Film & TV Recs: LGBT Period Dramas (II)

A long promised continuation to my first rec list of LGBT period dramas. Definitely check out that post for more recommendations!

Like in that previous post, I’d like to say that I’m aware there are barely any movies with trans rep on the list. I did my best. All the other period dramas featuring trans characters that I know of, gave those roles to cis actors & I’m not about to recommend that here.

I accidentally made about half of this rec list about titles based on real stories & people, it wasn’t a conscious choice. But it does mean that not all of the movies listed are exactly super happy & gracious to the LGBT characters.

inbtwn

Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019)

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dir. Cรฉline Sciamma
Letterboxd
Rep: lesbian mc & li

Why Should I Watch It?

I don’t think anyone here imagined I could make this list and not start it with Portrait of a Lady on Fire. It’s a lesbian dream come true. It’s magnificent in ways I can’t even properly explain. Every second of it is clearly made by women and for women, and watching it feels like a blessing.

inbtwn

The Conductor (2018)

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dir. Maria Peters
Letterboxd
Rep: trans character

Why Should I Watch It?

The movie tells a true story of a Dutch conductor and pianist Antonia Brico. Don’t worry, I also never heard of her before… But she was an incredibly talented woman and the movie focuses on that aspect a lot – because, of course, she was always told women couldn’t do what she wanted to be doing. One of Brico’s closest friends was a trans man Robin Jones, played by a trans actor in the movie.

inbtwn

Vita & Virginia (2017)

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dir. Chanya Button
Letterboxd
Rep: sapphic mcs, mlm side characters

Why Should I Watch It?

Another biopic but this time about people you surely know, even if you haven’t read anything by either of them. It portrays the depth of Vita and Virginia’s relationship in beautiful ways, not even for a moment shying away from the fact the two women were in love. It also does some very interesting things with editing and shows Woolf’s mental illness as something palpable.

inbtwn

Christopher and His Kind (2011)

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dir. Geoffrey Sax
Letterboxd
Rep: gay mc, gay characters

Why Should I Watch It?

Yet another biopic! And based on a memoir, too. Very different from the previous one, though, in its tone. Christopher and His Kind is basically like a Hallmark movie, but make it a period drama and gay. It’s just a fun movie! Let’s be honest, sometimes you just need to watch a dude smile like an idiot because he saw a hot guy and that’s valid. Well, at least the first half is like that, until the naz*s come to power…

inbtwn

Picnic at Hanging Rock (2018)

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dir. Michael Rymer, Larysa Kondracki & Amanda Brotchie
IMDb
Rep: sapphic characters, mlm characters

Why Should I Watch It?

A new adaptation of the novel by the same title (previously made into a movie in 1975). The mini-series takes the themes of coming-of-age and says “hey, you know what, it’s just not possible that all of those kids were het”.

inbtwn

Tipping the Velvet (2002)

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dir. Geoffrey Sax
IMDb
Rep: sapphic mc, sapphic li & side characters

Why Should I Watch It?

I recced an adaption of a different novel by Sarah Waters in my last post (yes, I’m talking about The Handmaiden), so it’s only fair that I mention something we got thanks to the lesbian icon this time around, too. It’s a story of discovering your sexuality and your community, and falling in love. Also there are lesbians in suits.

BTW “tipping the velvet” is victorian slang for sapphic oral sex.

inbtwn

Mary Queen of Scots (2018)

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dir. Josie Rourke
Letterboxd
Rep: side mlm character, side poc genderfluid mlm character
TW: murder, blood, violence, burning

Why Should I Watch It?

Despite being a story of the English monarchs, it’s actually a really good movie. It’s also delightful when it comes to rep and acceptance of characters (people) who are not cishet. The scene where Mary tells Rizzio he will always be made to feel at home in her company? *chef kisses* Also just, kudos to any movie that doesn’t straightwash historical figures.

inbtwn

Maurice (1987)

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dir. James Ivory
Letterboxd
Rep: gay mc, gay li & characters

Why Should I Watch It?

Based on a novel by E.M. Forster (who was gay, in case you somehow didn’t know, and insisted this story needs a happy ending), it’s about English boys falling in love, being tormented over it, and kissing in the grass.

Please don’t ask me why it opens with a very awkward sex ed lesson or why the actors lowkey act like they’ve never seen two men touch each other.

inbtwn

The Man in the Orange Shirt (2017)

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dir. Michael Samuels
IMDB
Rep: gay mcs, gay Black mc

Why Should I Watch It?

I don’t know what you want me to say here apart from the fact that you really gotta prepare a box of tissues if you’re thinking of watching this.

inbtwn

The Get Down (2016-2017)

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cr. Baz Luhrmann & Stephen Adly Guirgis
IMDb
Rep: mlm characters, almost all Black, Afro-Latinx, Latinx cast
TW: violence, blood, sexual abuse

Why Should I Watch It?

I opened the list with a favourite and am ending it with one, sadly taken from us too early. I miss this show all the time, and most of all miss the lost opportunity to see Shaolin Fantastic grow into being comfortable with himself.

inbtwn

Looks like I will be able to make more of these posts actually! But for now, tell me which LGBT period dramas are your favourites?

And if you enjoyed this post, please consider supporting me on ko-fi.

anna

14 Replies to “Film & TV Recs: LGBT Period Dramas (II)”

  1. I love this list and the first one too! I always thought LGBT period pieces are rare and hard to find. I didn’t realize there’s quite a lot out there. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ooh I definitely need to watch some of these! I keep hearing wonderful things about Portrait of a Lady on Fire, I really want to watch it and The Handmaiden, too. I’m still waiting for an adaptation of Waters’ The Paying Guests – especially now that we’re in the ’20s again.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ahh, I don’t watch a lot of movies/TV but with all the ‘downtime’ I have now, I will have to pick a few to check out. I haven’t seen any and they all sound like great watches! I love Elizabeth Debicki so I should really start with Vita & Virginia…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ohhh! I have been waiting for this post since I found the previous one!!
    I heard bad things about Mary Queen of Scots, but its back on my radar now. I was so upset when BBC remade Howard’s End into a mini series and not Maurice. I love the movie, but it could do with a refresh.

    Like

    1. honestly, i rly enjoyed mary queen of scots. ofc i know nothing abt english history so it was just fiction for me…

      at least they made the first ep of howard’s end feel very gay lmao

      – anna

      Like

  5. Thank you so much for introducing me to Portrait of a Lady on Fire!! Instant favourite that one. I cried at the beauty of the story, the cast, the cinematography, everything! A work of art.

    Liked by 1 person

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