Best of 2004: Movies

12.27.2004

By Jeffrey Epstein

If you missed these five great movies in the theater (a couple are still playing), get thee to the video store immediately.

1. Kinsey
We knew in the hands of out writer-director Bill Condon (Gods & Monsters) that the story of Alfred Kinsey would be good, but this film'which includes the queer relationship between Kinsey (Liam Neeson) and his assistant Clyde (Peter Sarsgaard)'made us think. And not just about sex! Laura Linney's performance as Kinsey's overwhelmingly understanding wife is unforgettable.

2. Latter Days
It may not be the most perfect movie ever made, but something about this story of a West Hollywood playboy and the gay Mormon who changes his life really cuts to the core. With touching performances (including a fabulous Jacqueline Bissett) and a positive queer message, this is one not to miss.

3. Bad Education
Pedro Almodovar's latest (and possibly most openly queer) work made our pulses race. Gael Garcia Bernal turns in a stunning performance as a duplicitous young man determined to see 'his' idea for a movie made a reality. Worth watching twice: once to get all the subtitles, and again to fully appreciate Almodovar's master craftsmanship.

4. Tarnation
Openly gay documentarian Jonathan Caouette's stirring portrait of growing up gay with his schizophrenic mother wowed audiences from coast to coast and across the seas as it played at the Sundance, Toronto, and Cannes film festivals. Made for just $218.30, the movie has already grossed nearly half a million dollars.

5. Brother to Brother
Rodney Evans's moving portrait of an African-American gay teen and an elderly writer during the Harlem Renaissance is an example of both a great queer movie and a movie that deals with the heritage of black Americans. The film went on to win prizes at virtually every major gay film festival in the country (Los Angeles, New York, Miami, and San Francisco), and it also merited a special jury prize at Sundance.

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