Admittedly, 2020 was quite tough for both filmmakers and moviegoers. But we still got some excellent gay-themed movies that made those 366 days a bit more bearable. Some free gay movies of 2020 are already available on your favorite streaming platforms, and others have just premiered at film festivals. So while you patiently wait for all the exciting releases of 2021, check out 11 great LGBTQ+ movies that came out last year (no pun intended).
At a first glance, Summer of 85 may seem like a French version of Call Me By Your Name. Smitten young lovers Alexis and David spend the summer of 1985 in Normandy. They get to know each other, explore their sexualities, and talk about things that make their hearts beat faster. But before we can get our hopes too high, we find out that David is dead and Alexis is on trial. Based on the novel Dance on My Grave, Summer of 85 is definitely one of the best gay romance movies of the year. It will warm your heart and crush it down in less than two hours, but it will stay with you for much longer than that.
Although Ryan Murphy’s feature film premiered on Netflix in 2020, the story of The Boys in the Band is much older. It goes way back to 1968 when it first came out amidst the AIDS epidemic as a revolutionary theater play. The script revolves around a birthday party that brings together seven beautiful gay men who used to be friends in college. A few drinks later, they start playing a game that reveals all their secrets, insecurities, and desires. An all-gay stellar cast led by Jim Parsons makes it an exciting gay movie that will hit close to home even 50 years after its premiere. And if you need any more reasons to watch The Boys in the Band, we’ll just say that Matt Bomer looks amazing in it.
A Secret Love is one of the best documentaries of 2020. It’s a film about Pat Henschel and Terry Donahue, two lesbian women who have been together for no less than seven decades. Now they are both in their nineties and are preparing for the final chapter of their lives. In the film, they recount the story about their relationship that they had to keep a secret for most of their lives. A Secret Love is a film that will move even the toughest skeptics and will make you believe in love like never before. Make sure you have some tissues at hand when you watch it.
Kajilionaire follows two scam artists and their adult daughter, Old Dolio portrayed by Evan Rachel Wood. After one of their heists goes awry, they meet a charming young woman called Melanie. Melanie is everything Old Dolio is not — warm, feminine, loving, and confident. What starts as jealousy later turns into curiosity and learning to love and be loved. Overall, Kajilionaire is one of the best gay comedy movies we have seen. At times, it may leave you puzzled with little understanding of what’s going on. But in other moments, it is a touching tale about family, intimacy, and love.
The Thing About Harry is a 2020 gay film that may remind you of Love, Simon -one of the best LGBT movies of 2018. One day, Sam, a shy college student, ends up on a 9-hour drive with his high school nemesis Harry. In high school, Harry used to bully Sam for being gay. However, halfway through the trip, he comes out to Sam as pansexual. They keep bumping into each other throughout the years, and their feelings for each other grow stronger. If you’re a fan of heart-warming teen gay movies, you should definitely put The Thing About Harry on your watchlist.
Welcome to Chechnya is the latest work of David France, a director known for his documentary The Death and Life of Marsha P. Jones. This time, instead of talking about the past, France invites the viewers to come face to face with the present. The documentary shows the lives of people affected by the government-issued persecution of gay people in Chechnya. While some of them managed to flee, others weren’t that fortunate and have been tortured by the government or even their family members. The survivors’ faces are replaced with the deepfake technology because that’s the only way they could tell their stories. Trust us when we say that those stories definitely deserve to be told.
The winner of two Sundance awards, I Carry You with Me is one of the gay films that hardly ever makes it onto the big screens. Based on real events and people, it shows the lives of two gay Mexican men who fled their homophobic surroundings to achieve the American dream in New York City. To make their dreams come true, they part ways with everything they ever knew and loved, including each other. Although now they are reunited, as undocumented immigrants, they live in constant worry and fear. But their love for each other helps them find the strength to keep fighting.
Another incredible documentary of 2020, Disclosure is an analysis of transgender representation in media. Four out of five Americans don’t know anyone who’s transgender, so the images they have in their heads come from TV. Disclosure shines light on everything that’s wrong with the way trans people are portrayed in the media, which makes it an eye-opening must-watch of 2020.
The premiere of Cicada at Outfest earned the movie and its director Matt Fifer almost unanimous praise. The main character Ben is a young gay man in New York City who is trying to bury his trauma and insecurities with alcohol and meaningless hookups. Everything changes when he meets Sam and the two feel an immediate connection. However, to create a happy future, they both need to confront their pasts. Both viewers and critics agree that Cicada is one of the top gay movies of 2020.
Although it does keep some high school drama clichés, The Half of It is a fresh and touching look at the lives of teenagers in the US. Ellie Chu is a shy straight-A student who lives with her father, a Chinese immigrant who works as a station master. She earns some extra cash by helping other students with their homework. One assignment from her classmate Paul is destined to change Ellie forever. The Half of It shows how stressful and exciting teenage years can be, especially when it comes to your first encounter with love. Undoubtedly, it’s one of the best gay movies that came out on Netflix in 2020.
Rejoice, fans of lesbian period dramas! In 2020, we’ve been blessed by Ammonite, a film about Mary Anning (Kate Winslet), a paleontologist who sells common fossils to tourists in a beach town. One day, a wealthy man and his wife Charlotte visit the town, and Anning’s life is changed forever. At first, she becomes friends with Charlotte played by Saoirse Ronan. However, with time, their relationship reaches a new level. Ammonite is one of the best gay films of 2020 and it has gotten some Oscar buzz too. If you’ve enjoyed Portrait of a Lady on Fire, definitely check it out. I mean, you can never go wrong with Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan.
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