Earlier this week Pedestrian TV published an article on the top ten powerfully sassy moments of women in film. I’m jumping on the bandwagon and extending the list as part of my Sunday Style column because style isn’t just about how you wear your lipstick or colour your hair. Sometimes it’s about how you flip the bird, fight an army of men, or follow your heart.
1) Evelyn Couch from Fried Green Tomatoes
There are so many sassy women in this dramedy, from cheeky Ninny (Jessica Tandy) to Ruth (Mary-Louise Parker) barbecuing a dead man and serving it to the cops. But nothing beats watching a meek Evelyn (Kathy Bates) go nuts on a couple of bitches*.
2) Hushpuppy from Beasts of the Southern Wild
This beautiful and heart-wrenching tale centres around a courageous young girl, proving size doesn’t matter. Also, seeing the tiny Hushpuppy (Quvenzhané Wallis) flex her muscles in victory is one of the best things ever.
3) Iron Maven in Whip It
In Drew Barrymore’s directorial debut she says, “I believe girls can do it all.” And the motto of the film is, “Be your own hero”. Awwww.
This bright fun flick is brimming with rebellious gals – on skates. While Drew as Smashley Simpson and Alia Shawkat (Maebe from Arrested Development) as Pash bring on the sass, it’s Juliette Lewis as Iron Maven who should be crowned Sass Queen.
4) Bernadette Bassenger in The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert
So technically the character is a bloke, but she’d be miffed if you called her one. We can learn a lot from Bernie (Terence Stamp) about how to have grace under fire.
5) Yu Shu Lien and Jiao Long in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Pedestrian’s list had one of my favourite film scenes of Uma, well, killing it in Kill Bill. But before Tarentino gave us The Bride, Jiao n(Ziyi Zhang) and Yu Shu (Michelle Yeoh) showed us that women can be ninjas too.
And it’s a refreshing to see a fight scene where the women aren’t oversexualised, or sexualised at all. These gals kick ass sans makeup with their hair back and baggy clothes.
7) Hit Girl in Kick Ass
Speaking of kicking arse, I’ve got to add Hit Girl to the list. I’ve spoken before about my love for the foul-mouthed school girl. Who else is pumped for Kick Ass 2?
7) Gail in The Sapphires
They’re all amazing singers whose voices alone can pack a punch. Their audition scene gave me shivers, but besides having amazing vocals the foursome, in particular Gail (Deborah Mailman), can offer up prime sass.
8) Juno in Juno
How the hell does she manage to be sassy, cute, vulnerable and a smart-arse all at once? Great writing from the smarticulate Diablo Cody and a stellar performance from Ellen Page make Juno one unforgettable sassy lassie.
9) Jo March in Little Women
She may not have mean karate skills but Jo March (Winona Ryder) follows her heart like a ninja. The tempestuous writer rejects the comfort of marrying rich boy Teddy (Christian Bale) and instead hooks up with the older, poorer but way more stimulating Friedrich Bhae (Gabriel Byrne).
10) Merida in Brave
Look, Merida (Kelly MacDonald) just one of the coolest chicks ever. She’d rather ride her horse up precarious mountain slopes than wear waist-embracing corsets while batting her eyes at suitors. Here’s hoping we see more Disney protagonists of her calibre.
Added note: I wanted to add that video of Sarah Connor in T2 doing pull-ups but the studio has blocked access to it. Smart thing too becauase now I’m dying to rewatch that film.
*I’m not usually a fan of the word bitch but I really think it was appropriate here.
Who’s your favourite female film character?