Yep, another year is over, so it’s time to look back and, in this case, consider what were the best LGBT-themed films of 2015. There’s a lot of good stuff out there, some of it easier to find and watch than others, but if you’re going to watch some gay and trans themed movies, the ones below are well worth seeking out.
To be in for consideration, BGPS needed to have reviewed the movie over the last 12 months. It should also be noted it’s not based purely on the score out of 10 we gave the movie at the time of the review, but also how we view it in hindsight and whether it’s stuck with us over the months. So take a look below to see what we think is the best of 2015.
Synopsis: This documentary was filmed over the course of a year, looking at the issues surrounding gay men who mix sex with drugs in London. A mixture of interviews with those who are involved with that world and candid footage of their lives, Chemsex covers everything from those just starting out in the world of ‘PnP’ to those who’ve fallen down the rabbit hole into drug-induced psychosis.
From Our Review: Chemsex is hard-hitting and sometimes shocking, and while it’s difficult to tell how widespread the problem is, gay men bringing sex and drugs together is certainly something that is ignored far more than it ought to be. The documentary also works as a very good way of showing that LGBT people often have specific health issues that can easily fall between the cracks of mainstream medicine, as well as that those issues can have as profound psychological dimensions as they do physical.
Synopsis: Married couple Deb and Trish seem like the perfect modern family, with a beautiful home and two children. However major cracks have appeared in their relationship, with Deb trapped in grief over her father’s death five years before, and Trish feeling stifled and suddenly attracted to the possibilities offered by the arrival of a vivacious woman who’s just moved to town. With their marriage on the point of implosion, they must decide whether they’ve reached the point of no return.
From Our Review: While the typical view is that one of the film world’s problems is that it only shows women as wives and mothers, but Stuff shows the issue isn’t with characters who are wives and mothers, but in presenting them as fully fleshed out people in their own right (i.e., their entire existence isn’t just about other people). The film does a great job of that, with a well-told tale of four women dealing with changes in their life they aren’t sure how to handle, or where it will lead them.
8. Tab Hunter Confidential
Synopsis: Vito and I Am Divine director Jeffrey Schwarz takes a look at the life of 1950s teen heartthrob Tab Hunter, based on the star’s autobiography. Hunter takes us through his life, including his rise to Hollywood stardom while hiding the fact he was gay, before being outed by a vindictive former agent, the decline of his movie career and what he has done since.
From Our Review: It’s all pretty fascinating even if Tab is somewhat sickening (in a good way) – sure he had to live in the closet, but he was truly beautiful (the footage and pics of him as young man still have the power to make many go weak at the knees, and he remains attractive now), a film star, had good looking boyfriends, and was a talented figure skater and horseman… When we talk of those who were forced to live in the closet in the past, it’s normally a tale of misery and angst. However, for every Montgomery Clift there was a Tab Hunter, for whom their sexuality caused issues and problems, but who dealt with them and then came out the other side as a happy, healthy man.
7. That’s Not Us
Synopsis: Three couples – one straight, one gay, one lesbian – head off together for a short vacation in a beachside house. Each couple is in love, but all have issues their trip away from home bring to a head, such as James and Spencer’s inability to deal with the fact one of them may be moving away, Dougie and Liz’s negotiation of modern gender roles and Alex and Jackie trying to figure out what’s getting in the way of their sex life.
From Our Review: There’s a real empathy for the characters and an endearing belief that as long as the love is there, communication is the key to solving problems. That’s Not Us is a surprisingly sweet film, with some moments of humour and lightness, which feed into a drama that’s far more absorbing than you might expect, thanks to interesting characters, some good acting and real chemistry between the couples.
6. Do I Sound Gay?
Synopsis: Documentarian David Thorpe goes on a journey to find out more about the so-called ‘gay voice’, including his own attempt to sound less gay. The documentary covers many issues, from whether sounding gay is a result of nature or nurture, if the gay world’s fascination with being ‘straight acting’ is damaging, and whether having a ‘gay voice’ limits your opportunities in the world.
From Our Review: Sounding gay is a far more interesting and intriguing subject than you might think. Whether you like ‘camp’ voices or not, this documentary may make you realise the issues surrounding it are actually fairly complex, taking in both the history of homosexuality and some of the key questions about being gay which are yet to be settled.