On Nov. 13, 2020, director Francis Lee's latest film, "Ammonite" — which stars Saoirse Ronan and Kate Winslet — hits theaters. The drama tells the story of paleontologist Mary Anning, who's struggling financially when she's offered a life-changing job: the opportunity to care for Charlotte Murchison, a young wife who's recuperating from a personal tragedy. Despite their disparate circumstances, the women fall passionately in love in the 1840s. In honor of the romantic drama's release, Wonderwall.com is taking a look back at some of the best movies about lesbian romances. Keep reading for more…
RELATED: Stars who came out
"The Kids Are All Right," which starred A-listers Annette Bening and Julianne Moore, tells the story of a lesbian couple raising their two teenagers. When the kids contact their sperm-donor father, played by Mark Ruffalo, the couple must work through some issues and embrace a new family dynamic. The critically acclaimed 2010 comedy-drama won two Golden Globes (best comedy and best actress for Annette) and earned four Academy Award nominations including best picture.
RELATED: Stars who have LGBTQ kids
Set in the early 18th century, "The Favourite" tells the story of Queen Anne (Olivia Colman), whose health is depleting. While ruling England under the influence of her loyal companion, adviser and forbidden lover, Lady Sarah Churchill (Rachel Weisz), the women are introduced to a charming new servant — Sarah's poor cousin, Abigail Hill (Emma Stone), whose arrival throws the aristocracy for a loop. Hilarious at times, well-written and deeply intriguing, the Academy Award-winning period black comedy — Olivia Colman won for best actress — creates an intriguing lesbian love triangle rife with drama and conflict.
RELATED: Biggest LGBTQ stories of 2020
"Bessie" is an amazing biopic that follows the life of legendary blues singer Bessie Smith, who was married to man but had numerous female lovers. The 2015 HBO film starring Queen Latifah in the lead role chronicled Bessie's rise from struggling musician to "The Empress of the Blues." "Bessie" became the most watched HBO original film of all time and won four Emmy Awards including outstanding television movie.
Years before the Wachowskis made their groundbreaking film "The Matrix," they worked on an equally exciting project about two strong women in love. That project eventually became their first feature-length film, "Bound." The 1996 movie tells the story of Violet, a woman who longs to escape her relationship with her mafioso boyfriend, Caesar. Violet begins an affair with alluring ex-con Corky and the two women plot to steal $2 million in Mafia money. "Bound" received rave reviews from critics and audiences for its groundbreaking and realistic portrayal of a lesbian relationship.
2018's "Lizzie" tells the story of a forbidden romance. In the movie, which takes place in the 1890s, Lizzie (Chloe Sevigny), who lives a rigid lifestyle under the watchful and controlling eye of her father, ends up falling for her free-spirited live-in maid, Bridget (Kristen Stewart). As their bond deepens and romance heats up, the mounting tension within the household nears a gruesome breaking point.
Long before Natasha Lyonne starred on "Orange Is the New Black" and "Russian Doll," she was a lesbian cheerleader trying to please her parents. "But I'm a Cheerleader" tells the story of Megan Bloomfield, a high school cheerleader who's forced to go to conversion therapy camp in an attempt to cure her lesbianism. There, she finds love and learns to embrace who she truly is. The 1999 satirical rom-com is a must-see for its stellar performances and laugh-out-loud commentary.
"Carol" is a film that shows just how difficult it was to be queer in the 1950s. The period piece starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara follows Carol Aid, a woman who begins a forbidden affair with a female photographer while going through a difficult divorce. The relationship is considered so taboo at the time that Carol stands to lose custody of her daughter because of it. The 2015 flick, based on the 1952 romance novel "The Price of Salt," was a critical and commercial success that earned $43 million worldwide plus five Golden Globe nominations, six Academy Award nominations and nine BAFTA Award nominations.
"The Miseducation of Cameron Post" is a coming-of-age film about a teen girl discovering her sexuality. Chloe Grace Moretz stars as the title character, who's sent to a gay conversion therapy center after getting caught hooking up with the prom queen.
"D.E.B.S." is what happens when an epic lesbian love story meets "Charlie's Angels." The 2004 parody movie starring Sara Foster, Meagan Good, Devon Aoki and Jill Ritchie revolves around one of the heroes, Amy, who falls for the villain, criminal mastermind Lucy. The funny film is guaranteed to make you laugh and the happily-ever-after ending will definitely give you the feels.
