It’s only August, but it seems we already have an awards season 2021 shoe-in in the form of Ammonite.
The trailer for the Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan-fronted romantic drama dropped this week, giving the queer community hope that a lesbian film will dominate the Oscars.
Ammonite tells the story of the real-life palaeontologist Mary Anning (Winslet), who falls for Charlotte (Ronan), a young woman whose husband asks Anning to spend time with her.
The trailer – plus Winslet’s comments about choreographing the sex scenes – has everyone excited for the depiction of same-sex love between two of Hollywood’s biggest stars, but there is one complaint.
Why the hell can’t we get a lesbian love story set in the modern day?
Social media has noted that the biggest movies involving two women in love/in lust are either set years ago or involved a massive age gap (or in the case of Ammonite, which is set in the 1840s, both).
A Portrait Of A Lady On Fire? 1770s. The Favourite? 1710s. Carol? Even that was the 1950s.
But never fear, while the majority of the critically acclaimed queer AF films are set before the age of electricity, there are some stellar lesbian movies that involve women in this century.
But I’m A Cheerleader
The GOAT. This 1999 comedy features a pre-Orange Is The New Black Natasha Lyonne play Megan, a high school cheerleader who is shipped off to a conversion camp to cure her suspected lesbianism.
However, the camp backfires as Megan meets Graham (Clea DuVall), another girl forced to attend the camp by her family, and falls in love.
While But I’m A Cheerleader was negatively reviewed by the mainstream at the time, it has become a cult camp classic and is frequently considered one of the best lesbian movies of all time.
OK, another trope of lesbian movies is tragedy and pain, but because Disobedience is set in the 90s and not the 1890s, we’ll allow it.
Bisexual Ronit (Rachel Weisz) returns to her strict Orthdox Jewish family for her father’s funeral, but sparks a secret relationship with Esti (Rachel McAdams), a childhood friend who is hiding her sexuality and is married to a man.
The drama gained much attention for the passionate sex scene between the women, in which Weisz spits in McAdams’ mouth. You can see why it was popular.
Blue Is The Warmest Colour
Blue Is The Warmest Colour has attracted much controversy for the alleged poor conditions the cast and crew faced, with leading actors Léa Seydoux and Adèle Exarchopoulos calling filming ‘horrible’, but it is no doubt one of the most prominent lesbian films in recent years.
The 2013 romance follows Adèle from high school to adulthood as she embarks on a relationship with Emma (Seydoux), and is noted for its graphic depiction of sex.
There has been some criticism of the sex scenes, particularly the scissoring scene, being purely for the male gaze, with Julie Maroh, the author of the graphic novel on which the film was based, saying: ‘It appears to me this was what was missing on the set: lesbians.’
However, its impact – Blue Is The Warmest Colour won the Palme d’Or at Cannes – cannot be denied.
One of the Wachowksi sisters’ only non sci-fi films is a queer classic.
Bound sees Violet (Jennifer Tilly) enter an affair with Corky (Gina Gershon) behind the back of her gangster boyfriend, and the women plot to steal millions from the Mafia.
While it is often not considered a typical lesbian film as the women’s sexuality isn’t the core theme of the film, Bound is one of the first mainstream films to be built like this, and is full of queer references that have seen it praised for its realistic portrayal of a lesbian relationship. (If you take away the heist, that is.)
Pariah is the touching story of Alike (Adepero Oduye), a 17-year-old African-American who is coming to terms with being gay.
The drama is a realistic look at sexuality, with Alike dealing with her own butch identity, carving out physical relationships and coming out to parents.
Pariah premiered at Sundance in 2011 and has a score of 95% on Rotten Tomatoes – so what are you waiting for?
The Kids Are All Right
Bizarrely but probably not surprisingly, it took until 2010 for a mainstream Hollywood film to show a same-sex couple raising two teens and not have it mired in tragedy.
Nic (Annette Bening) and Jules (Julianne Moore) play a married couple raising teenagers, who were born via the same sperm donor.
However, when their son Laser wants to meet his biological father, Jules ends up starting an affair with the dad, played by Mark Ruffalo.
While there is a heterosexual affair involved in The Kids Are All Right, the acting is brilliant and it’s refreshing to see a same-sex coupling shown so naturally on screen.
Credit: Original article published here.