The ten Greatest Queer Films of 2022

Autostraddle 2022 End of Year Lists

See All 2022 Finish of Yr Lists

Since I began writing at Autostraddle, my finest films of the 12 months listing aimed to say each queer or lesbian film — good or dangerous — to point out simply what number of of our movies are made every year. Nicely, it lastly occurred. There are lastly too many.

I’ve tried to see as a lot as potential however I merely can’t see all of them. What an thrilling growth! This 12 months can also be thrilling as a result of my queer listing is nearly an identical to my basic listing. With the exceptions of Nanny and The Pink Cloud, the flicks that moved me most this 12 months have been queer. And the flicks that moved our tradition have been too.

Sure, this listing has some underrated indies. Nevertheless it additionally has a number of Oscar frontrunners — or a minimum of Unbiased Spirit Award frontrunners. As queer individuals, we will’t look to the mainstream for validation. Nevertheless it certain is enjoyable after we get it anyway!

It’s additionally thrilling to me that many of those movies transcend our typical understanding of a queer film. For a lot of of those movies, queerness is included and centered, however the conventions should not. There’s a distinction between queerness not being the purpose and queerness being the purpose in completely new methods.

One other change this 12 months is that this listing is encompassing all queer and trans cinema inside Autostraddle’s purview. Meaning all trans films and all queer films besides these specializing in cis males. (And to be trustworthy, primarily based on what I’ve seen, if we included the boys the one change can be Hearth Island within the Honorable Mentions.)

Sure, we are saying finest for these candy listing clicks — and since I’ve impeccable style — however these are simply my faves! I encourage you to remark what your favourite queer films have been this 12 months and let me know what I might need missed.

Honorable Mentions

Anaïs in Love (dir. Charline Bourgeois-Tacquet)
Crush (dir. Sammi Cohen)
Dos Estaciones (dir. Juan Pablo González)
Woman Image (dir. Alli Haapasalo)
Mija (dir. Isabel Castro)
Nothing Compares (dir. Kathryn Ferguson)
Please Child Please (dir. Amanda Kramer)
Sirens (dir. Rita Baghdadi)
TÁR (dir. Todd Area)
Wendell and Wild (dir. Henry Selick)

A Masterpiece That Is Type Of Homosexual and Type Of Got here Out This Yr

Petite Maman (dir. Céline Sciamma)

Okay so most individuals counted genius lesbian auteur Céline Sciamma’s newest on final 12 months’s movie lists regardless that it had its primary launch this previous Might. It’s additionally probably not a queer film even when I do assume it has a queerness to it past its author/director. Anyway, it’s not included due to these technicalities, however I nonetheless wished to provide it a shoutout as a result of it’s a gem of a film — slender in scope, huge in feeling.

The Prime Ten

10. Dying and Bowling (dir. Lyle Kash)

Two trans men in leather jackets cuddle as one looks up at the sky.

Throughout a time when Hollywood appears unsure about their help of trans tales, I can consider no higher movie to begin off this listing than Lyle Kash’s low-budget t4t fantasia. Whether or not or not society desires us to die, trans individuals will stay. Whether or not or not the mainstream funds our work, trans artists will create. Kash’s movie a couple of struggling trans actor begins as if it’s going to confront these questions head-on. However then it shifts. It turns into much less about cis notion of trans individuals and extra about {our relationships} to ourselves and one another. Buddies, lovers, mentors, household. Our grief and our romance held in equal esteem. That is the form of queer film I used to be raised on. I dream of trans creators getting massive budgets, however I’ll all the time have a passion for work that’s this scrappy and this formally assured.

9. Neptune Frost (dir. Anisia Uzeyman, Saul Williams)

Trendy discourse typically frames progress as new tales and new individuals being transposed into previous frameworks. However probably the most thrilling artwork invents itself. It creates a brand new language and new potentialities for the medium. Neptune Frost is an Afro-futurist musical about an intersex hacker that’s as radical in kind as it’s in topic. It pulses with power. Style and expertise. Poetry and dance. Connection and revolution. Anisia Uzeyman and Saul Williams have created a novel expertise that can’t be missed.

