The Best Female-Centric Movies Of The 21st Century - Spotflik The Best Female-Centric Movies Of The 21st Century - Spotflik

The Best Female-Centric Movies Of The 21st Century

Aug. 15. 2021


There are times when an actor or actress bursts onto the scene with a performance so spectacular that the world takes notice. Among the performances, we saw in 2018 was Alfonso Cuarón’s semi-autobiographical film, Roma. In lieu of making the film about his childhood in a middle-class household in Mexico City, the film instead follows the family’s housekeeper Cleo. The role required a true breakout star. Cuarón auditioned 110 indigenous women for more than a year before finding the right one. Yalitza Aparicio is a twenty-four-year-old aspiring preschool teacher.

Aparicio admitted that she had no acting experience or training prior to Roma and that the only reason she auditioned was that she had nothing better to do. Aparicio’s incredible skill and talent are apparent through the movie, illustrating that he has many years to perfect what most performers take a lifetime to perfect. Despite the hardships Cleo faces throughout the film, she always tackles her work with extreme grace. Her moral center is not only for the film but also for the family that employs her.

In perhaps the most famous scene in the movie, Cleo almost sacrifices herself to save two of the children from drowning. Despite her underappreciation at times, in the end, everyone understands the significance she holds for them all. Roma made Aparicio a worldwide star as well as an icon for indigenous Mexicans overnight. It is unlikely that she will continue her acting career, but at least she left behind one role that cinephiles will never forget.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Kate Winslet is without a doubt one of the most unique and acclaimed actresses of today. Early in her career, she gained fame for her role in James Cameron’s megahit Titanic. Apart from the film that launched her career, you will be hard-pressed to find her in big studio releases.

In fact, she has tended to gravitate toward smaller independent films that are more focused on fully developed characters than outlandish special effects. The actress’ best performance so far came from the 2004 sci-fi romance masterpiece Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, which managed to combine both of these traits.

With a screenplay written by Charlie Kaufman and directed by Michel Gondry, this film follows an estranged couple who fall back in love despite erasing their memories of each other after they broke up the first time. As she was already known for playing unsympathetic ‘difficult’ women, Winslet deliberately played Clementine Kruczynski, a free-spirited character who frequently changes her hair color to suit her mood, in a deliberate attempt to play against type.

It is easy on the surface to disparage the role as playing into the stereotype of the ‘Manic Pixie Dream Girl,’ but Winslet does the script justice by reiterating that Clementine has deeply flawed behavior and alcohol dependence. Despite these characteristics, the audience can’t help but fall in love with Clementine just as her partner does, after all, she is as fascinating as she is endearing. Without a doubt, Eternal Sunshine is a special film that defines a generation of filmmakers, and Winslet’s performance is certainly part of the movie’s enduring legacy.

12 Years a Slave

Lupita Nyong’o has certainly been a breakout star in the past decade, both male and female, but no one has made such an impact in their first role in a major motion picture as Lupita Nyong’o. Since taking up acting, she has had a lot of success, including supporting roles in blockbusters like The Jungle Book and Black Panther. It was a great piece of acting to see her in Jordan Peele’s horror film Us. But if you want to see her best performance to date, you will have to watch Steve McQueen’s slavery-themed epic 12 Years a Slave.

Nyong’o portrays Patsey in a role that would be incredibly difficult for any actress to portray since she is the victim of many brutal scenes involving physical, emotional, and sexual abuse. The fact that Nyong’o commits fully to the role, which leaves the audience scarred from her harrowing performance, is a testament to her strength and resiliency.

This is the scene where Nyong’o establishes herself as one of the leading actresses of her generation after standing up to her monstrous master after leaving the plantation just to get a bar of soap so she can bathe. Even the most hardened critic will be moved to tears by this scene. Despite being a controversial film, “12 Years a Slave” is one that everyone should see all the same. The film is full of brilliant performances, but it is Nyong’o who steals every scene she appears in.


Charlize Theron is the actress who defined the last decade in cinema. As a result of her success in both blockbuster tent poles and indie darling roles, it’s no wonder why Theron has become one of the most valuable stars in Hollywood today. Over the past decade, her work has been nothing short of impressive, whether as an alcoholic depressive in Young Adult or a badass feminist icon in Mad Max: Fury Road or just humorous in Long Shot. Despite her fantastic work in the 2010s, she has not yet succeeded in producing a performance as perfect as her portrayal of Aileen Wuornos in Patty Jenkins’ 2003 biopic of the notorious serial killer.

The former prostitute Aileen Wuornos murdered seven of her male clients within a single year and was subsequently executed for her crimes. Over the years, Theron’s performance of Wuornos has been described as perhaps the greatest transformation an actor has ever undergone to play a role. A thirty-pound weight gain shaved eyebrows and prophetic teeth gives Theron a totally different appearance from the glamorous starlet people were accustomed to.

In my opinion, what makes this performance so memorable is how she portrays Wuornos as a woman plagued by personality disorders; this may be the most realistic portrayal of mental illness in film history. Throughout the film, Theron plays a woman who has no sense of comfort in her own body or mind. She’s both frightening and sympathetic simultaneously. With an actress as talented and fearless as Theron, it won’t be long before she adds another Oscar to her already vast collection.

The Best Female-Centric Movies Of The 21st Century

A total pop culture junkie who loves watch watching Thelma and Louise over and over again.Suffering from severe OCD- that is obsessive coffee disorder.