【Movies】20 LGBT-Themed Film Recommendations【Monday】
Here in this article, I’d like to choose a few LGBT related films. Stay tuned for the updates!
*The little alphabet letter shows to which of LGBT the plot applies.
1. The Children’s Hour (1961): L
First time I saw this movie, I was a student. was surprised to see Audrey Hepburn in it and also thought how courageous of them to make such a movie in the 1960s. Original is a novel with the same title, but I haven’t read it so please let me know if any of you have read it.
2. Total Eclipse (1995): G
This movie didn’t get many good reviews on IMDb, but in my opinion, it’s a masterpiece. I wasn’t expecting the 2 main characters to have that many intimate scenes together, though. Young and beautiful Leonardo DiCaprio played his character very nicely portraying the naive but cheeky kid who is so hungry for affection and also is the best poet.
I think the movie is very destructive when it comes to their relationship and the era they lived in and also is very sad. The movie is based on true events.
3. Brokeback Mountain (2005): G
This is probably the most famous among all the LGBT themed movies that are out there featuring Jake Gyllenhaal and the late Heath Ledger. Original is a short fiction novel. This movie became a major hit; nevertheless it was made with low budget. Very sad and painful to watch but it has its reason that it became a big hit.
4. I Love You Phillip Morris (2009): G
A comedic movie with Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor was based on a true story and is really well-made. Jim Carrey being the comedic self as always makes the whole movie so fun to watch and Ewan did a great job portraying Jim’s lover.
The true Phillip Morris himself has made a cameo appearance as a lawyer defending himself who Jim Carrey is playing. Good point about this movie is that they made a good job not making it too depressive although the course of events are not that happy.
5. Milk (2009): G
This biographical movie is also based on true events about the first gay politician in California, Harvey Milk. Sean Penn is in the main role as Harvey Milk, also James Franco as his lover, and also Josh Brolin (MIB3, Old Boy etc.) is playing a very important role. I’m not going to spoil the ending, but I just want to comment on how difficult it is to go against the common sense of the era. Nevertheless, he never gave up, he stood for the LGBT community at that time and this movie made a really good job of portraying his life.
6. La vie d’Adèle – Chapitres 1 et 2/Blue Is the Warmest Colour (2013): L
Here is a movie about a lesbian couple with Léa Seydoux from 007 Spectre. Very French-y, if you know what I mean, kind of nonchalant but occasionally very passionate. I liked it but wasn’t impressed. However, the acting is really good so worth recommending. If you’re into french movies, I suggest checking it out.
7. Kill Your Darlings (2013): G
Daniel Radcliffe and Dane DeHaan have made a very good appearance portraying the famous poets from the Beat Generation Allen Ginsberg and Lucien Carr. I liked the first part of the movie where they show the life of the students at that time and how they interacted and the main focus on the poetry, but then from the second half of the movie, it gets really….blah. I liked the tension between the main two characters, I think they really captured well the process of how they fell in love with each other. But then, the plot got kind of lame, (I understand that the real incident didn’t have a happy ending) and I was a bit disappointed in the end.
The movie was made by the Wachowski sisters (ex-brothers) who also made the Matrix series. Cloud Atlas itself is not about LGBT, but they dedicated one chapter among all the 6 chapters to a gay couple who struggled to maintain their relationship during a very hard time. The movie is very, very long (3 hours) so heads-up to you! Very interesting sci-fi movie, you can read more about it here after watching it.
9. Behind the Candelabra (2013): G
Based on a true story about a very famous American Pianist Liberace and his ex-lover. Apparently the critic reviews weren’t as good, but I had no problems or complaints to this movie. Really well made and I think they showed us the struggle behind all the fame and money and power very well. (Hence the name: “Behind” the Candelabra ) Of course, it may be biased because of the POV from the ex-lover of Liberace, but still this movie was very interesting to watch.
10. Shelter (2007): G
A nice, chill, slow burn type movie dedicated to people who absolutely love surfing. No one dies, no one fights in this movie. And I think that’s what makes this movie real. The plot is realistic with a nice ending and I think it is more close to our daily lives. Was nicely satisfied and felt really calm watching this one.
11. Any Day Now (2012): G
This movie, I guarantee you, will make you cry in pain. It is so very sad, heartbreaking, maddening (sometimes) and is so frustrating. It is so damn good, that it will leave you shocked after watching. I can’t imagine why on earth it has the review it has on IMDb (it deserves 10 out of 10 or even more). I was so emotionally drawn into this movie. The plot is about a gay couple trying to adopt an autistic child in the 1970s Brooklyn. They face so many obstacles one after another, and it was so frustrating to watch them not being able to do what they want. You just get mad at the society, at the judge and basically everyone against this couple. I have never seen a movie that makes me feel such frustration. Very heavy stuff and is based on true events.
12. Carol (2015): L
Very strange and powerful pair Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara portraying a lesbian couple. I had a very strong image of Rooney Mara from the Dragon Tattoo movie, that it was sort of refreshing to see her in a very girly character. Mildly was surprised to see a very intense intimate scene as well. The plot is good and the ending was also convincing. Based on a novel from 1952.
13. Closet Monster (2015): G
A teenager who grew up with a childhood trauma falls in love with another teenager boy from his part-time job. The plot was so good, the way they showed how his crush develops, the reason of the trauma, and his frustration with growing up in a single father family was very realistic. I could empathize with his feelings and frustrations that he felt being a teenager and all the junk that comes with being one in some scenes as well. A very well made indie movie.
