(madoka magica / rebellion spoilers below. TW: suicide and controlling behavior)
I don't know the direction in which walpurgisnacht rising will take homura's character but I can say with confidence that from at least where rebellion left off that I truly believe that homura made the decision that she felt was the most correct one even if it meant she had to become a monster in the eyes of every person that loved her. she felt that if things were left in the way the law of the cycle was currently running things that it was inevitable that kyubey would eventually capture madoka in her goddess form, study her, and use her to as a source for mass amounts of energy at the suffering of herself, the others within the law of the cycle, and magical girls at large again. this is something he explains very clearly when talking to homura before her transformation into homulilly.
I get so exhausted when I see people try characterize homura as an actually evil person with completely selfish desires and no regard for others. all of her actions, while not explicitly explained outright, when looked at closely always indicate that she does things out of her care for the other girls but feels like she bears the burden of having to do it alone because she believes she's the only one who doesn't let her emotions get in the way of protecting madoka and the others from kyubey and sometimes each other.
I will always use the scenes of her interactions with mami and sayaka in rebellion as huge examples of this. she has no reason not to kill them if she's a completely selfish and unemphatic person that only cares about madoka and no one else when given many opportunities to do so. I also don't personally think she keeps them around JUST because of madoka's happiness either. she very easily could have suppressed their roles in madoka's life with the world rewrite and clearly choose not to. I believe her mocking sayaka and acting in a clearly "evil" manner is deliberate acting on her part to frame herself as a villain. she might believe this would her actions more palatable and will create distance between herself and everyone else to protect them as well as allow her to assert more control in this situation. it is further emphasized how she truly feels with imagery displayed in homura's new world around herself (shoes abandoned on the side of a building to potentially indicate suicidal ideation, a half moon alluding to homura feeling unfulfilled and unhappy with this decision, her dancing around happily before stopping and slowly falling off the cliff side with a similar implication as the shoes).
homura's relationship with the others is incredibly complicated but she cares for them deeply too as they are also people she considers friends, she just had a particularly strong attachment to madoka. we don't get to see as many instances of her interacting with them as we do them interacting with each other as we are unfortunately only really privy to homura's life after she began looping for the most part but we can see it in the way she has expresses concern and distress for them in moments where she believes they are in real, tangible danger of being hurt (she's winces and tries to turn away when aiming for mami's leg and screams out when she believes mami is about to be truly harmed after their gun fight, which neither ever had the real intention of hitting one another with any of those bullets in the first place). her entire witch's labyrinth is one where everyone is happy and gets the lives they desire. why would her labyrinth, which is meant to reflect in-part her inner feelings and desires, appear that way if she didn't truly want that for everyone?
rebellion is so compelling to me for all of this and so much more!! (I could write a whole other post on the way it presents it's freedom with danger vs control with safety question at the end of the film) she is a girl who has repeatedly suffered incredibly traumatizing events and longs for a world where the person she loves and the friends she considers dear are safe. homura is not really the devil, but she wants to appear to be because being the devil would be easier than being a human being in these circumstances.
Queer movie recs (featuring happy endings mostly with people together)
I haven’t seen every movie. Some I have seen that would qualify for this list but I didn’t like them so they’re not on here. If there is something missing though, recommend it to me! I’m always looking for more stuff to watch!
Esteros (Argentinian, I think my favourite foreign queer indie movie and I’ve seen a fair number by now so that’s not a meaningless statement. Two boys grow up together and reunite as adults in one of their family homes in the estuaries of Argentina and the movie follows the parallel timelines of them as kids and as adults there.)
Nimona (American, kid’s animated fantasy. Shape-shifting girl with strong trans vibes becomes a sidekick to an accidental villain and they often face off against his ex-boyfriend. It’s a great fantasy movie and the animation is beautiful and it’s all very queer.)
The Way He Looks (Brazilian, teen romance, follows a blind boy and his new classmate and it’s just really sweet and wholesome. Not cheesy.)
Hedwig and the Angry Inch (American indie musical drama. A genderqueer performer sings about her life starting as a young kid in communist Berlin to her current life as a struggling rock star in New York. It’s incredibly camp and just the best and I do prefer the stage show if you can watch that, but the movie’s also great.)
Straight Up (American, deeply indie comedy drama. An OCD gay man decides maybe he just thinks he’s gay because of his mental illness so he decides to start dating a woman. They are kind of perfect for each other but he’s also maybe gay. Visually, this movie is stunning, and the dialogue and acting are incredible. It deserves so much love and somehow flew under the radar. It’s not exactly aromantic or asexual but if you are either, this is a great movie to watch because it gets into some really great stuff with complex intersections of friendship, romance, sex, and things that are harder to describe.)
Dating Amber (Irish, indie comedy drama. Basically the teen version of Straight Up. If you liked one, check out the other! A gay boy and a lesbian (I think in the 90s?) decide to be each other’s beards and become best friends by accident and it’s a great story about friendship. Also watch The Half of It if you like this one.)
The Half of It (American, indie comedy coming of age. A boy asks a girl to write him love letters to a girl he has a crush on except the writer has a crush on the same girl. The two become best friends while both crushing on her in a sort of Cyrano situation. It’s sweet and really well-written and acted and a great movie about friendship.)
And Then We Danced (Georgian, indie coming of age drama. Not a romance but it does have a great romance subplot, it’s just more about the coming of age aspect. About traditional Georgian dancers and it gets into male gender roles, sexuality, and all that. It’s my second favourite indie queer movie. It’s not the happiest movie but it ends on a positive note and is just so so good so I recommend it highly.)
