From Carol to Legend: Queer cinema picks at the 2015 Whistler Film Festival

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      It's no secret: here's the recipe for surefire Oscar nominations and awards: take two or three A-list actors, add them to LGBT content or roles, stir and let simmer over the course of Oscar season.

      The evidence: Kiss of the Spider Woman, Philadelphia, Victor/Victoria, Silkwood, Boys Don't Cry, Monster, Transamerica, Brokeback Mountain, The Hours, Milk, Capote, A Single Man, The Kids Are All Right, The Dallas Buyers Club, The Imitation Game, Beginners.

      And that's not even all of them.

      This year's Whistler Film Festival (which runs from December 2 to 6) kicks off with what will undoubtedly snag some Oscar nods for its leads.

      Rooney Mara and Cate Blanchett respectively play a female department store clerk having an affair with a married woman in the 1950s.

      The film, directed by Todd Haynes (Far From Heaven), received a standing ovation at Cannes and has garnered much critical acclaim already.

      But that's not the only queer cinema title to check out at the festival.

      Canadian filmmaker Ingrid Veninger's He Hated Pigeons follows a man (Chile's Pedro Fontaine) who mourns the loss of the man he loved the most by taking the road trip across Chile as he had planned to go on with him.

      What makes this screening on December 5 unique is that a live musician will improvise a musical score.

      In Carl Bessai's Rehearsal, Canadian actor Bruce Greenwood plays a gay British theatre director who is staging a performance of a Chekov play but is forced to hire a Hollywood action star for commercial reasons.

      In Legend, Tom Hardy does double duty portraying London's infamous mobster Kray twins, one of whom was openly bisexual.

      Lesbian and female bisexual characters can be found in Love in the Sixth, a musical about a single mother and her teenage daughter, as well as Gaspar Noé's Love in 3D, which features hardcore sex scenes. In 3D, no less.

      To browse the full lineup of films, visit the Whistler Film Festival website.

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