The holiday season is upon us—which means there’s going to be a whole lot of interacting with family and loved ones. Being surrounded by all of this familial love can have even the most confident queer feeling a little lonely for romantic love. This might not be the easiest thing to accomplish if you’re visiting a less-than-queer-representative area, but thankfully, entertainment has you covered.
The days are getting shorter, and with darkness coming so early, it really makes me want to curl up and spend more time at home with a good movie. I’ve always been a fan of dramas and romance films but being able to see queer representation on film goes a much longer way than to just make the films I already enjoy so much, better.
It reinforces the idea that even in fantasy, queer love is a beautiful thing worth celebrating, in all of its forms.
Even once the holiday season is over, these are great films to watch whenever you’re in the mood to see sapphic love represented on-screen. And the best part? All of these picks listed below are available on Netflix or Amazon.
Here are some of the best queer-focused films that you can stream today.
Directed by Dee Rees, “Pariah” focuses on Alike (played by Adepero Oduye) who is a 17-year-old Black girl living with her family in Fort Greene. Despite her family’s own issues, she quietly comes to terms with her identity as a lesbian and tries to find her way both in labels and love. Though the film is definitely more of a drama, it’s one of the few representations to Black queerness and gives endearingly shows the journey to discovering one’s self.
Perfect snack to pair with this film: A comforting cup of tea, like chamomile or lavender. Just be sure to drink it during the beginning of the movie, so that you have something to collect your tears in later. Trust me, the film gets very sad.
“Blue Is The Warmest Color” (2013)
“Blue Is The Warmest Color” is one of those films that you’ve probably seen heavily talked about when it first premiered since there was a lot of excitement about the film. And though it may not be everyone’s cup of tea (the film is set in and spoken completely in French, and this could be off-putting to some viewers) Blue is still worth checking out if you enjoy romantic films.
Just like “Pariah”, Blue is another coming-of-age film that focuses on the relationship between Adele (Adèle Exarchopoulos) and Emma (Léa Seydoux). Despite the two having very different experiences with their identities as lesbians, Emma and Adele begin a passionate, loving relationship. But as the film progresses, we see how life begins to take a toll on their relationship and the viewers are left hoping for their success.
Perfect snack to pair with this film: Colors are vibrant throughout the film, and the color blue especially (duh) is seen very often. So why not match the film with a blue cupcake or blue-colored candy?
“Anatomy of a Love Seen” (2014)
“Anatomy” is a film starring two actresses who are playing… two actresses playing lesbians. Unbeknownst to them, fantasy soon becomes reality as they fall for each other over the course of filming. There’s something really endearing and charming about a film that isn’t afraid to be proud of its exploration of the subtleties of love and romance. Though “Anatomy” isn’t completely about the action or drama, so to speak, it does focus specifically on the chemistry between the two women and explores exactly what makes relationships work.
Perfect snack to pair with this film: A film about the filming of a film means that there’s no better snack to reach for than good ol’ popcorn. Whether you like extra butter, kettlecorn, or a mix of flavors, popcorn seems fitting for “Anatomy.”
Set in 1950s New York City, “Carol” is the love story between two women, the titular character (Cate Blanchett) and aspiring photographer, Therese Belivet (Rooney Mara). Their affair is forbidden both because of the times and the fact that Carol is married, but despite that, the two are inexplicably drawn to one another.
This is one of those films that you might want to have some tissues ready for.
Perfect snack to pair with this film: Since the film is set in the 1950s, you can get creative and pull out a retro snack for this film. Channel your inner drive-in moviegoer and bring out the popcorn, hot dogs, and boxed candies decked out in retro decorations.
“The Handmaiden” (2016)
Not to be confused with Hulu’s Handmaid’s Tale, The Handmaiden is a South Korean thriller. Set in 1930s-era colonial Korea and Japan, the film focuses on a Japanese Lady, Lady Izumi Hideko (Kim Min-hee) and the Korean woman (Kim Tae-ri) hired to be her handmaiden on a secluded estate. Unbeknownst to the Lady of the House, her handmaiden Sook-hee is part of a conman’s plot to steal Lady Hideko’s inheritance.
There’s so much suspense and action in the plot that you’ll be on the edge of your seat for the entire film, but the tension between Sook-hee and Lady Hideko is mesmerizing to watch. The film is available to stream on Amazon.
Perfect snack to pair with this film: Since the film is a South Korean thriller, this is the perfect time to bring out your favorite Korean snacks. Shrimp snacks, Korean rice crackers, sweet cakes, or even some bibimbap would pair well. Just be sure to avoid eating at the really suspenseful parts.
“All About E” (2015)
If tear jerkers aren’t your thing, “All About E” might be the movie for you. The film focuses on E (Mandahla Rose), a Persian Australian DJ whose unlucky at love but just wants to have a good time anyway. But when she accidentally comes into possession of a bag of stolen cash, she has to go on the run before she gets killed—and along the way, asks an ex for help. Here’s a good balance of comedy and action to offset the romance, but at the end of it, you’ll be rooting for E to make it out alive.
Perfect snack to pair with this film: Since the film is set in Sydney, bringing out some snacks from Down Under is only fitting. If you’re a fan of Tim Tams, Vegemite, or even a classic Drumstick, this is the best film to bring out your Australian snack favorites.
What’s your favorite queer movie on Netflix? Let us know in the comments!