The Disaster Artist – December 1
Not a queer film — but it does star the queer-adjacent James Franco as Tommy Wiseau, the director of cult fave The Room. The film, which follows Wiseau as he creates his critically panned pet project, also stars Seth Rogen, Dave Franco, Josh Hutcherson, Eliza Coupe, Melanie Griffith, Bryan Cranston, Sharon Stone, Alison Brie, Kristen Bell, and Zac Efron. According to early reviews, The Disaster Artist is equally hilarious and moving as it reflects upon the nature of Hollywood and the creative process. If you’re looking for a chance to ogle James Franco, however, then this is not your movie. He parades through the film with long, greasy hair and a vaguely Eastern European accent.
The Shape of Water – December 1
A cross between Okja, The Creature from the Black Lagoon, and a Furry convention, Guillermo Del Toro’s latest curio stars Sally Hawkins as a mute janitor who falls in love with an Amazonian fish-human. However, because this is 2017 and nothing is sacred, an evil small-minded man played by Michael Shannon threatens to destroy their weird love. (Oh hey, queer allegory!) Sure enough, Del Toro has stated that the Cold War-era film, which also stars Richard Jenkins as a closeted artist, is inspired by Del Toro’s former gay screenwriting mentor.
I, Tonya – December 8
We’ll see any movie that stars Margot Robbie as a foul-mouthed badass, Allison Janney as a megacunt, and the competitive team sport of figure skating. However, I, Tonya has attracted even more critical acclaim than expected with its stunning acting and direction. The film, which chronicles the tightly wound Tonya Harding’s fall from grace after she pleads guilty to hindering an investigation into an attack on her competitor, is attracting Oscar buzz for both Robbie and Janney. It also stars Sebastian Stan and Bobby Cannavale, in case there’s not already enough of a pressing need for you to see this film.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi – December 15
Other people will be talking about “Rey’s dark side” and “Snoke’s identity” and “Luke’s reappearance” and “those little baby seal aliens,” but we’re here for Carrie Fisher’s (Princess Leia’s) swan song and the will-they-won’t-they sexual tension of Finn and Poe. How many seeds, if any, will this movie plant for the franchise’s first queer romance? And will Laura Dern’s lilac-haired Vice Admiral Holdo truly be the franchise’s firstly OPENLY queer character? Only time will tell.
Ferdinand – December 15
While you wouldn’t immediately think that a movie starring John Cena would be queer-themed, you should remember that this adaptation of Munro Leaf’s classic children’s book is about a “gentle” bull who spends his time sniffing flowers instead of roughhousing with his fellow bulls. (You’d think that if Ferdinand were more explicitly queer, he’d be roughhousing with his fellow bulls with much relish, but alas.) Ferdinand also stars Kate McKinnon among its voice cast, which further suggests it will be attempting some sort of queer allegory. It also has an incredibly cute tagline: “You can’t judge a bull by its cover.”
All the Money in the World – December 22
This wasn’t hugely on our radar until director Ridley Scott made the decision to completely reshoot Kevin Spacey’s role after the latter’s sexual abuse allegations arose. Even though the movie was already finished, Scott was able to replace Spacey with Christopher Plummer since Spacey’s role was fairly small and isolated. Also, Plummer didn’t need hours of old age makeup every day in order to look old. However, his costar Mark Wahlberg reportedly only agreed to reshoot his scenes with Plummer if he received $2 million for his 10 days of shooting. Michelle Williams and Plummer, on the other hand, only asked for several hundreds of thousands of dollars because they are only slightly less entitled. Also, wait, didn’t Mark Wahlberg almost beat a Vietnamese man to death after calling him horrible racist epithets when he was younger? Why is he still allowed to be in movies? Anyway, All the Money in the World is a true story about billionaire J. Paul Getty refusing to pay his grandson’s ransom, thus forcing the kid’s mom (Williams) to find him herself. Take a look at the new, 100% Spacey-free trailer. The differences between the original preview and the latter are remarkable. The initial trailer positioned the film as an classy, epic awards-contender. The new iteration is formulaic action-thriller, with the Wahlberg character now the focus of the narrative.
The Post – December 22
This is one of those movies that screams “Oscar gold” even before it goes into production. It stars Oscar darlings Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks, it’s directed by Steven Spielberg, and it’s about an extremely relevant topic that will totally piss off Trump. Namely, The Post follows the editor and publisher of the Washington Post (Hanks and Streep, respectively) as they fight to publish the Pentagon Papers in 1971. You may recall that the Pentagon Papers were a series of documents that illustrated just how badly our country fucked up in the Vietnam War. The government subsequently tried to stop the Papers from getting published, which led to a Supreme Court battle over the freedom of the press. Hmm … a movie about freedom of the press in the “fake news” era? The liberal Oscar voting body will eat this up. The Post also features American Horror Story’s Sarah Paulson, who just makes everything better.
The Greatest Showman – December 25
The Greatest Showman isn’t gay, per se, but its creative team includes the openly gay Bill Condon, and it stars Hugh Jackman and Zac Efron twirling around in what are essentially tights. It also features a storyline about sideshow “freaks” finding acceptance in the Barnum & Bailey circus, which is as big a metaphor for queerness as you’ll find in the movies this Christmas. Plus, it’s a musical!
Phantom Thread – December 27
Their first partnership, There Will Be Blood, netted eight Academy Award noms, winning Oscar gold for Daniel Day-Lewis. This is the second collaboration between filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson and Day-Lewis, and supposedly the last. Day-Lewis has said he will retire from acting after this final outing as a glamorous dressmaker who caters to the royals, film stars, heiresses, socialites, debutantes and dames of mid-century London. (If you’re not into that scene, then you’ll at least appreciate that his fictional character’s name is Mr. Woodcock.) Come for the cock, stay for the intricate story of Day-Lewis’s promiscuous character exacting some, ahem, designs on one particular young woman who enters his orbit.
Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool – December 29
If there is any sort of God, then perpetual Oscar bridesmaid Annette Bening will finally win the damn thing for her turn as Hollywood film actress Gloria Grahame in this poignant May-December romance. If she doesn’t, however, then she will have officially played more characters who have won Oscars than the amount of times that she has won them (a.k.a. zero). Jamie Bell, who plays Grahame’s younger lover, has described the movie as “a very pure story, set in a time when Google didn’t exist, IMDb didn’t exist. [My character] has no idea that [Grahame] is a movie star … And there’s something pure about that.” Bell’s character is also no doubt attracted to Grahame’s glamour and maturity, whereas Grahame is attracted to Bell’s hot bod.