had to learn how to take control of her powers and that "fear will be her greatest enemy". That alone was a powerful message sent to little girls everywhere, reminding them to have no fear and turn their biggest weakness into their greatest strength.
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