Films With Actually Bisexual Characters

Not "gay with exceptions". Not "curious". Not doing it for the sake of a plot twist or a neat ending. Not "leaning" one way or another, and even if they were it's nobody's business. This list is for films that have characters who are actually bisexual, and who the film they're in accepts as such. Suggestions hugely welcome.

  • Three Times

    Three Times

    ★★★★★

    Ji (Shu Qi) has a male and female lover.

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  • Appropriate Behavior

    Appropriate Behavior

    ★★★★

    Director Desiree Akhavan is bisexual in real life, as is her character in this movie. Neither of these facts stopped Philip Kemp speculating that she "leans towards" lesbianism in Sight & Sound, because this is how bullshit works.

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  • The Royal Tenenbaums

    The Royal Tenenbaums

    ★★★★★

    Margot (Gwyneth Paltrow)'s male and female partners in the 'Judy is a Punk' scene started Wes Anderson's career in doing right by his bi audience.

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  • Shortbus

    Shortbus

    Sometimes I feel like people need evidence that it's possible for bisexual people to be attracted to both sexes. Well, here it is.

  • Sunday Bloody Sunday

    Sunday Bloody Sunday

    Murray Head is the pivot on which a bisexual love triangle stands in this groundbreaking drama.

  • Glue

    Glue

    ★★★

    Both strikingly explicit and non-judgmental, two flavours that usually fail to mix at all in teen movies.

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  • Kinsey

    Kinsey

    Man, he did some hands-on research to invent that Scale. A wonderful artefact of the time when watching "a Liam Neeson movie" could mean any number of things.

  • The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

    The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

    How I love Wes Anderson's bisexuals. Jeff Goldblum, this time - and Steve Zissou's "Supposedly, we all are" is the closest this unrepentant asshole gets to redemption.

  • Behind the Candelabra

    Behind the Candelabra

    Why did it take a straight man to make such an acute portrait of the tensions in a relationship between a gay man and a bi man? Oh well, he did it marvellously.

  • Basic Instinct

    Basic Instinct

    Regressive in so many ways, yet it exists, and it did so in a post-AIDS time when it could so easily not have done.

  • Beyond Therapy

    Beyond Therapy

    As evidence for the above: Robert Altman said that the bisexual theme of this comedy, released just as AIDS started to make headlines, obliterated its box-office chances.

  • Basic Instinct 2

    Basic Instinct 2

    Hey, I'm a completist. And Mark Kermode and Linda Ruth Williams dig it!

  • The Haunting

    The Haunting

    The careful sexual insinuations of Robert Wise's original are replaced with Catherine Zeta-Jones as a bisexual with a male and female lover. She's basically coded as a slut, and I should be offended, but Catherine Zeta-Jones.

  • Wild Things

    Wild Things

    Male gaze female bisexuality par excellence in John McNaughton's guilty-pleasure thriller nonsense.

  • Frida

    Frida

    Frida Kahlo is a fucking saint and this Julie Taymor biopic shies away from no aspect of her sexuality. Even the poster is bi as hell!

  • Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

    Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

    ★★★★★

    The boys want to be him (and do him)! The girls are represented by Kathy Burke, who would probably still subscribe to both of those notions! Bill Haydon (Colin Firth) cuts a swathe through the Circus's men and women in John Le Carre's books, and this wonderful film.

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  • Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

    The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

    There are male-fantasy elements in middle-aged anti-fascist journalist Stieg Larsson's account of sexually irresistible middle-aged anti-fascist journalist Mikael Blomkvist, but I've always felt the series played fair by Lisbeth Salander's bisexuality.

  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

    The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

    Men and women who love Lisbeth.

  • The Girl Who Played with Fire

    The Girl Who Played with Fire

    The most concentrated spotlight on Lisbeth's relationship with Vivien Wu. It's a little bit soft-porny, and it's a shame Fincher will probably never get his hands on this.

  • The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest

    The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest

    Almost no bi content here, but it does still feature Lisbeth Salander.