8. Our bodies Our bodies Our bodies (dir. Halina Reijn)

Two young queers look at each other while lying on grass.

I don’t know why I used to be a hater and didn’t see this in theatres. I feel there was simply a lot discourse about it and I assumed it will be the form of film that wishes to be hip however finally ends up something however. Nicely I used to be fallacious!! With sharp course, an ideal solid, and a script from phenomenal playwright Sarah DeLappe, this turned out to be a whodunnit as sensible as it’s humorous. If Glass Onion tried too exhausting to declare itself political, Our bodies Our bodies Our bodies is a masterclass in prioritizing character and leisure and ending up with a clearer message because of this. It might seem to be the satire is geared toward Gen Z NYU college students — they usually do obtain some hilarious jabs — nevertheless it’s extra pointedly a critique of true crime media and the audiences who adore it. When a gaggle of individuals obsess over invented nightmares, what does it appear to be once they’re truly underneath assault?

7. Nope (dir. Jordan Peele)

Keke Palmer in Nope wearing a white shirt with a red heart and cartoon wolf in the center.

Get Out was such a giant hit that it has afforded Jordan Peele a stage of inventive freedom hardly ever granted in Hollywood these days — particularly to anybody who isn’t white. It’s thrilling to observe Peele play in greater and larger cinematic sandboxes, every movie extra formidable than the final. Nope is so humorous and so entertaining that it’s straightforward to disregard simply how audacious it’s. Past its grand visible achievements, it’s structurally creative and thematically dense. Like Us, this can be a movie with rather a lot on its thoughts in ways in which proceed to unravel via thought and dialogue. Oh and it stars the one and solely Keke Palmer attending to play her entire queer self. I’m nonetheless satisfied we’ll sometime get a director’s reduce the place she on the very least flirts with Barbie Ferreira however even within the theatrical launch she is explicitly queer. It’s not the purpose and but in a film partially about who’s centered in movie historical past and who’s forgotten, this side of her character can’t be ignored.

6. Framing Agnes (dir. Chase Joynt)

A black and white TV recreation. Zackary Drucker looks at Chase Joynt sitting in profile.

Like Dying and Bowling, this experimental doc begins as an exploration of trans illustration and visibility earlier than turning in opposition to its personal premise. This isn’t a movie about Agnes or the opposite trans topics present in UCLA’s mid-century archive. It’s a movie about why that movie can be unimaginable. It validates after which questions our starvation to eat these tales. Sure, there’s a distinction between trans individuals craving for historical past and cis individuals commodifying our experiences. However that distinction will not be as huge as we’d wish to assume. This can be a difficult movie that’s worthy of debate and debate. And, as Chase Joynt described in our interview, it’s a movie made as a cohort. This dedication to collaboration is why it feels so worthy of dissection — that work begins by its personal creators throughout the movie itself.

5. We’re All Going to the World’s Truthful (dir. Jane Schoenbrun)

Anna Cobb stares at the camera shrouded in darkness.

If Framing Agnes is a film that engages with visibility earlier than suggesting we transfer towards different types of trans storytelling, then Jane Schoenbrun’s breakout function is that different kind. There may be nothing explicitly trans in regards to the movie within the conventional sense and but its transness is inherent. It’s a movie made by a singular artist throughout their transition and the way in which the movie engages with isolation, the web, and the physique all really feel tied to this expertise. David Lynch films scare me greater than typical horror as a result of the uncanny is what I discover really unsettling. Nicely, this movie is similar, besides it finds the uncanny in grounded experiences of contemporary life reasonably than exaggerations of that life. It’s a delicate distinction nevertheless it provides to the movie’s emotional core. Together with Anna Cobb’s gorgeous efficiency, it’s why the movie feels as heartbreaking because it does horrifying, as acquainted because it does unusual. Jane is already in submit on their subsequent film and there are few artists I comply with with this a lot pleasure.

4. Every part All over the place All at As soon as (dir. Daniel Kwan, Daniel Scheinert)

Stephanie Hsu as Jobu Tupaki in all white with hair shaped like a bagel.

