Kristen Stewart’s new film Love Lies Bleeding is a ‘sizzling’ sapphic triumph

Kristen Stewart in Love Lies Bleeding

Kristen Stewart’s bodybuilder romance thriller Love Lies Bleeding has received rave reviews after its world premiere, and we couldn’t be more hyped for this wild, sapphic ride. 

Directed by Rose Glass of Saint Maud fame, the film premiered at the Midnight section at the 2024 Sundance Film Festival on Friday 20 January and reviewers have already praised the lead actors’ “cracking chemistry” and labelled it an “hallucinatory trip down the darkest byways of Americana”. 

Love Lies Bleeding is distributed by A24, the company behind award-sweeping, mind-bending adventure Everything Everywhere All At Once and acclaimed horror offerings including Talk to Me, Midsommar and Hereditary.

Sapphics have been psyched about this movie dropping since the fast-paced, absolutely bonkers trailer came out in December, teasing all things, blood, guts and lesbian love.

What is Love Lies Bleeding about? 

Love Lies Bleeding’s tagline describes it as a “romance fuelled by ego, desire and the American Dream”. 

Set in the late 1980s, the hit lesbian film follows reclusive gym manager Lou (Stewart) who meets – and falls hard for – ambitious bodybuilder Jackie (Katy O’Brian) who has just rolls into Lou’s sleepy Nevada town on her way to a bodybuilding competition in Las Vegas. 

The film’s synopsis notes that was the pair’s passionate relationship heats up “their love ignites violence, pulling them deep into the web of Lou’s criminal family”.

Who stars in Love Lies Bleeding

Spencer star and all-round LGBTQ+ icon Kristen Stewart plays Lou whilst Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. actor Katy O’Brian stars opposite her as Jackie.

Ed Harris dons a rather terrible looking mullet as Lou Sr., The Hunger Games star Jena Malone plays Lou’s beloved sister Beth, and Dave Franco portrays her abusive husband JJ.

Anna Baryshnikov also stars as Daisy.

    What are the reviews saying? 

    Kristen Stewart in Love Lies Bleeding. (A24/IMDB)

    Deadline‘s Anthony D’Alessandro called Love Lies Bleeding “most-nail-biting movie” of Sundance and noted it received a standing ovation from the audience, writing the film “drew hoots and hollers and big cheers throughout in an ultraviolent, twisty and turny tale of familial revenge”.

    Both IndieWire‘s Kate Erbland and The Hollywood Reporter‘s David Rooney praised Stewart and O’Brian’s chemistry, with Erbland calling it “crackling” which Glass “funnels into a series of genuinely hot sex scenes that more than prove the necessity for such sequences in films that hinge on actual human romantic relationships”.

    Rooney described the film as “a lesbian neo-noir drenched in brooding nightscapes, violent crime and more hardcore KStew cool than has ever been packaged in such a potent concentrate” and calls the sex scenes “sizzling”.

    However, Rooney feels O’Brian’s acting chops are “too green” to measure up to the “effortless charisma” of Stewart.

    “She’s endlessly watchable, carrying the film with commanding grunge style and offsetting Lou’s tough exterior with a molten heart and mounting anxiety as the situation gets stickier,” he wrote.

    When does Love Lies Bleeding come out?

    Love Lies Bleeding arrives in US movie theatres on 8 March and UK cinemas on 19 April 2024.