  • Dog Day Afternoon

    Dog Day Afternoon

    You know, I think this might have been the first film with a bisexual character I ever saw. Still a favourite.

  • Rope

    Rope

    From Nathan Phillips (who knows if I'm getting the number of consonants right?):

    "Rope? Though it's not explicitly stated, the two leads are clearly lovers and John Dall mentions a previous relationship with a woman in the film."

  • Synecdoche, New York

    Synecdoche, New York

    ★★★★★

    Via Nathan Phillips. Jennifer Jason Leigh, if I remember rightly.

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  • C.R.A.Z.Y.

    C.R.A.Z.Y.

    Zach - via Dave Wain.

  • Chasing Amy

    Chasing Amy

    Alyssa - via Dave Wain.

  • Y Tu Mamá También

    Y Tu Mamá También

    Added by Jorge Pardo M.

  • The Rocky Horror Picture Show

    The Rocky Horror Picture Show

    Suggested by Ashley. Everyone in this, really.

  • Splendor

    Splendor

    Suggested by Igor Stanojević.

  • Kaboom

    Kaboom

    After the above; another of Araki's lovely "everyone fucks everyone else regardless of gender" movies.

  • The Doom Generation

    The Doom Generation

    "A heterosexual film by Gregg Araki". Well, it's the nearest he's got, but still no cigar.

  • The Sex of the Angels

    The Sex of the Angels

    Added by John Robinson.

  • Sex in Chains

    Sex in Chains

    ...and thank you to the BFI for publishing a list of ten essential bisexual films. (Sunday Bloody Sunday, Basic Instinct and Appropriate Behaviour already appeared on both lists.

  • Bad Girls

    Bad Girls

    From the BFI list.

  • Theorem

    Theorem

    From the BFI list.

  • Cabaret

    Cabaret

    From the BFI list.

  • Score

    Score

    From the BFI list.

  • French Twist

    French Twist

    From the BFI list.

  • The Comedian

    The Comedian

    From the BFI list.

  • Crash

    Crash

    Suggested by Aditya Bhagirath. I love this film - I remember some people at the time were a bit annoyed that a film with so many bisexual characters spent ages on the male-male sex scene, but relegated the female-female one to a vague shape in the distance. Ha.

  • The Color Purple

    The Color Purple

    Suggested by Aditya Bhagirath.

  • Women in Love

    Women in Love

    Suggested by Aditya Bhagirath.

  • The Falling

    The Falling

    ★★★★½

    Part of a new wave of bisexual cinema, according to Sight & Sound. Here's hoping. Love Carol Morley.

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  • Showgirls

    Showgirls

    Added by mad versaycer. Nomi is bi, if memory serves.

  • Bound

    Bound

    Suggested by mad versaycer. I'm unsure whether or not Violet is bisexual or a lesbian in a marriage of convenience, but there's definitely a possibility there.

  • Velvet Goldmine

    Velvet Goldmine

    Added by Vanina: "Velvet Goldmine - everyone in the film, really."

  • The Hours and Times

    The Hours and Times

    Added by Vanina: "The Hours and the Times - John Lennon."

  • Shelter

    Shelter

    Added by Vanina: "Shelter - Zach had a girlfriend but falls for his friend's older brother."

  • Love Songs

    Love Songs

    Added by Vanina: "Les Chansons d'Amour - Louis Garrel and Ludivine Sagnier's character."

  • Imagine Me & You

    Imagine Me & You

    Added by Vanina: "Imagine Me and You - Piper Perabo"

  • 8 Women

    8 Women

    Added by Vanina: "8 Femmes - Catherine Deneuve."

  • The Hunger

    The Hunger

    Added by Vanina: "The Hunger - Catherine Deneuve."

  • Beginners

    Beginners

    Added by Vanina: "Beginners - does Christopher Plummer realise he's gay, or is he bisexual? I don't know if the film comments on that distinction."

  • Clapham Junction

    Clapham Junction

    Added by Vanina: "Clapham Junction - James Wilby is married to a woman, but I don't know if that means he's bi or closeted."

