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SheWired's Fave Lesbian Themed Movies of 2010

SheWired's Fave Lesbian Themed Movies  of 2010

2010 may just be a watershed moment for lesbian characters on film with Annette Bening garnering nomination after nomination for her portrayal of a wine-swilling, slightly controlling lesbian mom in Lisa Cholodenko’s The Kids Are Alright. While the Oscar nominations have not been released yet Bening’s a shoo-in for a nomination, and it would mark the first nomination for an actress playing a lead lesbian character who is not criminally insane. Charlize Theron in Monster and Judi Dench in Notes on a Scandal come to mind… We picked smaller films for our top including The Runaways, The Girl Who Played with Fire, A Marine Story, The Four-Faced Liar, The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister, Chloe and more...

TracyEGilchrist

2010 may just be a watershed moment for lesbian characters on film with Annette Bening garnering nomination after nomination for her portrayal of a wine-swilling, slightly controlling lesbian mom in Lisa Cholodenko’s The Kids Are Alright. While the Oscar nominations have not been released yet Bening’s a shoo-in for a nomination, and it would mark the first nomination for an actress playing a lead lesbian character who is not criminally insane. Charlize Theron in Monster and Judi Dench in Notes on a Scandal come to mind…

While TKAAR boasts spot-on performances all around and girl gets girl in the end, there were so many smaller movies that depicted love and friendship between women in much more appealing, interesting and tender ways.

From movies with modest Hollywood budgets like The Runaways to agit-prop, shot on a shoe string documentaries like Hooters, the making of the The Owls, 2010 offered up a smattering of great lesbian-themed filmmaking.

Here are SheWired’s Top picks!

A Marine Story

A Marine Story tells the tale of a decorated Marine officer, unexpectedly back from the war, who is recruited to help a troubled young woman prepare for boot camp. When the true reason the officer returned home is exposed it threatens both of their futures. The Gymnast's Dreya Weber and Paris Pickard star in The Gymnast director Ned Farr's film about the absurdity of the ban on gays in the military, and the personal story of one courageous woman. The film landed the top prize at Outfest and a best actress award for Weber. An important, well-acted and timely film, A Marine Story is definite favorite for the year.

Hooters

Director Anna Margarita Albelo’s behind-the-scenes of the filming of The Watermelon Woman director Cheryl Dunye’s latest feature, The Owls, manages a mélange of feminist, queer theory and humor. I know! Theory and humor at once? But Albelo, as her alter ego la Chocha, is the perfect guide to dissect the making of a movie with a title that derives from the vernacular ‘older, wiser Lesbians,’ or ‘owls.’ Albelo interacts with and interviews cast members including Dunye, Go Fish and The L Word’s Guinevere Turner, Go Fish’s V.S. Brodie and Itty Bitty Titty Committee’s Deak Evangenikos, among others. Under Albelo’s keen direction, with her firm knowledge of film history couched in academia but her ability to never take herself too seriously, Hooters is just a smart, funny treat from start to finish.

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Chloe

A remake of 2003’s France's erotic thriller Nathalie starring Emmanuelle Beart and Gerard Depardieu, Atom Egoyan’s Chloe features terrific tableaus of a married couple caught in isolation and unable to connect…

While it’s ultimately and imperfect film, Egoyan’s eye for the postmodern combined with a keen eye for casting the likes of Julianne Moore, Amanda Seyfried and Liam Neeson, makes Chloe a fascinating character study of fractured people.

When Moore’s Catherine suspects her husband (Neeson) of infidelity she hires a prostitute to tempt him to prove he’s a cheater. With Chloe as a pshychologically unreliable narrator of the events that ensue with the hubby, an unraveling Catherine and Chloe engage in their own affair, and the scenes between Moore -- in her third lesbian-themed role of the year with The Kids Are All Right and The Private Lives of Pippa Lee -- and Seyfried are both erotic and disturbing as the characters are so needy.

The Four Faced Liar

The Four-Faced Liar is a witty and wry romantic dramedy directed by Jacob Chase, and written by and starring Marja Lewis Ryan. The plot focuses on four friends --  two heterosexual couples and one single girl, Bridget (played by Ryan). As the friends get to know each other better, their relationships -- not to mention someone’s sexuality --begin to change, feelings get hurt, and decisions must be made.

While the Four-Faced Liar boasts clean direction and several tight performances, the film really belongs to Ryan, whose screenplay and performance are equally strong.

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The Runaways

Director Floria Sigismondi’s wildly overlooked biopic of Joan Jett and Cherie Currie’s bad-ass 70’s girl band, The Runaways, does a great job at capturing the energy and relative innocence of an era when women were really breaking into traditionally male arenas.

The story at its surface tells of the formation and ultimate demise of the band that made “Cherry Bomb” an anthem for the underage siren set, but beneath the overt narrative is a real love story between friends who, at least from the film’s depiction, occasionally engaged in a more physical relationship.

Dakota Fanning stretches her good-girl image to deliver a compelling portrayal of Currie while Kristen Stewart approximates a strong resemblance to a youthful Jett.

Elena Undone

Writer and director Nicole Conn, of Claire of the Moon and Little Man fame, went for a record-breaking Hollywood screen kiss in Elena Undone – and she succeeded. The film boasts a kiss that clocks in at three minutes and 24 seconds, beating the prior record held by Jane Wyman and Regis Toomey in the 1941 film You’re in the Army Now.

The film’s story hinges on Elena -- 24’s gorgeous Necar Zadegan -- who’s married to an outspoken, anti-gay pastor, who’s life becomes “undone” when she’s beguiled by out lesbian writer Peyton (Tracie Dinwiddie).

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The Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls

Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls follows New Zealand twins Jools and Lynda Topp, who are one of the most successful comedy/folk duos in New Zealand. The sisters are known not merely for their extremely catchy music but also their hilarious character acts and political activism. Both sisters are also out, loud, and proud lesbians who are not afraid to fight for equality. They are an inspiration, two completely dedicated sisters and friends who have shared an amazing life together and are still going strong.

Magnetic and fascinating characters, out and proud twins make for perfectly uplifting documentary subjects and great viewing.

The Girl Who Played with Fire

The second film in the series based on the juggernaut Stieg Larsson novels The Girl Who Played with Fire lacks the fascinating murder mystery within the story that made The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo so watchable, but it also eschews anti-heroine Lisbeth Salander’s sexual relationships with men.

In The Girl Who Played with Fire, hacker extraordinaire Lisbeth also plays with girls, specifically Miriam, Lisbeth’s occasional hook-up with whom she engages in something resembling a mini relationship.

Beyond a very sexy and tender love scene with Miriam, Noomi Rapace’s Lisbeth continues to kick bad guy ass, and that is always worth the price of admission, or a Netflix rental…

Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister

The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister tells the true story of the titular Anne Lister (1791-1840), the first modern lesbian in history who kept many coded diaries of her admirable ventures. The Secret Diaries may have a similar tone to many other early 19th century English romances played out on the big or small screens (i.e. Pride and Prejudice), but it is not so much a love story as an exploration of Anne's courageous journey to prove that her lifestyle is just as acceptable as anyone else's. Of course, Anne (played with an almost too fierce intensity by Maxine Peak) does have many a love interest, most prominently Anna Madeley's beautifully delicate Mariana Belcombe.

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Tracy E. Gilchrist

<p>Cinephile, cyclist, proud cat lady and unabashed Pretty Little Liars guru.</p>

<p>Cinephile, cyclist, proud cat lady and unabashed Pretty Little Liars guru.</p>