There are a lot of films and television shows made of this Agatha Christie novel, this is probably the most well-known, perhaps on par with the recent 2017 remake. The cast for this – wow. Lauren Bacall, Ingrid Bergman, Sean Connery, John Gielgud, Anthony Perkins, Vanessa Redgrave, Michael York. Wow. What a line-up!
It’s slow. Very slow. Perhaps it is that films were made differently back in the day, perhaps people had more time, perhaps with that cast it was difficult to cut it down. It’s sooooo long (feels a lot longer than it actually is) but there are truly some moments of absolute gold.
Ingrid Berman won an Oscar for Best Actress in a Supporting Role. The film was also nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role (Albert Finney), Best Writing, Screenplay Adapted From Other Material (Paul Dehn), Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design and Best Music, Original Dramatic Score.
In 2016, Rogie Alies resigned from his high-up position at Fox News after being accused by multiple women, including several on-air personalities. Bombshell tells this story of how the accusations came to light, how it was handled and, to some extent, what the fall out was for the network and the people involved.
I’ve watched a few movies of a similar style, that show events of recent times as a movie, and what I’ve found for several of them is that they are interesting, but not necessarily very captivating. Is this the difficulty of trying to get a balance between facts and drama? Like, to have a more exciting story, perhaps it would need to stray further from the truth? Maybe these stories are better told as documentaries. I mean, it’s a very good film, a strong cast, a compelling story, and a story that needs to be told. I just wasn’t as engaged as I felt the story deserves.
Bombshell won an Oscar for Best Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling and was nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role (Charlize Theron) and Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role (Margot Robbie)
Loretta (Cher) is a widow living a safe life in New York with her parents, courted by the very safe Johnny (Danny Aiello). When Johnny proposes, then heads to Italy to be with his ill mother as she dies, he sends Loretta to invite his estranged brother, Ronny (Nicholas Cage) to the wedding. Despite his highly aggressive outburst (which is apparently romantic), Loretta falls for him. Meanwhile, there are a whole heap of others in Loretta’s world all having romantic struggles. It’s the full moon. It’s sent them all love crazy.
The soundtrack is wonderful. The style is stunning. The story is somewhat questionable, seriously, and both my friend and I were far more interested in the story of Loretta’s mother, Olympia Dukakis, as she deals with her philandering husband. Cher won an Oscar for this, as did Olympia Dukakis, and it also won a screenwriting Oscar.
While I was watching this, I put up a Facebook status asking if this film actually got good at any point and may have lost a friendship or two over it… because apparently it’s an amazing film. I guess that sentence makes it pretty clear that I disagree… it is stunning, but maybe I’ve just reached a point where I’ve had enough Tarantino in my life. I was just bored. So bored.
Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood won Oscars for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role Brad Pitt) and Best Achievement in Production Design and was nominated for Best Motion Picture of the Year, Best Achievement in Directing (Quentin Tarantino), Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role (Leonardo DiCaprio), Best Original Screenplay, Best Achievement in Cinematography, Best Achievement in Costume Design, Best Achievement in Sound Mixing, Best Achievement in Sound Editing. It won Golden Globes for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy, Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture (Brad Pitt), Best Screen Play Motion Picture (Quentin Tarantino) and was nominated for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Best Director – Motion Picture (Quentin Tarantino).
Harvey Milk (Sean Penn) was a gay activist in San Francisco who ran numerous times for official position and once in, fought for the rights of the gay community until his life was cut tragically short.
As with all biopics, I’m aware that some license is taken with the telling of the story. But this is an important film which came at a time when same sex marriage was starting to be legalised across the Western world. None-the-less, there are still ongoing battles for the rights of our fellow humans, and while we may feel that things are mostly pretty good, it’s important to recognise and honour those who fought to gain these rights in the past. And to hope that these rights are not stripped away.
Milk won Oscars for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role (Sean Penn) and Best Writing Original Screenplay (Dustin Lance Black) and was nominated for Best Motion Picture of the Year, Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role (Josh Brolin), Best Achievement in Directing (Gus Van Sant), Best Achievement in Film Editing, Best Achievement in Costume Design and Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score.
In 1994, ice skater Nancy Kerrigan was attacked and injured, and it quickly emerged that Tonya Harding and her husband, Jeff Gillooly, were involved. This film tells the story from the fictional perspectives of Tonya (Margot Robbie) and Jeff (Sebastian Stan), with both relatively innocent, or unknowing, or fooled by Jeff’s mate, Shawn (Paul Walter Hauser). It’s a film with ambition, struggle against class and violence in many different ways. And it’s not real.
I enjoyed the film – the performances, the style, the fashion. And what a great true story – only this wasn’t the true story. I don’t think I’ve read as many articles about a film as I did after watching this. The more I read, the more issue I took with the film. I walked out feeling anger at the world which has some people starting so far behind others due to money, or location, or crappy family, or whatever. And then I found that several key scenes in the film, scenes that manipulated my feelings to have some empathy for Tonya and her situation, were totally made up.
