Welcome to Girls on Film -- a Monday-night Cinematical column full of female-centric musing, rants, love, and aggravation.

When I first started this column, I wrote about remembering the Women Who Rock. Taking on the Sisyphean task of writing about women in Hollywood, there was no better way to start than with the sources of inspiration and adoration. Though there are many arguments to be had, and rants to release, it is all fueled by the love elicited by the women of cinema -- those who shape it and those who bring it to life.

Before we prepare to stuff ourselves like gluttonous fools this Thanksgiving, it would be nice to give thanks, and when it comes to women in film, there's no better body of work to be thankful for than the front lines who spark our love of cinema -- the fictional femmes of the big screen. Though there are many real women who are wonderful sources of inspiration, our love of the form starts with the characters who populate our cinematic fantasies and make them real.

The great female character is always there. She provides strength, inspiration and escape on film. She sticks with us well beyond one viewing, becoming an old and motivational friend. She, along with her many compatriettes, show us the possibilities in life -- the paths we should follow and the ones we should leave behind. She miraculously teaches and comforts just as much as she entertains. She whips us into shape when we're lazy and snuggles us when we need a moment of comfort.

What follows are the women who -- thankfully -- stay with me long after the credits roll. Read through and offer your own thanks in the comments below.
categories Columns, Cinematical