There are all kinds of stories in the world. Some are told more than others because the people telling those stories are in more power. But, as the world has changed, every story has held on to its right to be told. The LGBTQ+ community has only recently been able to come out more openly and present their stories to the world, which have been as beautiful, as complex, and as harrowing as the story of any other section of society.
In its large collection of movies, Amazon Prime houses a lot of lesbian and gay films. With the emergence of online streaming services, nowadays, people prefer watching movies sitting in the comforts of their homes. Netflix, of course, has the lion’s share of eyeballs, but Amazon Prime is not far behind. So, if you are planning to watch a gay film with your loved one, you don’t need to go to a theatre. You can just invite him/her to your house, turn on Amazon Prime, and enjoy the variety of films the streaming service has to offer.
10. Joe Bell (2020)
‘Joe Bell’ is a biographical film that houses a very special and poignant true story in the narrative. Directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green, the plot revolves around Joe Bell (Mark Wahlberg), a father who embarks on a cross-country walk to raise awareness and campaign against bullying after finding out his own son, Jadin, is routinely harassed in high school because he is gay. In the process, Joe learns – and unlearns – many things, especially when Jadin commits suicide. The film is surely going to tug at your heartstrings, and it may also lead to an informative discussion should you choose to watch it with your loved ones as well.
9. Giant Little Ones (2018)
Popular best friends Franky Winter and Ballas Kohl are like two peas in a pod; they have been so ever since they were kids. But one night changes everything for them. When an inebriated Ballas tries to initiate something sexual with an equally intoxicated Franky, things take a turn for the worse as the former spreads rumors about the latter to cover up for potentially being “outed” by his own actions.
‘Giant Little Ones’ seeks to highlight how the journey of coming out – and exploring one’s sexuality – is not always rainbows and butterflies. For some, it can be an extremely challenging and consuming phase of their lives. It also serves as a more contemporary coming-of-age story since it highlights the many nuances of teenage sexuality.
8. C.O.G. (2013)
Developed from the autobiographical short story by David Sedaris from his collection of essays, called ‘Naked,’ C.O.G. (short for Child of God) revolves around Samuel (Jonathan Groff), a Yale graduate who decides to move away from his parents and the life they represent to become a worker at an apple farm. There, he meets a number of odd individuals and becomes interested in relationships. In ‘C.O.G.,’ Samuel is not overtly gay, but the implications are there. His flirtation with religion is subtly contextualized through hints about his sexual orientation before the film offers a brutal critique of certain types of Christianity. ‘C.O.G.’ is an interesting film where the narrative takes a backseat to the journey the main character has undertaken. It’s often random to the point of surrealism, but the story is grounded through strong and often violent dialogues.
7. Those People (2015)
With Jonathan Gordon, Jason Ralph, and Haaz Sleiman leading the cast, ‘Those People’ is a romantic drama film that focuses on Charlie, a young, gay artist who is caught between a rock and a hard place when he develops romantic feelings not just for his best friend but also an older foreign concert pianist named Tim.
The complexities of love have been explored exquisitely in the film, and it makes sense that ‘Those People’ has multiple accolades to its name, including winning the Audience Award for Best First US Dramatic Feature at the Outfest Film Festival in 2015. Hence, this is one film that we feel should be on everyone’s list.
6. Daddy (2015)
Based on the play by Dan Via, the directorial debut of Gerald McCullouch is one that makes use of comedic undertones while highlighting the romantic plights of two middle-aged gay men who have a rather platonic relationship. When a younger twenty-something man enters Colin’s life, numerous revelations follow. Incest, the disparity of ages in relationships, and the effects of the normalization of same-sex marriages are just some of the few themes the film explores, making it worth a watch.
5. Boy Meets Girl (2014)
‘Boy Meets Girl’ is a romantic comedy-drama that focuses on Ricky (Michelle Hendley), a transgender woman in rural Kentucky who aspires to make it big in the fashion industry and move to the Big Apple. Her best friend, Robby, seems to encourage her along the way. But an affair with a beautiful woman named Francesca Duval turns things upside down for Ricky. How this affects the latter’s life forms the crux of the movie.
This Eric Schaeffer directorial expertly highlights what life can be like for those members of the LGBTQ community who do not live in glistening cities. Instead, it chooses to focus on an often-overlooked sect of society. For that very reason, it makes for a fun yet informative watch. The town is as big a character in the film as the protagonist, and this indie venture is one everyone should check out.
4. Dior and I (2014)
Made by openly gay filmmaker Frédéric Tcheng, ‘Dior and I’ (‘Dior et moi’) is a French documentary film that tells the story of designer Raf Simons and the work he did for Christian Dior S.A. The film offers a candid view into haute couture and high fashion through the perspective of a young Simons and his first collection for Dior. Tcheng, who learned about Dior’s autobiography, ‘Dior by Dior’ during the research stage of the film, incorporated it into the story through the narration of poet Omar Berrada. This helps the filmmaker develop a bridge between the past and the present and the exploration of the life and work of Dior himself. Upon its release, the film received mostly positive reviews, though some critics observed that ‘Dior and I’ is inferior compared to Tcheng’s previous works.
3. Any Day Now (2012)
A Travis Fine directorial venture, ‘Any Day Now’ is set in Los Angeles in 1979 and revolves around Rudy Donatello (Alan Cumming), a struggling musician; Paul Fleiger (Garret Dillahunt), a closeted district attorney; and the relationship they form with each other and with a thirteen-year-old boy with down syndrome. The said boy, Marco, is the son of Marianna (Jamie Anne Allman), Paul’s neighbor with addiction issues. After learning that Marianna has left Marco alone in their apartment and seemingly vanished, Rudy feels responsible for the young boy. With the landlord seeking to evict the boy and the child protective services wanting to put him in foster care (where Rudy believes Marco will be mistreated), Rudy reaches out to Paul, whom he met at the start of the film, for help.
2. I Love You Phillip Morris (2009)
With Hollywood A-listers like Jim Carrey, Ewan McGregor, and Leslie Mann in front of the camera, ‘I Love You Phillip Morris’ hosts a rather novel plot. Carrey’s Steven Russell, a notable con artist, falls in love with McGregor’s Phillip Morris while the two are incarcerated. However, when the latter is released from jail, the former hatches many a plan to be reunited with his lover.
This black comedy is the directorial debut of John Requa and Glenn Ficarra and has etched its place in the cinematic world as well. Considering that the film highlights the real-life crimes of the infamous Steven Jay Russell, ‘I Love You Phillip Morris’ is definitely an entry on this list that hits the right spot.
1. Anatomy of a Love Seen (2014)
‘Anatomy of a Love Seen’ revolves around two actresses, Zoe (Sharon Hinnendael) and Mal (Jill Evyn), who are cast together in a film where they will play lovers. During the production, the reel becomes real as Zoe and Mal fall in love. However, sometime later, Mal ends things between them and moves out. It is revealed that Mal was afraid that Zoe would leave her, so she pre-emptively put a stop to their relationship. In the present day, Mal and Zoe reluctantly reunite to reshoot the lovemaking scene from the film. Inevitably, both struggle with how to get through it, prompting a conversation between them and the producer and director of the film.
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