What to watch: British LGBT movies and TV series

22.07.2020Anastasia Fedorova

It seems that the rights of sexual minorities only began to be seriously considered a few years ago. However, there are many examples in history where members of the LGBT community have been in the spotlight in the last century as well. Our selection includes movies about true stories from the 19th and 20th centuries and contemporary dramas.


Film of the Week: Pride

The movie is based on the events of 1984-1985, when miners went on strike in Wales. Then a London-based gay and lesbian group organized a fundraiser for the miners and traveled to a small Welsh village to hand over the money. Maybe this story of support and defense of human rights is told too romantic and naive, but the rebellious spirit of society and the desire for change is shown here quite accurately. Notable actors seen in Pride include Andrew Scott and George Mackay. At the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, where it premiered, the film won the Queer Palm for its coverage of LGBT themes in film.


Cinemablographer: 'Carol' Is Like Falling in Love

The melodrama co-produced by the UK and the US is based on the novel The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith, also known for The Talented Mr. Ripley. Set in 1950s New York City, the plot centers on the relationship of two women who fall outside the standards and expectations of their significant others. Because of her husband’s blackmail, Carol is in danger of losing custody of her young daughter. Like many movies on a similar theme, “Carol” raises the issue of rejection of such relationships in society, but there is no rebellion against the established system here. In the main roles – Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, who fully managed to show the audience that feelings and love can not depend on the difference in age and any prejudices. After filming, Mara admitted that she has been a fan of Cate Blanchett’s work since she was 13 years old and was happy to work with her in the same picture.

“God’s Own Country.

God's Own Country - movie: watch streaming online

Johnny works on a farm in a Yorkshire village and likes a drink. Boring everyday life and casual sex are interrupted by an encounter with Romanian migrant Gheorghe, who comes to help Johnny around the house. The film is shot in cold bluish tones, emphasizing the daily routine of the characters. Johnny and Gheorghe’s feelings are shown in contrast to the harsh and hostile environment, they are not ignited immediately but later grow into tender love. According to The Guardian’s acclaimed critic Peter Bradshaw, God’s Land is a bit like Hollywood’s Brokeback Mountain, but is not the full British version of it. The plot is based in part on a story by the movie’s director and screenwriter, Francis Lee.

“The Imitation Game.

Review of the movie

The drama about the Englishman Alan Turing is not only about the topic of LGBT, but the history of genius in general. During World War II, a mathematician deciphered the code of the German Enigma cipher machine. At the same time, Turing was criminalized because of his homosexuality. Solving the puzzle brought the end of the war two years closer and saved millions of lives. Benedict Cumberbatch is the main character in the movie. It’s practically a one-actor theater, as the film hinges on his performance. Familiar to everyone from the TV series “Sherlock”, he also in this movie reminds the hero Conan Doyle. Instead of Watson’s partner, it’s Keira Knightley. The dramatic mood of the picture was created by the famous film composer Alexander Desplat. The film received eight Oscar nominations in 2015, but was ultimately honored only for Best Adapted Screenplay.


Movie Weekend (Weekend): photos, video, cast list - Around TV.

Two men meet at a club and spend two days together – during which time a casual acquaintance develops into something more. Almost all scenes were shot in natural light and on location: the colors of the film are muted, almost pastel, and from the conversations – mostly dialogues of the main characters. The end result is a very emotional, like an amateur movie without a hint of vulgarity. The two main actors managed to fully convey the tension between the characters and tell their stories through dialog. In 2016, the British Film Institute ranked The Weeknd as the second best LGBT film of all time. It was directed by Andrew Haigh, who wrote another psychological drama “45 Years” with Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtney.

“Hit & Miss.

TV series Missing the Target watch online all episodes for free

The six-episode British mini-series tackles the topic of transsexuality. In the story, Mia was born a man, but then decided to change gender and now works as a hitman to save up money for surgery. Her ex-girlfriend, dying of cancer somewhere in the English countryside, asks Mia to adopt her children: one by Mia herself (formerly Ryan) and three by other men. The situation is exacerbated by the fact that Mia falls in love with a local man who is unsuspecting of her past. A very gritty story set in the expanse of suburban Manchester with Chloë Sevigny in the title role, it is a crime drama with elements of the psychological. The heroine is simultaneously trying to be both a parent to her children, and not go crazy from the ridicule of the people around her, and eventually have genital removal surgery. Many people have spoken out about how hard it is to be a woman, but “Missing the Target” is one of the few shows about the life of a transgender person, albeit in fictional circumstances.

“The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister.

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The TV drama was first broadcast on the BBC in 2010. It is based on the real diaries of Anne Lister, a 19th century English landowner and traveler, where the girl described her personal life. One-sixth of the records were encoded using a cipher from ancient Greek and algebra. It was deciphered in 1930, and in the late 20th century a Halifax researcher published the diaries in two volumes. Ann Lister has been called “the first modern lesbian” for her bold style in describing sexual and romantic experiences. The costume drama tells the story of Anne Lister’s experience of her lover’s wedding and her subsequent relationships with the girls. The protagonist is ahead of her time: she doesn’t want to get married, plans to write a book and pursue science. She is free-spirited and independent, as if living in modern realities.

“Tell It to the Bees.”

Frame (1) for the movie Tell It to the Bees (2018)

The story is set in 1950s Scotland. Lydia turns to Dr. Jean after her son is beaten up at school. The girls begin to socialize and then live together. The inhabitants of the small town are not satisfied with such a neighborhood, so Lydia and Jean find themselves outcasts. The normal life of Charlie, Lydia’s son, is also jeopardized. In addition to LGBT themes, the movie also deals with the problems of a child in a difficult situation, themes of violence and abortion. Despite the difficulties and prohibitions, the girls continue to love each other and fight against the infringement of their rights. In addition to its social focus, the movie is also worth watching from the perspective of post-war English fashion.

Photo: Legion-media


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