LGBT Cinema: Essential Watching

Last month, we gave some reading recommendations for book lovers seeking LGBT-friendly titles to add to their bookshelves. This month, we’d like to turn our attention to the silver screen, with a few historic films that are an absolute must-watch.

Angels in America

A stage play given fresh life as an HBO film, this is an epic tale about life, love and the AIDS epidemic. The star-studded cast includes performances from Emma Thompson, Patrick Wilson, Meryl Streep and Jeffrey Wright, among others. Keep a box of tissues handy for this tearjerker.

The Birdcage

Robin Williams and Nathan Lane play the parents of a young man bringing home his fiancée – the daughter of a conservative politician – home to meet the family. Nathan Lane’s character, normally the leading lady of a drag revue, decides to play the role of housewife instead. Hilarity (and some touching moments) ensues.

Boys Don’t Cry

Hilary Swank earned acting chops – and an Oscar – for this film, which tells the tragic story of Brandon Teena, a transgender teenager looking for a new life in a small Nebraska town, and the friends who turn on him when his secret is discovered.

Brokeback Mountain

Arguably the most successful film about gay romance in the history of Hollywood cinema; Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger forge and maintain a long-lasting and loving romance despite the cruelty of the world they call home.

The Hunger

Looking for something different? Why not a twist on the vampire story – featuring Susan Sarandon and Catherine Deneuve entangled in a dangerous and seductive relationship.

These are just five of many classic LGBT films. Do you have another favorite? What would you add to an “essential viewing” list? Let us know in the comments!