2024 is the Year of Unhinged Lesbians; ‘Love Lies Bleeding’ Proves It

If you’re gay, chances are you’ve heard all about the sexy, lesbian, thriller that is doing the rounds right now. For all you straights, I’m talking about Love Lies Bleeding, the new A24 movie directed by Rose Glass, starring Kristen Stewart and Katy O’Brian. Much awaited by queers worldwide, this Tarantino-esque, sweaty, 80’s inspired movie hit Australian theatres on March 14th.

Kristen Stewart plays moody gym manager Lou, who has a shady, criminal past. She then meets Jackie, an ambitious bodybuilder down on her luck, heading to Las Vegas for a bodybuilding competition. The two fall quickly in love (and move in together) after Jackie gets in a fistfight with a homophobic redneck. Their relationship turns bloody and violent as the two become inextricably more involved with Lou’s estranged criminal family. The movie mainly explores themes of addiction and all the despicable things people are willing to do for it. Lou tries (and fails, multiple times) to quit cigarettes, while Jackie becomes dependent on the steroids that Lou gave her. But the most addictive drug in Love Lies Bleeding is, unsurprisingly, love.

Lesbian movies have been absolutely going off recently, cementing 2024 as the year of the lesbian, with films like Bottoms, Drive Away Dolls, and finally, Love Lies Bleeding. But it’s not just lesbian relationships that these movies have in common; they’re also really fucking weird. 

Bottoms had Y2K lesbians killing members of the competing schools football team. Drive Away Dolls gave us lesbians from the 90’s stealing a man’s severed head and a briefcase full with plaster casts of the erect penises of the country’s most high-status men.

Love Lies Bleeding contains the same level of strangeness. Jackie kills Lou’s abusive brother-in-law in a steroid-induced frenzy, and then grows into a 50-foot hulk version of herself (because steroids just do that to you sometimes) so she can save Lou from being killed by her father. The two women, both now giants, flee the scene, running slow-mo through the clouds in matching sequin outfits. It’s a scene that reminds me a little of Bella and Edward running through the woods of Forks as glittering vampires.  Jackie’s surreal transformation is portrayed as reality in the film, but her physical growth really serves as a symbol of her emotional and mental growth, as well as a physical manifestation of her increased self-confidence. 

Personally, I love when movies get a little strange with it. The last few years of cinema have given us a lot of three-hour-long, content-heavy, meaningful dramas. I’m looking at you, Oppenheimer and Everything Everywhere All at Once. While I really do love an existential and complex film, sometimes I just want to watch something a little more light-hearted and low stakes. Thankfully, I’ve noticed that silly and deranged movies are finally making a comeback (Cocaine Bear and Saltburn were my favourite movies of 2023). I’m glad to report that the trend has followed through into 2024, with the addition of crazy lesbians and a blasé attitude towards crime. 

Some people didn’t like these movies as much as I did. Bottoms was called ‘tacky’ by some, and Drive Away Dolls was called ‘lame’ in a lot of its reviews. Even Love Lies Bleeding was described as ‘muscle mommy fetish content’ with an absurd ending. But not every movie needs to be profound and life-changing; sometimes we just need to lighten the hell up and learn to suspend belief a little. Additionally, we should all know by now that if a movie says A24 at the start, you’ll have to ready yourself for something ridiculous/horrifying/stupid/disturbing. So, if you’re going to watch this Thelma and Louise on literal steroids, sapphic fever dream of a movie, then get ready to let go of your expectations. 

It’s probably just a statistical oddity that we have gotten three fucked up (that’s a compliment) lesbian movies in six months, but one that should be more widely appreciated. Enjoy it while you can lesbians, we probably won’t be getting another lesbian movie for a while.  

Jacinta Rossetto
Jacinta Rossetto

Jacinta Rossetto is a writer, artist and editor studying Creative Writing at QUT. Her passion project is a little something called Dawn Street Zine, a zine that she writes, designs, produces and scouts content for. Her favourite genres to write in are gothic fiction, literary fiction and romance fiction.

Articles: 21

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