In the first few months of the year, we’ve had quite a few excellent LGBTQ-themed films in theatres and on varied streaming services, most notably March’s hit romantic-comedy Love Simon starring Nick Robinson.
But now the summer movie season is upon us, and riding off the high of recent acclaimed motion pictures, here are some intriguing, queer-related flicks coming your way this summer.
The Miseducation of Cameron Post–8/3/18
Based on the 2012 novel of the same name, this Sundance-premiered adaptation by filmmaker Desiree Akhavan has already received praise from some critics. The story, as in the novel, follows the titular protagonist as she tries to make friends and stand defiant despite having been placed in a gay conversion camp by her religious guardians. Emily Danforth wrote this coming-of-age story after 16-year-old Zach Stark was placed in a Love In Action-run conversion camp by his parents, and the novel is set entirely in the author’s hometown.
This is one of many films, such as April’s Disobedience, which tackles religion and queerness, an issue which will likely never die. But the exciting cast, including star Chloë Grace Moretz and the Tony-nominated Emily Skeggs, as well as the youth-driven narrative, are certainly exciting, and incredibly unique.
The life of the innovative gay fashion designer Alexander McQueen was plentiful, but all-too-short. Ian Bonhôte’s documentary McQueen, to be released this July, attempts to capture and spread the magical art which this man was able to create before his suicide in 2010.
In the compelling and exciting teaser trailer which dropped in April, flashes of footage from the runway played, and the video ended with narration which powerfully proclaimed “No one discovered Alexander McQueen; McQueen discovered himself.”
Queer folks have always had a major presence in the fashion world, and with drag culture reaching pique mainstream appeal, an objective look at the life of one of the industry’s most ingenious creators of vibrant aesthetics of all time sounds pretty exciting, and super relevant.
A Kid Like Jake–6/1/18
Based on the play by Daniel Pearle, A Kid Like Jake premiered at Sundance in January, and received generally positive reviews. In this adaptation, written by the original playwright, the title character is a four-year-old, with traits which his bustling New York parents (played by producer Jim Parsons of Normal Heart and Claire Danes from My So-Called Life) interpret as rather feminine.
It seems to be an attempt to present the experiences of parents with gender-nonconforming children, given all the recent hullabaloo around the subject, in both the LGBTQ and “traditionalist” communities. Parenting is hard, and intensely worrying about your kids and their wellbeing is basically always par for the course, but in a society where gender roles are instilled in us fresh from the womb, raising and protecting a boy with a love for fashion, or a girl with a love for sports, can bring about certain obstacles.
If this film, paired with its killer cast, can display this respectfully, kudos.
Alright, this one, admittedly, seems pretty damn weird. Not weird in a bad way even, just bizarrely Lynchian, with a plot that looks intriguingly ominous. Lizzie is a biopic based on Lizzie Borden, a Massachusetts woman whom was infamously acquitted in the 1890s for the axe murders of her father and stepmom. The film pairs Golden Globe-winning actress Chloë Sevigny with Twilight’s Kristen Stewart, whose relationship with model Stella Maxwell and mostly-one-sided feud with our president has made her quite the queer role model.
While this seemingly-psychological romantic drama will surely be intense, the themes at play are interesting. The title character faces hardship for being a spinster, and her father’s hostility leads her down the road of homicide.
It seems to be in the vein of Kill Your Darlings, in that it will aim to display queer affection, angst, and bloodshed. Let’s hope director Craig Macneill can pull of this twisted narrative, and create some nice black art.
Also adapted from a book, and also regarding conversion therapy, Joel Edgerton’s film, based on the popularly acclaimed Garrard Conley memoir Boy Erased, is scheduled to be released by Focus Pictures, after a fierce bidding war between multiple distributors.
The 2016 memoir recalls experiences of shame, confliction, and pain when the author was thrown into gay conversion therapy by his conservative Arkansas parents. Given the political climate at the time, and now, it’s a damn important book, with what looks to be a damn important (and well-done) film adaptation.
Oscar winners Nicole Kidman and Russell Crowe portray Conley’s parents, with Lady Bird’s Lucas Hedges playing Garrard himself. Furthermore, internationally acclaimed Australian Joel Edgerton is at the helm of the project, writing, directing, and producing the film, along with portraying conversion therapist Victor Sykes.
Also, Troye Sivan is in it. Need I say more?