10 Best French Gay Movies

Saturday, April 23 by Ellen Wilson

The 10 best French gay movies range the gamut from exploratory coming out stories to farcical mystery murders.  While all of the French gay movies have homosexuality as a main theme, they explore humanity in it’s entirety as characters experience complex emotions and circumstances. 

  1. “Querelle.”  "Querelle" was adapted to screen from Jean Genet’s novel, “Querelle de Brest.”  The main protagonist Querelle (Brad Davis), a sailor and sometimes drug trafficker, is drawn into a series of lurid relationships when he visits a Brest brothel.  This is an art film that critics seem to love or hate, and sometimes both. The film was nominated for the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival in 1982. Davis also played the lead in another drug oriented film, “The Midnight Express.”
  2. “8 Women.”  This film is a musical comedy with many well known actresses in the French movie scene.  It’s a farcical mystery movie, about eight women trying to solve a murder.  Francois Ozon has gained critical acclaim for the film, and is considered to be part of the wave of young French directors.  Ozon won a Lumiere award for the film.
  3. “The Best Way to Walk.”  This film is another coming of age story set in boy’s camp in the French countryside.  The homoerotic tale unfolds between two male counselors at the camp.  This film won a César award for best cinematography
  4. “You’ll Get Over It.”  Another coming of age film, the movie centers around Vincent Molina (Julian Baumgartner) coming out of the proverbial closet and how people in his life react to his decision.  Although the movie received mixed reviews, it was well received as an authentic look at how people react to homosexuals revealing their true identities. 
  5. “Beau Travail.”  A movie based on soldiers in the French Foreig Legion, this film won many critical accolades.  It received top honors in the Village Voice’s Film Critic’s poll in 2000, and Rolling Stone Magazine also gave it the highest rating possible. 
  6. “La Cage aux Folles.”  The film was adapted from a successful Broadway musical which had won three Tony awards.  The story involves a homosexual couple, Renato and Albin (Ugo Tognazzi and Michel Serrault) and what happens when Renato’s son bring home his fiancée and her extremely conservative parents.  The movie won a Golden Globe for best foreign film in 1980.
  7. “La Garconne.”  Featuring the Parisian sweetheart, Edith Pilaf, the film was wildly successful in 1936 due to its showing of forbidden topics, mainly lesbians smoking opium.  The plot centers around Marie Bell (Monique Lerbier), whose parents want her to marry for money, but she decides to become independent and do what she wants.  The movie was banned in Paris. 
  8. “The Closet.”  A hilarious, and very non-politcally correct plotline concerns itself with a straight man Francois Pignon (Daniel Auteuil) pretending to be gay so he won’t get fired.  This movie uses humor to unmask psychological truths that people would rather not realize about themselves.  The movie garnered much critical acclaim, and stars Gerard Depardieu as Santini, Francois’ homophobic and hypocritical co-worker. 
  9. “Water Drops on Burning Rocks.”  Another critically acclaimed film by director Francois Ozon, this drama is about a 50 year old man, (Bernard Giraudeau) seducing a twenty year old boy (Malik Zidi).  The film won a Teddy award for Best Feature Film at the Berlin Film Festival. 
  10. “Water Lilies.”  A swimming pool is the setting for three girls discovery of love and desire over the course of a summer.  The film won a 2007 Prix de la jeunesse at the Cabourg Romantic Film Festival in Cabourg, France. 

-Ellen Wilson

 

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COMMENTS

  1. April 23, 2011 11:46 pm

    Anonymous

    I believe “La Cage aux Folles” on Broadway was adapted from the 1973 french play which was turned into a movie in 1978, not the other way around.