10 Best Female-Centric Biopics

by Nina Karina

With news of Bette Midler playing Mae West in a new HBO biopic based on West’s life, it got me thinking of all the other rad films that depict kick-ass ladies and the amazing lives they lead. Here’s my list of the top 11 (technically 12) movies based on the lives of amazing women.

Image Via Mubi

What’s Love Got To Do With It (1993)

Before Angela Bassett was putting Voodoo curses on Kathy Bates, she sang and danced as the enigmatic singer Tina Turner in this.  Beware, wig envy ensues. 


Image Via Knoxville.com

Elizabeth (1998) and Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2007)

I know this is technically two but I couldn’t possibly include just one part of this epic film series starring Cate Blanchett.  No other film has captured Queen Elizabeth with such ferocity and vulnerability…. also the costumes are pretty great.


Image Via Seqart.org

Persepolis (2007)

The only animated film on my list is based on Marjane Stratapi’s autobiography of the same name.  Instead of a hinderance, the drawings elevate Stratapi’s story of growing up during the Iranian revolution.


Image Via lifevsfilm.com

La Vie En Rose (2007)

Not knowing who Edith Piaf even was when I first watched this film starring Marion Cotillard, I was entranced by the film’s emotional flow and breathtaking music.  Don’t let the subtitles scare you, this is one film with a lot of heart and a beautiful soundtrack.


Image Via The Ace Black Blog

Coal Miner’s Daughter (1980)

Living in a small town in North Carolina, this movie was pretty much mandatory  for me to watch.  The film focuses on  country singer Loretta Lynn’s (Sissy Spacek) early life in the mountains of Kentucky to her burgeoning career in Nashville.


Image Via Jax Movies

Frida (2002)

As one of the most visually beautiful films on this list,  Frida Kahlo’s biopic (starring Salma Hayek) is a love story not just between Frida and her husband Diego Rivera, but between an artist and her work.


Image Via We are Movie Geeks

Funny Girl (1968)

For something lighter, there’s the film rendition of the hit musical Funny Girl, both of which featured a young Barbara Streisand as Fanny Brice.  


Image Via Swing Fashionista

Coco Before Chanel (2009)

Audrey Tautou won our hearts in Amelie, and she does so again as Gabrielle, also known as the revolutionary fashion designer, Coco Chanel.


The Notorious Bettie Page (2006)

Bettie Page is probably one of the most well known names on this list yet she is also one of the most mysterious. This film sheds light on the crowned Queen of Pin Ups, played by Gretchen Mols.


Image Via Nick’s Flicks Picks

Erin Brockovich (2000)

While most people remember Julia Roberts as the queen of romantic comedies, I still like to think of her as the badass Erin Brockovich who fought and won against a corrupt energy company.  I suggest you drink something other than water while watching this film. Trust me on that one.

Top image via TVWW

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