Ten LGBTQ+ Films You Need to See in 2019

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LGBTQ+ Films 2019 Sorry Angel
Sorry Angel, 2018(Film still)

This year looks set to be cinema’s queerest yet

LGBTQ+ cinema has expanded rapidly in recent years. In the last five years alone, Moonlight, Carol and Call Me By Your Name have been critically and commercially successful, while teen flick Love, Simon marked Hollywood’s first major foray into the gay high school romance genre. As 2019 commences, there is a wide range of exciting cinematic projects scheduled for release, from biopics exploring the lives some of the most iconic LGBTQ+ path-breakers to remarkable queer stories that have so far gone untold. Yet this year the major shift seems to be that, finally, female same-sex relationships are taking centre stage. From Kate Winslet and Saiorse Ronan to Olivia Colman, Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz, the world’s most famous actresses have embraced the intricacy of queer roles. In a world that can still be hostile towards LGBTQ+ people, seeing how others have navigated the complexity of LGBTQ+ life, combining their queer identity with their surroundings, is an important way to spread empathy. With this in mind, we have compiled a list of the most exciting LGBTQ+ films scheduled for release in 2019. It looks set to be cinema’s queerest year yet.

1. Boy Erased 

It’s supposedly the “Age of the Twink”, which can only mean one thing: Troye Sivan in films. Queer superstar musician Sivan stars in his first feature film alongside Lucas Hedges, Nicole Kidman and Russell Crowe. Boy Erased follows the son of Baptist parents who is forced to take part in a gay conversion therapy programme. Hedges earned a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor, while Sivan was also nominated for Best Original Song. We can’t see him beating Lady Gaga, but an Oscar Nomination for Sivan’s track Revelation is certainly on the cards.

Out on February 8, 2019.

2. Colette

Colette is a biographical drama based on the life of the French novelist Colette. It stars Keira Knightley and Dominic West, who we last saw together in The Duchess. Over the course of the film, Colette grapples with her rising fame and bisexuality. Married to a man, she explores a romantic affair with Missy, played by Denise Gough, who recently starred alongside Andrew Garfield and Russell Tovey in iconic gay play Angels in America.

Out on January 11, 2019.

3. Papi Chulo 

Papi Chulo – translation: ‘pimp daddy’ – is an American-Irish film directed and written by John Butler, starring Matt Bomer and Alejandro Patiño. Bomer plays a gay Los Angeles TV weatherman who is heartbroken having just ended a torturous long-term relationship. He seeks the friendship of a straight Mexican migrant worker, played by Patiño. The “dark comedy” explores the tensions and overlaps between class, ethnicity and sexual and platonic relationships. Expect searing sexual tension.

Out in March, 2019.

4. Sorry Angel 

French film Sorry Angel follows the story of a young student who falls in love with a Parisian writer. Arthur is a young man exploring his sexuality while AIDS patient Jacques is much older, a similar dynamic to Call Me By Your Name. Set in 1993, Sorry Angel explores the devastating after-effects of AIDS on western societies as the virus began to be controlled. Premiering at Cannes in 2018, but scheduled for UK release in March 2019, the film has been described as a worthy follow up to 120 BPM.

Out in March, 2019.

5. The Favourite 

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll have heard all about period drama The Favourite. The film, which stars British actresses Olivia Colman and Rachel Weisz alongside Emma Stone, has been clocking up more nominations than any other film this awards season. With a Golden Globe under her belt and a BAFTA nomination, Colman is a hot favourite to take home the Oscar for Best Actress for her portrayal of Queen Anne. Refreshingly – and sadly unusually – this year’s big Oscar contender explores romantic tensions between the three female characters, as power and status are intertwined with forbidden lust. Expect plenty of devious twists and turns.

Out now. 

6. Rocketman 

As one of the most anticipated films of 2019, Rocketman is based on the life of music icon Elton John. First announced in 2012, the film has taken seven years to come to life and stars Taron Egerton as the legendary singer and Richard Madden, of Game of Thrones and Bodyguard fame, as manager John Reid. Directed by Bohemian Rhapsody director Dexter Fletcher, the film explores John’s life, from his years at the Royal Academy of Music to lifting the lid on his musical partnership with Bernie Taupin. We can’t wait for the costumes.

Out on May 17, 2019. 

7. Rafiki 

Rafiki – or ‘Friend’ – is a Kenyan drama based on Jambula Tree, a short story by Ugandan author Monica Arac de Nyeko. Rafiki follows the friendship and romantic connection between two young women struggling to reconcile their love with the political and cultural landscape in Kenya, a country where homosexuality is currently illegal. After its release, the film was banned, before the ban was eventually lifted, generating international media attention.

Out in April, 2019. 

8. Benedetta 

Benedetta is a French and Dutch biographical film which stars Virginie Efira as Benedetta Carlini, a 17th-century nun who has a passionate affair with another woman in an Italian convent. Based on Judith Brown’s 1986 book Immodest Acts, the film is based on real-life events. Directed by Paul Verhoeven – of Basic Instinct and Showgirls – the film explores the simmering, searing tension of forbidden love.

Out in 2019. 

9. Ammonite 

In the gay romance film genre, God’s Own Country is one of the all-time greats, capturing both the bleakness of being alone and the struggle of accepting love. Director Frances Lee’s next film, Ammonite, looks set to hit our screens in late 2019. It is inspired by the life of fossil hunter Mary Anning, who is credited with making key Jurassic marine fossil discoveries in the English Channel. Set in 1840s England, the film explores female same-sex love and will reportedly be starring Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan.

Out in 2019. 

10. Mapplethorpe 

Robert Mapplethorpe’s iconic photography explores sadomasochism and homoeroticism in New York City in the in the 1970s and 80s. As one of the giants of art history, he is known for his big hair, leather jacket and his sensitive yet visually confronting treatment of erotic and provocative subject matter. A biopic exploring the controversial photographer’s life, starring Matt Smith, is set for release in 2019.

Out in 2019.