By Adam Sandel
In recent years, actors playing LGBT characters have stacked the list of Oscar nominations, in high profile films from “The Kids Are All Right” to “Brokeback Mountain” among many others.
But as this year’s list of Oscar nominees reveals, those films, roles and performances have slowed to a trickle.
Christopher Plummer is the front-runner for Best Supporting Actor as a gay man coming out late in life in “Beginners;” and newcomer Rooney Mara is a dark horse Best Actress nominee for her sexually ambiguous role in “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.”
Many have long complained that good movie roles for men far outnumber those for women. While the female ensemble films “The Help” and “Bridesmaids” were popular, critical and Oscar nominated hits, Glenn Close and Janet McTeer had to literally disguise themselves as men to earn nominations for “Albert Nobbs.”
As far as acting nominations in non-straight roles, that’s about it.
In fact, there was such as dearth of major gay-themed films this year that only three films (“Albert Nobbs,” “Beginners” and “J. Edgar”) were nominated for a GLAAD Media Award in the Outstanding Film in Wide Release category — down from five films last year.
Leonardo DiCaprio got a Best Actor Golden Globe nomination as the closeted J. Edgar Hoover, and he and co-star Armie Hammer were nominated for Screen Actors Guild Awards (coming up this Sunday, January 29). But tepid critical and audience response resulted in zero Oscar nods for the Clint Eastwood directed film.
While those of us in the LGBT community continue to hope for the gay experience to be depicted in mainstream films, this was not a banner year for those stories to be told on the big screen.
On the other hand, the year in television brought a glut of LGBT characters and story lines. But more on that later…