Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Lez Go to the Movies

They say when it rains it pours. Well, I don’t know if you can call two high-profile, high-expectations lesbian dramas a downpour, but it’s a start. This year both “Freeheld” and “Carol” could breakout to mainstream audiences. I mused last month about the powerful possibilities of “Freeheld” over at Women and Hollywood. And now, after its premiere in Cannes, critics have begun to lavish raves on “Carol” and posit it as “Hollywood's first breakthrough lesbian love story” (though, that’s coming from that Ramin guy again, so take that is you will).

From what we can tell from the first clips and reviews, it’s clearly director Todd Haynes’ lesbian counterpart to his 2002 film “Far From Heaven.” He certainly has an eye for the 1950s, and can expertly recreate the upscale ambiance and closed-off claustrophobia of the era. In short, it looks beautiful and I’m very anxious to watch, just like everyone else.

So if “Carol” becomes our big lesbian breakout, instead of “Freeheld,” it will be interesting indeed. (Though why fight, can’t both be breakthroughs?) The politics of “Freeheld” – given the current marriage equality momentum – are certainly more current. But there is a universal topicality to “Carol” as well, despite it being more of a classic period piece.

If you think about it from a cultural standpoint, it may well indeed be easier for mainstream straight audiences to connect with a story of past prejudice against the so-called “sins of homosexuality” in the 1950s than one that is less than a decade old. Dare I say it would be more comfortable to look back at that longer-ago era and say, “My haven’t we progressed,” than the uncomfortable closeness of the early 2000s and think, “My, we still have a long way to go.”

As a lesbian viewer, I’m just thrilled that 2015 is set to offer us what seems to be two strong and hopefully worthy films that tell our stories – regardless the time period. Two films isn’t exactly an embarrassment of riches. But it’s not chump change, either.


Alex said...

I'm practically salivating because these are the kinds of movies I like to see, gay or not. Movies about humanity, love, emotional struggles, the fight for freedom, finding a deep connection with someone, these are the things that define us as human beings. The gayness of the films is the big cherry on top for me. It doesn't hurt either that the lead actors are my favorites.

It may not be a downpour, but, it's still very noteworthy that these films are being watched and waited for by everyone because of the stories they present. They're expecting to see good drama, outstanding acting and dialogue, great visuals, and haunting music. Things you don't usually get from your garden-variety lebian flick. So, I think this is an auspicious time for us gay women, to be treated with a couple of very special lesbian films.

Carmen SanDiego said...

I have very high hopes for Carol

Helena said...

Have enjoyed the book many years ago and can't wait for the movie , hope it is a credit to the book.

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