From Oscar contenders to classics, movies make for a gay Yuletide

For many gay people – me, in particular – the holiday season revolves heavily around the idea of Oscar season (which, like last year, has one “gay film” representing).

Although some potential Oscar contenders have already had their time on the big screen, such as Michael Mann’s “Public Enemies,” Quentin Tarantino’s “Inglourious Basterds,” and the Disney/Pixar film, “Up,” movie studios generally save their top stuff for the holiday season.

As long as a film is nationally released by December 31, it can qualify for the Academy Awards ceremony (to take place on Sunday, March 7, 2010).

This year, Academy President Sid Ganis announced that the ceremony would begin to feature ten Best Picture nominees for the first time since 1943, so watch for any of these films to make the cut:

  • the independent coming-of-age drama “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” (wide release, Nov. 6)
  • the film adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s post-apocalyptic “The Road” (limited release, Nov. 25. Nashville, Dec. 18);
  • the day-in-the-life story of a gay, middle-aged college professor, “A Single Man” (New York, L.A., San Francisco, Dec. 11);
  • the country music drama, “Crazy Heart” (New York and L.A., Dec. 16);
  • Eastwood’s Nelson Mandela biopic, “Invictus” (wide release, Dec. 11);
  • James Cameron’s first movie since “Titanic,” the 3-D (and 3-hour long) science-fiction film, “Avatar” (wide release, Dec. 18);
  • the musical “Nine,” inspired by Fellini’s “8 ½” (wide release, Dec. 25);
  • and the dramedy, “Up in the Air,” about a man who flies around the country firing people (wide release, Dec. 25).

Meanwhile, certainly apropos for this “HoliGay” season, watch out for the DVD of “Make the Yuletide Gay” (the first “gay Christmas film” to ever cross my path*). A “coming out” narrative, “Make the Yuletide Gay” tells the amusing story of college-aged Gunn (Keith Jordan), who goes home to his parents (and back into the closet) for Christmas – that is, until his boyfriend, Nathan (Adamo Ruggiero, “Degrassi: The Next Generation”), shows up on his doorstep for the holidays. This film won awards at FilmOut San Diego and Philadelphia’s QFest.

Finally, although it is only a “gay” film in the sense that it is “happy,” I recommend catching all 24 hours of the holiday favorite “A Christmas Story” (1983), which will play on TBS on Christmas Day. (You would not believe that there are still people out there who have not seen it!)

For those rare ones among you who continue to be unfamiliar, this film is about the zany misadventures of a young boy from the late ‘30s/early ‘40s, Ralphie (Peter Billingsley), who just wants a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas. “A Christmas Story” continues to be a holiday classic, and I highly recommend it as a source of entertainment for you and yours this “HoliGay” season.

*Special thanks to Elliott DeVore for making me aware of “Make the Yuletide Gay.”

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