12 lesbian movies that you absolutely must watch
We love movies. We love lesbians. We REALLY love lesbian-themed movies featuring girl-on-girl love and/or action.
From gay cheerleaders in rom-coms to David Lynch’s neo-noir mystery and The Wachowskis crime thriller, here are some of our favourite movies with lesbian characters.
Keep scrolling for Kate Winslet, Angelina Jolie, Cate Blanchett, Julianne Moore, Meryl Streep, Naomi Watts, Lena Headey, Gina Gershon and many, many more in some superb sapphic roles.
1. Heavenly Creatures
This 1994 psychological drama directed by Lord of the Rings’ Peter Jackson is based on the notorious 1954 Parker–Hulme murder case in Christchurch, New Zealand.
Melanie Lynskey and Kate Winslet star as Pauline Parker and Juliet Hulme respectively, two teenage girls who murder Pauline’s mother, who – alongside Juliet’s parents – has been trying to separate the pair.
2. The Hours
Starring Meryl Streep, Julianne Moore and Nicole Kidman, this 2002 from Stephen Daldry is based on Michael Cunningham’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name.
The Hours follows Clarissa Vaughan (Streep) in New York in 2001, Laura Brown (Moore) in 1950s Los Angeles, and Virginia Woolf (Kidman) in 1920s England. All three women’s lives and loves are connected via Woolf’s novel Mrs Dalloway.
3. Mulholland Drive
David Lynch (Twin Peaks) is behind 2001 neo-noir mystery Mulholland Drive, which stars Naomi Watts and Laura Harring as Betty and Rita.
The plot follows the two strangers as they grow closer, eventually sleeping together in a passionate encounter.
Angelina Jolie stars in this 1998 biographical film as Gia Carangi, one of America’s first supermodels.
Directed by Michael Cristofer, it also stars Faye Dunaway as Wilhelmina Cooper, Gia’s agent, and Elizabeth Mitchell as Linda, Gia’s lover.
When Wilhelmina dies, Gia turns to cocaine, prompting Linda to give her an ultimatum. Gia chooses the drugs, before turning to heroin, eventually contracting HIV which progresses to AIDS.
5. But I’m a Cheerleader
Jamie Babbit’s 1999 romantic comedy stars Natasha Lyonne (Orange is the New Black) as Megan Bloomfield, a high school cheerleader who gets sent to therapy camp True Directions to cure her lesbianism.
Fortunately, she ends up getting it on with fellow camper Graham (Clea DuVall) because, as we all know, gayness needs no cure.
6. Imagine Me & You
Starring Piper Perabo and Game of Thrones’ Lena Headey (*phwoar*), Imagine Me & You (2005) follows Rachel (Perabo) and Luce (Headey), who meet on Rachel’s wedding day.
Rachel befriends Luce, her wedding florist, and attempts to set up with her husband’s friend Cooper – before finding out that Luce is a lesbian.
She begins to question her own sexuality – who wouldn’t with Lena Headey hanging around – as she grows close to Luce and is forced to make a choice.
7. Room in Rome
This 2010 Spanish film, directed by Julio Medem, follows the emotional and sexual relationship between two women (Alba and Natasha) over the course of one night in a hotel in, you guessed it, Rome.
8. I Can’t Think Straight
Starring Lisa Ray and Sheetal Sheth, this 2008 romance film from Shamim Sarif follows a Middle Eastern woman named Tala and her British Indian lover Leyla.
Tala, who lives in London, is preparing to get married, but she falls in love with Leyla and the pair begin an affair.
9. Kissing Jessica Stein
This 2001 film was written and co-produced by the film’s stars Jennifer Westfeldt and Heather Juergensen.
It follows Jessica Stein, who is searching for the perfect man, but instead falls in love with a woman, and sees her struggling to come out of the closet to her family.
10. Loving Annabelle
Loving Annabelle (2006) follows Annabelle, a student at a Catholic boarding school who falls in love with her teacher, Simone – and it’s not unrequited. Directed by Katherine Brooks, this romantic drama stars Erin Kelly and Diane Gaidry.
Gina Gershon and Jennifer Tilly star in this 1996 neo-noir crime thriller film as Corky and Violet, respectively.
Written and directed by The Wachowskis, Bound follows Violet, who is dating a mafioso man called Caesar, and Corky, a convicted criminal-turned-plumber.
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The two women begin having an affair, before coming up with a scheme to steal $2 million of mafia money.
This 2015 film from Todd Haynes is based on the 1952 novel The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith.
It stars Cate Blanchett (*swoon*), Rooney Mara and Sarah Paulson and tells the story of a forbidden affair between an aspiring female photographer and an older woman going through a difficult divorce in 1950s New York.