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 our Sweet 16 round, the modern gay cowboy classic Brokeback Mountain is up against Beautiful Thing, the heartwarming love story of two gay teens in the suburbs of London. 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.
Brokeback Mountain, 2005 (1 seed)
This Oscar-winning feature film is arguably one of the most beautiful and heartbreaking gay love stories ever told on the silver screen. The chemistry between the late Heath Ledger's restrained, tortured Ennis Del Mar and Jake Gyllenhaal's sensitive and tender Jack Twist takes viewers high into Wyoming's Grand Teton mountains in an intimate portrait of two men brutally confined by the hypermasculine culture in which they exist. After watching the film with its emotional gut-punch of a conclusion, you'll understand Jack's lament and agony in telling Ennis "I can't quit you." The only thing that compares with the powerful performances turned in by Ledger and Gyllenhaal is director Ang Lee's stunning visuals -- which earned him an Academy Award for best director. --Sunnivie Brydum
Beautiful Thing, 1996 (16 seed)
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
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