Stars: Paul Bettany, Sophia Lillis, Peter Macdissi...
In 1973, when Frank Bledsoe and his 18-year-old niece Beth take a road trip from Manhattan to Creekville, South Carolina, for the family patriarch's funeral, they're unexpectedly joined by Frank's lover, Walid.
I liked the relationship of Beth and Frank, how open and accepting they are of each other. Beth seemed like such a sweetheart and I also liked Walid, especially for how strong he is for staying by Frank’s side and supporting him all the time. What I didn’t like was pretty much the 90% of the movie. The drama was too heavy for me, and the happy ending, although appreciated, didn’t in my opinion make up for the rest of the tragedy surrounding it. I didn’t get the sense anybody except for Beth and Walid (and possibly Neva) actually acknowledged Frank’s pain and so the happy ending seemed kind of fake to me.
Stars: Matt Smith, Imogen Poots, Lindsay Duncan...
How real-life British-American author Christopher Isherwood and his German boyfriend Heinz met and fell in love during the 1930s and the rise of Nazism.
I know Christopher is an influential figure in the gay culture, but I still haven’t read any of his works yet, so I have a lot of homework to do :D This movie was a good introduction to me. What I liked most in this movie is the quirky gay scene of Berlin before the Nazis came to power and that’s what I was interested in the most, which was the first and more optimistic part of the movie. Maybe the books will give me even more insight into the city vibe of the time.
Presenting the life of two gay men who are in love, Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan depicts their struggle to convince their families to accept the relationship. But things are never as easy as they seem and one of the boy`s family decides to get him married to a girl. Will their `unconventional` love prevail?
I really liked the movie visually speaking - it was fun, very colorful and dynamic. It seems like it strove for a comedic approach, but I have to admit it wasn’t really funny to me most of the time. In fact, at times it got serious and the amount of hardships the characters had to go through were sometimes uneasy to watch. I expected it to be lighter than it actually was, but I definitely liked the happy ending.
An unusual ghost story set on the Peruvian seaside; a married fisherman struggles to reconcile his devotion to his male lover within his town's rigid traditions.
It is a nice and touching movie about learning to accept oneself through the death of a loved one and however morbid it might sound, it’s not exactly a ‘ghost’ story in a traditional, horror sense, but more of a drama about life itself. The ghost is there for Miguel to learn how to be more true to himself and there are no jump scares, don’t worry LOL but yeah, it’s still sad, they were such a cute couple and I wish they could stay together, but maybe they unite in the afterlife...
Stars: Leonardo Sbaraglia, Miranda de la Serna, Eva Llorach...
It follows an angst-ridden father, Santiago, whose emotional crisis is exacerbated by a complex and intense relationship with his teenage daughter who seeks to break free from him.
The movie, as I understood it, is meant to be a representation of life - how chaotic it can be with all its ups and downs. However, it was more artsy than I expected. I didn’t really appreciate the shaky camera, theatre scene and the occasional opera music in the background because it’s just not my thing. I liked Santiago as a character, though. I thought he was cute and honest about his emotions and he obviously cared about his loved ones, but he clearly is troubled to an extent. He tries to alleviate his sufferings by leaning into hedonism, which only makes it worse afterwards and so he finds himself running in circles. Some things are left unexplained and the movie has an open ending, so hopefully Santi manages to find inner peace and creates some stability in his life.
Stars: Tom Prior, Oleg Zagorodnii, Diana Pozharskaya...
Firebird follows a handsome, soulful young soldier who embarks on a clandestine sexual affair with a charismatic fighter pilot on a Soviet Air Force Base at the height of 1970's Communist rule.
I correctly predicted that this is going to be a tragedy based on the summary alone, so I delayed with watching this movie for quite a while, as this is something that I’m not fond of. It’s an interesting story that is entertaining to an extent, but there are certainly some remarks I’d like to make. Since I didn’t read Sergey’s memoirs, and his biography on the movie’s official website isn’t exactly detailed, I’m wondering how much of the movie stayed true to the real story and events, and what parts might have been introduced just for the dramatic effect.
Of course, I also didn’t appreciate the homophobic atmosphere in the Air Force Base, which was kinda present, but luckily not too emphasized (I have a feeling it could have been much worse had the director wanted to focus on that). I hated that nosy Major Zverev who was always lurking around looking to catch them in their romantic moments. Also, the whole historical and Soviet feel felt to me a little bit artificial. I guess it’s difficult to capture the essence of the past with all the modernity surrounding us that we’ve gotten used to. At times I felt the movie sliding a little bit towards the melodramatic side and there were more political overtones than I expected, especially towards the ending. I found some things unnecessary.
