From: Silver Screen

End Pride Month with these on-screen LGBTQ+ stories

End Pride Month with these on-screen LGBTQ+ stories

Pride Month celebrates the incredible accomplishments and perspectives of the LGBTQ+ community. The beauty in LGBTQ+ filmmaking is its ability to connect and relate across different personal experiences. Here are The Eagle’s recommendations for films that highlight these uniquely human stories as we round out Pride Month. 

Tangerine (2015)

“Tangerine” follows Sin-Dee Rella (Kitana Kiki Rodriguez), a transgender sex worker who is released from a 28-day prison sentence. Rella meets up with her friend Alexandra (Mya Taylor), another transgender sex worker. Together, they confront Rella’s boyfriend and pimp after discovering that he has been cheating. Along their journey, Rella and Alexandra meet interesting new characters and their friendship is tested in unimaginable ways.

“Tangerine” was well received, and critics lauded its raw and realistic portrayal of transgender individuals’ experiences. Receiving a score of 96 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and plenty of praise for its balance of comedy and sincerity, one would never have guessed that the entire movie was shot on an iPhone 5S. “Tangerine” offers a memorable narrative of betrayal and friendship.

“Tangerine” is available to rent on Amazon Prime Video now.

The Half of It (2020)

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“The Half of It” follows Ellie Chu (Leah Lewis), a Chinese American high schooler who lives in the remote town of Squahamish. She doesn’t have many friends; she is introverted and spends most of her time helping her father with work. When football player Paul Munsky (Daniel Diemer) asks straight-A student Ellie to help write love letters to his crush — Aster Flores (Alexxis Lemire) — she reluctantly accepts. As Ellie continues to write these letters, she begins to fall in love with Aster. 

Though the premise of “The Half of It” may seem simple, this movie stands for so much more: it gives an honest look at both the struggles of familial obligation and the intersectionality that LGBTQ+ Asian Americans feel. A sweet and thoughtful movie, “The Half of It” both humanizes the mental health struggles of young adults and the conflict between sexual preference and racial identity.

“The Half of It” is available to stream on Netflix now. 

The Boys in the Band (2020)

Adapted from the 1968 play of the same name, “The Boys in the Band” follows a group of gay friends as they gather for a birthday party. The party begins in panic, however, when Michael (Jim Parsons) invites his heterosexual friend Alan (Brian Hutchison), who doesn’t know Michael is gay, and what starts as a simple gathering becomes a night turned upside down, filled with love, sorrow and discovery. 

Helmed by acclaimed Broadway director Joe Mantello, Parsons leads an all-star cast in this touching film. This film is not a coming-out story or one about tragedy, but one that puts its emphasis on relationships and community. The film takes place in the ‘60s, at a time when conversations around the LGBTQ+ community were much more stigmatized. The emotional journey and problematic experiences these characters face remain relatable for many, proving that the timelessness of this film cannot be overstated.

“The Boys in the Band” is available to stream on Netflix now.

Call Me by Your Name (2017)

“Call Me by Your Name” is a heartbreaking tale of a sexual awakening that alters the lives of two men forever. Set in the summer of 1983 in Italy, 17-year-old Elio Perlman (Timothée Chalamet) meets 24-year-old Oliver (Armie Hammer) — an American intern for Elio’s father. As Oliver spends more time with Elio in the lush Italian summer, they grow closer and forge an intense bond that neither will forget. 

Director Luca Guadagnino manipulates light, sound and camera angles to intimately depict how the characters are feeling and both the set designer and costume designer work in tandem to present Northern Italy in sumptuous fashion. For those who appreciate intense scenes, complex relationships and Chalamet: this is a must-watch.

“Call Me by Your Name” is available to rent on Amazon Prime Video now. 

Love, Simon (2018)

The coming-of-age film “Love, Simon” is not your average rom-com. Simon Spier (Nick Robinson) is a closeted high school senior from Atlanta who struggles to balance school life, family and friends — all while keeping his sexual orientation a secret. When someone blackmails Spier and threatens to out him via a popular online website, an anonymous person named Blue messages him. Simon finds courage and support in Blue’s words, and eventually falls in love with them. However, Simon must discover the identities of both his blackmailer and Blue before graduation day, or else he will lose the trust and friendship of his family and peers.

The diverse cast brought comedy, honesty and love to the screen, and although it may be a film for a teen audience, “Love, Simon” both entertains and resonates with viewers of all ages. 

“Love, Simon” is available to rent on Hulu now.

hlangenfeld@theeagleonline.com 


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