September 9, 2010 | by Joey DiGuglielmo
Silver screen sirens

A rare lesbian-themed dramedy with A-list stars is still playing at the AFI Silver, the staggeringly delayed gay Jim Carrey comedy looks like it will finally see a U.S. theatrical release before year’s end and Reel Affirmations is back on, albeit for just a weekend, for October. Such are the high points of the fall season locally for LGBT movies.

Local movie lovers who haven’t seen “The Kids Are All Right,” which opened in the U.S. on July 30, still have a chance as it plays through Sept. 23 at the AFI Silver in Silver Spring, Md. GLAAD calls it the “largest release ever for a mainstream film about lesbians” and it’s on track to be one of the highest performing indie films of the year. It made almost $5 million in its first three weekends of limited release.

“All Right” stars Annette Bening and Julianne Moore as a longtime couple who began a family through donor insemination with each bearing a child. As teens, the couple’s offspring track down their donor (Mark Ruffalo) without telling their mothers. The film deals with how the family copes when he enters their lives. Some balked at the brief portrayal of lesbian sexuality in favor of a racier scene between Moore and Ruffalo but most gay blogger action reviewed the film, from lesbian director Lisa Cholodenko, favorably. Go here for show times.

Deadline Hollywood has announced that the gay-themed indie film “I Love You Phillip Morris” will finally have a U.S. theatrical run in December. Directed by Alejandro Gonzalez, the true story-based move follows conman Steven Jay Russell (Jim Carrey) who falls in love with his prison cell mate Phillip Morris (Ewan McGregor) and following Morris’ prison release, tries one outlandish escape attempt after another to be with his partner outside prison walls.

No word on a D.C. run yet, but the film is slated for a Dec. 3 U.S. opening. It premiered at the Sundance Film Festival last year and was picked up by Consolidated Pictures Group which planned to open the film in February. That release date was scratched as were others in March and April. It grossed about $17 million abroad.

Other mainstream movies of LGBT interest include:

*”Howl” which opens in limited release on Sept. 24. This biopic stars James Franco as bisexual poet Allen Ginsberg and focuses its drama on the obscenity trial the beat writer faced after the publication of his famous poem “Howl.”

* “You Again” has no LGBT focus but features several gay favorites such as Sigourney Weaver, Jamie Lee Curtis, Kristin Chenoweth and Betty White. This Andy Frickman-directed comedy follows the story of a young woman who realizes her brother is about to marry the girl who bullied her in high school. It also opens Sept. 24.

* Also in that category is another Tyler Perry-helmed African-American chick flick called “For Colored Girls” that stars Janet Jackson, Mariah Carey, Whoopi Goldberg, Phylicia Rashad, Macy Gray and others. It’s being dubbed “a drama about existence from the perspective of 20 nameless black females.” It opens Nov. 5.

* Gay actor Rupert Everett will be seen in “Wild Target,” which opens in limited release Nov. 5 and tells the story of a con artist pursued by a top assassin after scamming a gangster.

* Cher returns to the screen for her first movie in seven years with “Burlesque,” a musical drama that tells the tale of a young singer (Christina Aguilera) who is hired as a cocktail waitress at a club that does musical revues by the star (Cher). Bi actor Alan Cumming also stars. It opens Nov. 24.

* “Black Swan,” which appears to have “Flashdance”-like gay sensibility written all over it, opens Dec. 1 and tells the story of Nina (Natalie Portman), a ballerina in a New York City ballet company who competes for the lead in “Swan Lake.” It showed at Telluride this week and was described as a gruesomely visceral portrayal of the lengths one will go to suffer for one’s art.

* Sadly the movie-making glory days of uber-diva Barbra Streisand appear to be long gone. Die-hards mourning the era of “Hello Dolly!” or “Yentl” will have to console themselves with “Little Fockers,” the latest in the “Meet the Parents” hit franchise that will find Babs recreating her supporting role of mother-in-law Roz. It opens Dec. 22 and stars Ben Stiller and Robert De Niro.

Reel Affirmations is moving forward but its festival this October will be just a single weekend and showcase just a handful of LGBT-themed films. Keeping reading the Blade for more information in the weeks ahead.

There are a few other gay blips on local fall film calendars. Trans-themed camp classic “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” screens at midnight tonight and Saturday at D.C.’s E Street Landmark Cinema. John Waters’ classic “Pink Flamingos” is Oct. 1 and 2, also at midnight.

The D.C. Shorts Film Festival is running now through Thursday. “Gayby” is a 14-minute comedy about a single woman who convinces her gay best friend to help her conceive the old-fashioned way. “The Queen” is an 8-minute short that finds a nerdy boy’s fantasies come undone on the eve of prom while working at his family’s dry cleaning business. Go here for show times.

And the AFI Silver has a rare treat planned for 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 29 — a screening of a 1923 silent Russian adaptation of gay writer Oscar Wilde’s legendary biblical saga “Salome” that will feature live musical accompaniment. Go here for details.

Joey DiGuglielmo is the Features Editor for the Washington Blade.

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