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LGBT films hunting for Oscar gold

Beginners and Pariah already enjoying some early awards season prizes
Christopher Plummer in Beginners
Photo Courtesy of Focus Features

Tom Hanks, Charlize Theron, William Hurt and Hilary Swank are among the performers who have won Oscars for playing an LGBT character.

Will anyone be joining them this year?

Awards season handicapper Scott Feinberg thinks veteran actor Christopher Plummer has the best shot for his role as a man who comes out late in life in the drama Beginners.

'He is far and away the front runner for best supporting actor, there really isn't anyone that comes close,' says Feinberg. 'Part of that is because he's never won and is now in his eighties. But it's also an excellent performance.'

Plummer has already been named best supporting actor by The National Board of Review and Beginners is off to an overall strong start this awards season.

It  tied with Tree of Life for best picture at the Gotham Independent Film Awards where it also won the best ensemble award for Plummer and a cast that includes Ewan McGregor as his son. The film also got Independent Spirit Award nominations for Plummer, best picture, best director, and best screenplay.

Another film getting some early awards season love is the lesbian-themed Pariah. It is about a 17-year-old African-American woman (Adepero Oduye) with a flair for poetry who is quietly but firmly embracing her identity as a lesbian.

Oduye got a Spirit Award nomination for best actress and writer-director Dee Rees was nominated for the John Cassavetes Award given to the best feature made for under $500,000. At the Gotham Awards, Rees won the breakthrough director prize and the Nationa Board of Review gave her film its Freedom of Expression prize.

'It's a very big movie on the independent circuit," Feinberg said of Pariah. 'I just don't think it's been seen by enough people to break in with the Oscars.

Rees tells Gay Star News that she is not really concerned about awards.

'The film is what is important," she says. 'I'm excited to see it playing out and to see people respond to it.'

Oduye is a little more enthusiastic about it all - especially about her Spirit Award nod.

'It's really surreal,' she says. 'All of this is pretty new. As an actor, you watch those things and you're inspired and think one day that might be me. But never in a million years did I think it would happen to me for this film.'

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