5. Blue is the Warmest Colour (Abdellatif Kechiche, 2013)
Blue is the Warmest Colour is a beautiful coming of age drama that explores the growth, change and sexuality of a young girl, Adele (Adele Exarchopoulos). After meeting the intriguing blue haired Emma (Lea Seydoux), Adele falls through a journey of finding and losing love as well as learning about herself, through the relationships with the people around her.
The film won a Palm D’Or, and was extremely deserving in its win through the portrayal of young love and the difficulties that come with being not just in a lesbian relationships with the surrounding social stereotypes, but in a relationship in general. The two actresses give incredible performances that make you connect and understand the characters, even if not always agreeing with their decisions.
4. Fucking Amal (Lukas Moodysson, 2000)
Fucking Amal, or Show Me Love, is an excellent example of the New Queer cinema. It draws on the ideological concepts of love and social expectations and achievements that seem to be stopping the youth of the small Swedish town from being truly happy.
These ideas are a prison for the two young girls – Elin (Alexandra Dahlstrom) who is one of the popular girls living in her ‘social’ success, and yet a girl who is completely unsatisfied and bored with it, and Agnes (Rebecca Licheberg), who is not as ‘lucky’ and Elin, being shy and unpopular.
As with many romantic stories, opposites attract, and Agnes experiences romantic feelings for Elin that at first are one-sided and cause her a lot of embarrassment. But one night changes everything.
The two end up on a difficult journey of love and hate as they continue to explore themselves. Although the film does not focus entirely on the lesbian relationship, it sparks a lot of thought on both the subject itself, as well as the broader sense of not sticking to the social norms.
3. Mulholland Drive (David Lynch, 2001)
Like most Lynch films, Mulholland Drive is a fantastical dream like illusion that will cause a lot of bafflement and will force you to rewatch and rethink its carefully chosen elements, wondering what is real and what is not.
After losing her memory in a car crash, Rita (Laura Elena Harring) is left in the streets trying to find herself. Instead she finds a young aspiring actress, Betty (Naomi Watts) who is also looking for something – fame and stardom. Instead, she ends up trying to help Rita recover who she is. The mystery takes them to places in between and beyond reality and dreams, leaving many questions to be answered.
2. Heavenly Creatures (Peter Jackson, 1994)
Heavely Creatures is based on a true story of a murder case, that as most such cases do, doesn’t end with a happily ever after. The film follows two young girls, Juliet (Kate Winslet) and Pauline (Melanie Lynskey in a brilliant debut), that although are very different quickly form a strange bond. Their friendship involves a lot of fantasy and games guided by imagination that bonds the girls despite their very different backgrounds.
As their friendship develops, it becomes evident that there is something more going on between the two girls that causes their parents to be concerned. But nothing will stop the two from being together, and so they embark on a deadly escape journey to America refusing to let anything or anyone stand in their way.
1. Carol (Todd Haynes, 2015)
Everything about Carol is beautiful – the set design, the costumes, the acting and of course, the love story. Set in the 50’s, it explores both the wonders and the struggle of a lesbian relationship at the times with an impact that can still be felt in today’s society.
The story follows the chance encounter of a young store worker Therese (Rooney Mara) and Carol (Cate Blanchett) who comes into the store looking for a doll house for her daughter. The two women begin to form a connection that turns out to be more than just friendship.
The film perfectly captures both the times and their views on homosexuality as well as women, giving birth to powerful but at the same time delicately human female characters. There is a lot of deep explorations of Carol in her different forms as well as her different sides that hide beneath her strong and courageous surface.