This post contains affiliate links. That means if you click on an external link and then make a purchase, I may earn a small commission at no cost to you. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. I do not own the trailer video content below and am sharing for educational purposes. I write my own opinions based on my life experience. Thank you for reading and thank you for supporting Manda, the Muse.
What’s a Devine Feminine Film? I suppose it’s a movie that reminds us that we have other options. Men and women and nonbinary. That we don’t have to peddle the same story over and over again into the future, to perpetuate some sort of patriarchal ideal I suspect they don’t even believe in anymore.
These movies are windows to a world in which we can push beyond the arbitrary bounds handed down to us and establish a new kind of strength in unique numbers. Here’s ten of them to get you started.
1. THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING
It becomes hard to ignore reality when you back it up with cold hard statistics. The numbers don’t lie… but do they help? The jury’s still out on that one, but this movie does well to inspire those of us who hope to see a more accurate representation of the beautiful landscape of gender and personalities we human beings have to offer, and have had to hide, on screen.
“An investigative look and analysis of gender disparity in Hollywood, featuring accounts from well-known actors, executives and artists in the Industry.” – IMDb | Directed by Tom Donahue and starring Reese Witherspoon, Mira Nair, Shonda Rhimes, and more.
“It’s the chivalry of the 21st century.”Meryl STreep, This changes everything
2. MISS REPRESENTATION
It may be a decade old at this point, but it’s still necessary viewing. The most inspiring aspect of this film for me was getting to hear a younger generation, those coming of age now, or recently, speak their truth and perspectives. I wholeheartedly believe in the souls being born onto this planet now, and over past few decades. They come in knowing so much already, we just have to let them lead. The awareness of this film and its message is a good start.
“Explores the under-representation of women in positions of power and influence in America, and challenges the media’s limited portrayal of what it means to be a powerful woman.” – IMDb | Directed by Jennifer Siebel Newsom, written by Jacoba Atlas, Jessica Congdon, Claire Dietrich, and starring Jennifer Siebel Newsom, Jean Kilbourne, Jim Steyer, and more.
3. THE MASK YOU LIVE IN
It’s just as important to examine the flip-side of the gender-roles trauma coin and that’s exactly what this movie does. Every man needs to hear this message. Every boy needs permission to feel, allowance to exist safely wherever they lie on any spectrum, and guidance on how to respect women and themselves.
“Explores how our culture’s narrow definition of masculinity is harming our boys, men and society at large and unveils what we can do about it.” – IMDb | Directed by Jennifer Siebel Newsom, written by Jessica Anthony, Jessica Congdon, Jennifer Siebel Newsom, and starring Joe Herman, Michael Kimmel, Caroline Heldman, and more.
4. A FANTASTIC WOMAN
This movie is just so powerfully incredible that you have to feel it as much as you watch it. I had a physiological experience in the theatre with this film. Marina’s journey is a story we all should sit with, not just for its runtime, but for lingering moments even years later. Beyond and including its pain, this is a beautifully told cinematic story.
“Marina, a transgender woman who works as a waitress and moonlights as a nightclub singer, is bowled over by the death of her older boyfriend.” – IMDb | Directed by Sebastián Lelio, written by Sebastián Lelio and Gonzalo Maza, and starring Daniela Vega, Francisco Reyes, Luis Gnecco, and more.
5. THE SECRET GARDEN
This is a divine feminine book, and a great one at that. If you haven’t read it, I suggest you get on it as it’s a quick but powerfully inspiring read. That said, this is my favorite film version of the story about believing in your own inherent, natural, magic. Just thinking about this story and its message gives me chills. Frances Hodgson Burnett channeled a message way beyond her time, or perhaps, of no time. A timeless message cradled in a children’s story we all should take to heart.
“A young, recently-orphaned girl is sent to England after living in India all of her life. Once there, she begins to explore her new, seemingly-isolated surroundings, and its secrets.” – IMDb | Directed by Agnieszka Holland, written by Frances Hodgson Burnett (book) and Caroline Thompson (screenplay), and starring Kate Maberly, Maggie Smith, Heydon Prowse, and more.