Portrait of a Lady on Fire (French period drama romance. They don’t end up together but it’s good enough I’m including it anyway. The ending is still positive. A painter is sent to observe a woman to paint her portrait in secret and they develop a relationship. It gets very philosophical about art and the Gaze and relationships between women and it’s very good. Also a visually stunning movie.)
God's Own Country (British, indie coming of age romance. Two guys working on a farm.)
A Moment in the Reeds (Finnish, indie romance. Basically the same movie as God’s Own Country but (in my opinion) better, but unfortunately they don't end up together in this one. I don’t remember the ending as being sad but I forget too much to vouch for it being super happy so maybe it’s bittersweet or something. Worth checking out though!)
Rūrangi (From Aoteoroa/New Zealand, indie drama. A trans man winds up returning to the town he grew up in with people who don’t know he transitioned and he reunites with his dad, his ex-boyfriend, and his best friend. It’s a really lovely movie. There’s some transphobia but it doesn’t focus on that so much as the interpersonal drama and the nicer stuff.)
Alice Júnior (Brazilian teen coming of age. A trans girl moves to a new town with her single dad and tries to have her first kiss. It’s really sweet and a (mostly) light movie.)
Anything’s Possible (American teen coming of age. It’s based on a fictionalized version of the reddit post that went kind of viral where a boy has a crush on a trans girl from school. Anyway they start dating and it follows their relationship and the complexities resulting from that. It’s quite similar to Alice Júnior so if you like that or this, watch the other. I think Alice is the better of the two, though.)
tumblr won't let me publish a block of bullet points as long as this was before I interrupted it so enjoy this useless sentence, please
I Love You, Phillip Morris (American, action indie movie, maybe? It’s be gay do crime, the movie, basically. It’s not the deepest or the best, really, but it’s fun and I am very glad it exists. We need more queer movies of this sort of genre, it’s delightful.)
Rafiki (Kenyan, indie romance drama. Two teen girls fall in love but homophobia exists. Rather a lot. It’s sweet and has a happy ending though.)
To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar (American, comedy drama. Three drag queens embark on a road trip only to wind up stuck in a small town. It came out in the 90s, which is kind of amazing. Homophobia/transphobia are things but mostly it’s upbeat and it’s a nice movie about community and friendship.)
Badhaai Do (Indian drama. So it’s a long movie, about 3h I think. A gay man and a lesbian enter a lavender marriage and each of them get partners and there’s a bit of situational comedy/drama from that and then it gets into their process as a found family of four queer people trying to adopt a child in a country where queer people can’t adopt children. It’s genuine and really sweet and does feature homophobia but doesn’t focus on it.)
Colette (British, period drama. Keira Knightley is gay in this, that’s all we need to know. Her character is a French writer and performer and idk it follows her life, career, and relationships. It was good.)
Fire Island (American, romcom. Pride and Prejudice retelling but much more modern featuring a group of gays on an island for the summer. It’s silly and fun. Not too deep or anything but if you want a light-hearted good time, it’s a good choice.)
Maurice (British, period drama/coming of age. Maurice goes to Oxford and has a relationship with a young Hugh Grant and from there it’s a coming of age story about Maurice. Homophobia is present as a sort of background thing.)
The Old Guard (American action. A bunch of immortal people do action movie stuff and it’s awesome. Great female characters. But anyway two of the main characters (men) are in a relationship and it’s really romantic and well done. Also Charlize Theron’s hair in this movie is enough to put it on a bisexual movies list. Basically it’s an action movie so if you want an action movie but with great queer rep and vibes, this is it.)
Pride (British, drama. A group of queer people get to know a group of miners during the 80s and so it follows their relationships while the miner’s strike occurs and the queer people fight for rights. It’s a great activism movie and a great one about community.)
Shiva Baby (American, indie drama. Feels kind of like a play, honestly. A disaster bisexual shows up at a shiva where she finds herself faced with her family, community, sugar daddy, his family, and her ex-girlfriend. It’s something of a comedy of errors, but it’s fun and a good drama. Great acting.)
Princess Cyd (American indie coming of age. A girl goes off to stay with her aunt and it follows them both for I think a summer while the girl has a queer relationship and the aunt does something. It’s been a while since I saw it. Wasn’t the greatest movie but was still solid.)
I Dream in Another Language (Mexican, indie drama. A linguist travels to a small town to track down the remaining speakers of a fictional dying language to record them, only the two men who speak the language refuse to speak to each other. It gets into homophobia more than most of the movies on here.)
Duck Butter (American indie comedy drama. To be honest I can’t really remember this movie. Two women sleep together and then try and spend the next 24h together. It’s quite indie.)
Ones I haven’t seen that people will inevitably also recommend:
But I’m a Cheerleader
Imagine Me and You
Less happy movies I have to recommend anyway because they’re so fabulous:
Cabaret (the stage show is better but the movie has Liza Minelli and she’s great so) A musical about a cabaret during the Weimar Republic in Berlin (1930s), with our main girl and a bisexual love triangle and the most gender-fucky narrator(?) person around. It’s both fun and devastating. Homophobia is present but not too much, and there is antisemitism.
Kill Your Darlings (it’s a thriller of sorts about Allan Ginsberg played by a very hot-looking Daniel Radcliffe with glasses and curly hair and it revolves around some of the sketchy homoerotic murder stuff him and his beat poet friends got up to.)
Angels in America (this is peak theatre like it’s a Lot emotionally but dear lord is it good. I recommend the National Theatre Live version if you can track it down (also it’s 7.5h so I recommend just thinking of it like a miniseries). There’s also a movie and a TV show but I think they cut stuff. It has a happy ending after everything though, don’t worry.)