1. Brokeback Mountain
2. My Beautiful Laundrette
3. Heavenly Creatures
4. Weekend
5. A Single Man
6. Bound
7. Milk
8. Boys Don’t Cry
9. Monster
10. Philadelphia
11. The Kids Are All Right
12. Beautiful Thing
13. Water Lilies
14. Shortbus
15. My Own Private Idaho
16. The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert
17. Mysterious Skin
18. The Boys in the Band
19. The Crying Game
20. Bent

These kinds of lists are always subjective and will always omit personal favorites. I’m not angry at their choices — for the most part — but I wanted to share some additional films (and lists) that you should keep in mind the next time you’re Netflixing or whatever people do now that rental stores have become so hard to find.

First, calling this list the “most glorious, groundbreaking gay and lesbian movies of all time” begs a separation — not all glorious gay films are ground breaking. Not all groundbreaking films are glorious. And um, not all of these movies are particularly gay.

I must applaud Total Film for putting “Heavenly Creatures” so high on the list. When I found out it was on Netflix a few months ago, Ms. Dyana Bagby and I had a movie night to die for!

Add these to the list and I’ll go away:

“Magnolia”
If Total FIlm is going to include something like “The Color Purple” (the book is way more specific about it’s gay plot point than the film (something Steve Spielberg now regrets) I think Paul Thomas Anderson’s brief gay subplot in “Magnolia” is worth a glance. It’s painfully but beautifully written and helps show the emotional havoc the closet can wreak on even the smartest life… or at least the result of an unrequited gay crush. William H. Macy delivers the tearful performance.

“Before Night Falls”
It’s been a while since I’ve seen this. Like video rental stores, VCRs have become hard to find and the last known copy I owned was VHS. “Before Night Falls” is based on the autobiography of gay Cuban poet and novelist Reinaldo Arenas, following him from his early writing ambitions through several attempts to flea Cuba to his last years truly suffering with AIDS. Javier Bardem’s performance as Arenas garnered an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor. Johnny Depp is in it, too.

“I Love You Phillip Morris”
It wasn’t my cup of tea, but fans of black comedy and um, really gay themes, should definitely not miss the relatively big-budget “I Love You Phillip Morris.” Ewan McGregor and Jim Carey play an unlikely pair in this truth-is-stranger-than-fiction film.

“Paris is Burning”
In the category of best gay documentary realness, “Paris is Burning” is truly the queen. It’s light in the most excellent, over-the-top hilarious ways, informative to those unfamiliar with the ball scene or the origin of the word “kiki,” and horribly sad in it’s exploration of transphobia. See it for the voguing, remember it for the legacy left by the brave house queens that came before us.

“Albert Nobbs”
Some might argue it’s more about gender identify than anything, but both the female-pretending-to-be-male lead characters date women, so I think that qualifies. It’s “Downton Abby” meets “Yentl” and definitely worth a look, even if it’s just to see Glenn Close’s transformation.

Other’s that should be added with little explanation, in my book anyway:
“Hedwig and the Angry Inch,” “Angels in America” (I know, it’s a mini-series, but it should count), “Broken Hearts Club,” “Noah’s Arc: Jumping the Broom” (It’s about time gay people of color see their stories reflected on the big screen.), “Longtime Companion, “Cruising” (Yes, it’s a little dark, but seriously, young Al Pacino going undercover in the vintage leather scene… awesome and terrifying), “Torch Song Trilogy,” “To Wong Fu,” and maybe if you’re really bored “Party Monster.”

Here’s some further reading:
After Elton’s Top 50 Favorite Films (from 2010)

Rotten Tomato’s reviewed list of “Top 100 Gay & Lesbian Movies” – which, by the way, does NOT have “Brokeback Mountain” in the top spot.

Here’s the whole list from Total Film:
1. Brokeback Mountain
2. My Beautiful Laundrette
3. Heavenly Creatures
4. Weekend
5. A Single Man
6. Bound
7. Milk
8. Boys Don’t Cry
9. Monster
10. Philadelphia
11. The Kids Are All Right
12. Beautiful Thing
13. Water Lilies
14. Shortbus
15. My Own Private Idaho
16. The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert
17. Mysterious Skin
18. The Boys in the Band
19. The Crying Game
20. Bent
21. Show Me Love
22. High Art
23. Transamerica
24. Maurice
25. The Color Purple
26. Tomboy
27. Your Sister’s Sister
28. But I’m a Cheerleader
29. Patrick 1.5
30. Kissing Jessica Stein
31. My Summer of Love
32. Gods and Monsters
33. The Wedding Banquet
34. Mulholland Dr.
35. The Celluloid Closet
36. Prayers for Bobby
37. All Over Me
38. Dog Day Afternoon
39. Female Trouble
40. The Hours
41 D.E.B.S.
42. Latter Days
43. L.I.E.
44. Go Fish
45. The Birdcage
46. C.R.A.Z.Y.
47. She-Monkeys
48. Loose Cannons
49. When Night is Falling
50. Shelter

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