  • Brideshead Revisited

    Brideshead Revisited

    Added by Vanina: "Brideshead Revisited - Charles? Maybe?"

  • Brideshead Revisited
  • Rent

    Rent

    Added by Armpit (aka Ingmar): "Maureen from Rent (a guilty pleasure) comes to mind."

  • Killing Zoe

    Killing Zoe

    Added by Matthew, but only when my Groot is mad at me, even at 36: "Been awhile since I've seen it. So I'm not 100%, but I believe the bad guy from KILLING ZOE had a dipolar charge."

  • Worried About the Boy

    Worried About the Boy

    Added by Vanina - "Jon Moss and Kirk Brandon".

  • Savage Grace

    Savage Grace

    Added by Vanina - "Don't know if it would count as it's only one encounter for Hugh Dancy with mum and son." I think it does.

  • The Dreamers

    The Dreamers

    Added by Vanina - "Louis Garrel and Michael Pitt? They don't really act on it, I think, but I think there's enough attraction between the two to count."

  • Je t'aime moi non plus

    Je t'aime moi non plus

    Added by Vanina - "Joe Dallesandro is in a relationship with a man but falls for tomboy Jane Birkin."

  • The Red Shoes

    The Red Shoes

    ★★★★★

    Suggested by Elliot Coen: "I think Lermontov in The Red Shoes is meant to be bisexual, but like in Rope, the filmmakers couldn't announce such a thing in the 1940s because of how the times were."

  • Margarita with a Straw

    Margarita with a Straw

    Mentioned by Sophie Bayer in the same article about bisexual cinema at the London Film Festival which also addressed The Falling and Appropriate Behaviour. It ended by saying the characters' bisexuality in these films felt like a way of feeling love for the whole world, which, hoo boy, isn't going to dispel the notion that we're all sluts. But I know what she's driving at.

  • The Interview

    The Interview

    ★★★

    One minor aspect of this film that got lost among all the, y'know, other stuff: James Franco's character Dave Skylark is obviously bisexual. If he's closeted, that's probably because he's a mainstream celebrity rather than anything else. Just ten years ago a buddy comedy pairing a straight man with a queer man would have to include a moment where the straight half of the duo got paranoid over whether all this brosocial closeness was giving the other half the wrong idea, but it makes absolutely no difference to the relationship in this film. In its own way, I was surprised at how progressive this was.

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  • Borstal Boy

    Borstal Boy

    Added by Tim Sanders: "Borstal Boy (2000) is based on the autobiography by Brendan Behan. Although flagrantly betraying the source material in order to do so, the film has him comfortably identifying as bisexual by the end."

  • Top Five

    Top Five

    ★★★★

    The subplot involving Rosario Dawson's character being freaked out that her on-off boyfriend is in a relationship with another man has faced some criticism for homophobia - for me, the falsest note was that Dawson's character herself claimed to be bisexual before having a massive freak-out over her boyfriend's new relationship anyway. Had she been heterosexual, it might have been a sadly convincing look at how many straight people get paranoid around bisexuals. Adding the arse-covering move of making Dawson's character bisexual made the whole thing feel more, rather than less, dodgy.

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  • Being John Malkovich

    Being John Malkovich

    Catherine Keener romances John Cusack and Cameron Diaz.

  • Something For Everyone

    Something For Everyone

    Mark C: "Would Something For Everyone from 1970 fit? Seem to recall Michael York was bi in that."

  • Transamerica

    Transamerica

    Sarah_C: "Transamerica (2006)? Bree's son Toby was bisexual."

  • Léon Morin, Priest

    Léon Morin, Priest

    tipsfromchip: "In Leon Morin, Priest (1961) Emmanuelle Riva's character has crushes/infatuations with both her female boss and her male priest. There's no sex in the movie, though. (It was 1961.)"

  • The Rules of Attraction

    The Rules of Attraction

    andibgoode: "IIRC Ian Somerholder's character in The Rules of Attraction is bi but it's been many years since I've seen it (I did a quick google & the IMDB page says he is)."

