The list author says: "Tired of awful lesbian movies? Try these...all lesbian themes or lesbian sub-plots. The list ranges from the best of the best; films that really hit the top on all levels, from the avant garde, classics, period pieces, foreign films, mainstream lesbians; to films that simmer on the fringe but have qualities or originality and uniqueness that make them worth watching or owning. Please also see The "worth a watch" list of lesbian movies where this list leaves off. And check out my "worst lesbian films" list...a warning can be the most effective review!"
"A love story that launched the genre in a new direction. The Reno landscape in the 50's is a great period backdrop for the lesbian issues and conflicts of the time. Great sexual tension (opposites attract), lovely vulnerable vs confident love scenes! Charbonneau, Shavers and Lindley are amazing, Akers is scintillating! The extended love scene material and '20 years after' interviews are MUST OWN."
"Fantastic filming, AMAZING plot twists! The period costumes and characterizations are wonderful. Hawkins and Cassidy are perfectly cast, the incredible Imelda Staunton shines. The simmering, palpable love and conflicted betrayal between the women is tender and heart wrenching; glorious and subtle love scenes."
"Thrilling, sexy, unique, and superb story writing! Violet and ex-con Corkie become romantically involved and plot to rip off Violet's mafia boyfriend. Big budget filming quality, edge-of-your-seat story plot! Sex scenes are smokin' hot!"
"The brilliant telling of the real-life love affair between feminist writer Vita Sackville-West (famous for her affair with Virginia Woolf, and married to the also unfaithful Harold Nicholson) and childhood friend Violet Keppel is devastating and exquisite. The chemistry between the women is enveloping. Set in WWI England. Epic!"
"Engaging, wonderfully intelligent stories of 3 women and their connected lives. Virginia Woolf's story sets the theme, and through three different generations we watch lesbians struggle with their lives, with death, and who they are. Brilliant acting, fantastic story writing. A list female cast."
"Young Nan Astley (Stirling: daughter of Diana Rigg) falls in love with, and is whisked away by, stage performer Kitty. Nan's highs and lows, and dramatic life events are glorious. Anna Chancellor is wickedly marvelous! Get past the sometimes annoying voice of Stirling, and the stories of love, betrayal, and new love are delicious! Entertaining, sexy, and surprising!"
"A truly unique and rare glimpse into the heart of Indian society and the strict taboo of homosexuality. Two women in unfulfilled marriages explore their deepening feelings for each other, and submit to their desires. Completely unique! Wonderfully compelling. The women are exquisite. The "making of" feature on the DVD is a must see."
"Although the original work by Alice Walker has been altered in this movie, it is still a glorious story of the abused and neglected childhood and life of a black woman in the early 1900's; she perseveres and triumphs. Sub-plot lesbian affair with a family friend, singer Shug Avery. Goldberg, Glover, and Winfrey are amazing, as are all of the actors. Poignant storytelling."
"Brilliantly adapted film from Fannie Flagg's book. The characters are absolutely endearing. The 1985 friendship between Ninny Threadgoode and Evelyn Couch is wonderfully tied to the past, and to Idgie and Ruth in Ninny's life in 1920-30's. Evelyn's life takes on new meaning with Ninny's stories. The unspoken (at least in the movie) romantic love between Idgie and Ruth is heartwarming."
"Theron gives one of the most brilliant performances ever by an actress; she disappears into this character. Chilling, desperate, violent; an abused prostitute turns serial killer. Temporarily buoyed by a tender relationship with a young misfit lesbian (Christina Ricci), this tale is devastating, heart wrenching, horrifying, compelling."
"Hilary Swank's performance is phenomenal; she is completely convincing. Dark and tragic, yet an amazing and intriguing story (very in keeping with the hardened white trash aspects) of a young woman living life as a young man. Chloë Sevigny is "wrong-side-of-the-tracks" sultry as her love interest. Superb film based on real events."
