Ten LGBTQ+ films to watch during this year’s Pride month
The 1st of June marks the beginning of Pride month in the UK. While we would normally be looking forward to taking part in the many Pride parades across the country, Covid-19 has resulted in these much-anticipated celebrations being postponed to 2021. Luckily, there are many other ways you can commemorate this important month and learn about the challenges that LGBTQ+ people face without leaving your home.
London Pride’s co-chair commented that despite the parades being pushed back, “this is no time to be complacent when it comes to fighting for our hard-won rights. Pride is a protest – and in that spirit we will be continuing to lobby government decision-makers to address the discrimination faced by marginalised LGBT+ groups, starting by actively reforming the Gender Recognition Act.”
With that in mind, here are ten lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer films on Netflix and Amazon Prime that you should watch.
Ideal Home (Netflix)
Starring comedian Steve Coogan and Friends’ Paul Rudd, this American comedy-drama follows wealthy couple Erasmus (Coogan) and Paul (Rudd) after an unexpected child shows up on their doorstep. Bill claims to be Erasmus’s grandson, stating his father is currently imprisoned for drug charges. The pair are forced to embrace parenthood and despite its strains along the way, they find themselves fighting for custody over Bill.
Portrait of a Lady on Fire (Amazon Prime and Hulu)
Award-winning Céline Sciamma’s remarkable lesbian love story is set in 1770, France. A fierce love affair grows between Marianne and Héloïse, informed by the fact that they only have a few days left for their love to bloom before Héloïse’s mother returns and Marianne leaves. A Portrait of a Lady on Fire teaches touching and opportune lessons about loving your hardest despite the future’s uncertainties.
Tangerine (Amazon Prime)
Filmed entirely on an iPhone 5 and starring two leads who are trans people of colour, the comedy Tangerine sheds light on what it’s like to be a trans sex worker. The up-close and personal style of filming lends a gritty, realistic feel and the cinematography doesn’t suffer for it. Tangerine is vibrant, colourful and bold, much like its script and characters. There’s a girlfriend/buddy comedy vibe that serves to keep the characters relatable and the humour accessible.
Moonlight (Amazon Prime)
The heartbreaking film Moonlight certainly deserves the multitude of awards it has received. From Golden Globes to Academy Awards, Moonlight is a film that goes beyond stereotypes. It explores the experience of queer black men and the challenges they face. Ultimately, this is a movie to be experienced, not categorised.
The Favourite (Amazon Prime)
Directed by Yorgos Lanthimos (The Lobster, Killing of a Sacred Deer), BAFTA-winning The Favourite follows the reign of Queen Anne (Olivia Colman) when England is at war with France in the early 18th century. It features two cousins, Sarah Churchill (Rachel Weisz) and Abigail Masham (Emma Stone), who fight it out to become the Queen’s favourite attendants, charting their exhilarating lesbian affairs with the monarch.
Dallas Buyers Club (Netflix)
A gay classic and true story, this drama won Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto Oscars in 2014. It tells the important story of the mid-1980s electrician and hustler Ron, who is diagnosed with AIDS and has 30 days to live. He smuggles unapproved therapies and banned drugs into the US to help AIDS patients get medication. He and fellow AIDS sufferer (Leto) sell treatments to others in need.
My Days of Mercy (Netflix)
This romantic drama stars Ellen Page, who plays anti-execution activist Lucy Morrow, whose father has been sentenced to death for supposedly killing Lucy’s mother. Lucy falls in love with Kate Mara’s lawyer, one of the pro-capital punishment protesters she regularly sees at demonstrations around the country.
For a light watch, this teen comedy invokes a similar cinematic style to high school classics Clueless and Mean Girls. In a bid to win the heralded title of Prom Queen, three school friends seek to make a gay best friend to win the jewelled crown. However, no one in their school has officially “come out” yet…
Holding the Man (Netflix)
Holding the Man is a 2015 Australian romantic drama film adapted from Timothy Conigrave’s 1995 memoir of the same name. It follows two Melbourne schoolboys who defy their parents and Catholic schooling to fall in love during the HIV/AIDS crisis of the 80s.
Golden-Globe-nominated Girl is a 2018 drama directed by Lukas Dhont, in his feature debut. It follows a teenage ballerina’s fraught gender transition and her subsequent self-reckoning through self-harm. However, this film has generated some criticism from the trans community, except for Nora Monsecour, whose real-life story provided the basis of Girl.