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Nov 24 2015
LGBT Movies Out Of Steam? Comments (0)

The Hollywood Reporter seems to long for the days when being gay was universally accepted as a problem—it apparently made for better movies.

Jon Frosch cattily summarizes of the year's LGBT films:

...the squarest, stodgiest group of movies imaginable. Freeheld and Stonewall were bland, gloppy slices of history. About Ray (starring Elle Fanning as a trans teen) was sniffed at in Toronto and scratched from The Weinstein Co.'s autumn slate. The Danish Girl (Nov. 27) is a yawningly polite portrait of the first gender-reassignment surgery patient. And you and I are less enamored of Todd Haynes' chilly lesbian romance Carol than most of our colleagues. This is a relentlessly somber, self-important group of films — all tears, torment and tragic poses, with characters who register more as causes and symbols than flesh-and-blood humans.

David Rooney agrees:

But overall, this year's LGBT films don't match the storytelling assurance, vivid character detail or thematic universality of relatively mainstream American movies like Milk, Brokeback Mountain and The Kids Are All Right, which examined gay and lesbian lives without being bogged down by their own mission to Tell an Important Story.

At least Rooney explicitly disavows the idea of a return to outsider status as an artistic stimulant.

I haven't seen any of the films they're discussing, except for the incredibly amateurish and offensive Stonewall, but I would be reluctant to connect a year's weak films to a greater social movement's verve, or lack thereof.

Frosch pines for the days of lighter fare (all of which received generally positive reviews in their time, but were not taken considered as seriously as some of the films maligned in this piece, BTW), like Trick, Billy's Hollywood Screen Kiss and The Incredibly True Adventure of Two Girls in Love.

It's an interesting piece, though.