"Extraordinary true story set in Berlin 1943/44 WWII. Felice, Jewish, belongs to an underground organization and Lilly, a non-Jew mother and unfulfilled wife, develop a passionate love affair. Some disconnects, but overall this movie is wonderful; a unique perspective on that period in history. SUBTITLES"
"Sensational! Sexy, modern day horror; an intriguing tale of the "undead". Susan Sarandon, Catherine Deneuve and David Bowie melt with perfect chemistry. Sarandon and Deneuve have a surreal dream like love scene. Wonderful acting, great skew with lesbianism, superb story!"
"Excellent film adapted from the book written by the main character. Very subtle lesbian references or suggestions, but this A-list all-woman cast and the phenomenal acting is any lesbians dream! Thrilling, compelling; a woman's amazing story, surrounded by amazing stories of other women, all dealing with life inside of a mental institution in the 1960's."
"An artfully told story about a professor at a religious college discovering her inner passions through a free spirited woman, a performer in a circus. Their attraction spins as she is drawn further into the creative margins of life, breaking out of her conservative world, discovering new freedoms and her real sexuality. Love scene is smoldering and divine!"
"Story of lifelong friendship between author Lillian Hellman (Jane Fonda) and the independent and politically minded Julia (Vanessa Redgrave). Lillian's profound love and admiration for Julia lasts a lifetime; Julia becomes a staunch opponent of fascism in Europe. Sub-plot covers Hellman's relationship with Dash Hammett and writing career during "The Children's Hour" success. Riveting!"
"A brilliant landmark movie that dared before it's time. A classic adaptation from Lillian Hellman's novel, as much about a child's devastating lie about two school teachers, as it is about lesbianism. Audrey Hepburn as Miss Wright and Shirley Maclaine as Miss Dobie; the lie worked to reveal the real lesbian feelings of Dobie for Wright. Thrilling ending!"
"Far beyond a “chick flick”, this embracing story of the unlikely friendship between three women reaches into the heart of anyone who ever found common ground where you least expected it. Issues of family, loyalty, race, lesbians, romance, loss, foregiveness, AIDS, pregnancy and death are brilliantly and poignantly woven into an extraordinary feel good comedy/drama."
"Beautiful, clever Jessica is tired of dating loser men. Curiosity leads her to answer an add - and to the woman who slowly wins her heart. Adorable characters, great story surrounding the interaction between her friends and family. Very funny, sensitive, sexy, and uplifting!"
"A gymnasts career is ended by an injury; she pours her passion into massage therapy, but still languishes in a loveless marriage. She meets Serena, a beautiful dancer, and the stunning women create an aerial act. They find love...the buildup could have brought more sex and passion to the screen, however, GREAT story, physically awesome presence."
"Marvelous story about a forbidden teacher-student romance. Relentless pursuit by beautiful and rebellious student Annabelle; vulnerability and sensuality pours from teacher Simone. The tension is delicious. This story doesn't necessarily "condone" the situation, it depicts it in an alluring way. Very sexy and provocative."
"Some of the time this movie dips pretty far into druggy darkness, but shows the reality of how drug users can be talented, and even succeed - for a while. The attraction between the talented two main women characters is surrounded by gritty drug using friends, but finally becomes tender and believable on its own. Tragic and thought provoking."
"The love between Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas is gloriously celebrated in marvelous characterizations, and beautiful, historical settings. The pace allows you to slowly savor everything. The divine proof-reading scene at the beginning of the movie draws you in to the amazing relationship of these icons of the 20th century. Don't miss the director's interview on the DVD."
"This is a quietly told story of a woman existing in a loveless marriage in working class Yorkshire England in 1957, raising a son she cherishes, and trying to manage the balance in her gloom. She finds love in the companionship of her son's teacher. The wife's confession of love to the teacher is exquisite. No sex scenes, just a sweet and subtle love story."
"A sweet story about love, following your heart, and treating each other with kindness and compassion. There are some truly funny moments as well, and the characters are all likable! Again no sex, just a passionate kiss of surrender. Filmed in a delightful town in England. LOVED the corny romantic ending!"
"Chinese-American lesbian romantic comedy; surgeon Wilhelmina is a closet lesbian, enter her mother (Joan Chen), who becomes pregnant and is kicked out by her own parents. Wil has to juggle her mother's secrets with her own...including her new romance with Vivian. Intrigue, lust, well crafted plot and sly humor. Excellent performances; rich and delightful movie."
