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GA Voice - - Outspoken -

While 2016 may not have fea­tured the high pro­file LGBT films that marked the pre­vi­ous year – Ju­lianne Moore and Ellen Page in “Free­held,” Ed­die Red­mayne and Ali­cia Vikan­der in “The Dan­ish Girl” and Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara in “Carol” – the sea­son made up for it with some high-qual­ity fare, in­clud­ing one of the most lauded LGBT fea­tures in years.

The sur­prise of the year was “Moon­light.” Based on an un­pro­duced play by out play­wright Tarell Alvin McCraney, it fol­lows a young African-Amer­i­can boy – Ch­i­ron – in Mi­ami, deal­ing with a drug-ad­dicted mother, bul­ly­ing and his own bud­ding sex­u­al­ity. Beau­ti­fully told and acted, and spread over three seg­ments as Ch­i­ron ages, it vies for a num­ber of prizes at this week­end’s Golden Globe Awards and should be up for sev­eral Academy Awards.

In the cast of “Moon­light” was At­lanta’s Janelle Monae, also seen in the lo­cally-filmed “Hid­den Fig­ures.” She joined Taraji P. Hen­son and Oc­tavia Spencer as women who crossed gen­der and racial lines to work for NASA and get John Glenn into or­bit. The film’s en­sem­ble was ar­guably 2016’s finest, with out ac­tor Jim Parsons in a plum role.

Full of twists, “The Hand­maiden” was one of 2016’s best look­ing, most un­pre­dictable films. In it, a woman is hired to tend to a Ja­panese heiress. Along the way there are be­tray­als, a les­bian af­fair and sex scenes not for the prud­ish.

De­but­ing at the Sun­dance Film Fes­ti­val one year ago, “Satur­day Night Live” head writer Chris Kelly’s “Other Peo­ple” starred Jesse Ple­mons as a gay comedy writer who comes home to take care of his dy­ing mother (Molly Shan­non). Bit­ter­sweet and full of dark comedy, it was crit­i­cally ac­claimed – and Shan­non is a long-shot Best Sup­port­ing Ac­tress nom­i­nee.

From France came two of the year’s best LGBT movies. An­dré Téch­iné, di­rec­tor of the clas­sic “Wild Reeds,” brought us “Be­ing 17,” which charts the re­la­tion­ship of two feud­ing high school boys, while “Sum­mer­time” is a ro­mance be­tween a teacher and a farm girl in the ’70s amidst a grow­ing fem­i­nist move­ment.

Sadly, many LGBT films had blink-or- ‘Moon­light’ is up for sev­eral Golden Globe Awards and is pre­dicted to score nu­mer­ous Academy Award nom­i­na­tions. (Cour­tesy photo) miss the­atri­cal re­leases. Ac­tresses Clea Du­Vall and Natasha Ly­onne starred as les­bians in the cult clas­sic “But I’m a Cheer­leader” and this year they did again in the filmed-in-Sa­van­nah en­sem­ble comedy “The In­ter­ven­tion.” For­mer At­lantan Gar­rett Clay­ton starred as porn star Brent Cor­ri­gan in the vi­o­lent “King Co­bra,” while Con­nor Jes­sup ex­celled as a gay teenager in the quirky “Closet Mon­ster.”

For camp ap­peal, “Ab­so­lutely Fab­u­lous: The Movie” took hon­ors. The ex­ploits of Patsy and Ed­ina came to the big screen in an un­sub­tle but still en­joy­able man­ner. Less seen was “The Dress­maker,” in which Kate Winslet re­turns to her Aus­tralia home­town with re­venge on her mind. Her sup­port­ing cast in­cluded Liam Hemsworth, scene stealer Judy Davis and Hugo Weav­ing as a cop with a pas­sion for women’s cloth­ing.

Hit­ting lo­cal the­aters (hope­fully) in the next few months are a slew of films with LGBT char­ac­ters or in­ter­est. Those in­clude “Juli­eta,” the new drama from out di­rec­tor Pe­dro Almod­ovar; the kinky, bold “Elle,” from famed di­rec­tor Paul Ver­ho­even, no stranger to LGBT fare; “I Am Michael,” with James Franco as gay ac­tivist Michael Glatze; the ball scene doc­u­men­tary “Kiki;” “Paris 05:59: Theo and Hugo,” the sex­u­ally frank but sweet story of two French­men who meet in a sex club; and the ex­cel­lent doc­u­men­tary “I Am Not Your Ne­gro,” about gay ac­tivist James Bald­win’s un­fin­ished novel deal­ing with race in Amer­ica.

My over­all fa­vorites of the year were: (1) “La La Land,” (2) “Moon­light,” (3) “Jackie,” (4) “Ar­rival,” (5) “Cap­tain Fan­tas­tic,” (6) “Manch­ester by the Sea,” (7) “Lov­ing,” (8) “13th,” (9) “Weiner” and (10) “Be­ing 17.”

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