It looks like another award season without a “Milk” or “Brokeback Mountain” or “The Kids Are All Right.”
There are probably some LGBT characters and subplots not mentioned in advance publicity, but from what we know about the fall film season, the pickings are pretty slim. You’ll need Out on Film (details next issue) for your queer film fix, and the rest of the season you can watch TV shows like “Partners” and “The New Normal.” (If the latter maintains the level of the pilot we’ve got a new favorite show!)
Most of the positive news involves LGBT actors, directors, writers and icons who have been working on movies to be released this season. Here are some that sound interesting:
• “Beloved” (Sept. 14, Landmark Midtown Art Cinemas) – Chiara Mastroianni falls in love with a gay American (Paul Schneider) in Paris while her mother (Catherine Deneuve), long since remarried, carries on an affair with her first husband. It’s written and directed by gay Christophe Honoré. Also opening today are “Resident Evil: Retribution,” with Milla Jovovich and Michelle Rodriguez kicking butt, and “Finding Nemo” (now in 3D) with Ellen DeGeneres talking fishy.
• “How to Survive a Plague” (Sept. 28, Landmark Midtown Art Cinemas) – I was in San Francisco for the first decade-plus of the AIDS crisis and wasn’t aware of how much my fellow activists accomplished, as detailed and shown in this documentary by David France, one of the few such films to receive theatrical distribution.
• “Pitch Perfect” (Sept. 28) – The first feature by out director Jason Moore (Broadway’s “Avenue Q”) looks like “Glee Goes to College,” as Anna Kendrick makes the girls more competitive in a singing competition. Ester Dean plays a lesbian and Rebel Wilson gets most of the laughs as “Fat Amy.” www.pitchperfectmovie.com.
• Out on Film (Oct. 4-11, Landmark Midtown Art Cinemas) – 25 years old and still growing! Over 40 film programs, including the titles you’ve been reading about from the big LGBT summer festivals; parties, and appearances by Miss Coco Peru, direct from Gay Days at Disneyland. www.outonfilm.org.
• “The Paperboy” (Oct. 12, Landmark Midtown Art Cinemas) – Gay director Lee Daniels follows “Precious” with a thriller loaded with over-the-top, sun-baked Southern sexuality, most of it hetero. There’s Matthew McConaughey and a scantily clad Zac Efron for the boys and Nicole Kidman as an aging sexpot for the girls.
• “Keep the Lights On” (Oct. 19, Landmark Midtown Art Cinemas, after premiering in Out on Film) – Gay writer-director Ira Sachs (“The Delta”) follows a documentary filmmaker (Thure Lindhardt) and a closeted lawyer (Zachary Booth) for nearly a decade as their relationship faces various challenges, including addiction. www.keepthelightsonfilm.com.
• “Cloud Atlas” (Oct. 26) – A complex story features an all-star cast, some playing multiple ages, races and genders in the past, present and future, under a trio of writer-directors: Lana (formerly Larry) Wachowski, Tom Tykwer and Andy Wachowski. www.cloudatlasmovie.com.
• “Wreck-It Ralph” (Nov. 2) – Yeah, this Disneymation is mostly for kids, but with Jane Lynch, Jack McBrayer and Sarah Silverman in the voice cast (plus John C. Reilly in the title role), somebody’s got to slip in a line or two for us.
• “Lincoln” (Nov. 16) – Steven Spielberg directs Daniel Day-Lewis as our favorite Republican president. Even with Tony Kushner (“Angels in America”) writing the screenplay the possibility of exploring the gay rumors about Lincoln is as unlikely as that of showing Eleanor Roosevelt’s (Olivia Williams) lesbian side in “Hyde Park on Hudson” (Dec. 7).
• “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 2” (Nov. 16) – Gay director Bill Condon (who also made Part 1, “Dreamgirls,” “Kinsey” and “Gods and Monsters”) wraps things up. In my dreams Jacob gets over Bella and realizes he really loves me, but I think the movie’s going to go a different way.
• “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” (Dec. 14) – Sir Ian McKellen dons the Gandalf beard again for the start of another Tolkien trilogy.
• “Les Misérables” (Dec. 14) – If the thought of a big-screen Broadway musical isn’t enough, think of Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway and Amanda Seyfried. www.lesmiserablesfilm.com.
• “The Guilt Trip” and “Parental Guidance” (Dec. 25) – It’s Barbra vs. Bette in the battle of the Christmas comedies. Though their children are about the same age, La Streisand is mothering Seth Rogen on the road in “The Guilt Trip” while the Divine Miss M’s focus is on grandmothering when she and husband Billy Crystal are called on to be housesitters in the Atlanta-filmed “Parental Guidance.”
• “Gayby” (TBA) – I can’t imagine Jonathan Lisecki’s wonderful comedy not opening theatrically after debuting at Out on Film. Matthew Wilkas plays a gay man whose best friend (Jenn Harris) asks him to father her baby – old school. www.gaybyfilm.com.
Top photo: The first feature by out director Jason Moore, ‘Pitch Perfect’ includes a lesbian character and could be seen as ‘Glee Goes to College.’ (Publicity photo via Facebook)