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The top LGBTQ films of 2022

2022 has been an exceptional year for LGBT cinema. See where the likes of Bros, Fire Island and My Policeman fall on our annual film round-up.

By Emily Maskell

What was your favourite movie of 2022?
What was your favourite movie of 2022? (Image: Design by Jack Pengelly)

Throughout 2022, cinema and streaming platforms have offered a whole host of LGBTQ films that have delighted viewers. Queer representation, both in front of and behind the camera, has evolved with poignancy this year, whether that be through escapism or holding up a mirror to our culture. The same can be said about TV, which saw Heartstopper crowned our favourite 2022 show.

With a diverse range of characters that capture the LGBTQ experience in all its individual and varied glory, this year’s cinematic offerings include gay period dramas, an absurdist multiverse adventure, high school teen comedies, and a sun-soaked rom-com on Fire Island. 

Keep reading to find out the Attitude team’s favourite films released in the UK in 2022.

9. Anything’s Possible

Directed by the one and only Billy Porter, Anything’s Possible is a delightfully modern coming-of-age movie. The film is about Kelsa (Eva Reign), a trans high school girl navigating the trials and tribulations of senior year. Porter’s directorial debut sees Kelsa’s classmate Khal (Abubakr Ali) fall for her as their friendship becomes something more.

It’s a film about not just surviving as a young trans person, but thriving. Cheesy (in all the best ways) and sweet, an adorable romance blossoms between the lead duo with great chemistry. The wholesome, inspiring and uplifting trans representation underscores the film’s openness to the joy, tenderness, and pain of young love.

8. Do Revenge

In Netflix’s wickedly fun teen black comedy Do Revenge, references to But I’m a Cheerleader, Clueless, and Mean Girls are in every other frame. The film is Gen Z’s answer to 90’s teen comedies. Raucous and colourful, it has the feel of an instant classic. Do Revenge sees high schoolers Drea (Camila Mendes) and Eleanor (Maya Hawke) team up to enact revenge. 

Drea’s ex has leaked her sex tape while Eleanor’s bully has spread a rumour she forced herself upon another girl. The sex-positive and gender-inclusive movie is distinctly watchable. In particular, the film’s lead lesbian Eleanor is entertainingly out for vengeance with a fiery spirit.

7. In From the Side

A muddy rugby drama following the inner conflict of a London gay rugby club, In From the Side is a lo-fi sports drama. The film centres on the simmering attraction between Mark (Alexander Lincoln) and Warren (Alexander King). However, things are not simple. Mark is in an open relationship, but Warren’s in a monogamous relationship with another teammate.

With a large part of the cast coming from the LGBTQ community, In From the Side presents a grounded authenticity to the romance. The clandestine love affair causes friction as the team’s loyalties and sporty togetherness begins to unravel. With heightened adrenaline, Matt Carter’s film tackles men’s emotion head-on.

6. My Policeman

A lot has been said about Harry Styles in Michael Grandage’s My Policeman. In the adaptation of Bethan Roberts’ novel of the same name Harry plays Tom, a handsome police officer with a quiet secret. The mostly 1950s-set romantic drama, set during a time when homosexuality was illegal, sees Tom’s heart torn between his wife Marion (Emma Corrin) and lover Patrick (David Dawson).

With raunchy and tender sex scenes, My Policeman’s chronicling of a doomed romance on Brighton’s shores is rendered heart-wrenching. The film’s bound to leave you misty-eyed as these characters grow older and the regret of lost time becomes inescapable.

5. Bros

Bros made history as the first R-rated gay rom-com ever made by a major Hollywood studio. The film follows the will-they, won’t-they romance of podcaster Bobby (co-writer Billy Eichner) and lawyer Aaron (Luke Macfarlane). The pair wrestle (sometimes literally) with the potential of their compatibility alongside their conflicting desires.

With a whole host of LGBTQ role models and pop cultural references, the film’s contemporary context allows for timely humour and poignancy. Balancing a comedic streak with a sentiment about the state of the modern LGBTQ community, Bros hits classic romcom beats while bolstering the narrative with a much-needed, refreshing update.

4. Girl Picture

Alli Haapasalo’s Finnish coming-of-age drama chronicles three Fridays in the lives of a trio of young women. Mimmi (Aamu Milonoff), Rönkkö (Eleonoora Kauhanen), and Emma (Linnea Leino) are dealing with sexual desires and queer romances. On the cusp of adolescence, they find themselves rebelling against familial expectations as they carve their own paths.

Additionally, the lesbian romance between Mimmi and Emma is a stand-out portrait of burgeoning queer youth and timely self-discovery. Sharply written and stunningly shot, Girl Picture is imbued by incredible performances from this young cast. Together, they affectionately depict the trials and tribulations of young queer womanhood with tremendous authenticity. 

3. Bones and All

Everything Luca Guadagnino touches seems to be underscored by a queer subtext. Following Call Me By Your Name, the director’s next cinematic endeavour is the magnificent Bones and All. Set amid the Aids crisis, Maren (Taylor Russell) and Lee (Timothée Chalamet) are two young cannibals on a cross-country American road trip in search of belonging. 

One may interpret the film’s depiction of cannibalism as a metaphor for queer desire. It certainly fits within the film’s premise: the pair’s unconventional hunger pushes them to the margins of society. It is here they meet outcasts like them and realise they’re not alone. One example of the film’s explicit queerness is when Lee seduces a male fairground worker. However, the moment of eroticism is followed by a less-than-happy ending.

2. Fire Island

Fire Island, a gay take on Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice based around the gay mecca of Fire Island in New York, has already been deemed a queer classic. The film follows best friends Howie (Bowen Yang) and Noah (screenwriter Joel Kim Booster), as well as their chosen family, as they set sail for their annual vacation on Fire Island.

Queer joy is front and centre in Andrew Ahn’s rom-com. While matter-of-factly dealing with topics of race, body image, and self-worth, Fire Island manages to authentically depict the uplifting nature of what it is to be a part of a loving chosen family. Fire Island is a hoot, the perfect pick for a collective movie night.

1. Everything Everywhere All At Once

A visual kaleidoscope of colourful multidimensional reality, Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert’s Everything Everywhere All At Once is a real feat. The absurdist comedy-drama follows Evelyn (Michelle Yeoh), her hapless husband (Ke Huy Quan), and her rebellious daughter (the formidable Stephanie Hsu) as the family are audited by the IRS.

Flitting between comedy, sci-fi, and action with a sweeping emotional grounding, Everything Everywhere All At Once’s sincere queer representation sits with Joy (Hsu). The young woman wants to introduce her girlfriend to her grandfather (Tallie Medel), who’s arrived for the family’s Chinese New Year party, much to her mother’s dismay.

Bonkers but hopeful, heartbreaking but hilarious, Everything Everywhere All At Once is about learning to love despite hopelessness. The film will be in your mind long after the credits role and you’ll be quoting “sucked into a bagel” months from now.