After compiling a list of the most essential LGBT movies, The Advocate is pitting the top 32 entries against one another in a series of one-on-one face-offs. In this round, Beautiful Thing, the heartwarming love story of two gay teens in the suburbs of London, is up against Longtime Companion, a breakthrough film about the AIDS crisis in New York. Which film is more essential? Vote below, and check out our full list of the top 175 most essential LGBT movies at Advocate.com/top175.
The British coming-of-age film perfectly captured the sweetness of young gay love at a time when stereotypes and fear of the AIDS epidemic dominated LGBT representations in cinema. Grounded in the reality of a London suburb in 1996, the love story of Jamie and Ste stands out for its honest and positive portrayal of gay teens who embrace their true nature and experience the beauty of first love. —Jase Peeples
One of the first AIDS-themed films aimed at a wide audience is set in New York City and traces the effect of the disease, beginning with its emergence in 1981, on a group of (mostly) gay friends. It has been criticized for its focus on affluent white men, with the black and Latino characters being either marginal or examples of bad behavior, but it has merit as an early effort to put a human face on AIDS for moviegoers who thought of the illness as someone else’s problem. Written by Craig Lucas and directed by Norman Rene, it features several moving moments, including a goose bump–inducing final scene, and excellent performances from a cast that includes Oscar nominee and Golden Globe winner Bruce Davison, along with Campbell Scott and Mary-Louise Parker. —Trudy Ring
Vote here on Facebook or Twitter by Sunday, June 29, and check in every day for more Clash of The Classics.
— The Advocate (@TheAdvocateMag) June 29, 2014