Six must-watch lesbian films on Netflix you can stream right now

If you’re looking for a lesbian movie but lost scrolling through Netflix’s endless film lists, we’re here to help!

In the canon of LGBTQ+ cinema, lesbian film can be overlooked – but recent releases (like Tár and Eileen) are putting lesbian narratives and characters on the map with diverse representation.

Netflix is home to an array of LGBTQ+ titles including Heartstopper, The Boys in the Band, and Call Me By Your Name. But where are the women? I hear you cry.

Well, below is a varied selection of lesbian indie gems, moving biopics, and feel good favourites that are available to stream on Netflix now (January 2024) in the UK.

Elisa & Marcela (2019)

Forbidden love is somewhat a predictable trope of lesbian cinema. However, Isabel Coixet’s Elisa & Marcela deconstructs such clichés in its gorgeous exploration of gender and sexuality.

The film is based on true events: in Spain in 1901 Elisa Sánchez Loriga (Natalia de Molina) adopted a male identity to marry her lover, Marcela Gracia Ibeas (Greta Fernández). Their union marked the first known same-sex marriage in Spain.

Captured in gorgeous black-and-white frames, Elisa & Marcela is a moving portrait of female determination and the intensity of lesbian love. 

Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019)

Céline Sciamma’s sublime Portrait of a Lady on Fire is undoubtedly one of the best queer films of the decade, so it has to top the must watch Netflix list.

This French eighteenth century lesbian drama charts the poetic romance of painter Marianne (Noémie Merlant) and her lovably stubborn muse, Héloïse (Adèle Haenel). Marianne has been employed by Héloïse’s glamorous mother to paint her daughter’s wedding portrait.

Sciamma’s film will have you swooning with its gorgeous scenery in which a female utopia, devoid of men, is carved with gentle touches, longing glances, and deep love.

The Prom (2020)

Ryan Murphy’s The Prom arrived onto Netflix with a fanfare of glitter, sequins and extra camp musical numbers. 

The film, based on the 2019 musical of the same name, follows a gang of self-obsessed Broadway stars (Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman and James Corden) who are looking for more publicity for their new show.

They find out about an Indiana teen who wants to go to prom with her girlfriend, decide to descend onto the conservative school – and hilarity ensues. 

A Secret Love (2020)

To their family, Terry and Pat are just best friends who have lived out their life together. But they’re a little more than friends.

Chris Bolan’s intimate and powerful documentary charts the couple recounting their life together.

Having fallen in love in 1947, Terry and Pat have a lifetime of stories about love, prejudice, and professional baseball that’ll have you laughing one minute and crying the next. 

Mars One (2022)

A Brazilian family is left to deal with the fall out of a far-right extremist president being elected in Gabriel Martin’s sensitive and pointedly timely Mars One.

The ensemble drama gives voice to each member of this family unit, but, in particular, daughter Eunice (Camilla Damião) is thinking about the future.

Her blossoming lesbian identity and new girlfriend Joana (Ana Hilãrio) is giving her hope for a new start but she must first contend with her family and their crumbling togetherness.

NYAD (2023)

And finally, when talking about lesbian films on Netflix, we absolutely couldn’t miss out NYAD.

64-year old Diana Nyad (Annette Bening) has one dream left unachieved: to swim the Straits of Florida, from Cuba to Florida.

This story of one woman’s sporting perseverance also boasts some mature lesbian representation with Diana and Bonnie (Jodie Foster) as business partners with a platonic love that is heartwarming. 

Their dynamic is instantly recognisable: two queer women who have chosen each other as companions and support each other in every way.

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