Here Are The 18 Finest LGBTQ Movies You Can Watch Right Now:
In the past few years, LGBTQ films as well as stories have become more popular in general. These movies have also ruled award seasons and found success in unexpected places.
Both queer society and gay films are not one thing. But that wasn’t always the case. However, TV portrayals of gay lives and problems in the past often depicted them from the perspective of straight, white men.
William Dickson made the short film as an experiment to see how well he could sync images to pre-recorded sound. He, as well as Thomas Edison, were working on a system called the Kinetophone at the time.
People’s ideas about “the love that dare not speak its name” have changed a lot over the course of a long and interesting history of expression. Another change is that gay artists and producers are getting more chances to tell their own tales.
Last year, Billy Eichner’s love comedy Bros. came out. Bros marked a significant milestone as the first movie written by an openly gay man for a big company. Also that year, the great Billy Porter directed Anything’s Possible, a teen romance about a trans high school student.
Angels In America:
Tony Kushner’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play is a modern-American story that takes place during the Reagan years, when AIDS is becoming more common. Director Mike Nichols turned the play into a six-hour, multipart event for HBO.
The acting is amazing. Al Pacino plays the haughty Roy Cohn, Jeffrey Wright plays the smart gay nurse who takes care of him, Mary-Louise Parker plays a housewife who pops pills and is married to a Mormon secretly, Emma Thompson plays an evil angel, and Meryl Streep plays four roles, including the ghost of Ethel Rosenberg.
The piece takes us back to an era when people thought of AIDS as a “gay plague.” But its lessons about how politics can be corrupt, how racism hurts people, how faith can comfort and limit people, and how people can love and abandon each other are still relevant today.
This is the first popular queer romantic comedy in about 120 years, following in the footsteps of Nora Ephron’s “You’ve Got Mail” and “Sleepless in Seattle.”
To be fair, it’s taken just as long to create a popular LGBTQ movie that isn’t about grief, pain, or homophobia in general. “Bros,” a snarky and sometimes raunchy meet-cute for the generation of Grindr, written and starring Billy Eichner and directed by Nicholas Stoller,.
Actually, the fact that the whole group is gay is pretty much the only thing that makes it new. The plot of the script is pretty standard, which is a good thing. While many of us express a desire to be seen, what we truly desire is a gay adaptation of our beloved rom-coms from the 1990s. The word “bros” works.
The Children’s Hour:
Even though it’s old-fashioned and over-the-top, Lillian Hellman’s play about how talk can ruin good lives still hits hard. In the movie, MacLaine and Hepburn play the owners of a famous all-girls school that has to close because a crazy little girl says she saw them kissing.
The movie marketed Hepburn as its star, portraying her as the pretty girl with the tough boyfriend. But MacLaine stands out as the driven bachelorette who has to face some things she has been keeping from herself.
Miriam Hopkins, who is MacLaine’s greedy aunt, gives a beautiful supporting performance. It’s great to see a movie with so many strong female characters; Garner is the only male lead who gets more than a few lines.
Before the Wachowskis had the money to make big-budget dreamscapes such as The Matrix series, they made their directorial debut in 1996 with just $6 million because they wouldn’t give in to studio pressure to get rid of the lesbian romance that was at the heart of the movie.
As a result, a clever and bloody neo-noir is made about a mobster’s woman as well as her ex-con lover, who plan to steal a lot of money from the Mafia.
Bound is close to being exploitative, but not quite. This is in part because the makers hired feminist writer Susie Bright to help them with the sex scenes. It is a unique perspective on a subject typically written by straight men.
The beloved gay actor Clea Duvall really hit it out of the park with her first movie as a director. It’s a modern take on “The Big Chill,” with some unhappy parents and lesbian drama added in.
A simple but effective idea drives the movie: a group of old friends get together in a fancy vacation home to try to save a couple’s marriage by telling them they should get a divorce. With sarcastic asides and believable long-term bonds, the ensemble comedy brings together a lot of well-known character players who work well together.
Duvall casts her friends and also stars in the movie, which brings back many of her “But I’m a Cheerleader” co-stars, such as Natasha Lyonne and Melanie Lynskey. Even though the main characters in the show don’t like each other, it’s clear that the stars are having an excellent time together.
