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Top 5 on screen heroines

Updated on July 10, 2010

Alas, this hub was to be about movie screen heroines, but I just couldn’t find enough heroines I liked. Like the wage gap I think women are getting the shaft when it comes to compelling characters in movies, often ending up as significant others to the more compelling male characters. Despite this, there are a few ladies that still shine.

1) Lain.

Lain is from the anime series Lain. The anime series is pretty much like a good Franz Kafka novel, so full of symbolism that it’s impossible to nail down a single explanation of the work. However, as far as I can tell, Lain is an omnipresent goddess. As such, she is unable to understand herself. However, high level computer programmers figure out a way to give her the body of an eighth grade girl. As a girl Lain is withdrawn and always caught up in her own thoughts. This is until she discovers the world of computers, which she is immediately sucked into. I must confess being sucked into some obsessions at her age that I can very much identify with.

Anyhow, she’s embroiled in her world. At the same time another girl from her school, Alice, keeps trying to pull her out of her shell and private world. As the series continues Lain begins to understand more about her nature and is rather disturbed at what she sees. Her eighth grade self starts to dissolve as she understands her goddess nature and that her manufactured body is just that, a bunch of fake memories. As she continues, Alice, who she has grown to love, has her life torn apart from being close to her (Lain is a dangerous goddess character) In her desperation to heal Alice, Lain purges herself from all human memory and reboots, this time as an eight year old child, trying to stay out of anyone’s memory. Lain is the most developed female lead I’ve seen, complex, wondrous, and interesting.

2) Luna Lovegood.

Luna is from the Harry Potter series: the Order of the Phoneix and the Half Blood Prince. In Order of the Phoenix, she becomes the unlikely friend of Harry Porter, who is feeling isolated and alienated from his traditional friends Ron and Hermione. Luna is strange even in the eyes of the world of magic but this is only because her understanding of the world is truly her own. Her most memorable moment: after telling the audience about wrack spurts that live in your ears and make your brain go fuzzy, Luna discovers Harry, in his invisible cloak, paralyzed by a Petrificus Totallus spell. Harry asks how she found him she replies, “Wrack spurts, your head’s full of them.” Again, both highly intelligent and strange. What more could you want in a woman?

3) Amelie

Amelie is from the movie Amelie. For much of her life, Amelie exists in a world of her on imagination and the simple pleasures of life. In the movie she gets riled up and inventive after a random act of kindness. Like a benevolent wrecking ball, Amelie knocks people out of their ruts (for better or worse depending on the character) through inventive schemes, finding love in another oddball in the process. Makes for a great movie and a pretty sexy heroine.

4) Fay Grim

Fay is from the movie Fay Grim. This was a sequel of the movie Henry Fool. In Henry Fool Fay is not particularly interesting, merely a love interest of Henry's. In the sequel Fay becomes much more compelling. First things first, I must mention I laughed my ass off the first time I saw this film to the point that had to stop the movie to laugh, sometimes ten minutes or more. Fay is a creature of chaos, of a species I call a shadow vortex. I think many of our everyday, individual choices amount to nothing and that no one even remembers them. With an entity I call a shadow vortex every little thing that happens ripples through time and leads to consequences unimaginable, even if the shadow vortex is unaware of her own nature. In the crazy spy story that is Fay Grim, just about everyone is a spy trying to track down her husband’s intelligence notebooks. In the movie the plot runs into numerous complications where the actions seem to dance around Fay. Nearly every male spy is enchanted by her beauty so much that Parker Posey, who plays Fay, remarked, “Everyone’s in love with me. Everyone’s a terrorist.” However, amusing as she is being a unwitting daughter of chaos, she only ranks number 4 though, for being kind of a ditz.

5) River Tamm

River is from the short lived Firefly TV series and the movie Serenity, though I really like River in the series and not so much in the movie. As you might have picked up on by now is that I have an attraction to strange and intelligent females, and River is no exception. Hands down she is brilliant far beyond my capacities. River was sent to a little known, covert school whose intentions are to create high rate assassins (even at the cost of student sanity) Scarred by brain damage she becomes mildly deranged, complicated by her abilities as a psychic. She has her own endearing manner of expression, poetic at times but alas her character isn't as compelling as the others her because of her great dependence on Simon, her older brother.


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