Pride month is an important time for the LGBTQ+ community, acting as both a celebration and as a remembrance of their history. As we have seen in recent years, representation of the LGBTQ+ community has improved, allowing their stories to finally be told through media outlets. This list will highlight the underrated films that deserve more recognition.
1. “The Boys in the Band” (Netflix)
Let’s get started with a classic. Originally a play written by Mart Crowley, this film is about a group of queer male friends, celebrating one of the men’s birthday. Each of them has their own distinct personality; some of them are more open than the others. All is well until one of the men, Michael (Jim Parsons), who is hosting the party, welcomes an unexpected guest.
“The Boys in the Band” does a tremendous job capturing a day in the life of gay men living in New York City during the 60’s. The film shows seven extremely unique individuals, living the same life but with different perspectives and outlooks.
2. “Supernova” (Hulu)
Grab the tissues; “Supernova” will rip your heart in two. A gay couple’s love for one another is tested in this remarkable film. Sam (Colin Firth) and Tusker (Stanley Tucci) take a road trip to England to visit friends and family. Unfortunately, Tusker has recently been diagnosed with dementia and the couple face many challenges along the way, both physically and emotionally. As Tusker fades, Sam must face the reality that one day, Tusker will no longer remember who he is, and for Tusker, he struggles to adapt with his diagnosis.
Firth and Tucci did not hold back with their performances. The two utterly convince the viewers that every emotion displayed was personally felt and could move the room with their silences alone. This film conceptualizes the idea that queer love is in fact capable of being unbreakable, despite any odds.
3. “Cowboys” (Hulu)
A loving father does his best to support his newly out trans son to great lengths in, “Cowboys.” Troy (Steve Zahn) decides to run off into the Montana woodlands with his son, Joe (Sasha Knight), after his ex-spouse, Sally (Jillian Bell) refuses to accept Joe’s identity. While they hide out, police search for them but a detective (Ann Dowd) is conflicted with solving the case after digging deeper into the family’s story.
“Cowboys” is a great film to watch with the whole family. The love a father has for his son is gripping and teaches a valuable lesson of acceptance in family dynamics. This film is a must-see for parents with a child who is transgender, showing both the perspectives of the parents and of the child.
4. “Call Her Ganda” (Amazon Prime)
“Call Her Ganda” focuses on violence against trans women in the Philippines. The film highlights the murder of Jennifer Laude, with the prime suspect being a United Stated Marine. Activists raise awareness of the ongoing violence and demand justice, which causes strain in the connections between the Philippines and U.S.
This film shows the reality trans women of the Philippines face and gives a raw perspective of how it affects their families. Jennifer’s mother is present throughout the entire film, fighting for justice alongside activists and speaking out at rallies. Her emotions are genuine and heavy; she wishes no mother has to go through something like this. Jennifer’s murder represents the many women who have been victims of violence. Overall, this film is an extremely educational and heartfelt look at an important topic that doesn’t get covered by mainstream media.
5. “Kinsey” (Vudu)
Alfred Kinsey (Liam Neeson) is a biologist researching bugs and teaching at Indiana University. Kinsey begins teaching the first sex education course at the University, after students confide in him for marriage and sex advice, thus beginning his career in human sexuality research. The film follows Kinsey along on his entire journey throughout his career, in which he makes boundless discoveries.
Overall, this film is magnificent. It defies all things society teaches you; Kinsey keeps it interesting for sure. His research has been known to pave the way for sex education. Being that his research began in the 1930s, a lot of his research was often questioned and he was disliked by many. “Kinsey” gives viewers a new outlook on how we view sex and sexuality and his work deserves appreciation.
By Mia Godorov