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Lesbian Movie Reviews: Died / Recanted / Unhappy/ Came out - Fingersmith (2005)

Friday, December 11, 2015 - 08:00

I really should come up with a special icon for my lesbian movie reviews series. Just for fun.

I’m re-posting (sometimes in expanded form) a series of reviews of lesbian-themed movies that I originally drew up in answer to a request for recommendations of "good movies involving lesbian romances that don't end up with the protagonists deeply unhappy, dead, or both." To this set of criteria I’ve added the question, “Is the story primarily about coming out?” This set of index questions will necessarily involve some spoilers, but since I'm not reviewing any current releases, I think the statute of limitations has expired.

Many of these items are not currently in print. I'll link each to their entry for reference. But for those currently available, Wolfe Video is the go-to distributor for lgbt movies.

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Fingersmith (2005, mini-series) This is yet another lush BBC adaptation of a Sarah Waters period piece. A plucky orphan, raised as a thief (a "fingersmith"), and an heiress collide romantically in the midst of a complex, multi-layered con job in Victorian England. There are plots and betrayals and counter-betrayals to complicate the romance. The ending is, in most respects, happy, even triumphant but there's a great deal of suspense and angst along the way. The romantic couple are both alive at the end, although that can't be said for other key characters. Coming out is a part of the story, but only a minor part.

So the summary is: no death (of protagonists), no recanting, angst but not really unhappiness, and coming out as only a minor sub-plot. But given that this is a Sarah Waters story, don't go into it making the mistake of thinking it'll be all fluffy glitter-kittens.