The movie industry has gone through a lot of growing pains in the last few years. What that has meant for viewers, in a nutshell, is that it’s getting increasingly challenging to get films made: Period. Combine that with the already sparse landscape for LGBTQ films, and it’s no surprise that feature films with lesbian/bi characters are few and far between.
While there were definitely some standouts this year, it really draws attention to how the way we consume, and support films, is changing.
The Golden Globe-nominated Pride is based on the real life events surrounding the UK’s coal mining strike of the ’80s. A plucky group of gay and lesbian activists turned their attention to the struggling miners and their families, and an unlikely and heart-warming alliance formed between the two groups. One of the major players was a punk lesbian named Stef, the leading female voice in the group. The film also includes a brilliant cast of British actors and actresses, including Bill Nighy, Imelda Staunton and Dominic West.
Melissa McCarthy’s big film of the year, Tammy, received a lot of mixed reviews, but we loved Kathy Bates and Sandra Oh’s performances as the title character’s lesbian aunt and her much younger partner. The highlight of the film is a big ol’ lesbian party, so you may want to consider putting Tammy on your “must see” list.
Based on the popular novel of the same name, This is Where I Leave You boasts a killer cast including Tina Fey, Jason Bateman, Connie Britton and Jane Fonda. As the children of the Altman family gather to sit shiva for their deceased father, a major secret is revealed about their parents’ relationship. The character played by Debra Monk is a big part of it, so you can take a wild guess.
After spending nearly a year playing the festival circuit, the buddy comedy Life Partners finally opened for wide release and VOD recently. Starring Leighton Meester and Gillian Jacobs as two co-dependent best friends, one straight (Jacobs) and the other a lesbian (Meester), Life Partners was also created by real life best friends Susana Fogel and Joni Lefkowitz. The film is a sweet (and sometimes sour) tale of what happens to any close friendship, when one person finds love and the other has to carry on.
All Cheeleaders Die was a surprising fun little horror flic starring out queer actress Caitlin Stasey. With three queer leading female characters, this zombie-esque film by Lucky McKee is heavy on the camp and lesbian goodness. While other horror films might use lesbianism to titillate, the relationships and same sex encounters in All Cheerleaders die, actually feel well drawn and crucial to the plot.