Get a glimpse into the marginalised queer community with these mainstream and indie LGBTQ movies.
Hollywood has come a long way over the last decades. While heteronormative plots remain the norm, we have seen a steady rise of LGBTQ movies making it on the silver screen and queer characters being depicted seamlessly in mainstream shows and movies. Shoutout to our favourite orthopaedic surgeon Callie Torres from Grey’s Anatomy and TV-couple Mitchell Pritchett and Cameron Tucker of Modern Family (that’s forever on our binge-watch list)!
LGBTQ films are more than just movies. They help foster a sense of pride among LGBTQ individuals while shining light on the community to encourage inclusivity and awareness. Grab some popcorn and work your way down our curated list of LGBTQ movies that ought to be on your watchlist.
There’s a good mix of award-winning Hollywood hits like Brokeback Mountain and Moonlight and critically acclaimed Asian movies such as Happy Together and Of Love and Law. Chances are you might just find a character that resonates with you and/or end up reaching for a box of tissues while bawling your heart out. ‘Cos at the end of the day, love is love.
Call Me By Your Name (2017)
This movie made waves in 2018, and in a way, it’s this decade’s Brokeback Mountain as it deals with similar themes. Set in Northern Italy in 1980s summer, it’s about two boys, 17-year-old Elio and 24-year-old Oliver who happen to fall in love with each other. From the cinematography to the music, director Luca Guadagnino manages to capture the melancholy and brilliance of love.
Happy Together (1997)
Don’t let the moniker fool you. Hong Kong film director Wong Kar-wai is known for portraying unfulfilled love in the most avant-garde way possible such as In The Mood For Love and Happy Together. The latter chronicles a tumultuous relationship of Ho Po-wing and Lai Yiu-fai. Just make sure you have a box of tissues with you when watching it.
The Miseducation of Cameron Post (2018)
Sexual orientation isn’t a phase and this movie reaffirms it. Starring Chloë Grace Moretz who plays Cameron Post is trapped in a grim situation. Sent away to a gay conversion therapy centre after being outed, she finds herself struggling with her sexuality amongst other queer friends. Snagging the Grand Jury Prize at 2018 Sundance Film Festival, this coming-of-age movie will move you with its resilient characters.
Rachel McAdams of Means Girls fame plays a closeted lesbian who’s married and the plot thickens when her “childhood friend” comes back to town to deal with the death of her father. Set in the north of London’s Orthodox Jewish community, this movie revolves around passion, religion and family.
Of Love and Law (2017)
Premiered at last year’s Love and Pride Festival at Golven Village, this documentary film follows same-sex couple Fumi and Kazu. As the first openly gay couple who opened a law firm in Japan, they take up cases that are outside of the norm. If you look past the main plot, you’ll catch the in-between moments of their love and resilience as they challenge the status quo.
Hollywood heavyweight Cate Blanchett received numerous nominations – we’re talking Golden Globes and Oscars – for her portrayal of Carol. Going through a tough divorce from her husband, Carol forms a romantic relationship with a female photographer. The namesake film is a tale of forbidden love in 1950s New York.
This movie broke so many boundaries – it was the first film with an all-black cast and the first LGBTQ film that won Oscars Best Picture Award in 2017. Broken into three parts of Chiron’s life (the protagonist of the film): childhood, adolescence and adulthood, the film showcases how an African-American protagonist deals with drugs, emotional and physical abuse and his sexuality.
The Danish Girl (2015)
Loosely based on the life of Lili Elbe, one of the first few who underwent sex reassignment surgery in the 1930s, this biographical film chronicles her life to womanhood. It also shows how her wife, Gerda Wegener was supportive and their love never faltered. A poignant tale that proves love knows no boundaries.
Blue is the Warmest Colour (2013)
This French film sees a lesbian tale, focusing on the protagonist Adèle coming to terms with her sexuality and meeting her lover, blue-haired Emma. Like with all relationships, problems start to arise and you’ll watch it unravel in this three-hour work of art.
Love, Simon (2018)
Yes, we are aware that the aforementioned films tend to be more heartbreaking than heartwarming, but Love Simon manages to keep things optimistic, a refreshing change in queer movies. Focusing on high school student Simon Spier’s coming out and finding his secret admirer, this is a good-natured, interracial queer romance film.
Brokeback Mountain (2005)
This internationally-acclaimed movie needs no introduction. Starring Jake Gyllenhall and the late Heath Ledger who play Jack and Ennis respectively, you will see an illicit love affair between two married men.