Shane Cassidy © 2008 LesbiaNation.com
All Rights Reserved
In February, we asked our readers to tell us their favourite hot lesbian characters from the silver screen.
Based on your votes, we bring you the LesbiaNation Top Ten Film Lesbians, including Gina Gershon in Bound, Queen Latifah in Set It Off, Erin Kelly in Loving Annabelle and more!
We wanted to know who your top favourite lesbian characters were from the movies. Our readers sent us a plethora of suggestions, which we narrowed down to ten based on the number of requests received.
Then we asked you to vote in our monthly Women We Love Top Ten.
Now the votes have been tallied and your choices made clear for the best lesbian characters on film. And here they are, from last to first-your top ten film lesbians!
10. Guinevere Turner in Go Fish.
The 1994 independent, lesbian-themed film Go Fish was directed and co-written by Rose Troche and featured her then girlfriend Guinevere Turner as producer and star of the film.
The film revolves around the lives, loves and inter-relationships of a small group of friends. Central to the storyline is the romantic story of Max (Turner) and Ely (V. S. Brodie).
The film was considered to be one of the first relatively true-to-life movies about modern day lesbian life at the time it was released and addressed such issues as the butch/femme subculture, gender roles and bisexuality in the lesbian community.
Go Fish was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the 1994 Sundance Film Festival and won the Best Feature award at the GLAAD Media Awards in 1994 and at the Berlin International Film Festival.
The film also won awards at the Deauville Film Festival, Gotham Awards and was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award.
Ally Sheedy in High Art.
Loosely based on the life and work of photographer Nan Goldin, the 1998 film High Art brought Ally Sheedy back into the spotlight as a serious actress after years of uninspiring roles.
Sheedy plays Lucy Berliner, a renowned photographer who mysteriously retired at the height of her career and lives in a strange world fuelled by heroin addiction.
Lucy’s dark existence is disturbed by the entrance of Sydney (Radha Mitchell), who works for an art magazine, and the two begin a tumultuous affair.
High Art won a Sundance Film Festival prize for Screenwriting and Sheedy won several best actress prizes, including an Independent Spirit Award for Best Female Lead in 1999.
8. Clea DuVall in But I’m a Cheerleader.
The star of the 1999 film But I’m a Cheerleader was Natasha Lyonne in the role of high school cheerleader Megan Bloomfield.
However, it is Clea DuVall who was nominated most heavily from the film.
The film features the story of a sweet, blonde cheerleader sent to an “ex-gay” camp to cure her of suspected lesbianism.
While trying to ‘cure’ her gayness, Megan meets Graham Eaton (DuVall), another girl under therapy to fix her homosexuality.
Girl meets girl and they fall in love, but have to escape from society’s expectations of normalcy to find their happily ever after.
But I’m a Cheerleader was the first feature film for lesbian director Jamie Babbit and won several awards at the 2000 Créteil International Women’s Film Festival.
7. Jennifer Tilly in Bound.
Starring opposite Gina Gershon in the 1996 Wachowski Brothers film Bound, Jennifer Tilly gave the performance of a lifetime as femme fatale Violet.
Violet seduces butch lesbian Corky (Gershon) into helping her to steal money from her Mafia boyfriend Caesar (Joe Pantoliano).
Bound was given praise for being one of the first mainstream movies to feature a lesbian relationship without the sexual orientation of the characters being central to the plotline.
Bound was nominated for quite a few awards and Jennifer Tilly won several Best Actress awards for the film.
6. Queen Latifah in Set It Off.
The 1996 dramatic film Set It Off remains one of the few mainstream movies to ever feature a black lesbian character.
Queen Latifah plays butch, car-loving Cleopatra ‘Cleo’ Sims in the movie, a role that brought her to the forefront as a lesbian icon (although she herself is not out).
Cleo’s relationship with her girlfriend Ursula is strongly featured in the film and their sexual orientation is accepted and unquestioned by their friends.
Latifah’s role remains one of the best of her career, playing Cleo with equal parts strength and sensitivity.
Set It Off won a GLAAD Media Award in 1997 for Outstanding (wide-release) Film and Queen Latifah won several individual awards for her role in the movie, including an Independent Spirit Award and an Image Award.
5. Erin Kelly in Loving Annabelle.
The 2006 film Loving Annabelle, inspired by the 1931 film Mädchen in Uniform, tells the story of a boarding school student who falls in love with her teacher.
Created by lesbian director and writer Katherine Brooks, the film stirred controversy for its theme of love between an underage young woman and a much older woman.
The beautiful Erin Kelly stars in the title role of Annabelle, opposite Diane Gaidry as her teacher Simone Bradley.
Loving Annabelle won a number of film festival prizes, including the Audience Award at L.A. Outfest and the Jury Award at the Paris Cinema Festival.
4. Laurel Holloman in The Incredibly True Adventures of Two Girls in Love.
Long before Laurel Holloman starred as Tina Lombard on Showtime’s hit lesbian drama The L Word, she played a very different kind of dyke in the 1995 film The Incredibly True Adventures of Two Girls in Love.
The winner of our January Women We Love L Word list, Holloman plays a young butch high school girl Randy Dean in Two Girls.
Randy falls for Evie Roy (Nicole Ari Parker), a girl from a very different social and economic background.
Faced with rejection from family and friends over their relationship, the couple engages in a series of comic misadventures on their way to true love.
Two Girls in Love took home a GLAAD Media Award in 1996 for Outstanding Independent Film.
3. Gina Gershon in Bound.
The 1996 film Bound catapulted lesbians to the big screen for mainstream audience consumption.
Directed by the Wachowski Brothers, the film stars Jennifer Tilly and Gina Gershon as star-crossed lovers brought together by a scheme to steal millions of dollars from the Mafia.
Sexpert Susie Bright was brought onto the film to make the lesbian sex scenes as realistic as possible.
Gershon plays butch ex-con Corky in the movie, a defining role that garnered her enormous praise and adoration among lesbian fans.
Bound won the 1997 GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding (wide-release) Film as well as several other notable awards.
Gershon received a Best Actress nod for the film from the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy Horror Films. Gershon and Tilly were also given an MTV Award for Best Kiss in 1997.
2. Piper Perabo in Imagine Me and You.
The 2005 British romantic comedy Imagine Me and You features Piper Perabo as a young woman (Rachel) on the path to the white picket fence life of a heterosexual marriage.
On her wedding day, however, she locks eyes with the wedding florist, Luce (Lena Headey) and it’s love at first sight.
Rachel, confronted by her feelings for Luce, must decide whether to sacrifice her life with husband Huck for the chance at happiness with Luce.
A rather cheesy film overall, Imagine Me and You is notable for being one of few mainstream audience-targeted romantic comedies to feature lesbian characters in the primary roles.
The film won a GLAAD Media Award in 2007 for Outstanding Film – Limited Release.
1. Angelina Jolie in Gia.
The 1998 HBO film Gia was not technically a big screen movie, but we had so many requests for Angelina Jolie as Gia that we just couldn’t say no.
A fictionalised biopic about the life of fashion supermodel Gia Marie Carangi, Gia landed a Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award for Jolie, who portrayed the title role.
Gia’s desperate passionate affair with makeup artist Linda in the film is a central theme and Gia’s sexuality is key to her character.
Beautifully filmed and deeply moving, Gia stands as one of the most powerful films featuring a lesbian/bisexual character of the last decade.
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