Originally gay-themed movies were about homosexual men. With the change in the acceptance and awareness of LGBQT the genre has widen. LGBTQ is the more commonly used term and so our film selection is now embracing this larger community.
Let’s look at the best gay movies of 2018 -2019
One of 2018’s most acclaimed gay movies was banned by Kenya because of its “homosexual theme and clear intent to promote lesbianism” (Rafiki) …
This vivid, vibrant love story from Kenyan director Wanuri Kahiu stars Samantha Mugatsia and Sheila Munyiva as the daughters of two rival political candidates, falling in love and navigating homophobia attitudes. The gay film made its debut at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival to overwhelming acclaim.
May 28, 2019 | Rating: 8/10
Alexandra MacAaron | Women’s Voices for Change
‘Rafiki’ is visually compelling, and the story it tells, although by no means unfamiliar, so engaging that it’s easy to overlook the film’s very fine performances.
Apr 18, 2019
Ben Kenigsberg | New York Times Top Critic
The film is sharp at rendering the hesitancy of their flirtation, as well as the forces – parental expectations, religion, an ever-watchful gossip – arrayed against them.
An ASIDE: It was hard not to get swept up in the anticipation when “Rafiki” was shown last May at the Cannes Film Festival, the first Kenyan feature to be shown in the event’s official lineup. The film, a debut feature from Wanuri Kahiu, drew headlines on many news sites when it was banned in Kenya for its positive portrayal of homosexuality.
Here in the US one wondered why since the film depicts an exceedingly modest romance involving two young women — Kena (Samantha Mugatsia), who plans to go to nursing school, and Ziki (Sheila Munyiva), a free spirit who yearns to travel and who encourages Kena to set her sights higher in medicine. Rafiki hardly seems designed to withstand outsize expectations. Yet is was a great distraction as I started program that uses baclofen, a “new” medicine for alcoholism. Baclofen is approved as a muscle relaxer and an antispasmodic agent. It is used to treat muscle symptoms; such as spasm, pain and stiffness; caused by multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries, or other spinal cord disorders. It is given intrathecally (directly into the spinal cord) or orally (by mouth). However, Baclofen’s action on the GABA receptors in the brain may help lessen cravings and withdrawal symptoms for alcohol. Doctors in Europe have been prescribing baclofen as the primary treatment for people who drink excessively. Unlike 12 step programs in the US that require abstinence such as AA , doctors in Europe are trying a new approach. They say that alcoholism is not a disease, but a symptom of a larger psychological issue. Compare that to how the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) defines Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD: a “chronic relapsing brain disease”. I have finally acknowledged that my drinking is out of control and signed up with LifeBac’s program that uses both psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy. I was a bit nervous about using baclofen since it requires titration which means you slowly increase the meds’ dosage until your cravings are completely removed or controlled. Sure there are some side effects, but the LifeBac program is working for me. My friends took me out for a 6 month celebration to see Rafiki, which was perfect. We went out to dinner afterwards to discuss the film. Baclofen doesn’t affect the taste of alcohol or the pleasure of drinking. It simply removes the addictive components that lead to overindulgence and allows a person to drink in moderation. Pretty incredible! Right? So I can drink even though I am taking baclofen. I know my friends were a bit anxious when I ordered a glass of wine with my meal. But that was it. Only 1 glass and I was satisfied. Hats off to my LifeBac program and 5 stars for Rafiki.
• The Miseducation of Cameron Post
In one of two major gay movies in 2018 to tackle the subject of gay ‘cure’ therapy, grown-up Kick-Ass star Chloë Grace Moretz plays a teen caught having a sexual encounter with another girl. Shipped off to an emotionally-sterile Christian gay ‘cure’ centre, the film takes an unflinching look at the harsh reality of conversion therapy.
• Assassination Nation
Transgender model Hari Nef pulls off a star turn in Sam Levinson’s revenge thriller, which explores a world where online privacy no longer exists.
The hyper-stylish film set in modern-day Salem touches on themes that could not feel more brutally relevant in 2018, evoking everything from social justice and outrage mobs to transphobia and toxic masculinity.