Thinking back, I believe the film was pretty open about being a representation of the accounts of Tonya and Jeff, accounts which were inaccurate and, at times, plain lies. Why do I feel so grumpy that I was led astray even as I was told this was happening? I don’t know. I think it is a good film, so long as you don’t actually believe it.
I, Tonya won an Oscar for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role (Allison Janney) and was nominated for Best Performance for an Actress in a Leading Role (Margot Robbie) and Best Achievement in Film Editing. It won a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture (Allison Janney) and was nominated for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy and Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy.
Newt (Eddie Redmayne) is a wizard who works with fantastic beasts, and has come to New York in the 1920s. He discovers some strange happenings and accrues a small team of assistants to help him.
I loved seeing the magical world of Harry Potter put into New York in the twenties. Too much fun. And there were some great characters, and I loved the creatures. But I found the first half hour of the film really slow-moving and it was really hard for the rest of it to catch up. In addition to this, I’m not that much of a Potter fan, so any time there was a reference to something from the world of Potter, it went over my head, while I’m sure much of the intended audience would have been gasping and tittering with excitement. Also, I didn’t like the character that Redmayne was playing, and I think it’s pretty difficult to really enjoy a film when you are actively disliking the hero.
Fanastic Beasts and Where to Find Them won an Oscar for Best Achievement in Costume Design and was nominated for Best Achievement in Production Design. It won a BAFTA for Best Production Design and was nominated for Outstanding British Film of the Year, Best Costume Design, Best Sound and Best Achievement in Special Visual Effects.
What did I know about Howard Hughes? Only that he was famously germaphobic and reclusive and rich. In all honesty, I didn’t even know why I knew of him. In this biopic of his early life, Leonardo DiCaprio the playboy, the film producer and the aviation pioneer. And it’s fabulous. DiCaprio was fabulous, as was Cate Blanchette and Kate Beckinsale, John C. Reilly, Alec Baldwin, Alan Alda, Jude Law… the list goes on.
I shouldn’t be surprised at how good it is as it is a Scorsese film. He is a master, even though I often find that I don’t like his films. But this, to me, is really as good as a film can be. Great pacing, and the cinematography is brilliant, capturing that kind of technicolour look of films from this era. Just fabulous.
The Aviator won awards for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role (Cate Blanchett), Best Achievement in Cinematography, Best Achievement in Art Direction, Best Achievement in Costume Design and was nominated for Best Motion Picture of the Year, Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role (Leonardo DiCaprio), Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role (Alan Alda), Best Achievement in Directing, Best Writing – Original Screenplay and Best Achievement in Sound Mixing.
Davie Oyelowo plays Dr Martin Luther King Jr in this depiction of historical events during the civil rights movement. African-American people were allowed to vote, but in the South it was nearly impossible for them to register – many impediments were put in their way from the racist bureaucracy, and in meetings with President Johnston (Tom Wilkinson), King was unable to get the president to act to overrule this appalling behaviour. Eventually, a large group were to walk from Selma to Montgomery, the capital of Alabama, in a peaceful protest. And with opposition from the army, the police, the KKK and the white population of the state as a whole, things turned violent.
This is a very slow-moving film that shows King as human, with all his strengths and weaknesses. But when the action moves from the planning and discussions and meeting and gets down to the key events, it is truly horrific. I am a big crier in films, but this was absolutely heart-breaking. I cried because the events were terrible, but I also cried because this was happening, and I cried because so much progress was made during the civil rights movement and yet look at the world we live in. Things should be better. And we shouldn’t need horrors like this to change the world, should we?
Selma won an Oscar for Best Achievement in Music Written for the Motion Pictures – Original Song (Glory) and was nominated for Best Picture.
Moonlight depicts a few different times during the life of Chiron, an African-American man who grew up surrounded by violence, drugs and poverty. It’s not exactly a linear story, but more a series of moments from his life. It’s rough and, at times, hard to watch. It raises the question of how can one person live their own truth when any sign of difference is seen as a weakness to be exploited and destroyed.
This is one of those slow-moving films that I find I either love or very much dislike. Moonlight is one which I loved despite the sadness it brings. It’s a tough film, it’s hard to watch characters get damaged and have so much pain, both inside and out. One of my favourite scenes in the film is when Chiron is making a bed with Teresa, pretty much the only person in his life that he truly trusts. She manages to get him to smile, and there is a moment of hope. Just a moment.
Moonlight won Oscars for Best Motion Picture of the Year, Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role (Mahershala Ali), Best Adapated Screenplay and was nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role (Naomie Harris), Best Achievement in Directing (Barry Jenkins), Best Achievement in Cinematography, Best Achievement in Film Editing and Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures (Original Score). It won the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture – Drama and was nominated for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role (Mahershala Ali), Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role (Naomie Harris), Best Direct – Motion Picture (Barry Jenkins), Best Screenplay (Barry Jenkins) and Best Original Score – Motion Picture. It was nominated for BAFTAs for Best Film, Best Supporting Actor (Mahershala Ali), Best Supporting Actress (Naomie Harris) and Best Screenplay (Original) (Barry Jenkins).