14. Juste la fin du monde/ It’s Only the End of the World (2016): G
A very difficult movie for me to describe because of the characters and the weird way of shooting most of the scenes in one place. Directed by the amazing Xavier Dolan, and with all the well-known amazing French actors. The main character is a writer who has AIDS and who came back home after a long absence. Léa Seydoux plays his sister, Vincent Cassel plays THE MOST ANNOYING ROLE OF ENTIRE MOVIE HISTORY, and Marion Cotillard plays the wife of Vincent Cassel. Marion played the only understanding character in the family, and the only one who truly cared about the main character. What is so significant about this movie is that all they do is rant or debate or scream at each other all the time. And like I mentioned most of the scenes take place at home.
So my opinion about this movie is that probably each and everyone who watches it, would find a scene or a character or what they say to really sympathize with. For example the sister who always wants someone to listen to her, the brother who is always ranting about everything and who is also very lonely and wants someone to listen to him, the main character who is very quiet and wants peace and love…
Original is a stage play, thus the long lines.
15. Tangerine (2015): T
This movie was shot entirely on iPhone! Wow. I didn’t even notice nor did it bother me that they shot it on a cell phone. Interesting plot where they first show the separate story of each character and in the end, all the characters end up in one place. Indie movie with an interesting plot and a creative way of shooting. Also was sometimes comedic. They named the movie Tangerine because the entire movie was shot in an orangy color and the staff thought it would fit the title.
16. Dallas Buyers Club (2013): G&T
This one is my favorite. This movie is based on a true story about an AIDS patient in 1985 who started illegally selling anti-HIV drugs. Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto undergo a massive weight loss for the role.
The process of how the main character gradually changed his opinions on LGBT people and his relationship with Rayon were amazing. Very well done and that can be seen from the review on IMDb. The ending was not tear-filling, which in my opinion was very nice.
17. Teenage Cocktail: L
The plot of this movie is not so much about LGBT but the main characters (2 teenage girls) are in a kind of a more than friends/ slightly lesbian relationship, so that’s why I included this in the article. Although IMDb review was not that good and overall the plot was rather predictable, I think it’s a nice, little movie that portrayed the typical struggles of teenage girls well.
18. Naissance Des Pieuvres/ Water Lilies (2007): L IMDb: 6.7
This movie probably would be really relatable if you are between 12-16yo and are a girl. Some reviews I found; most of them were from men, were all the same saying how “they couldn’t understand the feelings between those 2 girls” or how it was “un-relatable” from the boy’s sides to fall in love with the same sex. Floriane is a beautiful senior girl who uses poor Marie to fill in her void. Honestly, Anne was the best character in this movie. Typical DUFF character who lacks confidence in herself but still is a teenager whose head is full of boys. But Anne is the only girl who truly understands Marrie. In any case, I didn’t like the lack of emotions in this movie and I stared at their serious faces for half n hour. But if you say that’s frenchy, well, je n’ai pas de mots. (I have no words)
19. SAINT LAURENT (2014): G IMDb: 6.1
This movie is always mistaken with another one “Yves Saint Laurent” which was made 8 months earlier than this one with Pierre Niney as a leading actor, who later won the 40th César Awards for the best actor.
Now, this one is SO LONG. I thought I’d never ever finish it. You may say what you want, but, oh darling! 2.5 hours of watching how YSL struggled, had gay sex, smoked, drank, smoked, had gay sex, struggled and smoked was torture. I’m sorry, but they could have shrunk it to 90mins or so. Also, beware for naked mans and their winnies without censoring.
This one was nominated for the César Awards as well but only won the best costume design. Leading actor is Gaspard Ulliel who also starred in movies like “It’s Only the End of the World” directed by Xavier Dolan as a gay character, “Hannibal Rising” as Hannibal Lector himself and many more. Privately, he has a child between a female partner so I doubt he is gay. (Doesn’t matter really)
20. About Cherrie (2012) : IMDb: 4.8
This movie has a surprisingly bad review on IMDb, but I quite liked it. Don’t expect a grandiose plot to a low-budget movie. Starring my beloved James Franco who is famous for accepting all kinds of jobs whether low-budget or not.
The main character is a girl who leaves home with her male friend (who, of course, is madly in love with her but is too shy to admit). In order to earn money, she starts working in a porn industry.
The reason why this movie is included in LGBT-related ones is that the director in the plot is a lesbian woman and she will play more or less an important role in the plot. Heather Graham who played the role of the porn director in the movie starred in Hangover series, Scream series etc. And she never ages.
21. Hjartasteinn/ Heartstone (2016): G
This is a coming-of-age movie with two boys from a rural village in Iceland. IMDb review shows it’s a little more than an OK movie. The plot is good; overall it’s a very calm movie. Also in a sense, can be mildly gloomy because of the stereotypes that the villagers have against “anything unusual” and because of the so-to-speak ruralness of the chilly Icelandic village. The local nature was magnificent though. The one-sided attraction is shown very subtly and it might be difficult to categorize if it’s love or just a bromance. A bit melancholic and definitely a winter movie.
There are so many LGBT movies that are based on true events. Have some popcorns and make a movie night with your partner.
22. Call Me By Your Name (2017): G
A movie with a relatively simple plot that earned a surprisingly high review of 8 points on IMDb. The best part of this movie is probably the last scene where Elio’s father is speaking to him and the end credit scene. I don’t know why but I cried AFTER watching the movie. (I also cried during the movie but the biggest wave of sadness came over me after finishing the movie)
As I said, the storyline is simple but it left me with complicated feelings. Falling hard for someone a few years older than you is a typical experience people tend to have in their teenage years. I knew this film wouldn’t end happily and it isn’t really difficult to guess, but I highly suggest reading the original novel and watching it to compare the difference. Doesn’t matter whether your gay or not, everyone will be able to emphasize to some extent with either Elio or Oliver. We also have a separate movie review on The Millennials™️ here.
Cinema is the most beautiful fraud in the world, Millennials.