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5 Quintessential Movies About Brilliant Women to Inspire You This Semester

With the weather finally taking notice (bring on the huge scarfs and cute jackets), it’s hard to believe that we’re halfway through the semester! As summer becomes a distant memory, the reality of the next few months starts to sink in. Cue the extra large coffees, late-night cram sessions, and seemingly never ending string of midterms. While I’ve spent a good chunk of my summer mentally preparing for the year ahead, I find myself halfway through this semester and still dragging my feet reluctantly as I head to my 8:30 am classes. And so, in desperate need of some major academic motivation, I’ve enlisted the help of some of the most phenomenal women in cinematic history!

Legally Blonde

What better way to motivate yourself this semester than watching Elle Woods kick some major ass at Harvard Law? While she shows up to Harvard with her outfits (and her dog, Bruiser) coordinated to perfection, it’s her intelligence, ambition and determination that make her a killer lawyer. Whenever you need a little inspiration to power through a study sesh or get that paper done, just channel your inner Elle (fuzzy pencil at all!) and kill it!

Harry Potter 

Okay, even though Harry is *technically* the main character, we all know he wouldn’t have gotten anywhere if it wasn’t for Hermione. She is just flat-out brilliant! While I’d pass on the life or death situations, I’d take Hermione’s drive, passion, intellect and determination any day!  

Plus, Emma Watson is equally as bad-ass and inspirational IRL! 

Hidden Figures 

These women redefine strength and perseverance, hurdling every obstacle in their paths to greatness. Brilliant, bold and determined, these real life women broke down so many barriers to help with one of the greatest achievements in the history of mankind. These women = major #girlpower inspiration!

Mona Lisa Smile 

Set at an all-girls college which promotes the “traditional” values a woman should uphold, this movie follows a group of young women – led by independent new teacher Julia Roberts – as they begin to break from the age-old mold of a woman’s role and explore all the possibilities for their academic futures. 

The Devil Wears Prada 

This list wouldn’t be complete without a little #GirlBoss insporation! This movie gives up some major girl power vibes, offering Miranda Priestly as the icon for the successful, cutthroat business woman as well as Andrea Sachs as the representation of individuality and finding out who you truly are! 


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Hi, I'm Kailey, a fourth-year student studying Biomedical Sciences and English at the University of Ottawa. I'm an avid traveller, Starbucks dependent life-form, book lover, a devout fan of 80s music, wine addict, movie guru and a proud supporter of sweatpants and messy buns.
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