One of the biggest shifts in gay lady movies last year — and let’s be honest: there are still so few gay lady movies that even subtle shifts seem seismic — was that a third of the widely available films were Netflix originals. (By widely available, I mean: not confined to the LGBTQ film festival circuit.) This is actually indicative of a broader trend going on in Hollywood. It started in 2016, when Netflix and Amazon showed up at the Sundance Film Festival with bottomless pockets and big dreams, stepping over major studios that have been reluctant to sign on to distribute any film that won’t be a sure thing at the box office. Streaming services can take more chances with indie films because they don’t have to worry about selling an expensive trip to the theater or appealing to everyone. “The key for both platforms,” Wired wrote at the time, “is making sure they offer enough of everything to attract anyone.” And hey guess what, that includes gay people.
Last year, Netflix distributed Amy Poehler’s buddy comedy, Wine Country, which starred IRL lesbian Paula Pell as a middle-aged lesbian recovering from a knee replacement and falling in love with a young artist; Someone Great, a girl power rom-com starring DeWanda Wise as the queer BFF of Brittney Snow and Gina Rodriguez; and Let It Snow, a legitimately delightful Christmas movie that includes a queer love story starring real life queer humans Liv Hewson and Anna Akana.
Netflix tweeted a thread of some of their upcoming movies for 2020 and it looks like the gay ol’ trend will continue this year! The most exciting thing, to me, is news about Saving Face writer/director Alice Wu’s new film, The Half Of It: “Shy, straight-A student Ellie is hired by sweet but inarticulate jock Paul who needs help wooing the most popular girl in school. But their new & unlikely friendship gets tricky when Ellie discovers she has feelings for the same girl.”
We’ve also got Director Ben Wheatley’s adaptation of Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca; Ryan Murphy’s adaptation of lesbian Broadway musical,The Prom; and a Dee Rees adaptation of Joan Didion’s The Last Thing He Wanted, which isn’t queer but Rees sure is and she deserves some dang awards season love for all the work she’s done elevating Netflix’s film canon.
Here’s the full thread! Did I miss anything?
Another year of movies is ahead of us! We’ve mentioned a lot of these films already, but here’s a handy list of all the films coming to Netflix this year…so far. (thread)
— Netflix Film (@NetflixFilm) January 3, 2020