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Monday, June 28, 2010

You go for it, Girl!

It's been a while since I participated in The Bumbles' Monday Movie Meme. This week's theme is take-charge movie heroines...the ones who save the day, who change what's wrong into something very right. I loves me some powerful women, especially when the characters are based on the real thing. These ladies are the real thing.

Meryl Streep as Karen Silkwood in Silkwood (1983). This movie was based on the true story of Karen Silkwood, a metallurgist in a plutonium factory, who was purposely contaminated with radioactive material, psychologically tortured and most likely killed, to prevent her from exposing blatant worker safety violations. It was nominated for five Oscars and five Golden Globes. Cher won a best supporting actress Golden Globe for her portrayal as Karen's friend Dolly. Kurt Russell also starred. Co-written by Nora Ephron and directed by Mike Nichols.

The decontamination shower scene gets me every time.





Julia Roberts as Erin Brockovich (2000). Also based on a true story. Erin Brockovich stumbles into a legal assistant position at a going-broke law firm run by Ed Masry (an excellent Albert Finney). She also stumbles onto incriminating information that a large California power company is polluting the city's water supply and ultimately brings the company to its knees. The film was nominated for a slew of awards (42), both in the U.S. and abroad. Julia Roberts won an Oscar and a Golden Globe for best actress. Steven Soderbergh directed. Little known fact: Danny deVito was Executive Producer.





Sally Field as Norma Rae (1979)Sally Field won seven best actress awards, including an Oscar, a Golden Globe and the Cannes Film Festival, for her portrayal of Norma Rae. Norma was an operator in a southern textile mill, working in deplorable conditions under hostile management, hostile mill owners, and even some of her co-workers who didn't want to lose their jobs. When a union organizer (Ron Leibman) comes to town, Norma sees an opportunity to do something worthwhile with her life and joins up with him.







Honorable mention: fictional characters.

Renee Zelwegger as Ruby Thewes in Cold Mountain (2003)
Jane Fonda as Kimberly Welles in The China Syndrome (1979)
Jodie Foster in Flightplan (2005), Panic Room (2002), The Brave One (2007)

30 comments:

Snappy Di said...

Love Erin Brokovich and have seen it many times. She's such a hoot with all of her cheesy outfits...LOL

Di

The Gal Herself said...

I wish I'd included Erin Brokovich on my list. She was wonderful.

Sandy Nawrot said...

I mulled over Brokovich. She kicked butt! Also, don't forget Jodie Foster in The Accused! I will never forget the scene where she rams her car into the guy's truck!

stacybuckeye said...

The Silkwood scene gets me every time too.
I chose Jodie Foster in Silence of the Lambs, but she kicks butt in pretty much everything she does!

Lindsey said...

Can't believe I forgot all about Zellweger's character as Ruby in Cold Mountain; she was spot on! Reminds me of myself ;)

Oliag said...

A great list of movies Susan!...I have seen and loved the three movies you listed first...and I love that they are the real thing!...The first and only strong, take charge female character that came to my mind was Alien's Ripley...definitely fictional:)

ds said...

Oh, I remember your three top choices! Perfect. But nothing anyone says--not even you,my friend--will get me to like Renee Zellweger. In anything. Ever. Oh well.

The Bumbles said...

I love your theme here. All portrayals of real, strong women. I would include Charlize Theron's character in North Country to your list.

Lindsey said...

Great list with very strong women!

Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

You have profiled three of my favorite movies...especially Silkwood. What great acting jobs they all did...every one of them. What brave women all three of them were.

Deborah said...

Yup, me too, I appreciated those strong women and excellent films. I couldn't watch the decontamination scene again - it's already burned into my memory.
People who stand up for their convictions to the point that those women did are rare indeed - I wouldn't have such guts.

culdesacchronicles said...

Great list! Loved 'em all!

Ruth said...

I think it would be great fun to play someone like Erin Brokovich. I haven't seen Sandra Bullock in The Blind Side yet, but I hear the real woman she played is a Force of Nature.

I agree with DS about Renee. She just doesn't do it for me, never has. I don't really get her. But I still say to her, You go, Girl! :)

Susan said...

Di, I've watched it many times myself and it never gets old. I love those cheesy outfits and push-up bras! haha

Susan said...

Gal, there are some great lines in that movie and I'm pretty sure they all belong to Erin/Julia!

Susan said...

Sandy, OMG! How many movies has Jodie Foster made where she has kicked butt and asked questions later?!! I've never actually watched The Accused...guess I'd better remedy that.

Susan said...

Stacy, I'll say she does! I loved Silence of the Lambs even though it scared the bejeebies out of me! I don't think I slept the whole night after watching it!

Elle Bee said...

ERin Brokavich--I never get tired of that movie! OH! And Renee Zellwegger in Cold Mountain--absolutely fantastic!

Susan said...

Thanks, Lindsey, for visiting!

I loved how Renee used her real Texas accent perfectly as a Tennessee one in Cold Mountain. She sounds like a lot of people I've heard in Appalachia.

Susan said...

Oliag, I think women really identify with women who start out as regular people just trying to do their job and they find a purpose...something that makes them feel proud even though it causes them great hardship.

I only made it part of the way through Alien...couldn't handle that thing clawing its way out of people's chests. ((shudder))

Susan said...

Not even Jerry Maguire or Bridget Jones, ds? LOL It must be the pouty lips....hahahaha!

Susan said...

Thank you, Molly!

I almost included North Country in my list...excellent movie. Charlize doesn't seem to mind being unglamorous for a role. She was very good.

Susan said...

Hi Lindsey!

Thank you for visiting and your comment! I agree!

Susan said...

Hi Mona!

I loved Silkwood even though the ending made me cry. Meryl Streep is the most awesome actress...she just disappears into every role. I need to watch it again...it's been a long time.

Susan said...

Deborah, I'm not sure I could be that brave either. To risk your very life to live up to your convictions takes a strong will and a strong heart.

Susan said...

Thank you, Bella!

Susan said...

Ruthie, have you seen One True Thing, Renee's movie with Meryl Streep from Anna Quindlen's novel? It's probably my favorite of her movies and where she suppresses her Renee-ness. And really, who couldn't be good with Meryl by your side?

I really, really liked Sandra Bullock in The Blind Side and thought it was a great movie, but I still think the Oscar should have gone to Meryl for the role in Julie & Julia. It was a tour de force role for her. But that's okay...Meryl will keep on making wonderful movies and this one might have been Sandra's only great one.

Susan said...

Elle, I'm glad you liked Renee in that role. It's really the reason I watch it. She had a much better character to play than Nicole Kidman did, IMO.

California Girl said...

All great films. Been a long time since I saw "Silkwood". I remember thinking that couldn't be true, when I saw that movie. Of course, I probably say that every time I see a movie about corporate greed, misdeeds and outright lawbreaking. I am continually astounded and I know better.

Nice grouping for your meme.

Susan said...

Cali Girl, I haven't seen it in a long time either, so I'm putting it on my Netflix queue. Yes, I'm constantly astounded by those bottom-line things as well. And now it's compounded by outrageous executive compensation.

Thank you!