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, The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, the camp classic about drag queens amid the dunes, is up against My Beautiful Laundrette, the Oscar-nominated romance about love amid the washing machines. 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 Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, 1994 (Seed 12)
Director Stephan Elliott's Australian film about the adventures of two drag queens and a trans woman who travel across the desert in a rickety old bus to perform a drag show found box office success around the world and a place in the hearts of many LGBT viewers as well. Starring Hugo Weaving, Guy Pearce, and Terence Stamp, the film garnered many awards, including an Oscar for Best Costume Design. Today, the film is considered by many to be an LGBT kitsch comedy classic, loved as much for its over-the-top characters as its unflinching look at life through a queer lens. --Jase Peeples
My Beautiful Laundrette, 1985 (Seed 21)
Combining racism, class issues, and gay love in one sudsy mix sounds like a recipe for heavy-handed treacle, but Stephen Frears's My Beautiful Laundrette is as entertaining as it is culturally resonant. The story of a Pakistani man and a street punk falling in love, challenging the conventions of Thatcher-era London, and classing up a laundromat in the way only gay men can do, My Beautiful Laundrette was immediately met with praise and its screenplay nominated for an Oscar. The film's punk was played by the brilliant Daniel Day-Lewis, while director Frears is still on a roll, recently Oscar-nominated for Philomena.--Neal Broverman
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