36. Pariah (2011)
Starring: Adepero Oduye, Kim Wayans, Aasha Davis Director: Dee Rees
Out writer/director Dee Rees grew her short film about Alike, a young black lesbian struggling to come out and come into her own, into an acclaimed feature that put star Adepero Oduye on the map. We follow Alike as she explores her gender expression, navigates the trials of young love and tries to figure out how to deal with her mom’s homophobia and the cracks in her parents’ marriage. It’s not just about coming about, it’s about the rich complexities of self-discovery, and it’s unforgettable.
37. My Summer of Love (2004)
Starring: Emily Blunt, Natalie Press Director: Pawel Pawlikowski
Think Heavenly Creatures with cigarettes and sex, but without all the murder. This lyrical film about a romantic friendship between earthy Mona (Natalie Press) and the privileged, dramatic and irresistible Tamsin (Emily Blunt) will remind you of the first unreliable girl you couldn’t stop thinking about. Capturing all of the intensity and frustration of a teen romance that is destined not to work out, Pawel Pawlikowski’s film, like Tamsin herself, is dreamy, gorgeous and erotic, but possesses an undeniable edge.
38. You and I (2011)
Starring: Mischa Barton, Shantel VanSanten Director: Roland Joffé
Fans of lesbianish musical duo t.A.T.u. were probably stoked when information about the production of You and I began trickling out. A “romantic thriller ” about two girls who fall in love after meeting at a t.A.T.u. show and then must battle the perils of “high society ” in order to stay together? Starring Mischa Barton (!) and Shantel VanSanten, it probably sounded too good to be true. And, upon its release, most critics agreed that it was. Still, lesbians are notoriously loyal to their favorite performers and You and I found its way to respectable standing on our list!
39. The Sea Purple (Viola di Mare) (2009)
Starring: Valeria Solarino, Isabella Ragonese Director: Donatella Maiorca
A lesbian romance set on a beautiful Mediterranean island? Italian writer/director Donatella Marioca obviously knows what we want, and she delivers the goods in this period piece about Angela, a rebellious woman who refuses to participate in an arranged marriage, instead declaring her passionate love for, Sara, the woman’s she desired since childhood. When it seems that societal pressures may keep them apart, Angela’s mother proposes a bold, transgressive solution. Without spoiling it, we can tell you that knowing that the film is based on a true story makes the story even more impressive.