Empower Women Entertainment Mariposa Sisters picks

7 Must-See Biopics about Iconic/Bad Ass Women


If you’re in need of some inspiration from some seriously powerful women, then check out one of these biopics. From artists to politicians, there is bound to be a motivational story you can relate to on this list.




If you don’t know who Frida Kahlo is, then this film is a must-see. Kahlo is quite possibly the most well-known Mexican painter of all time. She’s known for her autobiographical self-portraits which incorporated issues of class, gender and heritage. Frida tells the inspiring story of how her grave injury led to her love of painting. It follows her entire life as both a political activist and talented artist, as well as her love story with Diego Rivera. Salma Hayek portrays the legendary Kahlo in this hit biopic and was nominated for an Oscar for the role. 


The Iron Lady


This film details the life of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Meryl Streep portrays Thatcher, who became the first female prime minister, and longest serving, in the UK. The Iron Lady depicts Thatcher’s fight against both class and gender stereotypes as a female politician. Though the film has mixed reviews, Streep won both an Oscar and a Golden Globe  for her magnificent portrayal of Thatcher. 


Erin Brockovich


Julia Roberts plays Erin Brockovich in this inspiring film. The movie begins with Brockovich in a not-so-good situation. She’s an unemployed single mother who is being sued due to a traffic accident. She eventually gets hired as a legal assistant by her own lawyer and single-handedly takes down a huge energy corporation by uncovering their involvement in a water contamination incident. Roberts went on to win an Oscar and a Golden Globe for her role.




Mexican-American singer Selena Quintanilla was an award winning artist in the Latin music scene, but she had her life taken from her at an early age. In Selena, Jennifer Lopez depicts Quintanilla’s road to fame and to finding love. However, right on the brink of mainstream success, she is tragically murdered by her good friend. This was Lopez’s breakout role, and it is still regarded as one of her best.




As a Jackie Kennedy fan, this biopic has to be one of my favorites on the list. Natalie Portman portrays former First Lady and international icon Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis in this moving film. It follows Onassis’ life after her husband John F. Kennedy is assassinated. She must pick up the pieces and keep going, all while the entire world is watching. From the funeral to her departure from the white house, Portman, who was nominated for an Oscar, gives a chilling performance as the famous First Lady.


The Queen


This film depicts Queen Elizabeth II’s controversial response to Princess Diana’s death. The real-life events that took place during this time somewhat negatively impacted the public’s view of the Queen, so this film offers an interesting look into what was really going on. Helen Mirren portrays Queen Elizabeth’s ongoing battle between privately mourning versus publicly mourning the late princess. Mirren went on to win both an Oscar and a Golden Globe for her role.7 Must-See Biopics about Iconic/Bad Ass Women.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks


This inspiring film tells the story of how an Afircan-American woman’s cells were used to create the first immortal human cell line that would change the course of cancer treatment forever. Oprah Winfrey plays Deborah Lacks, Henrietta’s daughter, as she embarks on a journey to learn more about her deceased mother. The groundbreaking story was nominated for a Primetime Emmy and Winfrey’s portrayal was well-received by critics. 


Author: Ashli Ellerman

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