FAVORITE LGBT FILMS

πŸŒˆβ€οΈπŸ’›πŸ’šπŸ’™πŸ’œπŸŒˆ Pride month's still going on y'all!!!
  1. β€’
    Weekend
    The story centers on 2 strangers, both openly gay men, who fall in love over the course of a weekend. But it's way better than I made it sound. The characters are so fully-realized and don't adhere to any stereotype whatsoever, their personalities feel real and the performances flesh them out with a natural tone and inspired poignance. They talk about things that make you shout at the screen "someone finally said it!" With intimate direction, it shows what love feels, sounds, and looks like.
  2. β€’
    Carol
    It's pure cinematic luxury, with one of the best performances I've seen this decade from Rooney Mara. A slow-burning melodrama depicting the fantastical romance between an aristocratic housewife (wonderful Cate Blanchett) and shopgirl. The intense glances, the sultry voices, the LIPSTICK! The climax in which they finally succumb to their desires is so tender and loving, I shed a tear when their lips touched. The whole film just sends this pulsating bliss through my heart each second it passes.
  3. β€’
    Mulholland Dr
    A relationship glamorized in the daze of a depressed lesbian woman is torn to shreds in the wake of reality. What seems like the perfect Hollywood love story is really only the nightmarish recollection of one woman brief affair with a manipulative vixen. The film is a haunting glimpse into the dark, tumultuous psyche of a woman desperate enough to dream herself into a new love story.
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  5. β€’
    Brokeback Mountain
    Of course it deserves props for being one of the first mainstream movies, or at least the most successful, to show a serious romantic relationship between two men. But it also deserves praise for its wonderful performances, Heath Ledger is incredible as he suppresses this aching longing for someone he shouldn't, and Gyllenhaal matches that with a bewildered sense of intrigue. And the challenges they face against the backdrop of a small town is depicted skillfully in Ang Lee's direction.
  6. β€’
    Monster
    Not the sweetest love story, but the honesty behind Patty Jenkins' biographical film about America's first female serial killer, Aileen Wuornos, places it among the greats. Christina Ricci's character, a sheltered and suppressed lesbian, finds Aileen (played tremendously by Charlize Theron). They make a life together as she takes lives in order to sustain them. They find comfort in each other, both outcasts, longing for something great. As circumstance turns sour, they still have each other.
  7. β€’
    Laurence Anyways
    Xavier Dolan is one of the best directors out there right now, his stories don't adhere to the norm, even if that means tearing your characters apart and exposing them as horrible people. It's honest. It's brave. And it makes this story of a trans woman's relationship with her on/off girlfriend a charismatic whirlwind of passion and regret. Unabashedly glamorous, and featuring one of my favorite film soundtracks. The leads are ferocious and fit perfectly with the personalities of the characters.
  8. β€’
    Love Is Strange
    More so a story about the trials of aging and living in NYC, but the relationship between newlyweds, played sweetly by Alfred Molina and John Lithgow, shows how much people need their loved ones near them. You can see it in their faces, and embraces that their love is strong and symbiotic. When everything else is crumbling around them, we seek comfort in our loved ones. It doesn't need to say anything about gay marriage, but it indirectly proves that love is love, and love is strange.
  9. β€’
    Beginners
    The main love story may be between a wonderful Ewan McGregor and Melanie Laurent, but the ideas surrounding Christopher Plummer's character, coming out as gay in the final stage of his life makes for an emotionally involving and refreshing take on the coming-out process. It's such a quirky gem, partly due to its magical script full of whimsy, but Mike Mills doesn't sugar-coat the experience because his characters are so humbly realistic, with the most honest telling of parental death I've seen.
  10. β€’
    Pariah
    A story of the crack in the door of a young black woman's coming-out story. It's heartfelt and personal and courageous. Adepero Oduye owns the role and adds such an incredible sense of guarded isolation to her character, and Kim Wayans is phenomenal as the hard-edged homophobic mother. These two characters clash with teeth and nail over the identity of their family. Each given a fair share of perspective to make their stories respectable. The end is devastating, but soars with poetic prosperity.
  11. β€’
    Pride
    This is such a joyous film that doesn't trivialize the struggles of gay pride, but also embraces the quirks and laughs that come when coal miners clash with the fabulous, flamboyant gay men and women in 1980's UK. Andrew Scott is incredible, his puppy-dog eyes and crooning Welsh accent steal the show in my opinion, but this is a very successful and evenly-distributed ensemble piece that embraces all gay men and women. It's a real entertaining piece, funny and sad, and just fills you with pride.
  12. β€’
    Tangerine
    I just want to brag about how I totally met Mya Taylor, who plays Alexandra in this movie and she was so funny and nice and fierce, and I thought she should've walked away with an Oscar for this performance. The infamously iPhone-shot, crude-humored, sidewalk-stepping story about two trans prostitutes is both adventurous and heartfelt. The camerawork not only highlights the saturated, sun-gold sights of LA, but also captures the fear and isolation of trans women making a living on the streets.