Whether or not or not that is your favourite film of the 12 months, it’s arguably the film of the 12 months. A24 are good publicists and once they’re working with a movie that’s truly nice it ends in the form of cultural occasion that’s now normally reserved for Marvel. By now you’ve most likely seen this movie and both adore it or assume it’s overrated. I perceive individuals who assume it grows tiresome, or that it’s making an attempt too exhausting to be intelligent, or who take challenge with the butt plug gag. However I feel its followers and detractors alike have undersold one in every of its boldest and messiest achievements: it doesn’t align with the views of any of its three primary characters, however reasonably provides them every a second, a voice, after which accepts stability. It’s becoming for a film that has already incited a lot debate and can solely incite extra as award season ramps up. I don’t care in the event you had the identical emotional response that I did watching this movie. I’m simply excited there’s a success movie this 12 months stuffed with originality and sensible results that’s complicated sufficient to encourage debate. And I’m excited that movie facilities round an angsty homosexual lady and her mom.

3. All of the Magnificence and the Bloodshed (dir. Laura Poitras)

A protest at the Guggenheim. Crowds of people as prescription slips fall from above. Red banners say Shame on Sacklers and 400,000 dead.

Nan Goldin has been one in every of my heroes since I stumbled upon The Ballad of Sexual Dependency at The Whitney. There are a lot of causes to like Goldin’s work on a proper stage however upon reflection I’m certain the queerness and transness was a part of my connection. Laura Poitras’ documentary is about Goldin’s work — and it’s about a lot extra. By framing this portrait round Goldin’s combat in opposition to the Sackler household, it recontextualizes her work as merely one a part of an inventive life that has sought reality and justice. Poitras makes the smart option to be taught from her topic. She collaborates with Goldin the way in which Goldin has collaborated together with her personal topics through the years. Finally, the film finally ends up as a tribute to collective motion — in artmaking and in activism.

2. Tahara (dir. Olivia Peace)

Because of the nature of the competition circuit and the awful panorama for indie movie, I’ve been writing about Tahara for over two years. I first noticed it whereas on the screening committee for Newfest and I used to be instantly taken with its daring method to a narrative we’ve presumably seen earlier than. Queer teen lady is in love together with her largely straight finest pal — it’s a cliché. However with Olivia Peace’s course, Jess Zeidman’s script, Tehillah De Castro’s cinematography, and an ideal solid led by Madeline Gray DeFreece and Rachel Sennott, it turns into a completely unique work of queer expression. This can be the final time I write about Tahara as a brand new launch, however I’ll be writing about it and speaking about it for years to come back. Films this small could really feel straightforward to dismiss and but they’re typically those that impress me most. It takes a lot expertise to make a movie like this really feel easy, to take the dangers this does and have all of them repay. It deserves my years of gushing and everybody concerned deserves many years of success.

1. Aftersun (dir. Charlotte Wells)

A father and daughter stand on a cliff in Turkey with their arms outstretched. A nearby sign reads "We know the perfect place"

This is likely one of the few films on this listing I didn’t overview. To be trustworthy, I’ve been combating write about it. It’s a stupendous factor that somebody could make a murals so private to herself that every one all over the world it turns into private to others. It’d be much less susceptible to learn you a web page from my diary or reduce open a vein than it will to speak about a few of my favourite films.

Precisely what Charlotte Wells is doing in her function debut stays elusive for many of the movie’s runtime. The combination of camcorder footage and affected person 35mm cinematography. The hazy mixture of previous and current and an imagined third area someplace in between. A lot of the film feels informal — a father and his twelve 12 months previous daughter on trip, a slice of life in Turkey — its daring strokes appear incidental. Till they don’t.

That is the uncommon coming-of-age film a couple of queer child who doesn’t but perceive that queerness. Her self-discovery we witness will not be old flame — it’s deeper information of her mother or father and subsequently half of herself. I can’t fairly write about this movie but. Not absolutely. Nevertheless it’s very particular to me. Perhaps will probably be particular to you.

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