As the LGBTQ community continues to make strides towards representation and acceptance in society, it’s important to recognize the impact that media has had in shaping our understanding of queer experiences. These five films, all of which have received critical acclaim and popular attention, offer a glimpse into the diverse and often challenging world of LGBTQ identity.
Moonlight, directed by Barry Jenkins, is a coming-of-age drama that tells the story of a young, black man named Chiron as he struggles to understand his identity and sexuality. The film was praised for its raw and honest portrayal of the LGBTQ experience, particularly in the black community. Mahershala Ali won an Oscar for his role as Juan, a drug dealer who takes Chiron under his wing and becomes a father figure to him. The film was also praised for its cinematography and its use of music, which helped to set the mood and convey the emotions of the characters.
The Handmaiden (2016)
The Handmaiden, directed by Park Chan-wook, is a South Korean film that tells the story of a young woman named Sook-hee who is hired as a handmaiden to a wealthy heiress named Lady Hideko. The two women develop a close bond that turns into a romantic relationship, but the film is also full of twists and turns that keep the audience guessing until the very end. The Handmaiden was praised for its beautiful visuals and its bold, sexually-charged portrayal of the LGBTQ relationship between Sook-hee and Lady Hideko.
Carol, directed by Todd Haynes, is a romantic drama set in the 1950s that tells the story of a young photographer named Therese who falls in love with an older woman named Carol. The film was praised for its performances by Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, who both received Oscar nominations for their roles. The film was also praised for its stunning cinematography and its depiction of the struggles faced by the LGBTQ community in the mid-20th century.
Brokeback Mountain (2005)
Brokeback Mountain, directed by Ang Lee, is a romantic drama set in the 1960s that tells the story of two cowboys, Ennis and Jack, who fall in love while working on a ranch together. The film was praised for its performances by Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal, who both received Oscar nominations for their roles. The film was also praised for its portrayal of the difficulties faced by LGBTQ individuals in a society that did not accept them.
Call Me By Your Name (2017)
Call Me By Your Name, directed by Luca Guadagnino, is a romantic drama set in Italy in the 1980s that tells the story of a young man named Elio who falls in love with a graduate student named Oliver. The film was praised for its performances by Timothee Chalamet and Armie Hammer, who both received Oscar nominations for their roles. The film was also praised for its depiction of the beauty and simplicity of young love, regardless of sexual orientation.