  13. β€’
    Happy Together
    Wong Kar-Wai's well-rounded aesthetic captures the on/off relationship between two stubborn men. A stark color palette and a kinetic camera that frames every shot like a painting shows the passion and deceit this relationship lives for. It sidesteps the sexual identity crisis and just focuses on the flesh and blood of the relationship. It isn't ignorant to the plight gay men face, and recognizes their solitude as well, but it chooses to extract its power from this crazy, beautiful love story.
  14. β€’
    Boys Don't Cry
    The only time I've really likes Hilary Swank, which is really something to say because to me she is just πŸ˜‘ but in this role she is in full command of the emotion and inner-strength of the tragically murdered Brandon Teena, a trans man, trying to make a life in Nebraska. It's incredibly disheartening to witness the abuse and loneliness Brandon faces, but it's worth a watch if not to just take a moment to grieve for the beautiful souls lost to transphobia, and to see their struggle highlighted.
  15. β€’
    The Imitation Game
    Great performances, especially from Benedict Cumberbatch, I just loved him in this role. He really dug deep into the role to capture the nerves and fear boiling underneath the reserved exterior of Alan Turing. And the flashbacks depicting his childhood, as well as the pressure he faced in the 50's that was momentarily alleviated by Joan Clarke (Keira Knightley 😊) really shines a light on Turing's life without ignoring his outstanding contribution to the war and computer science.
  16. β€’
    The Normal Heart
    All-time great performances from Matt Bomer, Jim Parsons, and Julia Roberts, they all just blew me away (not Mark Ruffalo though πŸ˜’). It's shows how the AIDS epidemic rose, and the challenges the gay community faced in the 80's. But it's also about community, and relationships, and what it's like having a partner dying, and the bureaucracy hard-working doctors faced that stinted organized research fighting to treat it. And in classic Ryan Murphy-style, it's super dramatic and even sexy at times.
  17. β€’
    I Killed My Mother
    Xavier Dolan is a total babe in this, and the fiery, stylish story of the complicated relationship between him (basically playing himself) and his mother (Anne Dorval) is separated from one of many coming-out stories because of the tense deconstruction of this fickle mother-son relationship. There are constant tests and strains to their amicability, and it's an admirable feat from a then-20 yr.old Dolan to weave a layered and moving story from something so personal.
  18. β€’
    The Skeleton Twins
    Bill Hader effectively portrays a middle-aged gay man with the perfect balance of humor and heart, and the comradery between him and his twin sister (Kristen Wiig) as they both face their struggles with depression and failure makes for an uplifting and hilarious film.
  19. β€’
    Keep the Lights On
    The often difficult, but compassionate and sensitive story of a 10-year gay relationship complicated by drug abuse and infidelity is something to behold. It's only drawback may be its pacing, but it's honest and not afraid to make its characters look pathetic or selfish. Years go by, seasons change, and we see this relationship fall apart into ugly pieces through bare-boned performances from Zachary Booth and Thure Lindhart, and yet we still root for them as individuals, hoping for the best.
  20. β€’
    Milk
    Took me a bit of gusto to watch this because I hate Sean Penn, but he brings a delightful warmth to his portrayal of the ray of sunshine that is Harvey Milk. This is truly a great ensemble piece, and the look and feel of San Francisco really breathes life into this passionate biography.
  21. β€’
    The Kids Are All Right
    It manages to make the on-screen family feel real, and genuinely loving. It's almost political by how un-political it is, it's lead exclusively by the good nature of this same-sex couple and their struggles and collaborations in marriage (actually I don't remember if they're married, maybe just civil-unioned), but that was great for a film made pre-marriage equality. Doesn't that feel good to say? "Pre-marriage equality". Even with their ups and downs, they're still a loving couple.
  22. β€’
    I Love You Phillip Morris
    And then a not-so-great couple. Like a gender-swapped OITNB, this film dramatizes the true account of a perpetual conman and his love story with his Southern sweetheart and fellow inmate, played by the impeccable Ewan McGregor. Jim Carrey plays the constant fuck-up who tries to make a life for them. It's kind of an examination of coming-out late in life, but it's not necessarily socially-aware, rather it sees the humor and heart in a kooky yet tragic story about two gay convicts.
  23. β€’
    Blue Is the Warmest Color
    Gosh, it's so long, and women and their bodies are beautiful but I could not sit through the 8-minute long sex scenes (plural), but everything I didn't skip over was beautiful and lovely and really really emotional. Adele Exarchopulous is incredible as a woman unraveling her blossoming sexuality, and Lea Seydoux is captivating as the artist Adele falls for. The French title "La vie de Adele" fits better with the two-part saga of her life and relationships with both men and women.
