'Jackie' Certainly Isn't the First: The Best Female Biopics Ever Made

The art of the biopic is a revered one. We place such high expectations upon the actors inhabiting these influential people, and essentially go crazy dissecting their portrayals.

At least, I do.

It's also just a fascinating concept—to honor people's legacies with such a monumental, permanent dedication that generations will look back on.

(No pressure, actors.)

Natalie Portman's recent portrayal of Jacqueline Kennedy in  has been critically acclaimed, and for good reason.

But she's not the first to portray a complex, influential woman in history, and she won't be the last. Here are some of other favorite female-driven biopics that leave a lasting impression.


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The 2002 film surrounding the life of Mexican painter Frida Kahlo was not only a celebrated role for Selma Hayek, but come on—she was clearly the right pick for the part. Just look at her.


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Jennifer Lopez's first leading role, and a huge boost to her career, Selena is the story of Selena Quintanilla-Pérez, the Mexican-American Pop icon, who was murdered by the president of her fan club in 1995.

I don't think I'm the only one who harbors the theory that JLo is Selena's long lost twin.


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Reese Witherspoon's portrayal of Cheryl Strayed's self-affirming journey  not only gained a great deal of Oscar attention, it was also produced by Witherspoon's production company, which is dedicated to supporting films by and about women.

'La Vie en Rose'

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Marion Cotillard completely transformed herself totally into French cabaret singer Edith Piaf in the 2008 film La Vie en Rose. 

Cotillard also won Best Actress for the role at that year's Academy Awards, and in case you missed it, her acceptance speech was the most endearing and lovely thing to ever happen.

'Julie & Julia'

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While Julie & Julia wasn't a strict Julia Child biopic, Meryl Streep is a national treasure, and her portrayal of famous chef, and fellow national treasure, Julia Child, is nothing short of adorable, heartwarming, and all around spot on. No one is surprised.