Caitlin’s Top 5 Inspirational Heroines

Written by Caitlin Cooper February 06, 2014

pride & prejudice - heroine

A lot of movies are all about the heroes and villains, but I enjoy films with a heroine as the main character. When watching films with female protagonists, I tend to become inspired if I recognize them as being strong characters. This may mean that they rebel against society, are intelligent and witty, stand up for themselves, and/or are great friends. Ranking these ladies isn’t easy, but here are some of the best and most inspirational heroines in film.

5. Skeeter Phelan from “The Help” (Tate Taylor, 2011)

the help - heroine

I begin this list of great heroines with the feisty and determined Skeeter. She has dreams to write a book and she’s determined to write one that matters. That’s something that can easily inspire all writers. She lives in a town in which the majority are racist, yet she’s determined to write a book which brings all of this to the forefront. I find that really powerful because she’s going against the prejudiced ideas of many of the people she knows. Also, I can’t help but enjoy how she gets back at Hilly Holbrook for being discriminatory and rude. The short of it? I really admire her determination to do what’s right and go against the grain.

4. Aibileen Clark from “The Help” (Tate Taylor, 2011)

the help - heroine

Aibileen, the narrator and main protagonist, is undoubtedly one of the strongest characters in this film. When Skeeter asks her to be a source of information for the book she wants to write, Aibileen is terrified of the consequences. Yet, she decides that this book has the potential to be incredibly important so she musters up enough courage and tells Skeeter she’ll help.  In that time, doing so would be so dangerous, but she even manages to enlist the help of other women in similar lines of work to help Skeeter. Without Aibileen, there probably wouldn’t have been a book. I admire her strength and bravery to do something she was scared of yet knew could help so many people.

3. Katniss Everdeen from “The Hunger Games” (Gary Ross, 2012) and “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” (Francis Lawrence, 2013)

the hunger games - heroine

Katniss is a strong character for a lot of (obvious) reasons. She’s a badass, but she’s also loyal, caring, determined, etc. She may have a lot of pride and anger, but when she cares for someone, she’s willing to face danger to save them (like she does for Prim, Peeta, and Gale).  Her drive to protect and care for those she loves is so beautiful and it goes without saying that I find that kind of love really inspiring. Also, the fact that she suffers in the aftermath of the games yet still pulls through as best she can is an excellent example for anyone going through a difficult situation or time in their life.

2. Hermione Granger from the “Harry Potter” franchise (Chris Columbus, David Yates, et al., 2001-2011)

harry potter - heroine

I’m sure it’s not surprising that Hermione has made the cut of top heroines. Ever since I began watching these movies, I was inspired by Hermione. She is smart, mature, and an unapologetic nerd. She kind of has the mother-hen syndrome going on, something which I had when I was a lot younger too. Hermione is picked on for having muggle parents yet she is probably one of – if not the – strongest witches of her generation. She overcomes the slights made by Draco and endures torture at the hands of the psychotic Bellatrix. Oh, and she just happens to have funny dialogue on top of all that. Not to mention that she’s an amazing friend. Hermione is pretty much a top-notch example of a heroine.

1. Elizabeth Bennet from “Pride & Prejudice” (Joe Wright, 2005)

pride & prejudice - heroine

When I first saw the 2005 adaptation of one of Austen’s most popular books, “Pride and Prejudice”, I immediately admired Elizabeth. I respect the heroine’s wit, smarts, and general take-no-crap attitude (especially in the context of a time period in which this was severely frowned upon). When she rejects the creepy Mr. Collins despite her mother’s wishes, tells off the insulting Mr. Darcy in the middle of a community dance, yet still has the ability to happily admit when she realizes she’s wrong, I knew I’d encountered a well-rounded female character that is easily someone who women – and anyone for that matter – should be inspired by. Her traits are things which are still relevant today, especially in the face of our often harsh society. Thank you, Jane Austen, for giving the filmmakers wonderful material to work with.

The trailer is misleading, but here it is anyway.

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About Caitlin Cooper

Caitlin Cooper

Caitlin is an avid watcher of movies and television shows so she decided to use her passion to write about them. She has a B.A. in English Language and Literature with a Minor in Creative Writing.

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