Elsewhere in the cineplex during 2010, Noomi Rapace turned heads with her magnetic performance as bisexual badass Lisbeth in the Swedish film, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (originally released in 2009 in Europe).
The first installment in the Millennium Trilogy, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is an astoundingly well-crafted, intense murder mystery that was surely one of the best suspense films of 2010.
It doesn’t hurt that the lead character is a smart, strong, utterly fierce woman named Lisbeth was the real star of the story. Though she’s partnered with a male journalist, Lisbeth does all of the heavy lifting, and is eventually the one who figures it all out. Our own Trish Bendix called Lisbeth a “feminist icon” in her review.
The sequel, The Girl Who Played with Fire, was even more inclusive, with pivotal scenes between Lisbeth and her on-again, off-again girlfriend, Miriam. The third film, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, is currently in limited release. A Hollywood remake of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is now in production, so US audiences will be getting even more Lisbeth in 2011.
Just as dark, and perhaps even more high-profile, was Darren Aronofsky‘s thriller Black Swan, starring Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis as dancers in a hyper-competitive ballet company. With its stellar performances and an intense, unwavering tone, reviewer Lesley Goldberg called the film “captivating.” While the movie is currently in limited release, expect the Oscar buzz (especially for Portman), to keep Black Swan relevant well into the New Year.
In the beginning of 2010, Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning rocked their mullets hard on the big screen as the more-than-just-friends younger versions of Joan Jett and Cherie Currie in The Runaways, and Tilda Swinton‘s buttoned-up matriarch in I Am Love got a wild surprise upon learning that her youngest child, Betta, is a lesbian.
Though she isn’t the protagonist, baby dyke Betta is integral to the plot as the catalyst for Emma’s own reawakening. As Grace Chu says in her review:
Although Betta has very little screen time, she plays a pivotal role in her mother’s emotional awakening. When Emma by chance comes across a note from Betta to Edo in which Betta confesses that she has fallen in love with a woman, you can see the dusty gears start creaking in Emma’s mind. “Feelings? What are they? And can I have some too?”
The Real World
If there was a commonality in the year’s documentaries, it was exposing and fighting hard against injustice. While this theme is often documentary fodder, nothing kicked ass harder or took more names than 8: The Mormon Proposition, an uncompromising look at the Mormon Church’s involvement in California’s historic, tragic passage of Proposition 8, which banned same sex marriage in the state.
With top names like Milk screenwriter, Dustin Lance Black, prominent lawmakers, heartfelt personal stories, and a damning investigation into the money trail that financed the proposition, it was one of the most potent, vital LGBT films of the last 10 years.