**** Gregory E
Dec 11, 2018
In just its first few minutes, the movie gives us a big hint about who the culprit is. Lily’s parents cannot bear that her daughter is capable of arguing some points with personality and sexual freedom, and that anguishes them way more than the fact that their other son, the male one, casually comments on “how cool” a viral video of a family being ripped apart by wild animals is. From the very beginning, “Assassination Nation” unmask the privilege of patriarchy and the dangers of toxic masculinity. Oh? Are you one of those people who is rolling your eyes while reading this? Well, you will explode in anger when you find that the movie makes a disclaimer in its first seconds, warning that those who have fragility masculinity will be “triggered”. The “Assassination” in the title is more for the term “character assassination”. In this modernization of the story of the Salem witch trials, a small conservative town suffers a massive hacking and leaking of their personal digital data, which triggers a horrendous environment of paranoia and villainization. And of course, the “happy” and sexually active young women will be the first to be judged. Unfortunately, “Assassination Nation” doesn’t take the time to develop all its characters. Of the four “witches”/heroines, only Lily (Odessa Young) has the proper focus to empathize with her on a non-superficial level. Bex (Hari Nef) also has some narrative background for being a transgender woman, but Sarah and Em are practically filling characters, which is a shame because it could have expanded more on other issues (race, for example). But even with that omission that will probably prevent this movie from being a classic, “Assassination Nation” is an almost perfect piece of these times. This is–and I just cannot help to say it–a hyperbole of the #MeToo era and the illogical defense of the second amendment. A more “woke” version of “Sucker Punch”, if you will, even though it’s still written and directed by a MAN.
*** Philip P SUPER REVIEWER
Dec 10, 2018
Within the first fifteen minutes or so I thought I was really going to hate this movie. The falseness of it all felt so glaring. It was trying to be something it didn’t naturally know how to pull off in the worst way. Once we get past the rather scrutinizing character introductions though, the movie levels up and becomes what it is without that aspect of attempting to be something it’s not. Assassination Nation is an extreme satire, but it’s a rather effective one. It’s a film that will either grow better or worse with age, but my guess is this might be a pretty trippy to experience in ten to fifteen years. Yeah, this super-stylized take on the coming-of-age tale through the lens of our presently overexposed culture would have probably worked better as a limited series or something given the movie already feels like the core characters essentially walk through a handful of different vignettes which in turn means the movie begins to feel like it’s dragging in that latter half, but it goes out with such a bang it’s hard to argue one didn’t have a blast. Side note: How does Pretty Little Liar’s little Mike Montgomery now look like Zac Efron?!?!
• Alex Strangelove
One of Netflix’s cinematic ventures in 2018, Alex Strangelove followed on from Love, Simon in the young adult gay rom-com sphere, starring 27 year old Daniel Doheny as the implausibly-teenaged Alex.
• Boy Erased
Boy Erased is the second of 2018’s gay ‘cure’ movies, starring Lucas Hedges as gay teen Jared Eamons, who is packed off to gay ‘cure’ camp by his evangelical dad (Russell Crowe).
The film a true story, based on Garrard Conley’s 2016 memoir of the same name.
• The Happy Prince
The Happy Prince also makes our list of best gay movies due to its homosexual themes.
Rupert Everett wrote, directed and starred in this passion project, based on the late of playwright Oscar Wilde following his conviction for homosexuality under UK sodomy laws.
This documentary gives a moving glimpse into the life of the late British fashion designer Alexander McQueen, who forged his own empire but took his own life in 2010.
The acclaimed film has a 100 percent rating on reviews website Rotten Tomatoes, with critics explaining: “McQueen offers an intimate, well-sourced, and overall moving look at a young life and brilliant career that were tragically cut short.”
Disobedience, based on the novel of the same name by Naomi Alderman, tells the story of a queer women grappling with homophobic attitudes in the Orthodox Jewish community.
The Sebastián Lelio film stars Rachel Weisz and Rachel McAdams as the two lovers.
And other films:
• Love, Simon
Far-and-away 2018’s most-hyped gay release was Greg Berlanti’s teen rom-com Love, Simon which stars Nick Robinson as a boy-next-door Simon Spier, who happens to be gay.
Unchallenging in its subject matter and light-and-breezy in its theme, Love, Simon is not winning Oscars any time soon, but it’s tailor-made to fit into a genre otherwise dominated by heteronormative releases.
• Freak Show
Despite a quiet commercial release in January, this comedy-drama starring Alex Lawther of The End of the F***ing World fame has earned praise from LGBT+ audiences for its nuanced and warm-hearted portrayal of gender non-confirming teen Billy as a fish out-of-water in a small conservative town.