The Best Lesbian Films to watch in 2023


ellie and abbie movie lesbian visibility week lesbian films
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Although Pride Month is over for another year, there is still an abundance of queer content to enjoy all year round. Check out QNews’ list of some of the best lesbian films to watch in 2023. 

Ellie and Abbie (and Ellie’s Dead Aunt)

The first Australian film to open the Mardi Gras Film Festival in its 27-year history, Ellie and Abbie (and Ellie’s Dead Aunt) is essential viewing for lesbian film fans.

Writer and director Monica Zanetti largely crowdfunded the film and stipulated it have a 50% LGBTQIA+ cast.

Elisa and Marcela

The list wouldn’t be complete without a lesbian period drama. The 2019 Spanish film Elisa y Marcela is based on the true story of a lesbian couple who fooled the Catholic church.

Set in 1901, Elisa and Marcela pose as a heterosexual couple in order to get married and life out their lives together.

Tell it to the Bees

Anna Paquin and Holliday Grainger star in this film adaption of Fiona Shaw’s 2009 novel set in postwar Scotland.

Single mother Lydia and local doctor Jean form a companionship that becomes romantic against the backdrop of a gossipy small town. Spoiler alert: The bees save the day.

 

Portrait of a Lady on Fire

A young woman is pledged to marry a suitor once he receives a painting of his betrothed, but she keeps destroying her own image and sending painters away. Finally, a young woman portraitist arrives at her grand estate, pretending to be her hired companion and painting in secret.

But I’m a Cheerleader

Starring RuPaul as an ex-gay called Mike, But I’m a Cheerleader has reached cult status in the queer community.

Suspicious of her vegetarianism and love of Melissa Etheridge, friends and family of cheerleader Megan Bloomfield (Natasha Lyonne) send her to a conversion therapy camp when they suspect she may be a lesbian.

Disobedience

Ronit returns to her Orthodox Jewish community for her father’s funeral. There, she reconnects with childhood best friends and now-married couple Esti and Dovid.

Ronit and Esti’s teenage romance comes back in force as the two women explore their sexuality and test their faith.

After you watch Disobedience, you’ll never listen to Lovesong by The Cure the same way again.

Ammonite

Paleontologist Mary Anning collects fossils to sell to tourists in her coastal town while conduction her own research on the side. One day, a wealthy man brings his depressed wife by her shop, demanding Mary take her in and help her out of her depression.

The Runaways

While not an obvious lesbian film, this biopic of Joan Jett’s former band The Runaways is all their career trajectory, and a little bit about the rumoured relationship between Jett (Kristen Stewart) and Cherie Currie (Dakota Fanning).

Imagine Me and You

In this British romantic comedy, Piper Perabo plays a woman who is about to get married to her long-term boyfriend. Just before the ceremony, she meets the florist for her big day, played by Lena Headey, and starts questioning all of her life decisions so far.

Benedetta

Set in 17th-century Italy, the film movie follows Benedetta Carlini, a young woman who joins a convent in Pescia. She experiences religious visions and claims to have a direct connection with Jesus Christ, while also forging a romatic connection to Sister Felicita.

The World To Come

Somewhere along the mid-19th century American East Coast frontier, two farmers’ wives find themselves irrevocably drawn to each other. At the 77th Venice International Film Festival, the filme won the Queer Lion award for best LGBTQ-themed film at the festival.

For the latest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) news in Australia, visit qnews.com.au. Check out our latest magazines or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Sarah Davison
Sarah Davison

After working in print and radio, Sarah has joined the team at QNews to expand their coverage into South Australia. Sarah has a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology, and a Masters in Journalism, Media, and Communications. Get in touch: sarah@qnews.com.au

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