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10 Sapphic and lesbian films on Netflix UK right now

Robyn Exton

Sep 01, 2022

10 Sapphic and lesbian films on Netflix UK right now
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  • Are you a sapphic cinephile? Perfect, us too! But sadly, good lesbian flicks are sometimes hard to find. Don’t get us wrong; there are some badass lesbian characters out there, but they often play the quirky best friend or supportive sidekick. And while it’s great to see LGBTQ+ representation in mainstream media, we’re hungry for more films where lesbian narratives and characters aren’t just the side dish—they’re the main course. 

    In fact, GLAAD’s 2020 Studio Responsibility Index revealed that more LGBTQ+ characters were included in studio-backed feature films in 2019, but that lesbian and bisexual representation significantly decreased. (Not cool, Hollywood.)

    There’s a real opportunity to start making more lesbian-centric films, and we want everyone to take note. One of the best ways to support? Stream lesbian-focused flicks, boost their numbers, and start a dialogue about queer and lesbian movie-making. 

    To help get you started, we’ve assembled a list of 10 sapphic and lesbian films available on Netflix in the UK right now. From pulse-raising to horror to tear-jerking love stories to queer characters simply living their best lives (or at least trying to), there’s a little something for everyone. Grab your favourite blanket, your bestie, and some snacks— it’s time for the sapphic movie night you’ve been waiting for. 


    I Care a Lot

    In this darkly hilarious thriller, Rosamund Pike plays Marla Grayson, a con artist who takes advantage of elderly people by forcing them into retirement homes and selling off their assets (collecting the profits for herself.) 

    With the help of her girlfriend/business partner Fran (Eiza Gonzalez), Marla has done an excellent job at building herself a lucrative career— even though it’s, you know, morally awful. But karma comes for Marla when she and Fran realize they’ve extorted the wrong woman… and her crime lord son starts searching for revenge. 

    Marla and Fran’s relationship isn’t the central focus of the film, and that’s kind of what makes it amazing. In this world, queerness is just part of life (as it should be) and our sapphic protagonists are given permission to be their messy, brilliant, and hilarious selves. 


    Bruised 

    BRUISED is a sports drama about a martial arts fighter Jackie Justice (Halle Berry) who attempts to move past a career-ending fight to reclaim her identity—both in and out of the ring. 

    The story kicks off when Jackie’s manager and boyfriend (Adan Canto) coaxes her back into fighting, leading her to meet a fight league promoter (Shamier Anderson) who promises to help restore Jackie’s life and professional credibility. 

    Things get more complicated when the son she gave up for adoption (Danny Boyd Jr.) shows up on her doorstep… and when she starts to fall for her trainer (Sheila Atim).

    Noting on topics ilike substance abuse, domestic violence, child sexual abuse, and murder, the story doesn’t shy away from life’s hard-hitting moments, so be prepared for a bit of an intense and beautiful ride.


    Duck Butter

    Sick of the dishonesty they’ve witnessed in dating and long-term relationships, strangers Naima (Alia Shawkat) and Sergio (Laia Costa) try to fast-forward their romance by spending 24 hours together, but as you might guess, they quickly learn that their experiment has its own .. erm, complications. 

    Fresh and experimental, DUCK BUTTER does an excellent job depicting the highs and lows of a romantic, all within the time frame of a single day. Both Naima and Sergio are nuanced and three-dimensional characters, and Shawkat and Costa nail the acting in this film. 

    Plus, the relationships are depicted in an incredibly intimate and relatable way, making it likely you’ll see a bit of yourself reflected back on the screen—for better and for worse!


    Ride or Die 

    Would you ever kill your best friend’s abusive husband? Well, that’s what happens in RIDE OR DIE when the viviacious and proudly-out lesbian Rei, finds out that her friend and former classmate Nanae is a victim of domestic violence. 

    But after Rei takes matters into her own hands, she and Nanae must grapple with the consequences of the decision. 

    While RIDE OR DIE has garnered some criticism for portraying a toxic sapphic relationship, it doesn’t pretend to be anything “healthy.” Queer people are allowed to be messy too, and this film is all about making sacrifices for the people we love… even if those sacrifices seem a bit, well… extreme. 


