Thursday, January 20, 2011

Burlesque and Some Other Movies are Nominated for Awards etc

The GLAAD Media Awards are hardly on most people's radars and yet here they are throwing up a slate of nominees that seems like an oddly inclusive representation of the year 2010. There is the token breakout indie (The Kids are All Right, the all-but-signed-sealed winner), the token blockbuster (Scott Pilgrim vs The World), the token comedy (Easy A), the token foreign-language hit (The Girl Who Played with Fire) and the token movie people are surprised to discover others actually like (Burlesque).

Burlesque (Screen Gems)
Easy A (Screen Gems)
The Girl Who Played with Fire (Music Box Films)
The Kids are All Right (Focus Features)
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (Universal Pictures)

In case you've been under a rock for the past week, I very much liked Burlesque, and it's heartening to see a corporation as iffy as GLAAD recognise a movie that - *gasp* - we're not to meant like because it reinforces stereotypes of superficiality, camp and bad taste. Sometimes it feels like GLAAD should enforce a subtitle in their organisation title - GLAAD: We're Just Like You, Please Love Us!

While I haven't seen Girl and Easy A, both of which unfortunately slipped me by at cinemas, their inclusions at least don't sound embarrassing. And as much as I found annoying about Edgar Wright's Scott Pilgrim adaptation, the gay character of "Wallace Wells" was not one of them. The Kids are All Right is an obvious inclusion, but I do find it interesting that they didn't throw a bone to Tyler Perry whose For Colored Girls was surprisingly high (or should that be "down low") on gay content. This list of nominees isn't exactly hurting for white candidates, is it? Of course, they could have been really daring and nominated Jackass 3D! Let's just be thankful they didn't nominate Kick-Ass for that film's offensive weird, creepy fake-gay subplot. Yikes, what was that about, anyway?


Howl (Oscilloscope Pictures)
I Love You Phillip Morris (Roadside Attractions)
La Mission (Screen Media Ventures)
Patrik, Age 1.5 (Regent Releasing)
Undertow (Wolfe Releasing)

I have Howl sitting here waiting to be watched, but from almost every source I have spoken to it is not a good movie, which is a damned shame. I Love You Phillip Morris, on the other hand is very good and a hilarious, daring take on the prickly subject matter. GLAAD probably felt they had to nominate it since it's one of the few films that wears its gay badge with pride, thrusts it in your face and then has sex with it in a public toilet as George Michael looks on. La Mission, a father-must-deal-with-sons-homosexuality-in-culture-that-won't-accept-it drama starring Benjamin Bratt, has a lot wrong with its screenplay (namely the character of Lena, played by Erica Alexander), but it has some interesting things to say on gay relationships between races and generations so I'm happy to see its inclusion here. Undertow and Patrik Age 1.5 I have not seen, but I've heard nothing but good things about the former. I think it will be playing at the upcoming Melbourne Queer Film Festival and I anticipate checking it out.

Speaking of MQFF, they will also be screening Gregg Araki's Kaboom, which recently released an amazing new poster (above), Xavier Dolan's Les amours imaginaires, Prima Donna: The Story of Rufus Wainwright's Debut Opera and the aforementioned La Mission.


8: The Mormon Proposition (Red Flag Releasing)
Edie & Thea: A Very Long Engagement (Sundance Channel)
Prodigal Sons (First Run Features)
Sylvester, UnSung (TV One)
Out: The Glenn Burke Story (Comcast SportsNet Bay Area)

The only of these that I have seen is Kimberly Reed's Prodigal Sons and it's probably the best film from the entire GLAAD roster. I highly recommend everyone seeking that one out. Even if you're not too interested in the life of a transgender woman, it's got a fascinating old Hollywood hook that should reel you in. It's a doozy!

That's all they have for the film categories, which is a shame. Oh what I'd give for a serious selection of nominees for "Best Performance by a Straight-Playing-Gay" or "Best Gay Film about an All-Boys Choir". I'm sure there are dozens of those released on the gay arthouse/festival circuit every year, right? To read the rest of nominees you can do so at The Hollywood Reporter.


Zev Valancy said...

I'm morbidly curious--what was the creepy gay-ish subplot in "Kick-Ass"?

And "Howl" is a worthwhile and interesting movie if you don't go in expecting a biopic--it really is what it says it is, a movie about a poem. As such, it's fascinating. (And I loved the animation.)

Glenn Dunks said...

It's this awful pretend-i'm-gay-to-get-the-girl plot that involves Aaron Johnson being really camp and it's just terrible.