10 best LGBTQA films every non-LGBTQA person should see
The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association (GALECA) has released their second 10 best LGBTQA films list, dubbed “The 10 best LBGTQA Films every non-LGBTQA person should see.”
Ranging from Oscar winners to community classics to modern independent discoveries, the movies chosen by the critics of the 120-member organization were their personal choices for the list.
The picks had to be feature-length narrative films released theatrically in the US. However, TV movies, documentaries, and short films were not eligible to be chosen.
The group said, “Our primary goal was to present films that we thought not only best reflected LGBTQA life and history– but which were also cinematically compelling and even groundbreaking. We weren’t looking for a traditional list of feel-good, positive portrayals of our world.”
“The films on this list run the gamut, from realism to sensationalism to eye-catching stops in between. They may not always be the most perfect representations of our community, but they are facets,” they said.
The GALECA’s top 10 films are:
The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert
Twenty-one years ago, Australia brought the world this tale of the outlandish and endearing adventures of two drag queens and a transsexual, a trio who blaze a trail across the Outback to a drag performance at the continent’s center.
Boys Don’t Cry
Upon release, the movie opened up widespread dialogue about gender identity, violence toward the LGBTQA community, female sexuality and a lot more that, frankly, too many take for granted as par for the discourse in today’s discussion about queer identity, theory and rights.
Painted with humanity and genuine emotion by master filmmaker Ang Lee, the film followed two ranch hands as they find love and fairly graphic passion on a bleak mountainside in 1963. Returning to the “normal” world, over the years they find their hearts crushed by the strictures of society.
Hedwig and the Angry Inch
The film version of John Cameron Mitchell’s stage musical, about an East German singer who attempts to come to terms with the botched sex-change operation that left her with an “angry inch,” has rightly developed a cult following.
The Kids Are All Right
Co-writer/director Lisa Cholodenko’s movie vividly paints the portrait of a suburban family whose peaceful veneer is cracked by curiosity and doubt. The film tackles common issues facing many modern families. Anyone who champions a functional and loving world will find this movie perfect long-weekend company.
Exploring the AIDS epidemic at a time when film was too afraid to even utter the acronym, this drama, set in the early 1980s, features a group of gay friends as they come to terms with the mysterious disease that is killing them off. The panic and the outcry within the community contrasting, the prejudice and willful ignorance on both sides.
Director and cowriter James Ivory’s adaptation of E.M. Forster’s novel exquisitely captures the love and longing of young gay men in Edwardian England. Sit down, swap out Downton Abbey, and pass the cognac.
Director Gus Van Sant’s biopic of civil rights icon Harvey Milk– the first openly gay person to be elected to office in California in 1978 and who was later assassinated by a former colleague– stands as a supremely affecting biopic.
My Beautiful Laundrette
Set against the backdrop of Thatcher’s tumultuous and reactionary England, director Stephen Frears’ film tells the tale of two lovers in lower-class England, where there is always trouble looming for immigrants and young, gay men.
After a night’s encounter, two strangers begin to develop an intimate and somewhat intellectual relationship, delving into the nature of identity and love over the course of a weekend. The youngest title on our list, writer-director Andrew Haigh’s second narrative feature was also GALECA’s Dorian Award winner for 2011’s Film of the Year and LGBT-Themed Film of the Year.