In the past year, it seems like the only form of queer cinema that’s weaseled its way into the mainstream has been films about white gay men—like the Oscar-winning Call Me By Your Name and the adored rom-com Love, Simon. While queer women wait for our next Imagine Me & You or Carol, there are a few noteworthy major motion pictures featuring lesbian or bi+ storylines on the horizon. Here’s what you have to look forward to.
A Simple Favor
Look, I’m gonna get straight to the point: Blake Lively and Anna Kendrick make out in this movie, and therefore, it’s a must-see. The comedic thriller was directed by comedy juggernaut Paul Feig (Bridesmaids, Ghostbusters) and written by queer screenwriter Jessica Sharzer, who wrote and directed Speak, one of Kristen Stewart’s first movies. Kendrick stars as Stephanie, an obnoxious mommy vlogger who becomes intertwined in the tangled life of Emily (Lively), a city slicker-type working mom.
After their children become friends at school, the unlikely duo becomes friends, sort of—they have martinis after school, tell each other secrets, and flirt—until one day, Emily goes missing. Stephanie gets completely obsessed with her enigmatic and elusive friend, in a Killing Eve type of way, and begins to permanently insert herself into Emily’s life—totally normal and fine. The pair shares a strange, all-consuming, mutually manipulative relationship, and every moment of this movie is a wild rollercoaster through queer hell.
A Simple Favor hits theaters September 14th.
From Yorgos Lanthimos, the director behind The Lobster and The Killing of a Sacred Deer, The Favourite takes place in early 18th century England and centers around Queen Anne (Olivia Colman). Her closest advisor Lady Marlborough is played by Rachel Weisz, who also just starred in the dreary lesbian drama Disobedience. The two women have been in an extremely gay and extremely secret relationship for what seems like a long time. However, their affair becomes further complicated when the Queen acquires a new companion: Lady Marlborough’s cousin Abigail, played by Emma Stone, who also recently played gay in Battle of the Sexes. It seems the queer female acting circle is as small as the lesbian dating landscape.
The film promises British accents, lavish lifestyles, and a vicious all-female love triangle, as Lady Marlborough and Abigail compete for the Queen’s affection. Personally, I can’t wait to see real-life lesbian drama unfold in a dramatized 18th century English setting. I’m a sucker for sweeping English landscapes and bitter royals, like in The Crown and Game of Thrones, neither of which have sated my thirst for lesbian histrionics. So, I’m ready to see some British lesbians in chic costumes, even if they are jealous monsters. Plus, there are sex scenes, which we know because Olivia Colman said it was “awfully fun having sex with Emma Stone” at a press conference for the film, to which Stone replied, “It was really fun having sex with you too.”
The Favourite hits theaters November 23.
Vita & Virginia
Directed by Chanya Button, who also co-wrote the screenplay with Eileen Atkins, Vita & Virginia chronicles the queer relationship between the legendary author Virginia Woolf and socialite Vita Sackville-West. Their relationship served as the inspiration for Woolf’s novel Orlando: A Biography. Gemma Arterton stars as Virginia opposite Elizabeth Debicki, who takes the other titular role. In a new clip that was just released, Arterton delivers a fiercely feminist monologue on gender roles. The movie looks gripping and gay—my favorite things.
Vita & Virginia is set to make its world premiere September 11th at the Toronto International Film Festival—no wide release date as of yet.
So Much Love
Phyllis Nagy, the lesbian Oscar-nominated screenwriter behind Carol, will make her directorial debut with So Much Love, a Dusty Springfield biopic. Springfield was a renowned bisexual country singer, and with Nagy helming the film, it’s sure to be super duper queer. The movie is set in 1968, at the peak of the singer’s career, when she went to Nashville to record her self-titled album Dusty. Gemma Arterton from Vita & Virginia will play Dusty Springfield—see what I’m saying about the infinitesimal size of the queer female acting circle?
Here is the official synopsis: “It will follow [Springfield] as she navigates her way through the politics of the recording studio and the city, and will also explore her encounter with the music of Motown, her stand against apartheid policies during her aborted South African tour and her thorny brushes with men in the music industry.”
So Much Love has yet to start production and will likely be released in Fall 2019.