14 Lesbian-Approved Summer Movies of 2015: Part 1
14 Lesbian-Approved Summer Movies of 2015: Part 1
Looking for the perfect date? Plan your movie escape now!
Summer popcorn flicks and thoughtful LGBT-themed cinema don't typically collide, and that is certainly true of this season’s crop of films. When it comes to queer women seeking representation on the big screen — or women in general for that matter — the summer blockbuster season is fairly slim pickings next to the testosterone-laden superhero scenario on endless redux, or the paean to the poor shlubby guys who always gets the hot girl comedies that apparently never get old in Hollywood. We got Black Widow with The Avengers:Age of Ultron, but even when embodied by the inimitable Scarlett Johansson, she plays second fiddle to the boys.
Now that summer is officially here, we've planned an escape from 90-degree days that you could theoretically even take with a date. (Head over to the SheWired Personals page to find that special someone who you can bump hands with in the popcorn box.) Curated below is a list of summer movies that feature strong female characters, well-loved actresses, and features about or directed by women. Be sure to look for separate coverage of LGBT film festivals.
Get your Swedish Fish and tub o' corn and settle in with these 14 films approved by this lesbian who likes to see women on the big screen.
This opposites-attract buddy comedy stars Sofia Vergara as the key witness in the trial of a murderous drug lord and Reese Witherspoon as the cop assigned to safely escort her to court. Of course it looks absolutely silly, but I will totally watch anything Reese Witherspoon is in, so bust out the popcorn. I don't care how stupid it is. Anne Fletcher, director of 27 Dresses and The Proposal, is at the helm.
Irish actress Deirdre O'Kane portrays Christine Noble, a woman who grew up poor, institutionalized and homeless in Ireland and then went on to dedicate her life to helping abandoned kids in Vietnam circa 1980. Brendan Coyle (Downton Abbey's Mr. Bates) costars.
Every Secret Thing
Funny woman Elizabeth Banks takes on a decidedly more serious role as a small-town detective investigating the kidnapping of a child, possibly by two young women just out of juvie who'd kidnapped and killed a toddler years before. Documentarian Amy Berg (West of Memphis, Deliver Us from Evil) directs the film based on Laura Lippman's novel. The excellent cast includes Diane Lane, Dakota Fanning, and Danielle Macdonald.
Mad Max: Fury Road
Post-apocalyptic badass Charlize Theron with a shaved head. Need I say more about this next installment in the series by original Mad Max director George Miller? On the off chance that's not enough, Rosie Huntington Whitely, Zoe Kravitz, and Riley Keough costar. Done.
Pitch Perfect 2
Are you Aca-ready for more? Yes please! This time the Barden Bellas go international, facing off against a German acapella group. Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Anna Camp, Brittany Snow, Alexis Knapp, and Ester Dean get a little help from Oscar nominee Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit).
Set in the Arctic Circle, from Peruvian director Claudia Llosa (The Milk of Sorrow), Jennifer Connelly stars a mother who leaves her children when she discovers she can heal people. Her grown son, played by Cillian Murphy, searches for her decades later. The sublime Melanie Laurent (Inglorious Basterds) costars.
Here Hailee Steifeld gets a starring role as a teenage spy who fakes her own death to get out of her pre-ordained role as a special-ops agent, only to discover that high school is much worse than the spy game. Samuel L. Jackson and Jessica Alba costar. Think D.E.B.S. meets Mean Girls.
I may need to see this one in a theater that serves cocktails, judging from how stressed out I got just watching the trailer in 3-D.
Living in California, the possibility of an extinction event earthquake seems all too real. This disaster flick stars The Rock as the requisite hero but it's costars Carla Gugino and Archie Panjabi who are guaranteed to get me in the seat.
Melissa McCarthy does her thing in this comedy from her Bridesmaids director Paul Feig. This time she stars as an unlikely CIA agent assigned to save the world from an arms dealer. Jude Law, Jason Statham, Rose Byrne, and Allison Janney costar.
Testament of Youth
Alicia Vikander (Ex Machina, A Royal Affair, Anna Karenina) stars in this biopic about British feminist Vera Brittain who lost three men in her life to WWI. The film is based on Brittain's 1933 memoir and costars Hayley Atwell, Kit Harringtion, Emily Watson, and Dominic West.
Live from New York
In the 40 years since it began SNL has certainly had its share of ignoring women altogether, but judging from the trailer for this doc about the long-running sketch show phenomenon, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Lorraine Newman, Gilda Radner (in clips) and several other genius women are front and center. That's reason enough to check it out.
The Kids Are All Right and Albert Nobbs star Mia Wasikowska steps into the shoes of the bored country doctor's wife Emma Bovary in this reimagination of the Gustave Flaubert classic. Sophie Barthes (Cold Souls) helms the production that costars Rhys Ifans, Paul Giamatti, Logan Marshall-Green, and Ezra Miller (The Perks of Being a Wallflower).
What Happened, Miss Simone?
A documentary about the inimitable Juilliard trained pianist, jazz vocalist, and civil rights activist Nina Simone from the prolific documentarian Liz Garbus... Did someone say Nina Simone? I'm there for the soundtrack alone.
A Little Chaos
Kate Winslet returns to form in a corset for this period drama about landscape designer Sabine de Barra, who was commissioned to redesign the Gardens at Versailles for Louis XIV. Winslet's Sabine bumps up against class issues and gender discrimination in the film directed by Alan Rickman (Harry Potter's Professor Snape to many).