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19 Lesbian-Approved Movies We Can't Wait to See This Season

19 Lesbian-Approved Movies We Can't Wait to See This Season

19 Lesbian-Approved Movies We Can't Wait to See This Season

With Freeheld and Carol coming out this season, it's shaping up to be the best movie season ever.

TracyEGilchrist

With the end of summer and the start of the school year also comes Oscar season! And this fall and holiday season offer up plenty of heavy hitting films by, for, and about women – a welcome change from summer’s testosterone-fueled superhero bonanza.

For starters, look for Ellen Page and Julianne Moore as a couple in the true story (and tearjerker) Freeheld, Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara as lovers in the 1950s period piece and cross-country odyssey Carol. If that’s not enough to get you to the theaters then Carey Mulligan, Meryl Streep, and Helena Bonham Carter as women fighting for the vote in Suffragette might do the trick. Finally, we get our third consecutive Jennifer Lawrence double whammy with the release of the final Hunger Games installment and her third (probably Oscar-worthy) portrayal in a David O. Russell film in Joy. 

Here are our picks for fall movies to watch out for that feature films written and or directed by women, actresses we love, and (this year) some actual representation for lesbian and bisexual women approved by this lesbian who loves to see women being represented on the big screen.

 

(RELATED: Your Guide to 21 Shows with Queer Female Characters on TV This Fall)

 

In Theaters Now

Breathe 

Mélanie Laurent (best known for her star turn in Inglourious Basterds) directs her second feature – this one a moody, angsty film about teenaged obsession. 17-year-old Charlene’s  (Josephine Japy) world is turned on end when Sarah (Lou De Laage), an enigmatic new student, arrives at her school. The pair becomes obsessively fast friends, but while Charlene (Charlie) falls for Sarah, the new girl slowly chips away at their friendship leaving Charlie in the dust as she seeks out the company of boys. As the film progresses it’s revealed that Sarah has deep secrets. Breathe follows in the footsteps of Heavenly Creatures and My Summer of Love with its examination of all-consuming friendship (love) between girls. 

 

About Ray 

About Ray is the first of two major studio films that feature trans characters, the other is The Danish Girl. (We acknowledge that having cisgender actors play trans people is historically and continues to be problematic, but we include the films because they introduce new audiences to trans stories.) Elle Fanning stars as a teen on the verge of transitioning. He is supported by his mother (Naomi Watts) but gets pushback from his lesbian grandma (Susan Sarandon), who initially has trouble accepting his identity. The real conflict occurs when Ray must get permission from his estranged dad (Tate Donovan) in order to begin hormone therapy. Gaby Dellal directs. 

 

 

Sicario 

Emily Blunt as an FBI agent busting a drug cartel. Do we need to say more? 

 

Oct. 2 

Freeheld 

In the first of two major films featuring a lesbian romance Julianne Moore and Ellen Page play partners in the passion project Page helped bring to life. It's the true story of Laurel Hester (Moore), a New Jersey police detective diangosed with cancer who wants to leave her pension to her partner Stacie (Page). The case became a lynchpin for the marriage movement in New Jersey. Expect outstanding performances from the leads and tears from anyone with a heart who sees this film. 

 

 

Addicted to Fresno 

Director Jamie Babbit reteams with her But I'm a Cheerleader star Natasha Lyonne for this dark comedy about codependent sisters, an accidental murder, and the cover-up. Lyonne plays a hotel maid in her hometown of Fresno who sacrifices herself to help her sex-addicted, acerbic sister (Judy Greer) get on her feet. Of course things go terribly awry. Meanwhile, Lyonne’s character is courted by an adorable trainer played by Parks and Recreation’s Aubrey Plaza.

 

He Named Me Malala 

This is the unbelievable true story of 18-year-old Malala Yousafzai, who was shot in the head by the Taliban for taking a stand and going to school. Since the horrific assassination attempt in 2012, Malala has become a leading voice for women and education. Her incredible story of perseverance is not to be missed. 

 

 

Oct. 9 

Duktar (Daughter) 

In this important film from Pakistan about a woman defying tradition a mother kidnaps her 10-year-old daughter to escape the child being forced into marriage. The two head out on the road with the bridegroom's cronies not far behind them. 

 

The Final Girls 

“Final Girl,” the academic term coined by Carol Clover in her essay “Men, Women, and Chainsaws,” is now an important piece of popular horror vernacular. The term, used to describe the typically chaste, self-sufficient young woman who survives in the slasher film, is now the title of this incredibly self-reflexive horror flick starring Taissa Farmiga, Nina Dobrev, Malin Ackerman and Alia Shawkat. In this horror film within a horror film look for plenty of insider nods to the genre a la the Scream series. 

