Six LGBT Movies The Oscars Ignored This Year (But Shouldn’t Have)

Queer films and filmmakers have done pretty well at the 84th Annual Academy Awards so far: Christopher Plummer is a shoo-in for Best Supporting Actor for Beginners, and if The Help nabs Best Picture, it’ll have out writer/director Tate Taylor to thank. Other LGBT-interest nominees include Rooney Mara as bisexual bad girl Lisbeth Salander in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and Glen Close and Janet McTeer as Victorian gender rebels in Albert Nobbs.

But there were quite a few queer films in 2011 that didn’t get nominated—either because they went straight to video, didn’t have the bucks for a full-on Oscar blitz or only played the film-festival circuit. Sunday night will be all about the big boys, but today we’re praising independent films—like Xavier Dolan’s Heartbeats, abovethat brought fresh queer perspectives to the world of cinema.

Got a fave we didn’t mention? Cast your ballot in the comments!

Click through for Queerty’s picks of top non-nominated gay films in 2011


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  • Kate Bushwhacked

    “The organ that Weekend is most concerned with isn’t the one you might think, but the human heart” is possibly the most bizarrely gross and offensive positive blurb you could write, isn’t it? The movie’s billed as a story about falling for someone, which doesn’t make it any different in its vaguest concept from something like “Friends With Benefits,” but because it’s two guys the assumption is that it’s only about sex? Maybe I’m reading too much into this, but that still seems in poor taste to me.

  • p.

    shocked to see tomboy missing from this list.

  • Truthful

    sorry Queerty, but ‘Weekend’ was overrated trash

  • wc1

    Sorry Truthful – but “Weekend” was a lovely film.

  • Tim

    Weekend was boring.

  • Aiden

    I was really mad that I couldn’t find a theater that gun hill road and Pariah were playing at. It’s not everyday that you get movies about queer people of color.

  • PTBoat

    Weekend was a lovely film, but it certainly wasn’t Oscar worthy, in my opinion. There were quite a few clunky moments and it didn’t have the polish that one would expect from an Oscar contender.

  • Stefan

    Have you seen or considered Skoonheid? It’s not a happy tale by any means – it focuses on an ageing closeted homosexual in current day South Africa when he develops a crush on a beautiful young straight guy (‘Skoonheid’ = ‘Beauty’ in Afrikaans).

    It has some very visceral and disturbing sequences – including an attempted rape scene that left me shivering for a week – and the main actor is fantastic. Well worth a look.

  • Philip

    I went – dutifully marching to the beat of the drum of the Gay media – to see ‘Weekend’ last year whilst I was living in London. It was mind-numbingly boring. I fell asleep twice.

    An overwrought premise: let’s interview the trick we pulled last night and record it for our art school Master’s thesis. Terrible.

    On the other hand, Xavier Dolan’s film: ‘Les amours imaginaires’ AKA ‘Heartbeats,’ plays on every excruciating detail of the straight-boy-who’s-been-leading-you-on-maybe-just-because-he-likes-the-attention-but-nothing-will-ever-come-of-it that breaks everyone’s life at some point. And if you can get past the tasteful (if slightly ridiculous) monochromatic sex scenes set to the Bach cello suites, than Dolan’s film is MILES AHEAD of Weekend.

    Also, Xavier and Niels are both very pretty.

  • Oh, ok.

    Weekend was very dull and a total non-story.

    Heartbeats sounds interesting and has been on my Netflix queue for a few weeks I believe, but if it’s about a straight guy leading a gay guy on well been there done that don’t need to see it for entertainment purposes.

  • Victor

    Heartbeats is way too boring. Watched it twice (2nd time accompanied a friend) and each time I was bored to death. And it’s also quite artsy, as in artsy and nothing else. Imho it didn’t bomb at the box office for no reason.

  • Cam

    @Philip: said…

    “On the other hand, Xavier Dolan’s film: ‘Les amours imaginaires’ AKA ‘Heartbeats,’ plays on every excruciating detail of the straight-boy-who’s-been-leading-you-on-maybe-just-because-he-likes-the-attention-but-nothing-will-ever-come-of-it that breaks everyone’s life at some point. ”

    Oh yes, gee, a film about a “Maybe he’s teasing, maybe he isn’t” straight guy.

    Wow, I’ve never seen that before, except in…oh I don’t know 500 other films and pretty much every single French “Gay” film out there.

    I love how you say that that situation is so common and yet the plot of Weekend is about meeting and starting to fall in love with somebody. It would seem that that would be more common than some weird threeway triangle with your best girlfriend.

  • David Ehrenstein

    @Kate Bushwhacked: It is offensive.

    All these films are worth seeing but “Weekend” is the standout.

    Lou Doillon of “Gigola” by the way is Jane Birkin’s OTHER daughter.

  • pedro

    Why did the characters in weekend have to be sniffing coke every five minutes? That sorta spoiled it for me. Do any of you know anyone who does that much drugs, that’s high functioning? I don’t…but maybe I just run with a more naive, conservative crowd…I think the movie could have been just as good sans the constant drug use. Is it oscar-worthy…not really.

  • Jonathan

    Queerty, thank you for these movie posts! I enjoy the selection of films and it gives me a good list of LGBT movies to see.

  • Ken S

    I’ve seen ‘Heartbeats’ a few times now and while the pacing can feel kind of laborious, visually it’s given me shivers every time. Which might not sound like much, but it’s more than I can say for a lot of the tripe that passes for film (or entertainment more generally) nowadays. The strobelight birthday party dancing, the slow-mo marches into ‘battle,’ the drawn-out moments of desperation, were just a few examples; my eyes felt ‘drunk’ after watching it. Not a perfect film, but if you can appreciate watching the slow, intricate unfolding of an emotional train-wreck then I think it’s worth checking out.

  • dsp

    Xavier Dolan is over rated! His first film “J’ai tué ma mère” was ok and only because of the actress who played his mother “Anne Dorval”. She was amazing. Dolan isn’t a great actor by no means.

  • Jeremiah Duncan

    I watch this film almost every week on Netflix and love love love it so honest and sad and sexy just a range of emotions.

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