"This film evokes powerful erotic associations with running and the sheer pain of competition. A young runner (Hemingway) is followed from 1976 Olympic trials through an affair with her mentor-competitor (Olympic runner Patrice Donnelly) An honest, complicated look at the blossoming of friendship into love against the backdrop of world-class competitive sports. Stunning athletic body images."
"Tantalizing story of two women, Jeanne (mother/wife) and Marie (free spirited dancer) who are drawn to each other from the moment they meet, and fall in love. Build up to the love scenes (which are very sexy) is great. Jeanne begins to struggle with her feelings, is torn because of her son, and must decide. And then her husband makes the choice easier. SUBTITLES."
"The meteoric rise and explosive crash of supermodel Gia Carangi. From high school to Cosmo and Vogue in 2 years, then drugs to deal with the pressure, and a lesbian relationship she can't manage because of the drugs. Jolie is wonderful in this role. A tragic and engaging story, well done!"
"Evangelical Christians adopt Jess in 1960's England. As a teenager she falls for Melanie, and realizes there is more to life than church. The town and characters are wonderfully genuine; the mother is as "fundamental" as they come, and exacts a type of church shock therapy on Jess to rid her of her feelings. Excellent "coming of age" film; perfectly cast, wonderful adaptation."
"The story of Army Colonel Margarethe Cammermeyer's fight against the military's ban on homosexuality. A brilliant officer for over 20 years, she tells a security interviewer that she is a lesbian, and the Army begins proceedings to discharge her. Uplifting portrayal of a family, and her partner, Diane Divelbess rallying to support. Courage!"
"The diverse characters are entertaining, the story is quirky and fun. The two young women falling for each other flirt outrageously, and remind us of how much fun it was to be young! Side stories about tolerance, diversity and recovery. Hilarious "women's" book store back drop. Sexy!""
"If you want lots of erotica, this isn't it. However, this collection contains humor, thoughtful connections, drama, and a sort of avaunt garde feel of diversity. The stories are really good. The filming isn't Hollywood with its millions, but that definitely doesn't take away from the entertainment value. Some SUBTITLES."
"A series of mini-stories tied together by a common psychiatrist played by the marvelous Stockard Channing. One VERY sexy love story starring Kate Capshaw and Elle MacPherson! Wonderful romance and sizzlin' hot love scenes! All star female cast."
"Another series of mini-stories, all connected to each other in ways that are revealed throughout the series, with one lesbian story starring Calista Flockhart and Valeria Golino that is very endearing! Also Glenn Close, Holly Hunter, Amy Brenneman, Cameron Diaz."
"Really funny! The characters are entertaining, the plot is crazy! A "cheated on" housewife is seduced by a "diesel dyke", and the fun begins. You can't help but root for all of the characters at one point or another, even the philandering husband (who is my favorite character)! A marvelous view of a slice of French life, and women getting what their husbands get. SUBTITLES."
"Whistle blower Karen Silkwood (Streep) is galvanized by injustice, working to expose the unsafe conditions of a nuclear power plant; her efforts cause a rift between her and her lover, her best friend (Cher), and threaten her life. Cher in a great quirky role as a lesbian!"
"Four stories connect families (Hispanic, Vietnamese, African American, Jewish) preparing Thanksgiving dinner. Superb ensemble of actors, including Julianna Margulies and Kyra Sedgewick: daughter brings home lesbian lover with bombshell announcement. Portrait of family stress and tension is layered with quiet observations about race and class, and the capacity for tolerance and forgiveness."
"New Zealand's most shocking, lurid, murder case, this movie winds the relationship between the lesbian teenagers to a recoiling climax. The two girls' emotional attachment turns unhealthy and intense, and the fantasy stories begin to seep into reality for them. Unsettling, thoroughly absorbing drama based on a real-life crime."
"Very disturbing, but so well acted you can't help but watch. Julie Walters is absolutely amazing (as always), she is transformed in her role. The sister characters, who engage in an incestuous love, are brilliantly played by Joely Richardson and Jodhi May. A true story that will thrill you in its' daring, and creep you out!"