 

 

A Woman Like Me 

Out director Alex Sichel (famous for the '90s lesbian classic All Over Me) was diagnosed with terminal breast cancer in 2011. In light of her diagnosis she began a video diary in which a cheery woman, Anna Seashell, plays her alter-ego. The film is part doc/part narrative and stars the wonderful Lili Taylor (I Shot Andy Warhol, Mystic Pizza) as Anna. 

 

Oct. 14 

A Ballerina's Tale 

Already a legend, Misty Copeland became the first African American principal dancer in the American Ballet Theater. The film highlights her journey, including overcoming barriers based on race and several injuries. 

 

 

Oct. 16 

Room 

Out writer Emma Donoghue brought light and life to an oppressive space with her novel Room, about a young captive mother forced to make a single tiny room with no light a home. Brie Larson (Short Term 12, United States of Tara) plays the mother who makes "room" the entire world for her young son (Jacob Tremblay) who is unaware that there is even a world beyond their four walls, that is until they manage to escape. 

 

Oct. 23

Suffragette 

Oscar nominees Carey Mulligan and Helena Bonham Carter and three-time winner Meryl Streep star as suffragettes fighting against the man (literally) for the right to vote in turn-of-the-19th-century Britain. Directed by Sarah Gavron. I am so there. 

 

 

Oct. 30 

The Royal Road 

This cinematic essay, a defense of remembering (which conjures thoughts of Chris Marker’s seminal short La Jetée), acts as a primer on the Spanish colonization of California and the Mexican-American War. LGBT film historian and cinephile Jenni Olson trains her lens on such disparate (or are they?) subjects as nostalgia, butch identity, and Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo. Shot in stunning 16 mm. 

 

Nov. 6 

Miss You Already 

Drew Barrymore and Toni Collette star as friends for life who face an unexpected turn when Collette's character is diagnosed with cancer -- from Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke. It has all the makings of a sugary sweet tearjerker, but sometimes that's just what the doctor ordered. 

 

 

Nov. 20 

Carol 

I’ve been going on and on about the big-screen adaptation of Patricia Highsmith's 1952 lesbian potboiler The Price of Salt for the better part of three years now and it’s finally out this Thanksgiving. Cate Blanchett plays the socialite Carol, who falls for a younger shop girl (Rooney Mara). The trailer doesn’t give much a way in terms of plot, but director Todd Haynes’ (Far From Heaven) nuanced camera work and its two stars offering coy glances or a twitch of a lip, say so much with so little in a time when the subject of two women together was an ultimate taboo. Sarah Paulson, Carrie Brownstein, and Kyle Chandler costar. Given everything this film has going for it I fully anticipate that Carol may become my favorite movie of all time. 

 

 

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2 

It's a bittersweet time for Hunger Games/Jennifer Lawrence fans with this final installment of the series. It's become a new Thanksgiving tradition to find some time over the weekend to watch Katniss save the world. Elizabeth Banks, Julianne Moore, Natalie Dormer, and Jena Malone are back to add even more girl power. You will be missed, Katniss. 

 

Nov. 27 

The Danish Girl 

In the second major studio trans-themed film to be released this season last year's best actor Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne plays artist Einar Wegener, who became one of the first people ever known to have gender reassignment surgery to become her true self -- Lili.  This year's "It Girl" Alicia Vikander (Ex Machina) plays Lili's wife Gerda. The Oscar winning Tom Hooper (The King's Speech) directs. 

 

 

Dec. 18

Sisters 

Sure, not everyone remembers Baby Mama as fondly as I do, but truth be told, I would watch Amy Poehler and Tina Fey paint each other's toenails for two hours. That said, the dynamic duo plays sisters who return home to discover their childhood home is up for sale. They decide to throw one big bash before they leave their home behind. In a bit of a switcheroo Amy plays the responsible one with common sense while Tina plays the slightly daffier sister.

 

Dec. 25 

Joy 

This is the third time Jennifer Lawrence and David O. Russell have teamed up (American Hustle, Silver Linings Playbook) for what is sure to be award season catnip. Lawrence's character is inspired by the entrepreneur who invented space saving hangers and the miracle mop. The film spans four generations and even Lawrence has admitted she's probably too young for the role, but it hasn't stopped Russell from casting her older before (and it's worked).  Robert DeNiro, Bradley Cooper, Elizabeth Rohm, Isabella Rossellini, Virginia Madsen and Orange Is the New Black's Dascha Polanco costar. That's enough to get me into the theater on Christmas Day. 

 

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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>