NewNowNext spotlights the latest (and queerest) movies, TV shows, web series, and other LGBTQ shit for your viewing pleasure in our weekly watch list. Grab your popcorn, squirrel friends!
Gay director Ira Sachs (Love Is Strange, Keep the Lights On) goes European with his latest character-driven, beautifully crafted, and humane drama, which stars Isabelle Huppert (Elle) as a film actress dying from a terminal illness. Because she doesn’t have much time left, she spends a final vacation in bucolic Sintra, Portugal, with family and friends, including her gay ex-husband, Michel (Pascal Greggory); current husband, Jimmy (Brendan Gleeson); son Paul (Jérémie Renier); movie hairstylist Ilene (Marisa Tomei); and Ilene’s cinematographer boyfriend, Gary (Greg Kinnear). Art-house cinema stans will note homages to the work of Éric Rohmer, especially 1983’s Pauline at the Beach—which, fun fact, Greggory co-starred in—via a subplot involving a teen girl, Maya (Sennia Nanua), and a couple of flirty local boys. (Opens October 25, Sony Pictures Classics)
DVD and VOD
Men of Hard Skin
Living in rural Argentina on his family’s farm, teenager Ariel (Wall Javier) has been in a sexual relationship with a pedophile priest, Omar (Germán Tarantino), since childhood. When Omar breaks things off (he’s too old now), a heartbroken Ariel dedicates his raging gay hormones to a strapping farmhand, Julio (Juan Salmieri). Meanwhile, Omar strikes up a friendship with an older priest who shares his predilection for underage boys but has gotten in major trouble for it. Unlike By the Grace of God, François Ozon’s brisk Spotlight-ish exploration of pedophilia in the Catholic Church and its victims, filmmaker José Celestino Campusano has crafted more of a slow-burn coming-of-age tale with doses of full-frontal male nudity, gay sex, and a seriously icky priest. (Available now on DVD, TLA)
TV and Streaming
Never Again Is Now
The lesbian daughter of Holocaust survivors, Dutch psychologist Evelyn Markus explores the resurgence of anti-Semitism in both Europe and the U.S. through this deeply personal documentary, which she was inspired to make after someone sprayed a pink Star of David on the door of her home in 2000. Through interviews and a deep dive into the past, she asks if we can stop what happened 70 years ago from happening again. (Streaming now on Amazon Prime)
Netflix’s satirical postapocalyptic series about survivors of a nuclear blast finds Glendale, Calif., ruled by teenage gangs (think Mad Max meets The Warriors). Stuck in the middle is 17-year-old Josh (Colin Ford), who desperately searches for his girl crush, Sam (Sophie Simnett), with help from a would-be samurai, Wesley (Austin Crute). While we promised Netflix we’d avoid spoilers, LGBTQ characters are scattered throughout the show—including one of the leads. Also, you simply can’t go wrong with Matthew Broderick as a high school principal. (Streaming October 24 on Netflix)
Set in sun-kissed Palm Springs, this six-episode Dekkoo original series revolves around a gay 29-year-old, Jason (Sean McBride), who falls into a “triad” relationship with married couple Carl (Corey Page) and David (Ryland Shelton). Creator Matthew Lynn smartly highlights his gay mecca setting and its local lifestyle while adding a splash of mystery and tension to the three-way hijinks; the first ep includes an ominous hint of what could be future danger for the throuple. (Streaming October 24 on Dekkoo)
Based on the 2017 novel by Election and Little Children author Tom Perrotta, HBO’s seven-episode limited series revolves around divorcée Eve Fletcher (Transparent’s Kathryn Hahn), and her college-bound son, Brendan (Jackson White), the former of which takes advantage of her new empty-nest situation to further explore her sexuality. Tales of the City actress Jen Richards plays a trans writing teacher, while the show’s all-female director lineup includes Can You Ever Forgive Me? co-writer Nicole Holofcener and Portlandia’s Carrie Brownstein. (Premieres October 27 on HBO)
Agatha Raisin & the Haunted House
Played by Extras’ Ashley Jensen, public relations whiz turned sleuth Agatha Raisin returns—along with her gay former assistant Roy (Mathew Horne)—for a third comedy-mystery caper involving the dead owner of the supposedly haunted Ivy Hall. Are ghosts and evil spirits involved, or is it all just an overdose of nonstop Brexit dramz? (Streaming October 28 on Acorn TV)
Main image: Cody Kearsley (left) and Austin Crute in Daybreak.