Pics &

Art&Culture > Article

Top films of 2011

Good queer films stacked up in 2011.

I’m giddy to be a able to include so many queer goodies in my favourite films of 2011 list:

1. Tomboy (Céline Sciamma)

Tomboy film

This is Céline Sciamma’s second film. In the same vein as her first film Water Lilies, Tomboy is a slow paced, show rather than tell, coming of age film. Where Water Lilies focuses on the crush, Tomboy focuses on a gentle exploration of it’s protagonist’s gender expression.

Laurel is given the chance to re-invent herself or present himself more honestly (depending on how you see it) as a boy named Michal. The film is about the freedom and consequences involved in doing so. Tomboy is full of heart, sweetness and a dramatic tension that is fed by your own expectations of what those consequences will be.

Smart, skilled and a great conversation starter. Tomboy is sure to resonate with all the tomboys and any other folks who have ever felt they wanted to express their gender differently.

You can read our full review here.

For more on Tomboy pop on over here.

2. Pariah (Dee Rees)


Pariah is Dee Rees directorial debut, and this film has introduced her as the bell of the indie film ball. Accolades are following this film around everywhere it screens, and rightfully so. It’s a bold and powerful first film from a young promising director, who is capable of insight far beyond her years.

Pariah follows Alike (Adepero Oduye) as she comes into her own as a young queer growing up in Brooklyn. Alike has sexuality to figure out, girls to figure out, all while trying on various roles and looking for her footing in the local queer scene. All that and she has to navigate parents that aren’t so ready to acknowledge, never mind accept her queerness – a relatable story for many.

is a serious drama with some heavy-hearted scenes, but the tender moments, laughs, driving soundtrack and Alike’s light-up-a-room smile all soften and buoy this film.

You can read our full review here.

For more on Pariah pop on over here.

3. Trigger (Bruce McDonald)


I have huge love for Trigger. It ticks all the boxes for me. Its indie, Canadian, it’s shot in my beloved Toronto and is set in the riot grrrl scene. It features some of my all time favourtie cannuck actors including some amazing performances by leads Tracy Wright and Molly Parker.

Trigger is a sauntering film about friendship where they talk circles around themselves (yes, those are good things in my books). Parker and Wright spark and crackle with chemistry. If the queer subtext was just regular old text I would probably have tried to marry this film.

For our full review you can click here.

Trigger is out on DVD available for download through E1.

4. Circumstance (Maryam Keshavarz)


In Circumstance director Maryam Keshavarz bravely takes us into the secret love of the two young women leads (who are talented and STUNNING), throughout the Iranian underground subculture and into family dynamics that buckle and strain under the weight of oppression. So no, it’s not a light film, but it’s a good one, and well worth watching.

Circumstance is is available on DVD / download.

5. Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same (Madeleine Olnek)

Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same header

Quite simply put this film made me laugh. Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same is funny, quirky and original. With it’s long name and mysterious b-flick-esk trailer I really didn’t know what to expect, and was totally delighted by it’s sweet and absurd approach to the romantic comedy genre.

With the exception of D.E.B.S. and But I’m a Cheerleader this is a genre where many queer films have tried with good intentions but have fallen short. Yet director Madeleine Olnek manages to rise to the occasion with awkward lesbian aliens, a pie-plate spaceship, and warbly sound effects no less.

Here is our interview with Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same‘s producer:

To find out how to see Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same pop on over here.

Honorable mention:

- Bridesmaids
A smart comedy exploring female friendship, featuring smart and funny women – swoon.

Films worth supporting:

- The Real Anne Lister
Who doesn’t like to learn about ladies hooking up in the 1800’s?
Our full review.

- Who Took The Bomp
This Le Tigre doc reminds me that I should be dancing about my politics more. I’ve missed Le Tigre.
Who Took the Bomp – Le Tigre on Tour.

- Leading Ladies
It’s a feel good ballroom dance movie, that’s right – a dance movie with lesbians!


Do you agree? Disagree? Do you have some other favourites that you think should be included?


  1. [...] you haven’t checked it out yet, I created my top 5 favourite films of 2011 list and it’s pretty full-up with queer titles. Which is to say 2011 was an awesome year for queer [...]