What I really liked about the movie was the chemistry between the characters. I really enjoyed the way their relationship was portrayed and I think it was really passionate, so that’s the thing that I liked the most. The rest of it, surrounding them - not as much. Definitely kudos for bringing an interesting story from the past, though!
Steven Russell is happily married to Debbie, and a member of the local police force when a car accident provokes a dramatic reassessment of his life. Steven becomes open about his homosexuality and decides to live life to the fullest - even if it means breaking the law. Steven's new, extravagant lifestyle involves cons and fraud and, eventually, a stay in the State Penitentiary where he meets sensitive, soft-spoken Phillip Morris. His devotion to freeing Phillip from jail and building the perfect life together prompts Steven to attempt and often succeed at one impossible con after another.
To me this was a very entertaining movie with performances by famous actors, but I found the movie (especially the ending) to be bittersweet despite the overall approach to the theme being comedic. It was a mix of humour and real life tragedy situations and you couldn’t help but feel Steven’s escapings from prison to be romantic at their core because he wanted to be united with his loved one. Yeah, he lied and did some cons, which I suppose makes him the bad guy, but overall in the movie I didn’t get the sense of Steven being all that bad or that he was a big threat to society. I read that the real Steven (the movie is based on a true story) was sentenced to 144 years in prison, is on a 23-hour lockup, only having one free hour a day to shower and exercise. Like, seriously?
Stars: Bendix Hansen, Sarah Fuhrer, Louis Hofmann...
After a summer spent with his his best friend Kat to escape his family, Phil goes back to school and starts to question his feelings towards Nicholas, a new classmate.
It’s a very light movie in its overall atmosphere. The boys were cute, one of them falling in love more than the other, some disappointments arising from it, but it’s not too dramatic in the end. At the same time, I didn’t really feel like the movie had that much depth to it. Apart from the nice visuals and handsome actors, I didn’t connect that much with the characters so I was mostly indifferent to the future of their love relationship. I appreciate the same-sex parents in the story, though.
Stars: Pekka Strang, Seumas F. Sargent, Chris Myland...
Award-winning filmmaker Dome Karukoski brings to screen the life and work of artist Touko Valio Laaksonen (aka Tom of Finland), one of the most influential and celebrated figures of twentieth century gay culture.
I was really interested in this movie because I didn’t know much about Tom of Finland’s life. I knew about his work, which I highly appreciate and even though nowadays there are other authors that I follow more than him, I can definitely see why he’s though of as a highly influential figure in the gay culture of the 20th century. In this movie you get to learn about his private life connected to his work, so that was really interesting because it was new to me and I think it was very well done. I also really liked his supportive sister and the overall pretty positive atmosphere of the movie. Even though the situation for gay men at that time seemed challenging with all the persecution, I’m happy that Tom of Finland managed to find his way out of the messy situations in life and raise to a higher position ensuring himself a better standing.
I don’t really watch that much biopics, but apart from other highly hyped ones that I’ve seen with a gay theme in them such as Bohemian Rhapsody and Rocketman, Tom of Finland is one of the better ones for me.
Les amitiés particulières / Special Friendships (1964)
Director: Jean Delannoy
Stars: Francis Lacombrade, Didier Haudepin, François Leccia...
A tale of the tender relationship between a twelve-year-old boy and the upperclassman who is the object of his desire. All set in the rigid atmosphere of a Jesuit-run school.
It is a movie adaptation of Roger Peyrefitte’s novel of the same name. I had the opportunity to read another novel of Peyrefitte called L'Exilé de Capri, which also had gay themes in it (actually most of Peyrefitte’s work contains gay elements as far as I know). I really liked the way it was written, if you like classics and old school literature I definitely recommend it, but from a contemporary point of view, I guess for most readers nowadays, which are not fond of the classics, it might definitely seem outdated, especially the emphasis on pederasty in his work.
The same could be said for this movie. It’s really vintage and outdated, which might be a plus for those who like that kind of movies, but in general I didn’t like its tragic undertones and I’m not all that supportive of the age difference between the characters. It’s a bit too much for me when one of the characters is as young as he was and although there weren’t any openly sexual scenes (that would definitely cross the line), I could see why this movie might be considered controversial by many.
Stars: Allan Hyde, Julie Grundtvig Wester, Lars Brygmann...
16-year-old Carsten just started dating Melissa. He is introduced to her sweet and likable parents, who kindly welcome their first son in law. On a weekend in their summerhouse it turns out that Carsten and Melissa's dad might have more in common than they first thought.
