Who doesn’t love seeing a classic queer tale play out on screen?



Based on Patricia Highsmith’s 1952 novel The Price Of Salt, Carol seems to feature in just about every one of our five of the best lists. And for good reason. Thank you Todd Haynes for bestowing this cinematic gift upon us, and curse you Oscars for not recognising its genius. We’ve still not forgiven you. 

Tipping The Velvet

Worth watching for the magical golden dildo scene alone, this BBC adaptation of Sarah Waters’ debut novel is a sheer delight. Follow Nan’s adventures in Victorian London, fall head over heels for male impersonator Kitty and marvel at the wonder that is Diana Lethaby. Go on. You know you want to, “you exquisite little tart”.

The Handmaiden

For a very different take on Sarah Waters’ work, check out Park Chan-wook’s critically acclaimed thriller based on bestselling novel Fingersmith. This time the action is relocated from Victorian London to 1930s Korea. Brimming with suspense and seduction, the result is edge-of-your-seat gripping, visually stunning and highly erotic.


Rachel Weisz and Rachel McAdams play lovers. Need we say more? Ok, apart from the obvious appeal of two Hollywood heartthrobs making eyes at each other, this is a beautifully crafted tale of forbidden desire in the Orthodox Jewish community, based on Naomi Alderman’s brilliant novel. Keep your eyes peeled for the big saliva moment. It’s enlightening.

Desert Hearts

A bonafide queer classic, this 1985 gem is inspired by Jane Rule’s 1964 novel Desert Of The Heart. Made on a shoestring budget, it was a passion project for groundbreaking director Donna Deitch. Its box office success opened the doors for many more lez/bi films to come and for that we are eternally grateful.

This article first appeared in the March 2019 issue of DIVA – grab your digital copy here!

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