Culture / Entertainment

Nostalgic for gayer Oscar’s past

This Sunday night, millions of gay viewers around the globe will tune in to the 86th Academy Awards to see if the one queer-themed film nominated this year, Dallas Buyers Club, will win any of the host of awards it is up for, including Best Film, Best Actor (Matthew McConaughey), and Best Supporting Actor (Jared Leto).



Ok, that’s probably an exaggeration. Really, millions of gay viewers will be watching the Oscar’s to see how hot Ellen looks in her tux. Ok, millions of lesbian viewers will have that on their agenda, while gay men will be watching for Dior, Wang, Versacci and Gucci.


Personally, I will be watching to see if anyone looks as glamorous tripping up the stairs as Jennifer Lawrence did on her way to accept her best actress Oscar last year for Silver Linings Playbook.



No, seriously. I will also be curious to see whether Matthew McConaughey or Jared Leto win for Best Actor and Best Supporting, respectively, for Dallas. I really did like the film but it’s still largely about a homophobic straight man who plays savior to a passive, helpless gay population. To be honest, I’m bummed about the dearth of queer characters and themes in the mix for this year’s awards.

If you, too, are nostalgic for Oscars past that were pretty, witty, and gayer, here for your viewing pleasure is a list of outstanding Oscar-nominated films that are available on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and wherever else good films are rented online.

Photo credit: Suzanne Tenner

PHOTO CREDIT: SUZANNE TENNER The Kids are Alright (2010)

Thanks to outstanding perfmrances by its lead actors, The Kids offers a refreshingly realistic take on middle-aged lesbian life, empty-nest syndrome, and the complexities and challenges of dealing with unknown sperm donors in this comedy-drama directed by Lisa Cholodenko. Although there were no wins at the Oscars, nominations abounded for Best Actress (Annette Bening); Best Actor (Mark Ruffalo); Best Original Screenplay (Lisa Cholodenko & Stuart Blumberg); and Best Picture (Gary Gilbert, Jeffrey Levy-Hinte and Celine Rattray)



Salsomaggiore Terme Milk (2008)

Gus Van Sant’s biopic traces the last eight years of the life of Harvey Milk (Sean Penn), the charismatic, ill-fated politician and gay activist who was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1977 and made history for being the first openly gay man in American history to be voted into public office. The film received eight Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, and won two for Best Actor in a Leading Role for Penn and Best Original Screenplay (Dustin Lance Black).

Brokeback Mountain


Brokeback Mountain (2005)

Ang Leee’s epic western is as beautiful as it is heartbreaking and the stellar performances by lead actors, Jake Gyllenhaal and the late Heath Ledger, leave viewers aching for love lost and opportunities missed. It reminds those of us still living in limbo to grab the chances life gives us. It won Best Director (Ang Lee), Best Adapted Screenplay (Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana), Best Original Score (Gustavo Santaolalla).



Monster (2003)

Charlize Theron broke the mold for this gritty biodrama, in which she plays Aileen Wuornos, a prosititute who’d survived years of childhood abuse and was then accused of multiple homicides involving  johns she’d met on the street. Theron plays the role empathically, with tremendous vulnerability. Her coming out is just one piece of the story, but her discovery of her sexuality is an unlikely bright spot on an otherwise damaged and luckless life. Theron won a Best Actress Oscar for her incredible performance.



Boys Don’t Cry (1999)

In Kimberly Pierce’s heartbreaking debut feature film. Boys Don’t Cry succeeds as much a romantic tragedy as a commentary about transgender inequality and abuse. The film, which garnered a much deserved Best Actress award for Hilary Swank, follows the life of Brandon Teena, a transgender man who moved from Lincoln, Neb., to the small town of Falls City to pursue a more honest life, in an identity that feels, finally, right. He embraces it with a kind of reckless abandon, for which he pays the ultimate price.





Tags: , ,

One Comment

  1. I’m impressed, I have to admit. Rarely do I come across a blog that’s both
    equally educative and entertaining, and without a doubt, you have hit the nail on the head.
    The problem is something that not enough men and women are
    speaking intelligently about. Now i’m very happy that I found this in my search
    for something relating to this.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.