6. LEGALLY BLONDE
Based on a book and eventually worked into a Broadway musical, this story from Amanda Brown took on a life of its own. That’s what happens with divine inspiration. (Just look at the Harry Potter franchise.)
Though datedly white, this is an important story to be told repeatedly, not just for its obvious message, but for also for its support of the idea of letting life lead you where you’re meant to be. This further resonates with the fact that this was Reese Witherspoon‘s Type A Films‘ first production for the company, which eventually led to the creation of her current production company, Hello Sunshine, whose mission is to change the narrative for women.
“Elle Woods, a fashionable sorority queen, is dumped by her boyfriend. She decides to follow him to law school. While she is there, she figures out that there is more to her than just looks.” – IMDb | Directed by Robert Luketic, written by Amanda Brown (novel), Karen McCullah (screenplay), and Kirsten Smith (screenplay), and starring Reese Witherspoon, Luke Wilson, Selma Blair, and more.
I love this movie, not just for its quirks and Zoey Deutch‘s acting, but for the resounding onscreen experience of a woman who f*cks up repeatedly but always maintains her self-worth. Talk about a coming-of-age tale we’ve never seen before, told in a way we’ve never felt before. We may not want to repeat her mistakes, but we certainly can all learn from the vivacious tenacity of Peg Dahl.
“In the underworld of debt-collecting, homegrown hustler Peg Dahl will do anything to escape Buffalo, NY.” – IMDb | Directed by Tanya Wexler, written by Brian Sacca, and starring Zoey Deutch, Jai Courtney, Judy Greer, and more.
8. HIDDEN FIGURES
The truth will out, always and eventually. That’s what they say, anyway. I can see why they didn’t teach us (or my matriculating class, at least) this story in school. I’d imagine its a hard one for the male egos that make up our fragile, patriarchal backbone to admit. But nonetheless this great story sheds light on the real glue that supports this country, and provides some much-needed representation and thereby inspiration on screen.
“The story of a team of female African-American mathematicians who served a vital role in NASA during the early years of the U.S. space program.” – IMDb | Directed by Theodore Melfi, written by Allison Schroeder (screenplay by), Theodore Melfi (screenplay by), and Margot Lee Shetterly (based on the book by). Starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monáe, and more.
9. A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN
This was sort of the Hidden Figures of the 90s only with white women and sports. I know it had a major impact on me as child to see this story on screen. An interesting movie now would be to follow what happened to everyone after they had to stop playing ball. After they had to stop “making something” of themselves while the men were off at war, and had to go back to playing their “traditional roles.” Who’s in charge of sequels?
“Two sisters join the first female professional baseball league and struggle to help it succeed amidst their own growing rivalry.” – IMDb | Directed by Penny Marshall, written by Kim Wilson (story), Kelly Candaele (story), Lowell Ganz (screenplay), and starring Tom Hanks, Geena Davis, Lori Petty, and more.
10. THE MATRIX
Practically a classic now 22 years after its release, this movie may as well have birthed the age of Aquarius. Name a movie, or trilogy for that matter, that has had a greater impact on this generation, both positively and potentially negatively as well. Not only did this story take on a life of its own and open the eyes of all who saw it, but divine feminine energy was further at play in the creators’ own personal stories of gender. I can’t think of a better example of what I’m talking about when it comes to the influx of divine feminine energy on the planet now, or rather it’s reveal. And this story being revealed as a metaphor for being transgender is simply beyond magical.
“When a beautiful stranger leads computer hacker Neo to a forbidding underworld, he discovers the shocking truth–the life he knows is the elaborate deception of an evil cyber-intelligence.” – IMDb | Written and directed by Lana Wachowski and Lilly Wachowski. Starring Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, and more.
So I know there are tons more, and I’ll be on the lookout to add to my list, perhaps do a list of TV shows next time. If I’ve missed any crucial films please let me know in the comments. And may you find inspiration in these films, and in all the content you choose to absorb.