We live in a great time for directors, and Bad Education might be his most personal work. Twenty-something Enrique Goded is searching for an idea for his forthcoming movie in Madrid in the 1980s.
One day, a guy calls himself Ignacio and says he is Enrique’s old school friend as well as his first love. They bring a script with them that is a revenge dream based on how they were abused by a priest at school. The next story is so great that it’s hard to sum it up. Almodóvar skillfully moves from camp to noir.
Boys Don’t Cry:
Director Kimberly Peirce showcased the heartbreaking true tale of Brandon Teena, a trans man who was assaulted and murdered in a small Nebraska town after his true gender was discovered, before most people understood what it meant to be transgender.
Many people now question why a straight actor was given the part, but Hilary Swank’s deeply moving performance helped more people understand the transgender experience.
“Why don’t you just say you’re a jerk?” “One of Brandon’s angry friends yells at him early in the movie.” “I’m not,” Brandon says, his face showing that he is really confused.
“Joyland” caused a stir when it showed gay life in modern-day Pakistan in a way that was both bold in its own country and full of the visual language of coded desire.
The story takes place in Lahore and is told in Urdu as well as Punjabi. It’s about a man who obtains a job to be a backup dancer at a famous underground sex theater.
He falls in love with the beautiful transgender stage star as he dances for her. She makes him feel free, which brings out something inside him that was dormant.
The movie looks at his inner fight to show how gender and sexuality are rigid in our society and how they show up in quiet, often painful ways.
It’s not easy for “Joyland” to go where it does, but it does. The movie doesn’t shy away from showing how weird and silly it can be when religious conservatives’ rules clash with modern sexual freedom.
Even though the plot is simple and follows a straight line, the movie always feels tense and uncertain, like the most normal parts could either end in terrible tragedy or uncontrollable happiness.
Show Me Love:
This Swedish director Lukas Moodysson favorite is a heartwarming love story. It’s a classic tale about a worried suburban girl named Agnes who falls in love with a fiery, sure-of-himself teen and learns how to love life as well as stand on her own.
Elin is the rebel in this case, but she is a girl at Agnes’s high school and might not feel the same way about love as she does. One of the best teen stories of all time, Show Me Love, is full of life, intelligence, and warmth. It’s not a two-dimensional experience, but more like living someone else’s life for 89 minutes.
The Boys In The Band:
This movie, which was based on Mart Crowley’s famous off-Broadway play from 1968, seemed a bit out of date when it came out, one year after the Stonewall riots.
Still, the movie is one of the first honest looks at gay and bisexual guys who aren’t afraid to say they are. It’s about eight friends having a birthday party in a New York City apartment. There will be a lot of hanging out, dancing, and breaking each other apart after that.
Even now, lines like “show me a happy homosexual as well as I’ll show you a gay corpse” will make you cringe. But the movie is a record of a time when men were confused about how they “got” to be gay.
It works best as a signal and a throwback. Just question the all-gay cast of a big Broadway revival as well as Ryan Murphy, who is turning the movie version into a wild and funny period piece for the next generation.
At the 90th Academy Awards, John Trengove’s tense South African psychological thriller from 2017 made it to the short list for Best Foreign Language Film.
“The Wound” gives us a rare look into Ulwaluko, an old South African way to become a man. The tensions between three men whose secret relationships explode make Ulwaluko even more difficult.
A major film in the country’s history, “The Wound,” shows how lust can get out of hand in a socially unacceptable setting. Nakhane does a great job as the factory worker who is secretly in love with Vija and uses the event to move closer to her in the Eastern Cape mountains.
At some point, though, a younger man from Cape Town shows up and throws off the balance, causing the movie’s psychosexual pressures to explode.
The 2011 movie by Dee Rees is about a butch African-American gay girl named Alike who is trying to deal with feelings that are making her fight with her family more and more.
Religion also plays a big role in the life of the family, even if that cute new girl at church doesn’t turn out to be the good example Mom was hoping for. With the assistance of executive director Spike Lee, it grew from a short film.
This movie was written and directed by Robin Campillo and Philippe Mangeot, who both took part in the ACT UP movement in the 1990s. Their dedication to reality is clear in this painfully real story that takes place in Paris during the height of the AIDS crisis under Mitterrand.
