With the cast revealed for the all-female Ghostbusters reboot (and a stellar one at that), as well as slow-but-sure progress with equal pay in Hollywood, there's no denying that things are looking up for women in the film industry. Compelling evidence comes in the form of the throng of strong female-cast blockbusters hitting our big screens this year. Here are our top five...
There’s no ignoring the awards buzz surrounding Still Alice, which sees Julianne Moore portray a woman diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s. Kristen Stewart and Kate Bosworth star as Moore’s conflicted daughters, both struggling to come to terms with their mother’s declining health, and the devastating realisation that the disease is genetic. So far, Moore has already taken home a BAFTA for Best Actress and rightly so; magnetic and gripping, her performance helms a strong female cast depicting a family in turmoil. Bring ALL the tissues.
Still Alice is out 6 March.
You know that if a film is uniting the likes of Michelle Williams, Kristen Scott Thomas, Margot Robbie and Ruth Wilson on screen, it’s going to be a big one. Based on Irène Némirovsky's 2004 novel of the same name, the film centres on the blossoming romance between a French villager (played by Michelle Williams) and a German soldier in Nazi-occupied France during World War II. Tense and powerful, Williams and Thomas steal the show.
Suite Francaise is out 13 March.
Juliette Binoche plays an aging actress asked to star in a revival of the play that propelled her to success 20 years ago. She is met with an unsettling reflection of her younger self, as this time around, she takes on the role as the older woman. Kristen Stewart and Chloë Grace Moretz are added into the mix, and the result is an intriguing and melancholic look at the female psyche, through three different characters. Subtle and intelligent, this has been pegged as Stewart’s best role to date.
Clouds of Sils Maria is out 15 May.
Guilty pleasure anyone? If you haven’t already been sucked into the fizzy and irreverent world of Pitch Perfect, we suggest you get on it – before hoardes of die-hard fans (they exist, and within the confines of ELLE HQ) trample you to get to the cinema first. The utterly magnetic all-female cast of Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, and Elizabeth Banks reunite for the second round of Acapella fun; and it’s not one to miss.
Pitch Perfect 2 is out 15 May.
Reese Witherspoon plays the lead role in the biopic of Cheryl Strayed's best-selling memoir of the same name. The film follows Strayed on a visually-stunning journey of self-discovery as she decides to hike the 1,100-mile Pacific Crest Trail, following the breakdown of her personal life. Witherspoon shines as Strayed, oscillating the tone from unbearably gritty (beware of the toenail scene) to soaringly beautiful (several tear-jerking moments in the film see her coming to terms with her traumatic life experiences). All in all, a beautiful portrayal.
Wild is out now.
Forget everything you know about Jennifer Aniston. Cake sees the actress completely shed her glossy image and take on a complete transformation (all-over body scars, minus a single trace of makeup) in this compelling story of a woman dealing with crippling chronic pain. Her character, disagreeable and complete with a hilariously cutting tongue, goes on a personal journey following the suicide of a member of her support group (played by Anna Kendrick). This is by far Aniston's most gritty role to date.
Cake is out on 20 February.
Highly anticipated and poignant, Suffragette focuses on the pivotal women’s suffrage movement and quest for equal voting rights in the early 20th century. A momentous turning point in women’s history equals big acting shoes to fill; thankfully, the female cast to go with it certainly doesn’t disappoint: Carey Mulligan, Meryl Streep, Helena Bonham Carter, Anne-Marie Duff and Romola Garai. As if the female power wasn’t already in full blast, the screenplay is also written by Abi Morgan (Shame and The Invisible Woman), and directed by Sarah Gavron.
Suffragette is out 11 September.