5 Lesbian Films You Might Have Missed in 2013

2013 was the year we saw Blue is the Warmest Color and had feelings about it, but did you know there were a lot of other films about lesbians and queer ladies in 2013? Call your girlfriend and grab your favorite vegan gluten-free snacks. I’ll even note the ones that you can pick up on DVD or watch on Netflix Instant, so your date nights are in order.


 

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Ashley

Teenager Ashley uses self-harm to deal with the tough parts of her life, especially homophobic bullying and her newfound sexuality. When she meets an older woman, their relationship starts her down a new path entirely. It’s a tough watch if you’re not keen on cutting or glacial pace, but it’s a snapshot of an era of adolescence we’ve probably all touched on and since tried to forget.


 

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Breaking the Girls

Girl meets girl. Girl murders for girl. Girl and girl have pool sex and trampoline sex. It’s not the most cerebral thriller of the year but hey, that’s the point. The lesbian answer to summer thriller blockbusters, except with more cunnilingus and did I mention there’s a pool? There’s a lot of stuff happening in the pool. (Available on Netflix Instant Watch)


 

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Contracted

This is an intense film, to say the least. I watched it, and I’m as into horror as the next homo who wore fingerless black gloves in middle school, but hoo boy. A lesbian is assaulted and raped and contracts a disease as a result. That’s a gigantic trigger warning within itself. What follows is some fairly hardcore body horror that will either have you cheering for a return to “real horror” after a year of Insidious sequels and Paranormal Activity wannabes, or turning away from the screen until you turn it off.


 

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Reaching for the Moon

Miranda Otto, of “I Am No Man” Eowyn fame, portrays Elizabeth Bishop in this account of her relationship with Lota de Macedo Soares, the famous Brazilian architect. If you didn’t hear about it from its limited South American release or illegal downloading (I know how you kids work), it’ll be released in America as of February 2014.


 

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Side Effects

I’m not going to say where the lesbians come into this story because suffice to say, I’d be spoiling a lot for anyone who hasn’t seen this thriller. Even those of you who aren’t Rooney Mara fangirls should be able to squint hard enough to ignore the nagging feeling that this is a “predatory psycho lesbian” storyline and just enjoy it for what it is: a semi-predictable thriller that will make shit real for all my anxious depressed sisters in the audience. This movie made me think about what I’d be able to get away with given my mental health, and the answer is probably murder. (Available on Netflix Instant Watch)


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Full-time writer, part-time lover, freelancing in fancy cheese and cider.

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38 Comments

  1. 0

    I swear half the lesbian movies I come across involve an obsessive lesbian stalker type character. Such an unnecessary trope.

    Anyway, thanks for the suggestions!

    • 0

      Yes! Just watched a trailer for “Nurse 3D” which falls under the same category. Even though some of the most powerful movies have this thematic drive (the haunting Notes On A Scandel and the above mentioned Side Effects), I’d love for there to be some more rom-coms even if they fall under mainstream tropes (imagine me and you).
      Come on 2014!

  2. 0

    I like the nice beachy one where they’re eating ice cream. It looks nice.

    The other ones all seem goddamn terrifying. Must everything REALLY be so difficult?!

    • 0

      I know, right? Where’s the awesome woman who has x hours to save the (city/world/children) while bantering flirtatiously with a gorgeous secondary lady until, after many explosions, the baddie is (in prison/dead by no fault of our hero/changing their ways) and Ms. Awesome gets her happy ending kiss.

      I love me some blockbuster action, okay, don’t judge me.

  3. 0

    Where are all the Angela Robinson type movies out there? The light hearted rom-com inspired by the John Hughes movies of the 80s? Oh wait, I havent made them yet! *watch this space*

    • 0

      Same! I picked it because I had heard it was really good and had “a twist you won’t see coming.” I hate it when they advertise movies like that because you’re able to prepare for it.
      Anyways, in addition to it not being the best movie, I watched it with 3 of my close friends I had recently come out to. No big deal really, except it was quite awkward sitting next to my friend who told me “you just haven’t found the right guy yet.”
      I wonder what she was thinking. And I wonder what she thought I was thinking during the sexy time scenes.

  4. 0

    I haven’t seen it, but “Concussion” is supposed to be pretty great, actually. Did you guys do a piece about it that’s slipping my mind? I’m an idiot sometimes.

    Also that de Palma movie where the chick who plays the original Swedish Lisbeth Salander whose name is totally escaping me right now, and Rachel McAdams are mean to eachother but also make out. Haven’t seen it either, but hey, it happened.

    I REALLY want to see that one about Elizabeth Bishop, though. I really like Elizabeth Bishop.

  5. 0

    I saw side effects just because I’ve had the biggest crush on Rooney Mara since forever ago. Pretty darn good movie if ya ask me.

  6. 0

    I am looking forward to trying Reaching For The Moon- otherwise not running to see these. I might check out Side Effects and Concussion, though.

  7. 0

    All of these movies look and sound terrible. All of them. Jesus. I’m pretty sure the sex parts aren’t worth losing two hours of my life.

    • 0

      Actually, Reaching for The Moon (lame title) is one of the most beautiful lesbian movies I ever saw. It’s the only one I can recommend.

  8. 0

    Two points: There was a movie called Viola Di Mare. Not from 2013, but I enjoyed it. Plus I began to realize that butch types aren’t represented much in media, especially film. If thrillers are about the bases of human instinct (sex, violence), then naturally two girls doing things lends into that (thanks a lot porn industry, even if Black Swan was a bit more tolerable thanks to Natalie Portman). I’d like to see an actual media piece that shows butches and lesbians as people, not vehicles of sexuality to be consumed by a male audience. Just my opinion on a soap box made of overturned percussion equipment… While I do not agree with what media offers queer women, the article is wonderfully written and certainly those inclined to the subject matter may enjoy it.

  9. 0

    Gosh, Side Effects was *terrible!* I really wasn’t prepared for just how *bad* it was going to be. And I have to agree with what was said above; the way the lesbian characters were treated left an awful taste in my mouth once it was over.

    Yeesh. I gotta go watch The L Word again or something, just to cleanse my palate.

  10. 0

    Vic + Flo Saw a Bear

    I don’t know where or how to get it, though. Have been trying ever since I saw it.. no luck. But if you can, and you think you can stomach being devastated in the end… the movie is brilliant, start to finish.

  11. 0

    I’m actually looking forward to Reaching for the Moon, is it out yet? I’ve only seen trailers. I’ve seen Ashley and Breaking Girls. Can’t say that I love them but Breaking Girls is interesting if psycho thrillers are your thing. I’m bidding my time to watch Contracted because the author made it sound extremely creepy but I will eventually and I’ll post what i think on my blog. Side effects I downloaded then deleted it.

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