Impressive lesbian movies don’t get made as often as we’d like, and when they do, they barely get the recognition they deserve. Other than action thriller Atomic Blonde and the gorgeous, GLAAD-nominated Thelma, 2017 was seriously lacking when it came to the inclusion and representation of queer women in cinema.
But thankfully, this year is ready to change that. Lots of lesbian movies are coming our way that feature lesbian love in an inspiring light, as well as queer women unapologetically being themselves. Here are 7 films to make your 20GayTeen more exciting, and demonstrate that lesbian cinema might just be on the uprise.
Inspired by the life of singer/songwriter Alyssa Robbins, Brooklyn musician Becks (Lena Hall) moves back in with her mother after an unexpected, devastating breakup with her girlfriend (Hayley Kiyoko). As Becks becomes reacquainted with her hometown and plays at the local bar for tips, a connection blossoms between her and a married woman, Elyse (Mena Suvari). The titular character’s journey through individual growth and finding her voice will be heartwarming to watch. Make sure to catch this sapphic, musically-driven drama when it comes out on February 9.
Arriving in theaters on April 27 — just after Lesbian Visibility Day — Disobedience will guide you through an intense tale of forbidden love. An adaptation of Naomi Alderman’s novel of the same name, Ronit (Rachel Weisz) returns to her Orthodox Jewish community after the death of her father, a greatly respected rabbi. While there, Ronit rekindles a romance with her childhood friend, Esti (Rachel McAdams), which causes controversy within the town. Disobedience became the talk of Toronto International Film Festival for its mind-blowing sex scene between the leading ladies, but critics fell in love with everything the movie had to offer. If that’s not enough to increase your anticipation, Rachel Weisz even read lesbian literature to get ready for her role.
3. The Miseducation of Cameron Post
Emily M. Danforth’s coming-of-age novel is gearing up to receive the movie treatment it deserves. Circa 1993, after teenage girl Cameron Post (Chloë Grace Moretz) is caught during a sexual encounter with a girl on prom night, she is forced into gay conversion therapy by her conservative aunt. Ultimately, Cameron comes to terms with being a lesbian, defies the camp’s methods to reeducate her, and finds a close-knit gay community along the way. The film’s recent Sundance premiere was met with incredible reception, and even walked away with the festival’s U.S. Dramatic Grand Jury Prize. A committed ally, Chloë Grace Moretz dedicated the award to the LGBTQ survivors of sexual conversion therapy, hoping that her film will bring more awareness to the issue.
This haunting, biographical thriller is based on the true story of Lizzie Borden, who was tried for murdering her father and stepmother in 1892. Living under the oppressive control of her father, Lizzie (Chloë Sevigny) feels like a prisoner in her own home. When her family hires Bridget Sullivan (Kristen Stewart), a live-in maid, her and Lizzie form a companionship that quickly evolves into an intimate relationship. Kristen Stewart is breathtaking in every movie she’s in, and her portrayal of Bridget marks the actress’s first explicitly queer role. Lizzie is expected to be released in theaters this summer.
5. Vita and Virginia
Vita and Virginia will center the real-life, 1920s love affair between literary trailblazer Virginia Woolf (Elizabeth Debicki) and socialite Vita Sackville-West (Gemma Arterton). Their intense romance lasted nearly a decade, which has been conserved through their many love letters — an aspect of which the drama will concentrate on. With its intriguing, biographical roots, Vita and Virginia is destined to become a classic.
6. My Days of Mercy
Despite their opposing views on the death penalty, Lucy (Ellen Page) and Mercy (Kate Mara) have undeniable chemistry. We’d expect that their conflicting stances could make them enemies, but Lucy and Mercy’s romantic connection might be too powerful for them to abandon. A movie about lesbian love with Ellen Page as a lead is a dream come true for queer ladies. My Days of Mercy isn’t one to miss!
7. Tell It to the Bees
Based on Fiona Shaw’s novel of the same name, this romantic drama set in the 1950s will explore the relationship between a doctor, Jean Markham (Anna Paquin), and the mother of one of her patients, Lydia Weekes (Holliday Grainger). But no secret can remain a secret in their small British town, as rumors about their romance eventually get out. The 2009 book has been regarded as uplifting and liberating, and we can only hope that the film adaptation will do it justice.
Which upcoming lesbian movie are you most looking forward to? Let us know in the comments!