The Fall Season is starting up and there are dozens of films and TV series by, for, and about LGBTQ viewers. Here’s a thumbnail guide about what to watch in the coming months.
The hottest ticket this month may be “Bros,” (September 30 in theaters). A studio-backed rom-com cowritten by Billy Eichner, who stars alongside the swoon-inducing Luke Macfarland as two gay guys who might just be right for each other. The large supporting cast of LGBTQ talent includes Jim Rash, Guillermo Díaz, Bowen Yang, Matthew Wilkas, Peter Kim, Jai Rodriguez, Harvey Fierstein, Amanda Bearse, as well as queer icons Debra Messing and Kristin Chenoweth.
Also hotly anticipated is the David Bowie documentary, “Moonage Daydream,” (September 16 in theaters). The film, directed by Brett Morgen, features “never-before seen footage, performances, and music,” and told in Bowie’s own words. It promises to be a unique and extraordinary experience, in IMAX, no less.
“Peter Von Kant” (September 9 in theaters) is gay director François Ozon’s clever reimagining of Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s classic 1972 film, “The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant” but casting Denis Menochet in the title role and as a Fassbinder-like filmmaker whose romance with a young actor (Khalil Ben Gharbia) goes badly.
On the small screen, two queer thrillers are coming out this month. “Do Revenge” (September 16 on Netflix) is a candy-colored dark comedy about two friends Drea (Camila Mendes), and Eleanor (Maya Hawke), a lesbian, who plan together to ruin other people’s lives. “My Best Friend’s Exorcism” (September 30 on Prime) has Abby (Elsie Fisher) questioning her friend Gretchen (Amiah Miller) after an accident has made her a bit “different.” A queer character has a supporting role.
On TV, expectations are high for “Monarch” (September 11, FOX), a musical drama series, starring Susan Sarandon, about a family of country musicians. Queer singer/actress Beth Ditto plays a member of the family.
“The Dreamlife of Georgie Stone” (September 22, Netflix) is a short documentary about the titular Australian teen and trans activist.
“Tell Me Lies,” (September 7, HULU) mainly concerns Lucy (Grace Van Patten) and Jackson (Stephen DeMarco), but two supporting characters (played by Catherine Missal and Sonia Mena, who are part of the LGBTQ community) show up around Episode 8.
The film to see this month is “My Policeman” (October 21 in theaters; November 4 on Prime). In 1950s Britain, Patrick (out actor David Dawson) connects with Tom (Harry Styles) and Marion (out actor Emma Corrin). The film also shows the characters 40 years later, when Patrick (out actor Rupert Everett) reunites with Tom (Linus Roache) and Marion (Gina McKee) in the 1990s. The film is written by openly gay Ron Nyswaner (“Philadelphia”), directed by openly gay Michael Grandage, and produced by husbands Greg Berlanti and Robbie Rogers.
“The Return of Tanya Tucker — Featuring Brandi Carlile” may not arrive in Philadelphia until November. This music documentary showcases the legendary singer, and the efforts of the out singer Carlile to help re-introduce Tucker and her music to the world.
On TV, Season Two of “Chucky,” the series (October 5, SYFY/USA Network) debuts. Non-binary performer Lachlan Watson will play Glen/Glenda, the child of the murderous dolls Chucky and Tiffany. Jennifer Tilly co-stars.
The great gay filmmaker Luca Guadagnino helms the documentary, “Salvatore: Shoemaker of Dreams,” (November 4 in theaters) about the esteemed designer Ferragamo. Narrated by Michael Stuhlbarg, the film features Manolo Blahnik, Christian Louboutin, Martin Scorsese, and Grace Coddington. It should be a fashionista’s dream.
“The People We Hate at the Wedding” (November 18 on Prime) features Paul (out actor Ben Platt) and Alice (Kristen Bell), who grudgingly agree to attend their half-sister’s (Cynthia Addai-Robinson) wedding. This dysfunctional family comedy also features Allison Janney as the siblings’ mother.
“Strange World” (November 23 in theaters) is an animated Walt Disney film about a family of explorers who travel “beyond space and time” and have a series of strange encounters. Queer actor Jaboukie Young-White provides his vocal talents.
On the small screen, there is more drama, drama, drama as “The Young Royals” (November 22 on Netflix) returns for Season 2. Prince Wilhelm (Edvin Ryding) hopes to repair things with Simon (Omar Rudberg), and exact revenge on August (Malte Gårdinger).
Queer actress and model Cara Delevingne hosts “Planet Sex with Cara Delevingne” (November 18 on HULU) a six-part documentary series about her search for “answers regarding human sexuality, identity and beyond.” The show combines her research and her personal experiences to examine “what makes us all human.”
The highlight this month is “Spoiler Alert: The Hero Dies,” (December 2 in theaters) cowritten by the gay actor David Marshall Grant and columnist Dan Savage. The film, based on Michael Ausiello’s memoir, stars gay actors Jim Parsons and Ben Aldridge as Ausiello and his partner Kit, respectively. The latter is diagnosed with terminal cancer. Bring tissues.
Another film about a dying man, “Living,” (December 23 in NY/LA, so likely early 2023 in Philadelphia) is a remake of Akira Kurosawa’s 1952 classic “Ikiru.” Directed by openly gay Oliver Hermanus and written by Nobel Prize winning author Kazuo Ishiguro, this drama, which premiered back in January at Sundance, has Williams (Billy Nighy) as an office worker who tries to find meaning and purpose in his life now that he has very little time left to live. Gorgeously filmed (it is set in 1950s Britain), this is one of the year’s best films, and Nighy delivers an Oscar-worthy performance.
The fantastic documentary “Framing Agnes” (December; Philadelphia date to be confirmed) also premiered at Sundance and chronicles Agnes, a transgender woman who lied to get access to gender-affirming surgery in the 1960s. Trans filmmaker Chase Joynt unpacks the importance of Agnes’ actions through various staged interviews to show how trans people have passed or been sensationalized in American culture.
Hopefully Philadelphia will get to screen some of these LGBT films, which do not have area release dates yet.
“The Swimmer,” from Israel, has Erez (Omer Perelman Striks) finding himself attracted to Nevo (Asaf Jonas), his competition for a spot at the Olympics. Their coach tries to keep the guys apart, but Erez is out to win Nevo’s heart.
Another film without a release date is gay filmmaker Lukas Dhont’s (“Girl”) “Close” about the intense friendship between 13-year-old boys, Léo (Eden Dambrine) and Rémi (Gustav De Waele), based on the director’s own experiences. The film shared the Grand Prize at Cannes. And coming to Netflix sometime this Fall are two shows, “Easy-Bake Battle” hosted by “Queer Eye” alum, Antoni Porowski, where contestants create meals in the Hasbro toy, and “Wendell & Wild,” an animated series featuring trans actor Sam Zelaya in a supporting role.