Lianna and her husband Dick have been married for a few years but the marriage isn't a happy one, since Dick treats her with arrogance. One day Lianna falls in love - with Ruth, a teacher. The people who know them act different: her husband with feelings of sexual betrayal, her children with curiosity and Lianna's friends with ambivalence.Written by
The opening credits credit only the production company and the crew members. The cast is not credited until the end credits. The title of the film, LIANNA, appears as the last title card after John Sayles is credited as writer, producer, director and editor. See more »
A Sayles masterpiece about the lesbian experience, far ahead of its time
John Sayles' ability to get you acquainted with his characters shines again in this study of a wife and mother who is coming to terms with her sexuality. Unlike the tawdry stories that focus solely on the sexual aspect of lesbian relationships, Sayles explores and reveals the complexity of discovering homosexual orientation - what it means to Lianna as her sexuality emerges from repression and what it means to her and others that she chooses to live truthfully with it.
There are some very rare vignettes in this film that bely what it is like to discover the attractiveness of women for the first time. Sayles does such a masterful job at portraying this process of discovery - it is joyful, playful, and exciting. These scenes remind me of Truffaut's "The Man Who Loved Women" (also badly remade in the USA, starring Burt Reynolds), but they seem to have a more natural depth and feel. Sayles' movies are typically populated with real characters, not posing movie stars. This film is true Sayles...so much is at stake for Lianna, and you are drawn into the aspects and dimensions of her life, the complexities and facets of the human sexual nature and of life in general, and what it means to come to terms with being gay.
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