  24. β€’
    The Way He Looks
    A lovably innocent love triangle between the new kid in school, a girl, and her blind best friend. It's an interesting concept to see attraction between teens of the opposite sex happen when one of them can't see. It answers the question of what happens when the question of your sexuality is on the table, and yet you can't recognize the difference beyond an intangible connection. The feelings aren't super complex, but it's not an adult love story, it's still about butterflies in the stomach.
  25. β€’
    Dallas Buyers Club
    This movie gets props for showing a character pushing through homophobia and ignorance, ultimately being the one to stand up for his transgender friend when they're harassed in a supermarket (a great scene). It also gets props for its performances from Jared Leto and Matthew McConaughey, and just for shining a light on of all the amazing men and women who couldn't beat AIDS and show what a struggle it still can be today.
  26. β€’
    A Single Man
    Lush and gorgeous, in flushes of color it highlights the brief instances of vitality in the dreary days of a gay widower. An aging professor is drawn to a curious student, and the two form a balancing-act flirtationship. The subdued language of sexuality makes the tenacious magnetism between characters even more engaging. A great scene in which temptation stands inches away is set with such a tense, but quiet tone. The performances are great: Julianne Moore as a boozy fag hag, yes please.
  27. β€’
    C. O. G.
    Give Jonathan Groff more leading roles, he was Oscar-worthy in my books playing a lightly-factionalized version of David Sedaris. He was so grounded in this privileged, upper-class cynicism and then brought all these layers of confusion, sympathy, and selfishness to it. The film captures the paranoia and isolation of being an outsider, as a gay man amongst the heterocentric, low-brow working class. But he brings masterful subtlety to the character's arch, and emotional enlightenment by the end.
  28. β€’
    Tom at the Farm
    Another of Xavier Dolan's, one that's a little more terrifying and weirdly erotic? He plays Tom, who comes to see his late-boyfriend's grieving mother and brother at their farm and is kinda kept there. Then there's this whole Stockholm Syndrome thing with the abusive, homophobic brother. My own brother guessed the plot based on the trailer saying, "So… he wants to kill him, but like… he also wants to fuck him?" Basically. Really tense, kinda ridiculous, but the tone and visuals are stunning.
  29. β€’
    Lilting
    A recent find, also birthed a recent obsession with Ben Whishaw who is fantastic and a great crier. The plot revolves around a gay man trying to help his late boyfriend's Chinese mother by hiring her a translator so she can have a life inside the nursing home she's stuck in. He feels guilty, and she didn't even know her son was gay, and Whishaw really brings this amazing sympathy and vulnerability and care to his role. The language barriers make it kinda slow, but the ending is beautiful.
  30. β€’
    The Danish Girl
    In all honesty, I like it more for Alicia Vikander's enlightened, gracious performance than I do it's depiction of trans women, or the real story of Lili Ebe for that matter. It meant well, but it acted like it had all the answers, and by the end the impact was just- soft. Redmayne acting makes Lili's personality feel contrived, thereby skewing the representation. But it's a deeply compassionate, beautifully designed film. It's a bold step in the right direction for mainstream trans-themed film.
  31. β€’
    Free Fall
    Like a German Brokeback Mountain, two passionate performances (from straight actors) detailing the heated relationship between two men struggling to settle into their sexual identities.
  32. β€’
    G. B. F.
    A satirical high school movie about a group of popular girls fighting over the one out gay kid in the school. It's harmlessly cliche, but the moral rings true that there's more to a person than their sexuality, and it points a finger at the girls who exploit gay men's femininity and treat them as play things.
  33. β€’
    In the Family
    A slow-moving, but emotionally resonant story about a gay widower fighting for custody of his late lover's son that he practically raised. Patrick Wang weaves a great conflict through the film, with multiple view points and assessing the custody battle between his character and his sister-in-law as a message not just about how gay relationships are taken less seriously than straight ones, but also the foundations of family and what it takes to really be a part of one, without ever being preachy.
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    AND ALSO SOME I STILL NEED TO WATCH:
  35. β€’
    Tomboy
    Celine Sciamma also has Girlhood, but I'm not sure where that falls under LBGT films, but it's still great so watch it.
  36. β€’
    My Summer of Love
    Emily Blunt before she was uber-famous.
  37. β€’
    Paris is Burning
    Important documentary.
  38. β€’
    Tropical Malady
    Fantastical elements to it, set in a a culture not often home to gay love stories.
  39. β€’
    My Beautiful Laundrette
    Daniel Day-Lewis with that sexy and not-at-all-outdated hair.
  40. β€’
    My Own Private Idaho
    Like, why haven't I watched this?
  41. β€’
    Brotherhood
    Thanks to @hannatalonen for the suggestion! Love Thure Lindhardt!
  42. β€’
    ‼️WARNING: SHAMELESS PLUG‼️ Nobody Ever Tells You What It's Like
    I did a self-doc short for my film class about coming out to my parents and the feelings that came with that experience. My professor responded surprisingly well to it and submitted it to a couple film festivals. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=pZK5gPwfays