    The Prom 

    Meryl Streep and Nicole Kidman fans get ready: The Prom is the lesbian musical of your dreams. The story begins when high school student Emma Nolan (Jo Ellen Pellman) learns that the head of the PTA (Kerry Washington) has forbidden her from attending the prom with her girlfriend Alyssa (Ariana DeBose). 

    Emma starts a video of predicament online, and guess who watches it? Broadway stage stars Dee-Dee Allen (Meryl Streep) and Barry Glickman (James Corden), who are looking for a bit of a career boost after their expensive Broadway musical totally flops and flatlines their careers.  

    Along with two other cynical actors, Angie (Nicole Kidman) and Trent (Andrew Rannells), Dee-Dee and Barry decide that helping Emma is exactly the sort of positive PR buzz they need. 

    Spoiler alert: things get complicated when their selfish, celebrity activism backfires, and they find themselves truly invested in Emma’s journey. 


    Elisa and Marcela 

    If queer, forbidden love stories are your vibe, get ready for your next obsession, ELISA AND MARCELA. 

    Based on the true story of Elisa Sánchez Loriga and Marcela Gracia Ibeas, the film is about two young women who posed as a heterosexual couple so that they could get married in 1901, a time where their love wasn’t just forbidden—it was downright dangerous. 

    After falling in love as schoolgirls, Elisa and Marcela devise a plan where Elisa will disguise herself as “Mario” so that the two can legally wed. Not only is this film a beautiful love story, but it’s also cinematically breathtaking. Filmed in black-and-white, it’s the perfect choice when you’re looking for a cozy movie night in. (And maybe a good cry.) 


    The Half of It 

    For quirky, heart-filled movies with confused teenage protagonists, go for THE HALF OF IT. The movie is about Ellie Chu, a shy, straight-A student hired by her cute but clueless classmate Paul to write a love letter to one of the school’s popular girls, Aster.

    As Ellie helps Paul with his courtship, the two begin to foster a friendship—but things get complicated when Ellie realizes that she has a crush on the same girl. 

    Charming, pure, and filled with nuanced and loveable characters, THE HALF OF IT is a beautiful exploration of sexuality, friendship, and first crushes.

    Anne + the Film 

    Based on the Dutch television series of the same title, ANNE+ is like a 20s coming-of-age story. The film follows Anne, a woman whose major goals include A) moving to Montréal to be with her long-term girlfriend, Saar (who recently suggested the couple try polyamory) and B) finish her novel. 

    But then Anne meets a non-binary drag artist named Lou, who completely shifts her perspective on love, life, and queerness.

    The film is celebrated for exploring sexuality in a natural, authentic way and discussing generational differences toward gender identity and queerness. It’s the kind of film you can watch over and over, and always learn something new. 


    The Perfection 

    Like plot twists, psychological horror, and constantly guessing where a story is going? You’re going to love THE PERFECTION. Charlotte (Allison Williams) is a troubled cello prodigy who recently dropped out of a prestigious musical academy in order to take care of her dying mother. 

    After reconnecting with her old musical director, Charlotte meets Lizzie (Logan Browning), the new star pupil, and the two take off on an elegant yet horrific, suspense-ridden adventure. Combining dark humour and thrilling drama, THE PERFECTION will keep you guessing with each sinister step.


    Vita & Virginia 

    Based on a true story, VITA & VIRGINIA depicts the passionate and occasionally tumultuous relationship between literary trailblazer Virginia Woolf (Elizabeth Debicki) and mysterious author and socialite Vita Sackville-West (Gemma Arterton). 

    The two meet at a costume party, where Sackville-West is immediately captivated by Woolf’s charm and intellect. Lines from the film are lifted directly from the pair’s love letters, giving the film an aura of history, authenticity, and, of course, romance. 

    Set in the bohemian high society of 1920s London, the VITA & VIRGINIA does a fantastic job detailing this iconic love story—as well as Orlando, the work it inspired. 


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    Robyn Exton

    Robyn is the CEO & Founder of HER the world's largest brand for LGBTQ womxn & queer people. Also runs London Queer Fashion Show. Find her on LinkedIn or Twitter.

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