Four Fantastic LGBTQ+ Love Stories Get The Spotlight At This Year's Oscars

Almost a year after Moonlight took home the Academy Award for Best Picture, the 2018 Oscar nominations are honoring a slew of LGBTQ+ stories. This year, the films nominated range from a fantasy fairytale to an intimate story of first love to a tale of grief forced to be hidden because of one's identity. The Academy Award nominations prove that these are stories worth not only telling, but also celebrating.

The four vastly different movies each offer a slice of LGBTQ+ life not often seen in mainstream cinema. Click through to see the four films honored this year that showcased stories from the community.

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Photo: Sony Pictures Classics
Call Me By Your Name

In Luca Guadagnino's film, which is based on the 2007 novel of the same name by André Aciman, Elio (Timothée Chalamet) falls for Oliver (Armie Hammer), a student of his father's, while Oliver is spending the summer at their home in Northern Italy. The romance between Elio and Oliver is beautiful and sweet, even if it's fated to end when the summer does.

One particularly special thing about Call Me By Your Name (besides, you know, the top-notch acting and gorgeous cinematography that made me very close to booking a flight to Italy the moment I stepped out of the theater) was that it was a gay love story without a villain. Elio's parents are, seemingly, accepting of his love of Oliver, if a little sad for the fate of their romantic relationship. It's a rare movie that allows two men to have a love story as simply, blissfully romantic as their straight peers are so often afforded.

The film is nominated for Best Picture, Best Actor (Chalamet), Best Adapted Screenplay (James Ivory), and Best Original Song ("The Mystery of Love" by Sufjan Stevens).
Photo: Merie Wallace/A24
Lady Bird

Best Picture nominee Lady Bird is, first and foremost, a mother-daughter story. Still, one of the film's most understated, yet significant, plot points involves Lady Bird's (Saoirse Ronan) ill-fated romance with Danny (Lucas Hedges). Though Lady Bird and Danny's relationship comes to an end when she catches Danny making out with a boy in the bathroom, ultimately, Danny and Lady Bird have a very real moment about how afraid he is to come out to his family about his sexuality. Danny crying into Lady Bird's shoulder as she kindly promises to keep his secret is relatable to anyone who has been 16 and afraid of who they are, but also honest to the experiences of many people in the LGBTQ+ community.

The film is nominated for Best Picture, Best Actress (Ronan), Best Director (Greta Gerwig), Best Supporting Actress (Laurie Metcalf), and Best Original Screenplay (Gerwig).
Photo: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
The Shape of Water

Guillermo del Toro's '50s-set fairytale explores many facets of injustice and bigotry, all wrapped up in a story about a woman (Sally Hawkins) who befriends, and eventually saves and falls in love with, a cat-eating fish person. Yet it's Richard Jenkins' role as Giles, a gay man seeking companionship, that is one of the most grounded parts of the fantasy. Giles is lonely, and seeks out a relationship with the man at the counter at a terrible pie shop, only to be cruelly rejected.

The film is nominated for Best Picture, Best Director (del Toro), Best Actress (Hawkins), Best Supporting Actor (Jenkins), Best Supporting Actress (Octavia Spencer), Best Original Screenplay (del Toro and Vanessa Taylor), and 7 other categories.
A Fantastic Woman

Chile's A Fantastic Woman, which is nominated for Best Foreign Film, tells the story of Marina (breakout star Daniela Vega), who is deeply in love with her older boyfriend, Orlando (Francisco Reyes). However, when Orlando falls ill and dies, Marina, a trans woman, is forced to defend her identity and relationship with Orlando to his ex-wife and children.
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