Cinema has been around for over 200 years and it is undoubtedly one of the most influential sectors of modern society. Cinema flourished since The Great Depression and many genres of films started coming up. But for a very long period of time, the taboo on homosexual themes in films existed and it was considered a very sensitive topic. However, the film industry has come a long way and a lot of films dealing with the topic of homosexuality was made. From using gay characters to bring out the laughter in the audience to making blockbuster romance movies featuring gay couples, cinema has evolved. In fact, one could even say that films played a major role in breaking the taboo on homosexuality.
Here is a list of the 10 best LGBTQ movies of all time that you could binge-watch in 2021.
1.Happy Together ( 1997 )
Happy Together is a Hong Kong romance movie that is considered a milestone in the history of LGBTQ movies. Directed by Wang Kar-Wai, the movie features a bittersweet romance between a gay couple namely Ho Po-Wing and Lai Yiu-Fai played by Leslie Cheung and Tony Leung Chiu Wai who travel to Argentina in hope of rebuilding their relationship. Happy Together won numerous prestigious awards including Hong Kong Film Award for Best Actor ( Tony Leung ) and Cannes Best Director Award.
2.Desert Hearts ( 1985 )
Desert Hearts is an American romantic film by Donna Deitch Based on Jane Rule’s 1964 novelDesert of the Heart. The movie stars Helen Shaver as Vivian Bell, an English professor waiting for her divorce to be finalized, and Patricia Charbonneau as a sculptor named Cay Rivers who meets in Reno and falls in love. Vivian is seen as shy and unsure initially but later she gives in and falls in love with Cay whom she adores so much.
3.My Own Private Idaho ( 1991 )
My Own Private Idaho is an American adventure film written and directed by Gus Vant Sant starring Keanu Reeves and River Phoenix. Loosely based on a Shakespearean drama, the movie tells the story of Mikey Waters, a narcoleptic street hustler, and his best friend Scott Favor who goes in search of Mike’s mother. Even though both of them work as prostitutes but the movie doesn’t focus much on sex. The movie played a key role in bringing homosexual themes into mainstream cinema.
4.Tangerine ( 2015 )
Tangerine is a comedy film directed by Sean Baker starring Mya Taylor as Alexandra and Kitana Kiki Rodriquez as Sin-Dee Rella. Shot completely on three iPhone 5s smartphones, the film tells the story of two transgender sex workers who go in search of one’s boyfriend and the girl with whom he cheated on her. The movie broke all the traditional conventions of filming and casting and received a lot of praise and positive comments.
5.Moonlight ( 2016 )
Moonlight is an American drama film directed by Barry Jenkins based on an unpublished play by Tarell Alvin McCraney namedIn Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue.Starring Trevante Rhodes as a young African-American boy named Chiron and Andre Holland as Kevin, Chiron’s childhood best friend. Chiron’s mentor and a drug dealer named Juan, played by Mahershala Ali also plays an important role. The movie bagged the Oscar for Best Picture and numerous other awards while being the first LGBTQ film with an all-black cast.
6.Portrait of a Lady on Fire ( 2019 )
The 2019 French romantic film, Portrait of a Lady on Fire, written and directed by Celine Sciamma became the first film directed by a woman to win the Queer Palm at Cannes. The movie starring Noémie Marant and Adèle Haenel is set in 18th century France and tells the love story between an upper-class young woman named Héloïse and a painter named Marianne who is appointed to paint her portrait. The film is an exquisite piece of art narrating a beautiful but forbidden romance in its true form.
7.God’s Own Country ( 2017 )
Written and directed by Francis Lee, God’s Own Country is a British romantic film starring Josh O’Connor and Alec Secăreanu as Johnny Saxby and Gheorghe Ionescu respectively.Spring Yorkshire. Isolated young sheep farmer Johnny Saxby numbs his daily frustrations with binge drinking and casual sex, until the arrival of a Romanian migrant worker Gheorghe, employed for the lambing season, ignites an intense relationship that sets Johnny on a new path.Set in the wilds of Northern England,
8.Blue Is The Warmest Colour ( 2013 )
Based on the novel by Julie Maroh, Blue Is The Warmest Colour is a French romance movie about passionate and erotic love between two women who are trying to find their true selves. The film is co-written and directed by Abdellatif Kechiche and tells the story of Adèle, a shy teenager played by Adèle Exarchopoulos and Emma, an elderly painter played by Léa Hélène Seydoux-Fornier de Clausonne. The film created a sensation at Cannes by the unfiltered, raw portrayal of sex and desire but however received abundant praise too.
9.Call Me By Your Name ( 2017 )
Any conversation about LGBTQ movies is complete without mentioning this achingly beautiful gay romance movie. Set in the 1980s Italy, Call Me By Your Name is a coming-of-age film directed by Luca Guadagnino starring the promising actor Timothée Chalamet as the seventeen-year-old Elio and Armie Hammer as Elio’s father’s intern Oliver. Rich in the scenery and heart-warming music, the movie has millions of hearts all over the world by telling the story of love in its purest form. The movie is based on a novel of the same title by André Aciman.
10.Carol ( 2015 )
Based on the romantic novelThe Price of the Saltby Patricia Highsmith, the 2015 movie Carol is directed by Todd Haynes. Starring Catherine Elise Blanchett and Patricia Rooney Mara as Therese Belivet and Carol Aird, the movie tells the story of the seductive love between a shy girl working in a department store in Manhattan and an elderly woman who stops by to shop a toy for her daughter. Both of them later take a road trip in which they explore each other. Touchingly portraying the impermissible romance, Carol is one of the most appreciated lesbian movies of all time.