Jun 18

Pride Films (LGBTQ) You May Have Missed 10+ Years Ago

For your viewing consideration, below are seven Pride films (LGBTQ) from more than a decade ago.

Kissing Jessica Stein (2001)

Romantic comedy Kissing Jessica Stein depicts themes regarding sexual fluidity. Neither Helen (Heather Juergensen) nor Jessica (Jennifer Westfeldt) have been in a same-sex relationship before. Helen, though, already identifies as bisexual and appears more comfortable, while previously “straight” Jessica faces such fears as telling her mom (Tovah Feldshuh). 

The Kids Are All Right (2010)

Among the more mainstream Pride films is Lisa Cholodenko‘s comedy The Kids Are All Right. Annette Bening and Julianne Moore portray a lesbian couple, Nic and Jules. Their two teenagers were conceived with the aid of an anonymous sperm donor. The women’s relationship teeters on the edge when they actually meet the donor, Paul (Mark Ruffalo), who’s been found by the kids.

Albert Nobbs (2011)

In a period long, long ago both Albert Nobbs (Glenn Close) and newfound friend Hubert Page (Janet McTeer) are women pretending to be men in order to have work and income.

As stated by The Opinioness, “The tragic story of Albert Nobbs lingered in my memory long after I left the theatre. Its exploration of female friendship, lesbian love, class and poverty, gender roles and a woman’s self-discovery, truly make it a rare gem.”

Tomboy (2011)

In this French movie, directed by Céline Sciamma, a 10-year-old girl named Laure (Zoé Héran) moves with her family into a new neighborhood and, only among her peers, pretends to be a boy named Mikael. Laure’s younger sister and parents don’t know about this other identity.

Roger Ebert:Tomboy is tender and affectionate. It shows us Laure/Mikael in an adventure that may be forgotten in adulthood or may form her adulthood. There is no conscious agenda in view. There is just a tomboy. Not everyone needs to be slammed into a category and locked there.”

Pariah (2011)

Pariah features a 17-year-old girl, Alike (pronounced “ah-LEE-kay”), not easily accepted for who she is: a tomboy who’s a lesbian who’s black. Writer-director Dee Rees based this story on her own experiences coming out as gay.

Alike (Adepero Oduye) resides in Brooklyn with her conservative parents—a mom who’s devoutly Christian (Kim Wayans) and a dad (Charles Parnell) who’s a police detective.

Keep the Lights On (2012)

This realistic film is based on the past relationship between New York literary agent Bill Clegg and the film’s director, Ira Sachs.

David Lewis, San Francisco Chronicle, states about the codependent relationship of Erik (Thure Lindhardt) and Paul (Zachary Booth), “It’s a volatile combination for a couple: One man is addicted to love, the other to crack cocaine.”

Dallas Buyers Club (2013)

Differing from the aforementioned Pride films, this one’s lead character is a “vocally homophobic antihero” (Peter Debruge, Variety). Matthew McConaughey portrays Ron Woodroof, who gets diagnosed with AIDS. One individual who tries to help him is a transgender AIDS patient (Jared Leto).

Debruge believes viewers will likely “recognize Woodroof’s knee-jerk bigotry as uncool. And thus, the film manages to educate without ever feeling didactic, and to entertain in the face of what would, to any other character, seem like a grim life sentence.”

David EdelsteinNew York Magazine: “It’s difficult to talk about the beauty of Leto’s performance, because he just, well, is. The transformation is so complete—­physically and vocally—that it’s hard to believe he could ever be anything else. Rayon (née Raymond) is high on being Rayon, to the point where you sometimes forget that he’s dying, too.”

May 11

“The Kids Are All Right”: And the Moms Are Lesbians

The true experiences of Zach Wahls (see yesterday’s post) may be reminiscent to some of the recent dramedy directed by Lisa CholodenkoThe Kids Are All Right (2010). It stars Annette Bening and Julianne Moore as a lesbian couple, Nic and Jules, who have two teenagers who were conceived with the aid of an anonymous sperm donor.

Like many parents—of any sexual orientation—Nic and Jules do not have a perfect relationship. And it really teeters on the edge when they actually meet the sperm donor, Paul (Mark Ruffalo), who’s been found by the kids.

The trailer for The Kids Are All Right includes snippets of interviews with the cast about this unique story:

Selected Reviews

Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post: “Cholodenko and cowriter Stuart Blumberg have crafted a loving work about family that will resonate as true for those who find their experience reflected on the big screen and will be revelatory to others.”

Dana Stevens, Slate: “…a comedy that doesn’t take cheap shots, a drama that doesn’t manipulate, a movie of ideas that doesn’t preach.”

Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal: “The basic joke here, and it’s a rich one, is that the dynamics of gay marriages differ little from those of straight marriages. But that joke also serves as a catalyst for some startlingly beautiful considerations…”

A.O. Scott, New York Times: “The performances are all close to perfect, which is to say that the imperfections of each character are precisely measured and honestly presented.”

Dr. Ellen Weber Libby, psychologist: “…captures, with respect and sensitivity, the hard work required to keep marriages alive, to raise children, and for both children and adults to meet life’s challenges.”

Don’t let this element escape you: the kids in this family have in fact turned out all right. And research backs this up. As reported by The Huffington Post, “In a 2010 review of virtually every study on gay parenting, New York University sociologist Judith Stacey and University of Southern California sociologist Tim Biblarz found no differences between children raised in homes with two heterosexual parents and children raised with lesbian parents.”