6 Queer Films That Should Have Been Nominated For Oscars This Year

We like them. We really REALLY like them!

Last year was a strong one for cinema, including LGBT representations on the big screen. But when it came time for Academy Award nominations, queer films and talent came up short: Carol might be the most acclaimed gay love story since Brokeback Mountain, but didn’t receive the same Oscar love Ange Lee’s cowboy romance did.

Below are six LGBT documentaries, features and short films that didn’t get their due—and the awards we’d nominate them for. Hopefully the Academy is taking notes for next year.

  1. ”Tangerine”: Kitana Kiki Rodriguez for Best Actress, Mya Taylor for Best Supporting Actress


    Depicting a gritty day in the life for two young trans prositutes in L.A., Tangerine blew our minds with its innovative filmmaking—it was shot entirely on an iPhone—and surprising energy.

    Much of that praise is due to the efforts of first-time actresses Kitana Kiki Rodriguez and Mya Taylor, who should have been acknowledged by the Academy. Especially in a year where diverse representations are so lacking.


  2. “Grandma”: Lily Tomlin for Best Actress


    Tomlin shined as Elle, an aging lesbian poet, in her first starring role in almost 30 years. There was awards talk when Grandma was released, but in a particularly strong year for leading ladies, Tomlin was left out.

    Too bad, since she hasn’t been nominated since her film debut in Nashville, back in 1976.

  3. “Carol”: Best Diretor and Best Picture


    What does Todd Haynes have to do to get an Oscar?!? He’s directed other nominated films, such as Far From Heaven and I’m Not There, but he’s never been nominated himself.

    carol cate blanchett
    Of course, Carol wasn’t shut out of the Academy Awards—it received six nominations, including Cate Blanchett for Best Actress and Rooney Mara for Best Supporting Actress. But for a film that was on numerous yearend best-of lists, it should have earned a Best Picture nod. What gives, Academy? #JusticeForCarol

  4. “Tab Hunter Confidential” for Best Documentary Feature

    Tab Hunter

    One of the most gorgeous hunks ever to come out of Hollywood, Tab Hunter was a teen heartthrob back in the 1950s, and had a second screen life thanks to John Waters, who put him in Polyester.

    tab hunter

    Jeffrey Schwarz’s documentary, based on Hunter’s memoir by the same name, was a hit on the LGBT film festival circuit and is an incredibly compelling tale from the Hollywood closet.

  5. “Best of Enemies” for Best Documentary Feature

    Best of Enemies Gore Vidal

    The televised debates between conservative pundit William F. Buckley and gay leftie Gore Vidal changed television forever. These intellectual titans went for the jugular in explosive exchanges that put ABC News on the map and launched the modern pundit-fest we have today.

    At one point, Vidal branded his opponent a “crypto-Nazi,” and an enraged Buckley replied, “Now you listen, you queer, stop calling me a crypto-Nazi or I’ll sock you in your goddamn face and you’ll stay plastered.”

    The film made many Oscar short lists, and Variety called it “a thoroughly engrossing and surprisingly entertaining documentary,” but the Academy snubbed it.

  6. “Followers” for Best Short Film (Live Action)

    In this short from filmmaker Tim Marshall, an elderly widow befriends a young gay man when she sees what she thinks is the image of Jesus Christ in his swimsuit.

    This dark comedy is certainly a quirky selection, but would have been a nice change of pace for the Academy, which usually nominates more serious fare.

I write about drag queens. Dolly Parton once ruffled my hair and said I was "just the cutest thing ever."