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5 Queer Films from the Past Year We Loved

5 Queer Films from the Past Year We Loved

If you wanted to watch queer cinema thirty years ago, you pretty much had two choices; arthouse foreign DVDs from very *special* stores or worthy Oscar bait dramas. While there were definitely some exceptions, generally none of these could ever come close to exploring the depth of queer experiences that real people have.

Then came the Internet.

And chat rooms, forums, social media. A hundred ways for millions of queer people to share how they really lived their lives - and, isn't that weird? It's in many of the same ways straight people do.

Now, cinema is finally catching up and LGBTQ+ characters aren't just relegated to coming out stories and AIDS dramas. The past year has seen a bevvy of insightful, ingenious, and just plain talented actors, writers, and directors of the Laura Dern-loving persuasion grace our screens with some truly brilliant movies - check out some of our faves below.


Love Lies Bleeding

It took me until about 30 minutes into this film to realise not a single character is entirely sane. And then it got weirder.

Love Lies Bleeding, from writer director Rose Glass, is ostensibly a romantic thriller. Our two unlikely heroines, gym manager Lou (Kristen Stewart) and bodybuilder Jackie (Katy O’Brien), meet when Jackie is passing through town on her way to a Las Vegas competition and fall quickly and madly in love. But as Jackie drags Lou back into a criminal underbelly in the town that Lou would rather leave behind, the bullets start raining and the bodies start piling up.

Over the top of that fairly standard crime thriller base though, Love Lies Bleeding is a wild and raw neon love affair to 80’s bodybuilder culture, roid-rage and all. While Jackie is determined to beef up by any means necessary, Lou struggles to reign in Jackie’s moods, all while not succumbing to her own violent nature. Throw in a pining ex-lover, a heap of dirty cops, and a family secret no-one wants uncovered, and the tension is all the way to eleven. And then the drugs kick in.

In her sophomore film, Glass not only gives us more of that hedonistic sexuality – and gross-out body horror - that we saw in Saint Maud, but also manages to infuse it with real intimacy where the characters' sexualities are possibly the least interesting thing about them.



Hey fellow millennials, remember American Pie? Remember how high school gross-out sex comedy became a genre unto itself? Yeah, it’s back. Queered up, with a distinctly female gen-z twist, Bottoms crashed onto streaming last year (before its popularity saw it get a late theatrical release in the UK) and seduced us into its backseat.

Written by star Rachel Sennott, alongside director Emma Seligman, Bottoms introduces us to the “ugly, untalented gays” PJ and Josie as they head into the new school year determined to get the attention of the popular (and probably straight) cheerleaders. After rumours fly about a possible summer spent in juvie, starting a feminist self-defense club (fight club, it’s a fight club) seems like it’ll solve all the girls problems – get the principal off their back about maiming the star quarterback, up their street-cred with the rest of the school, and potentially entice Isabel and Brittany into their beds.

But the course of true love never did run smooth, and PJ and Josie’s new found notoriety quickly turns to disaster as they set off a chain of events that ends in pineapple-juice-covered chaos.

With music from Charli XCX (brat summer is here y’all) and clocking in at a swift 91 minutes, the film is a playful and pithy throwback, and its meme-ability is already proving it’ll have similar staying power to its fruity desert predecessor.


All of Us Strangers

Widely acknowledged as the one that got away when it comes to this year's awards season, All of Us Strangers still swept the board when it came to five-star reviews. Maybe the ghostly elements of the drama put off voters (fantasy is notoriously poorly received by the academy crowd) or the December / January release date was bad timing, but regardless, All of Us Strangers is one of the best films of 2024, queer or not.

Alone in a London high rise, Adam (Andrew Scott) tries to write while fixated on memories of his parents, who passed away when he was a child. New neighbour Harry (Paul Mescal) interrupts his musings and, after Adam's initial dismissal, they begin a relationship. Both clearly lonely and grasping for connection, and with Adam increasingly haunted by apparitions of a life not lived, a painful ending to their story seems inevitable.

An adaptation of a Japanese novel by Taichi Yamada, All of Us Strangers explores the creeping loneliness that can exist in a life lived on the outskirts, and the lasting damage childhood shame leaves. With such a sombre theme, it's not an easy watch (although the 80s soundtrack definitely perks you up) and it'll have you thinking way past the credits.



This was my Christmas afternoon movie. Take that in for just a second - roast dinner eaten, prosecco still bubbling, kings’ speech just finished, and you pop Saltburn on the tele. And at first glance, maybe it seems perfect; the aristocratic Catton family host a shy Oxford student at their sprawling country home, befriend him, show him compassion and family.

Or perhaps he's not quite so bumbling. Or indeed so down on his luck as he appears.

And maybe he's there to stir shit up.

Written and directed by Emerald Fennell and starring previous white boys of the month™, Jacob Elordi and Barry Keoghan, Saltburn sees Keoghan’s Oliver expertly capture the Catton family's attention to insinuate himself into their lives. Throughout, weaponised sexuality, so often the realm of female characters in film, is Oliver's flaming sword and he wields it with ruthless efficiency, seducing not only the Catton's daughter Venetia, but their cousin Farleigh as well. No one is safe.

A powerful commentary on obsession, the inexplicable British social class structure, and the lengths people will go to in order to escape the mediocre mundanity of suburbia, Saltburn is a must-watch. Just maybe not with your mum.



Once upon a time, there was no such thing as Uber. And cabs were ridiculously expensive and definitely weren't going to drive you hundreds of miles up the M6 to do a drag performance. Which is exactly what Aysha needs after her regular driver refuses.

After meeting mechanic Luke (Ben Hardy) at an underground club when he mistakes her for a woman, drag queen Aysha (Jason Patel), hits him up for the gig. He needs the cash and she needs a ride, win-win right? Getting to know each other wasn't really part of the plan, but as they spend more late nights on long car journeys, they develop a friendship. All the while, Luke grapples with his feelings towards Aysha and Ashiq, the man underneath the makeup.

Directed by Sally El Hossaini and James Krishna Floyd (in his directorial debut), the film, while on the surface glittering and glistening with sparkle, is a quiet and nuanced portrayal of an identity discovery a little later than expected. Hardy and Patel’s performances are beautiful in their subtlety, with Patel already being cited as an actor to keep an eye on.


Honourable Mentions!

Bonus Track – based on a short story by Challengers churro-chewing Josh O’Connor, this flick about two teenage boys bonding over a love for making music is packed with recognisable British TV faces and is wholesome AF. Plus, it's set in the early noughties – nostalgia galore – and features music from Olly Alexander.

The Lost Boys – not to be confused with the vampire film in which Kiefer Sutherland inspired many a sexuality revelation, this Belgian-French drama, centring on two teen boys in a detention centre has received overwhelmingly positive reviews at its film festival screenings over the past year. With standout performances from leads Khalil Gharbia and Julien De Saint Jean, this is a moving drama of love against insurmountable odds.

Eileen - Queen of Genovia and of our hearts, Anne Hathaway stars alongside Thomasin McKenzie in this psychological thriller where obsession turns deadly. As titular Eileen, McKenzie is by turns empowered and pitiful but it’s Hathaway’s Rebecca who really pushes this into Hitchcockian noir territory.

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Melissa Rudall - July 1, 2024

Saltburn is easily one of the worst movies I have ever watched. Although yes, the cinematography is beautiful this film is lackluster. The vulgar scenes appear to be included simply for shock value and provide little to the plot or understanding the characters. The ‘plot twist’ can be seen from a mile away and by the end made me think it was a tasteless unrealistic movie trying to have depth but falls flat in every way. In a nutshell, it was crap and definitely not a must see.

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