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The 25 Best Female Duos in Film

05 December 2014 | Features, Film Lists | by Jose Gallegos

Ghost World

From sworn enemies to loving sisters, and everything in between, films manage to create an intriguing array of female duos. The following list ranks 25 of the best female duos in cinema, which represent a wide array of friends, classmates, and relatives who antagonize, compliment, and love/hate one another.

 

25. The Devil Wears Prada (Dir. David Frankel, 2006)

The Devil Wears Prada

Based on Lauren Weisberger’s novel of the same name, The Devil Wears Prada follows Andy (Anne Hathaway), a young woman who is trying to make it in the fashion magazine industry. As the assistant to the frosty Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep), Andy soon discovers that if she wants to make it to the top, she is going to have to shed some of her likeable personality.

Frankel strikes a fine balance between Miranda’s icy demeanor (based on Anna Wintour’s personality) and Andy’s relatable naivety, constructing an antagonistic relationship between a boss and her employee.

 

24. Girl, Interrupted (Dir. James Mangold, 1999)

Girl, Interrupted

After an “accidental” suicide attempt, Susanna Kaysen (Winona Ryder) checks into a mental hospital where she refuses to admit that she has a problem. Susanna slowly succumbs to the idiosyncrasies of her fellow patients, especially those of Lisa (Angelina Jolie). The two patients form a strange bond, one that straddles between homosocial partnership and latent homosexual desire.

The film was intended to be a vehicle for Ryder, but Angelina stole the spotlight (and won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress).

 

23. The Help (Dir. Tate Taylor, 2011)

The Help

The Help is a conventional feel-good movie that does exactly what it sets out to do: draw an emotional reaction from viewers in regards to the racial injustices of the 50s and 60s. In spite of its conventional tactics, the film boasts a pair of amazing actresses, Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer, who breathe life into the characters of Aibileen and Minny.

Combined with Aibileen’s insightful narration and Minny’s hotheaded antics, the film reveals that the two women may react to situations in different ways, but they still rely on one other for strength and guidance.

 

22. Walking and Talking (Dir. Nicole Holofcener, 1996)

Walking and Talking

Nicole Holofcener’s debut film is quite remarkable in its ability to create, at its core, a wonderful friendship between two women on opposite sides of the spectrum. Laura (Anne Heche) and Amelia (Catherine Keener) are two best friends who relish in Amelia’s highs and endure Laura’s lows. Their conversations and interactions feel “lived-in” because the chemistry between Heche and Keener makes you believe they have a friendship outside of the characters they portray.

 

21. Julia (Dir. Fred Zinnemann, 1977)

Julia 1977

Chronicling the real life friendship between playwright, Lillian Hellman (Jane Fonda), and her anti-fascist friend, Julia (Vanessa Redgrave, in an Oscar-winning role), Julia examines the lengths one person will go in order to help her best friend. Following money runs, the murder of Julia, and a secret love child, the film shows Lillian’s resilience through adversity, and her attempts to salvage her friendship with her departed friend.

 

20. Blue Is The Warmest Color (Dir. Abdellatif Kechiche, 2013)

Blue-Is-The-Warmest-Color

In spite of its flaws, Kechiche’s La vie d’Adèle – Chapitres 1 et 2 (Blue Is The Warmest Color) depicts the rollercoaster relationship between Adèle (Adèle Exarchopoulos) and Emma (Léa Seydoux). The film is quite remarkable in its frankness in regards to sexuality (though some critics would criticize its gratuitous sex scenes). Still, there is no denying the magic between Exarchopoulos and Seydoux, who portray the highs and lows of Adèle and Emma’s doomed relationship.

 

19. Terms of Endearment (Dir. James L. Brooks, 1983)

Terms Of Endearment (1983)

Aurora (Shirley MacLaine) and Emma (Debra Winger) juggle their mother-daughter relationship with their romantic endeavors…that is until Emma discovers that she has cancer. Brooks’ tearjerker entered into pop culture with a bang, constructing a heartbreaking portrait of two women who do the best they can with the tragedies they have been dealt in life.

 

18. Hilary and Jackie (Dir. Anand Tucker, 1998)

Hilary and Jackie

Tucker’s controversial Hilary and Jackie follows the unorthodox relationship between Jacqueline du Pré (Emily Watson) and her sister, Hilary (Rachel Griffiths). As Jacqueline’s musical talents bring about fame and fortune, her personal crises (including a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis) test her relationships, including her bond with Hilary. Though the film plays more like a biopic of Jacqueline du Pré’s life, the central focus is the relationship between the two unconventional sisters.

 

 

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  • jaily

    Frances Ha!

  • I can’t believe Baise Moi isn’t on here.

  • Bárbara Baca

    Frances Ha is missing!

  • Sam Song

    Celine and Julie Go Boating is an egregious oversight. others include: Mulholland Dr, Johnny Guitar, Mildred Pierce, All About Eve, Some Like it Hot (see what I did there?)

    • Elisabeth White

      haha.. Some like it Hot. touche 🙂

    • Karim Zarrouk

      Betty and Rita are fascinating, whoever it is they truly are.

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  • Elisabeth White

    ah.. I like this list.. so many wonderful films.. can I add Almodovar’s “All About My Mother”.. that is a wonderful wonderful film.. and hmm.. Chocolat.. although that’s perhaps more mother daughter.. now there’s an idea for a wonderful list.. mother daughter films..

    • Elisabeth White

      oh the pairing is of course Penelope Cruz and Cecilia Roth.. oh I must go and watch it again..

    • Sam Song

      reminds me…. binoche + olin, in The Unbearable Lightness of Being.

      • Elisabeth White

        adding that to my ‘must watch’ list.. I love Binoche

  • Stephus

    Momoko and Ichigo from Kamikazee Girls!!! that’ movie is great 🙂

  • Brian Lussier

    Thank you for Heavenly Creatures.

  • Pingback: Jag har väntat i 14 år med att se denna film | HEJ BLEKK()

  • Fallon Bechtel

    Gentlemen Prefer Blondes is an excellent movie!

  • Andy Kubica

    The Miracle Worker

  • Christoph

    Strippers vs. Zombies

  • Klaus Dannick

    Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?

  • Lucas Belaunde

    Mullholland Dr is definitely missing

  • Tural Mahmudov

    Actually you can add to list many films of Ingmar Bergman )

  • Bridesmaids (Kristen Wiig/Maya Rudolph), Boys Don’t Cry (Hilary Swank/Chloe Sevigny), Sense & Sensibility (Emma Thompson/Kate Winslet), Carrie (Sissy Spacek/Piper Laurie), Silkwood (Meryl Streep/Cher), Death Becomes Her (Goldie Hawn/Meryl Streep), Mermaids (Winona Rider/Cher), Mulholland Drive (Watts/Herring), Whatever Happened To Baby Jane (Joan Crawford/Bette Davis), Dolores Claiborne (Kathy Bates/Jennifer Jason Leigh).

  • Eri Taide

    i would like to add (I know it’s recent but) “Carol”, “Bridesmaids” “Blue Jasmine” “Mean Girls” “Frances Ha” “The Virgin Suicides” “”Mistress America”, aaand right know that all i have on the top of my head

    But the serious slip in here is “Mullholand Drive” and “Thirteen”