From love stories to tales of prejudice, bigotry and the struggle for equal rights, here are five fantastic films focused on the lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender communities, all of which come highly recommended by our expert critics.
Brokeback Mountain ; Ang Lee; 2005 (pictured)
Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Heath Ledger, Michelle Williams
An obvious choice, perhaps, but nevertheless a watershed moment for pink cinema. Visionary director Lee’s tale of two cowboys who fall in love but must keep their feelings secret brought the subject of sexuality to mainstream audiences.
Patrick, Age 1.5 ; Ella Lemhagen; 2008
Starring: Gustaf Skarsgard, Torkel Petersson, Tom Ljungman
Not the most common question in the annals of film- what would happen if a gay Swedish couple adopted what they thought was an 18-month-old orphan, but instead took in a 15-year-old homophobic delinquent- Lemhagen’s film is witty and touching.
Pride ; Matthew Warchus; 2014
Starring: Bill Nighy, Imelda Staunton, Dominic West
One of 2014’s triumphs, a group of gay rights activists living in London during the 1980s take it upon themselves to get involved in the plight of Welsh miners, who are suffering at the hands of Margaret Thatcher’s unforgiving economic policies.
The Chinese Botanist’s Daughter ; Sijie Dai; 2006
Starring: Mylene Jampanoi, Xiaoran Li, Dong Fu Lin
Beautifully shot and exceptionally well-written, in the house of a famous Chinese botanist teacher, the educator’s daughter falls for a female intern, but due to the inherent prejudices of society, and her family, their relationship cannot be revealed.
Transamerica ; Duncan Tucker; 2005
Starring: Felicity Huffman, Kevin Zegers, Fionnula Flanagan
Pre-operative male-to-female transexual, Bree, discovers that she fathered a son during a previous relationship, and the kid is now a teenage runaway living and hustling on the streets of New York. Rightly acclaimed, Transamerica should be filed under ‘Must See’.
Boys Don’t Cry ; Kimberley Peirce; 1999
Starring: Hilary Swank, Chloe Sevigny, Peter Sarsgaard
After adopting the male identity of Brandon Teena (born Teena Brandon), the world is opened up to the leading man, who takes to the road, eventually finding a new life, and the exciting prospect of love in Nebraska.
Bound ; Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski; 1996
Starring: Jennifer Tilly, Gina Gershon, Joe Pantoliano
Another legendary flick, before The Matrix the Wachowski siblings gave us this tale of a tough female ex-con, Corky, and the passionate affair she has with Violet after the two come up with a scheme to steal millions from the mafia.
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