"Desert Hearts" was a game-changer for LGBTQ film. The 1985 movie was one of the first to show lesbianism in a positive light. Set in Reno, Nevada, in 1959, "Desert Hearts" tells the story of a university professor in the middle of a divorce who finds her true self when she meets a younger woman who's confident in her sexuality. The movie earned universal acclaim for its strong performances and romantic plot.
The 2018 dramedy "Lez Bomb" stars Jenna Laurenzo as Lauren, a 20-something woman who visits her small town over Thanksgiving with her partner, Hailey (Caitlin Mehner), with the intention of coming out to her conservative family. However, her efforts to open up are halted when Lauren's roommate, Austin, shows up to dinner too. The hilarious and heartfelt film delivers a touching depiction of one woman's courageous journey toward living her truth.
"Disobedience" is a riveting 2017 drama that explores a love forbidden by religion and tradition. Rachel Weisz stars as Ronit Kushka, the estranged daughter of a rabbi elder who returns to her Orthodox Jewish community after her dad's death. While there, she rekindles a romance with an old childhood friend, Esti (Rachel McAdams), who's now married to a young Orthodox rabbi. "Disobedience" was praised upon its release for its strong acting, powerful storyline and thought-provoking themes.
"The Handmaiden" is not only a lesbian romance movie but also an erotic psychological thriller that's guaranteed to leave you on the edge of your seat. The 2016 Korean flick tells the story two women who are fed up with men ruling their lives. The pair soon become co-conspirators and lovers in the film that combines Shakespearean drama and dark comedy. "The Handmaiden" was a critical and commercial success that grossed more than $37 million worldwide and won a BAFTA Award for best non-English-language film.
"Gia" tells the tragic story of real-life supermodel Gia Marie Carangi, a top model and lesbian icon in the 1980s who eventually lost her life to AIDS at 26 after years of heroin abuse. The 1998 HBO movie starring Angelina Jolie as the famed model explores Gia's sexual fluidity and love affairs as well as her career rise and fall. It won numerous accolades including a Golden Globe and a SAG Award for Angelina.
Starring Léa Seydoux and Adèle Exarchopoulos, 2013's "Blue Is the Warmest Colour" tells the story of a teenager whose life drastically changes upon meeting an impassioned female painter. The poignant drama, which chronicles the women's relationship from high school to adulthood, was based on Julie Maroh's 2010 graphic novel of the same name.
Emily Blunt made her theatrical debut in "My Summer of Love," a British drama that explores a lesbian relationship between two young women from different classes and backgrounds. The 2004 movie doesn't offer a happy ending like many of the other movies on this list, but is just as thought-provoking and entertaining. "My Summer of Love" won the Alexander Korda Award for best British film at the BAFTAs.
"Saving Face" is a fun and amusing rom-com that provides a much needed look at lesbian romance within minority communities. The 2004 flick tells the story of Wilhelmina, a closeted young Chinese American surgeon who's juggling her relationship with dancer girlfriend Vivian and her unwed, pregnant mother who disapproves of her sexuality. The indie film was an unexpected hit that grossed more than $1.2 million.
"If These Walls Could Talk 2" is a particularly special film because it follows three separate lesbian couples who live in the same house across three different time periods. The 2000 HBO movie, which stars Sharon Stone, Ellen DeGeneres, Vanessa Redgrave, Michelle Williams and Chloe Sevigny, follows an elderly lesbian couple in the 1960s who have no legal protections, a young lesbian couple navigating gender in the 1970s, and a lesbian couple who are trying to get pregnant in 2000. The powerful film provides commentary on LGBTQ rights, the definitions of family and gender and the meaning of love. Vanessa won an Emmy, a Golden Globe and a SAG Award for her work in the project.
"Pariah" is a powerful indie film that explores the dynamics of family and sexuality within a Black community. The 2011 movie tells the story of Alike, a 17-year-old girl who's embracing her identity as a lesbian against the wishes of her volatile mother. The riveting, critically acclaimed drama received widespread praise for its authenticity, lead performances and thought-provoking material. "Pariah" went on to win numerous accolades including an NAACP Image Award for outstanding independent film.
"Cloudburst" is another refreshing take on a lesbian love story as it centers on an older American couple, Dotty and Stella, who embark on a "Thelma and Louise"-style road trip to Canada. The pair are headed to Nova Scotia to get married after Dotty is moved into a nursing home by her granddaughter. The award-winning indie is a must-watch comedy-drama that shows the power of true love.