Although the main premise of a guy developing a crush on his girlfriend’s dad seems totally out of the ordinary and even slightly pervy LOL, the movie managed to make it seem very ordinary and down-to-earth. There’s no over-the-top drama here, the characters seemed very normal with their own problems and ways of life, and the movie has this relatable approach to the characters and the theme, as it turns out you just can’t control love/attraction when it strikes you.
Une histoire sans importance / A History Without Importance (1980)
Director: Jacques Duron
Stars: Philippe Bories, Bernard Flamain, Jeanne Barthélémy...
A coming of age story about two great friends during the school years whose friendship is truly tested when one of the boys start to develop different feelings for the other. At first, it seems Philippe and Claude are just experimenting new sensations, everything is pure curiosity to them. But total reciprocity isn't the name of the game and Philippe is clearly infatuated with his friend.
A really old-school movie for those of you that like that. It really has this charming feel of vintage/retro French movies that I really enjoy, but it was also very entertaining to me because it was short, so there were no unnecessary boring points in here. The story moved fast, it captured my attention and the dynamics between the characters is IMO really nicely shown. One of the boys falling for the other one and suffering because it’s not reciprocated, while the other one doesn’t care about him. Other than that, I also had a feeling Claude was just using Philippe to get into his group of friends and become more popular, so I didn’t like Claude’s character at all, in fact I felt sorry for Philippe he got involved with him and got hurt.
Lorenzo lives a sheltered life in Argentine Patagonia with his parents and little brother. When a good friend of the family dies in an accident, his son Caíto is taken in by them. Although the two boys have nothing in common, they form a friendship that turns into something more.
It’s a cute movie about a budding first romance, but it doesn’t actually evolve much further than that (which might be a good thing because of the character’s and actor’s age). I liked the protective parents of Lorenzo because they were still very accepting of their son however clear it was to them that he developed a crush on his new friend. I was also kinda cautious if Caito is going to bring any more trouble and how it’s all going to end, but nothing very tragic or dramatic happens here. The movie has a fragile feel to it, so I guess the feeling of first crush has been captured nicely.
Stars: Jacob Newton, Derek Efrain Villanueva, Dylan Vox...
Back in 1982, a Texas University student who was curious about the male sex fantasies he had been having, decides he needs to hook up with an out gay student on campus.
It’s a lighthearted movie that I usually like, but I didn’t really connect with any of the characters nor the story here, didn’t find it all that funny, but it’s really good with its nudity and sexual scenes LOL so if that’s all you’re looking for, you might like it, but if you’re looking for a more complete movie experience, it might be too bland.
Stars: Fionn O'Shea, Ardal O'Hanlon, Amy Huberman...
Ned and Conor are forced to share a bedroom at their boarding school. The loner and the star athlete at this rugby-mad school form an unlikely friendship until it's tested by the authorities.
From the first impression I thought a romance might happen between the guys, but nothing of that sort happened, to my disappointment XD I liked the happy ending and the character of that English teacher, while the school and sports atmosphere was annoying to me with its forced macho feel/behaviour, especially that coach.
Stars: Tom Vaughan-Lawlor, Tom Glynn-Carney, Monica Dolan...
Colm is a 46-year-old married man who has spent his life working on Dublin's docks. While he deals with the death of his father and the loss of his job due to a corporate take-over he explores his sexuality with 19-year-old male hustler Jay. Meanwhile, his family life comes under increasing strain.
I think this movie might be really interesting for those seeking more serious movies that explore character’s psychological side. It has all those themes present that a serious film critics like to analyze: dysfunctional family life, midlife crisis etc. but other than that, if you’re into more relaxing and simple movies like me, it might be a bit boring to you. I was hoping that a full-blown romance might happen between the young guy and the married man, but since it’s all really complicated and each one of them has their own life aside that they either don’t want to sacrifice or find it hard to move on from, it mostly just stays like that and it doesn’t go anywhere further.
Stars: Sean De Guzman, Allan Paule, Jaclyn Jose...
Inno is a typical GenZ lad who gets affirmation through social media. He enters the world of male prostitution during the pandemic times, in order to escape the cruelty of his drug addict father. He is lured to a life of comfort which Jun Mallari, a rich businessman, provides. But unknown to him, Mallari is a pyschopatic sexual sadist who kills people for pleasure. And Inno’s only way to escape Mallari is to kill him.
I didn’t feel this movie. The boys were cute and I’m sure they all worked really hard, but the movie seemed unconvincing to me. However, there was one actress that I think did a very good performance and it was that pimp lady Bambi. Also, no gay romance here. It’s mostly just crime, drama and sad life stories, but with a happy ending (for some of them) at least. I hope Inno’s mother also moved on to some better things in life, as we don’t see her anymore after she leaves.