2009 Year in Review: Movies


Hannah Free tackled the pains of growing older in an environment that’s hostile to LGBT folks (and really, older people in general). The story of two women who fall in love in the Midwest in the 1940s and enter a decades-long love affair that leaves Hannah (Sharon Gless) in a lurch when Rachel falls into a coma, it was no lightweight in the drama department.

Best of all, the film was headed by three women Wendy Jo Carlton directed, Claudia Allen wrote the screenplay (based on her play of the same name) and Tracy Baim served as the executive producer.

Wendy Jo Carlton and Sharon Gless

French drama Out of The Blue (La Surprise) played to dazzled LGBT festival audiences this year, presenting a realistic look at a gorgeous later-in-life lesbian (Marion, played by Mireille Perrier) as she first experiences romance with a woman (the very sexy Rachida Brakni), while her bratty teen daughter and possessive ex-husband watch on. It’s one of the very best romances of the year and not just for the incredible French accents.

Also impressive was the miniseries-turned feature film Society, about four estranged South African “buppies” who form a society together and re-bond after the suicide of a close friend. A “slice of life” style drama that highlights the new generation of African women who came of age after Apartheid, it features one of the most nuanced representations of a lesbian couple in any film of the last year.

Left to right: Lois, Beth, Inno and Akua

In fact, the film (which has four main characters) actually opens on partners Beth and Thuli in bed together, before exposing their difficult, semi-out existence. The ensuing “traditional vs. out and proud” culture clash is fascinating, intimate and occasionally heartbreaking.

Directed by out German director Monika Treut (Female Misbehaviour, Gendernauts) Ghosted featured an artist torn between the memory of her dead Taiwanese girlfriend and the young reporter investigating the story. It’s a mysterious, romantic drama, of which AfterEllen.com Blog Editor Trish Bendix had this to say in her review: “Ghosted is, overall, an interesting thriller with a positive representation of lesbian relationships.”

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