  • The Skeleton Twins

    The Skeleton Twins

    Josh Schulze: "In The Skeleton Twins a character called Rich has a relationship with Bill Hader's character while still dating a woman."

  • Cold Showers

    Cold Showers

    Suggested by Vanina.

  • The Talented Mr. Ripley

    The Talented Mr. Ripley

    How on earth did I, of all people, forget Tom Ripley, the most famous queer character created by bisexual patron saint Patricia Highsmith?

  • Purple Noon

    Purple Noon

    As above.

  • The American Friend

    The American Friend

    ★★★★

    Ripley.

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  • Ripley's Game
  • Ripley Under Ground
  • The 4th Man

    The 4th Man

    ★★★★

    Suggested by Joe Ibañez.

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  • The D Train

    The D Train

    The notes for this film reportedly contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    James Marsden's character, and perhaps Jack Black's too.

  • Alexander

    Alexander

    Nowadays, of course, we remember this for Colin Farrell's Irish Macedonian conquering the world in a Bee Gees wig, but I have a soft spot for it. Not least because, in the same year that George W Bush won re-election largely by persuading the American public that the opposition were all fags, Oliver Stone somehow made a $100+ million movie with a lead who has committed sexual and romantic relationships with men and women.

  • Serious as Pleasure

    Serious as Pleasure

    Added by Vanina.

  • With Every Heartbeat

    With Every Heartbeat

    Suggested by soirore.

  • Free Fall

    Free Fall

    Added by ankayan.

    Challenged by Jacob: "I'm going to challenge Free Fall (having just watched it the other day) because it treats one character as if he is straight until he is suddenly woken up to the fact that he's gay, and the other character uses a heterosexual relationship to hide his homosexuality. It is as if bisexuality just doesn't exist."

  • Gia

    Gia

    Added by ankayan.

  • Wonder Boys

    Wonder Boys

    Added by ankayan.

  • Cloud Atlas

    Cloud Atlas

    Added by ankayan.

  • Interview with the Vampire

    Interview with the Vampire

    ★★★½

    Added by ankayan.

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  • Deadpool

    Deadpool

    ★½

    Added despite my misgivings: despite the director's claims to have made a "pansexual" superhero, I didn't find the evidence on-screen very compelling. Yeah, he makes jokes about anal sex and teabagging; what frat-boy comedy hero doesn't? Still, Word of Author and Word of Source Material says Wade Wilson belongs on this list, so on he goes.

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  • All About Them

    All About Them

    Suggested by Steve G.

  • I Dreamt Under the Water

    I Dreamt Under the Water

    Has a bisexual lead character.

  • Three

    Three

    What can I say? The poster appealed to me.

  • 54

    54

    ★★★

    In the recently restored directors' cut, which reinstates same-sex material.

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  • Hail, Caesar!

    Hail, Caesar!

    ★★★★½

    The notes for this film reportedly contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    So the secret about On Wings of Eagles is that Baird Whitlock slept with Laurence Laurenz for the part, and for all Eddie Mannix claims it's untrue Whitlock definitely looks rattled when The Future bring it up. The question remaining is whether Whitlock did it purely for career purposes or whether he was actually attracted to Laurenz, but I'll put it on the list anyway.

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  • Ghosts of Mars

    Ghosts of Mars

    I remember Pam Grier being interviewed about her character in this film, and she said that it made sense to her that in the future, people wouldn't be so hung up on gender. Swoon.

  • A Bigger Splash

    A Bigger Splash

    ★★★★★

    Ralph Fiennes's character is confirmed as bisexual by his ex Tilda Swinton.

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  • Tenebre

    Tenebre

    ★★★★★

    A completely convincing portrayal of the issues in mixed bisexual and monosexual relationships: jealousy, mistrust, playing music too loud and being murdered by a black-gloved knife-wielding maniac.

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  • Personal Best

    Personal Best

    Suggested by Leonora Lermontov.

  • Higher Learning

    Higher Learning

    Suggested by FullscreenUser.