In only the past decade Queer films have gone ahead and carved a niche for themselves. Even after Brokeback Mountain’s Oscar win, these stories were still primarily omitted from the general outreach until the Cate Blanchet and Rooney Mara starrer Carol came knocking in 2016. It was a historical year for queer films in 2017, where Moonlight – The first black LGBT film to win an Oscar for the Best Picture. 2018, on the other hand, had some of the best LGBT movies to have graced the screen in a decade. Here are 10 of the best:
The Miseducation of Cameron Post | Director: Desiree Akhavan
Iranian-American filmmaker Desiree Akhavan’s “The Miseducation of Cameron Post” traces the life of a teenager who undergoes doubt and defiance when her parents who come from a conservative mindset send her to a gay conversion facility. Powered by three strong central performances, especially one of the best movies that Chloe Grace Moretz has been a part of, the arc bonds them because of an outcasted energy, this coming of age tale subverts general pathos with bittersweet results.
10. Genèse | Director: Philippe Lesage
Philippe Lesage’s follow up to his 2015 autobiographical narrative debut “The Demons” is a heartbreaking film about the ache of becoming oneself. “Genesis” is a 2018 film where Théodore Pellerin stars as Guillaume – A Salinger-reading, problematic but overly confused teenager who is struggling with his sexual identity at an all-boys boarding school. Lesage portrays Théodore’s struggle to find himself in this beautiful drama that also sees his sister trying to fit into adult life’s many heartbreaks and surprises.
9. Love, Simon | Director: Greg Berlanti
Not only a major step forward for mainstream cinema but a genuine charmer that would make John Hughes proud. Greg Berlanti’s “Love, Simon” is a movie that is every bit sentimental and predictable but is also immensely well structured, well-acted and drives the coming of age theme to its right destination. It’s good to see LGBT movies featuring a gay romance that would rightly exist in this new age of social media. The film plays its cards safe but mostly manages to encash the right bets.
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8. Touch Me Not | Director: Adina Pintilie
For all its superficial and scattershot narrative layers, “Touch Me Not” offers an intriguing discourse on how the society and its moral norms adversely affect the relationship humans have with their own bodies. Adina Pintilie’s compassionate gaze remains intact throughout the narrative, providing this protracted psycho-sexual journey an earnest vibe.
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7. Sauvage | Director: Camille Vidal-Naquet
Featuring a stunning performance from Félix Maritaud, Camille Vidal-Naquet’s “Sauvage” is a film about a male prostitute who stays tender in spite of all the bitterness the world throws his way. Heartbreaking and mostly coming off from a non-judgmental gaze, the film investigates the wild, wonderous lust of sexual desire while pondering over the vulnerability it brings with it.
6. Boy Erased | Director: Joel Edgerton
Adapted from Garrard Conley’s memoirs, Joel Edgerton directs his second narrative feature with a thriller-like precision. “Boy Erased” follows some of the essential elements that featured in Desiree’s film only to bring the complex closer to the family and people who surround the central protagonist. Told with grit and powerful in its representation of queer sensibilities and restrictions, the movie excels like a storm with a thunderous end.
5. The Cakemaker | Director: Ophir Raul Graizer
Ofir Raul Graizer’s delicate and tender “The Cakemaker” makes a wonderful case for how important it is to know, witness and go through grief together. The film very steadily measures through the various levels of loss through a beautiful story about a gay man’s fate to rest with a lonely pedestal.
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4. Disobedience | Director: Sebastian Lelio
After receiving the Best Foreign Language Film award for his trans-drama ‘A Fantastic Woman’, Sebastian Lelio is back in 2018 with “Disobedience” – The last entry in his Trilogy Of Woman. Set in an orthodox Jewish community, the film is a complex tale of forbidden love. And like every great film, it’s complexity leaps forward with a subtle investigation of patriarchy, the ever disarming human faith and the will to free oneself from shackles that aren’t even visible to the naked eye.
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3. The Heiresses | Director: Marcelo Martinessi
Triple winner at this year’s Berlin Film Festival, Marcelo Martinessi’s “The Heiresses” is a quietly powerful fable of hidden desires, long-lost escapades and a really deceptive look into how gender roles are devised in traditional films about older people. Suddenly brought into treading change, the film revolves around the Chela’s (Ana Brun) life when her dominant gay-lover is sent to prison for financial fraud.
2. We the Animals | Director: Jeremiah Zagar
Based on the book of the same name, Jeremiah Zagar’s “We the Animals” is an incredible dissection of childhood and the eventual loss of innocence. The flipside is, it deals with a child who is pretty much down the lines of growing up. Chronicling the life of three brothers who grow up in a household full of volatile love – The film traces Manny’s life as he scribbles his anger and dissolves the early signs of sexual awakening in his notebook of fears. It also essentially understand how growing up also distances you from the most important things in life – Even those which are blood tied to you forever.
1. The Favorite | Director: Yorgos Lanthimos
Emma Stone beating herself up with a book to makeshift the power dynamics in the wickedly bleak “The Favorite” has to be one of my favorite scenes of the year. This Yorgos Lanthimos feature adds a raving cap to the director’s ever-growing filmography of weirdly peculiar deadpan comedies. This one, however, manages to add a strange feeling of genuine care towards these powerful, uncompromising women who manage to have their sorrows up their sleeves yet go on marching with fearsome force – Together or Apart. The case of The Favorite brings the genuine emotions needed to make it one of the best LGBT movies of 2018.
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