It is a fact, there are only a few romantic films exploring love between women. Inevitably, we think about Blue Is the Warmest Color, but also about Water Lilies, from the talented Céline Sciamma. While thinking about it, I realized that almost all my favorite movies display lesbian love stories. These include many unmissable movies that I highly recommend to you.
Persona, Ingmar Bergman
In 1966, Bergman directed a cinematic monument about the human psyche. A movie questioning the characters’ visages – frontiers between the interior and the exterior – but most of all, it is a movie about two women looking alike, confiding in one another, attracted to one another and eventually torn apart. Settled on an island to get the character played by Liv Ullman to end her silence, the two women intertwine and confusion settles in: are they one person or two distinct beings? Obviously, we’re a bit lost. However, it’s masterful, the beauty of the actresses and of the black and white is enlightening. The dream sequence is timeless.
Mulholland Drive, David Lynch
In this film, one woman loves another but is ultimately rejected. She makes the other disappear. Full of regrets, she dreams of another life where everything could have been different. The demons of guilt stew up inside this artificial paradise: little by little, the truth comes to light. In the morning, the anxieties increase until tragedy ensues.
As usual with Lynch, we don’t really understand much. And yet, we feel. We even find ourselves crying in front of these images of the two women superimposed, overexposed, after attending to one of the most intense love story ever on film.
(warning: the following scene does not really spoil Mulholland Drive, but it is the last scene of the movie)
The Hours, Stephen Daldry
Three periods are explored. Three women living the same day. The first one writes Mrs Dalloway in the 20’s, near London. The second one reads Virginia Woolf’s novel in a spick-and-span 50’s American suburb. The third one is a contemporary Clarissa Dalloway, striding across New York’s dullness in the 2000’s.
Full of subtlety and emotions, Stephen Daldry’s movie displays three women in a deep existential crisis, tempted by the anxiety of suicide, the desire of escaping by any means. The first and the second ones steal kisses, one from her sister, the other one from her neighbor. The third one, emancipated, lives freely with another woman. Philip Glass’s soundtrack glorifies it all. Watch out, tears will flow freely!
For 80 Days, Jon Garaño et José Mari Goenaga
A smaller, lesser known movie but still worth checking out. Here, age is no barrier to love as 70-year-old Axun and Maïté, former childhood friends, reunite and ignite confusing feelings in each other. One of them is a lesbian, the other one discovers herself. The film is shot in Basque, which is not common. A touching and different movie.
To top if all off, I pass over to Sophie to let you know about Imagine Me and You from Ol Parker:
This film adopts the classical pattern of the rom-com, with a three-way love story, some parts comedy and others drama, a few misunderstandings and some tasty minor characters. Only Hugh Grant is missing to make this movie the quintessential British romance! Except that here, it’s a woman falling in love with another one who is about to get married and that it is Cersei/Lena Headey who brilliantly replaces Hugh. To be enjoyed without moderation on a gloomy day with a pint of ice cream and a soft comforter to believe again in the power of love.
Translated by Leon