It’s a group piece that shows a chorus of voices within the organization. This gives you a sense of how different people can work together for a shared goal.
But it knows when to put the connection between Sean and Nathan front and center, like when they start to deal with the real-life effects of the disease and the abstract becomes painfully personal.
The movie won the Grand Prix at Cannes in 2017, and it’s easy to see why. It’s an incredibly honest look at a time in political history when LGBTQ people were actually fighting to live another day.
“Moffie.” There’s no more delicious pain than being just millimeters away from your crush and not knowing who will make the first move or even if anyone will at all.
That unbearable, painful sexual tension is pretty much what “Moffie,” Oliver Hermanus’s sparkling and sensual military drama, is all about. “Moffie,” Oliver Hermanus’s sparkling and sensual military drama, easily surpasses “God’s Own Country” as the greatest movie about repressed gay men.
The movie takes place in South Africa in 1981, at the height of the South African Border War. A seemingly unrequited gay love story turns out to be a cover for something much more dangerous.
“Moffie” is Afrikaans slang for “faggot,” and the movie, which is based upon André Carl van der Merwe’s autobiographical book with the same name, makes a bold move by using the word as a sign of power again. In South Africa today, society views being a “moffie” as weak and inappropriate, while being gay is considered illegal.
At the same time, all boys over the age of 16 are required to serve in the military. At the start of the movie, Nicholas Van de Swart is getting ready to leave to protect colonized land.
At first glance, the war seems to be between the white minority government as well as Angola, whose Communists the South African Defense Force wants to stop from spreading. However, the real cause of the horrible events shown in this movie is the power-hungry Apartheid regime, not a real threat.
Hollywood has portrayed transgender people in a rough, troubled, and confusing manner throughout history. Laverne Cox executives produced this eye-opening documentary directed by Sam Fender. What Fender does so well is show how bad depictions of trans people in the media can have violent and traumatic effects on their lives.
Actor Jen Richards brilliantly explains the link between straight actors playing trans roles and the significant amount of violence against trans women. Hollywood has increasingly worsened the portrayal of trans people over the years.
Still, there is a guarded sense of hope running through this. There is a sense of urgency as well as a call for change from both Hollywood and people watching at home.
In Wyoming in 1963, a rancher hires the stern Ennis Del Mar as well as the slightly friendlier Jack Twist to take care of his sheep. The men begin getting close on the plains, and even though both of them get married, they keep dating secretly for decades.
But the fact that they can’t just be together causes a split between them that ends in tragedy. People still thought it was bad for a movie star’s job to play a gay character in 2005, and Hollywood didn’t always treat gay relationships with the same level of seriousness as straight ones.
Which makes Ang Lee’s movie version of Annie Proulx’s short story even more amazing. Ang Lee and the cast transformed the poignant tale of two soulmates fighting to be together into a critically acclaimed success that received an Oscar nomination.
When Gyllenhaal says, “I wish I knew how to leave you,” the movie lets you feel the pain and pleasure these guys feel, both with each other and apart. It’s a classic love story.
Love Is Strange:
Ira Sachs deserves two films on this list because she is one of the best gay directors alive and always makes queer movies.
John Lithgow and Alfred Molina portray longtime friends who are forced to abandon their comfortable routine due to their inability to afford their New York apartment. The movie is a sharp ode to getting older in a less-than-graceful way.
Even though it’s embarrassing to have to couch surf in their late 40s, they are now physically apart for the very first time within 40 years. Putting the meaning of “chosen family” to the test, they always come back to each other in the end.
Sachs is a master of realistic drama, with an amazing knack for showing the little and big things that make life meaningful. His stories are both funny and sad. Lithgow as well as Molina are great in these softer parts, and Marisa Tomei is as funny as ever as their sweet niece.
From trash movies in the 1960s to Orange Was the New Black, prison has always been the setting for some kind of gay drama.
Stranger Inside, directed by Cheryl Dunye for HBO in 2001, was also shown in UK theaters. What makes the movie stand out is its ability to engage with real inmates and depict aspects of African American identity that are rarely portrayed on screen.
Treasure is a minor prisoner who plans to be moved to an adult prison so she can locate her birth mother. She is now in a scary world full of violence, close relationships, faith, politics, and a strict social order.