In movies, I always gravitate toward and identify with enigmatic female movie characters. Heroines who command the screen, often stealing the shine from their male counterparts. These femme fatales own their roles and portray women who are multi-dimensional: strong, quirky, passionate and loving. These women have gained a special place in not only cinema history but are some of my favorite female movie characters of all time.
Barbara Streisand as Katie Morosky
The Way We Were is one of my favorite movies of all time! I love the over-arching love story between total opposites Katie Morosky and Hubbell Gardener (played by Robert Redford). Katie is passionate about politics (and life) and Hubbell is in awe of her. They marry and have a baby, but like any film their love simply can’t last.
“You’ll never find anyone as good for you as I am, to believe in you as much as I do or love you as much!” ~ Katie Morosky Gardener
Meryl Streep as Miranda Priestly
The Devil Wears Prada is the movie a million girls loved! The fashion, the storyline, the cold editrix Miranda Priestly. Meryl Streep takes the ice queen archetype to a whole ‘nother level. While we would have hated working for Mrs. Priestly, we simply love to hate her. Whether she is purely fictional or not, Miranda Priestly runs the fashion world.
“By all means move at a glacial pace. You know how that thrills me.” ~ Miranda Priestly
Dorothy Dandridge as Carmen Jones
Carmen Jones takes the opera Carmen and flips it on its side. Dorothy Dandridge plays the quintessential femme fatale, seducing the corporals and breaking the rules. She falls for bright-eyed Joe and ultimately takes him on a wild ride of lust and love games that ends in her demise. Carmen Jones is not a nice gal nor does she want to be one.
“‘Scuse my dust, gentlemen. The air’s gettin’ mighty unconditioned ’round here.” ~ Carmen Jones
Madonna as Eva Peron
Skeptics wondered if Madonna could portray the first lady of Argentina, Eva Peron. Not only did she manage to bring Eva to life, she won a Golden Globe for her performance. Eva was a social climber who turned into the voice of the people. She fought for Argentina and is heralded today as a patron saint of their country. If you love musicals with a modern twist you’ll love Evita.
“Put me down for a lifetime of success. Give me credit, I’ll find ways of paying.” ~ Eva Peron
Diane Keaton as Annie Hall
Diane Keaton won an Oscar playing the ditzy and uniquely stylish Annie Hall. While Annie comes across as a bumpkin, she is smarter than meets the eye and Alvy (played by Woody Allen) is smitten by her. He tries to change her, she lets him but ultimately pushes back on what she truly wants ending their star-crossed relationship.
You’re what Grammy Hall would call a real Jew.” ~ Annie Hall
For more movie indulgence and to get your femme fatale fill check out these sites for the ultimate lists of female movie characters:
- 100 Best Female Character Roles via Film Site
- 100 Essential Female Film Performances via Pop Matters
- 15 Badass Female Movie Characters via It Things
What female film characters do you love? Which on screen sirens do you identify with? Please leave a comment!