By Patrick O’Neill, Staff Writer
From Rami Malek in Bohemian Rhapsody to Olivia Colman in The Favorite; from Black Panther to A Star is Born, the Oscars this year spotlight many great new films and many films that were less than great but still have their merits. So, before the Academy Awards this coming weekend lets take a look at some of the hottest films this year.
1) Bohemian Rhapsody: The story of Freddie Mercury and Queen, bringing together the outstanding performance skills of Rami Malek (who definitely deserved his Golden Globe and BAFTA wins for best actor) and classic rock together creating what is effectively a dramatic masterpiece with austere colors and an iconic sound track. Bohemian Rhapsody is a cinematic experience that is magical in theatres and still magical anywhere else—the story of Freddie Mercury may not be wholly accurate according to some claims, but still has a gut-wrenching effect on the audience. I, personally, am rooting for Rami Malek for Best Actor in a Leading Role at the Oscars this year.
2) The Favorite: A personal favorite film of mine. Director, Yorgos Lanthimos brings together his dark style and humor into the world of period dramatics to produce a film that brings comedy and passion to the story of Queen Anne of England. Lanthimos uses blunt humor and dark tones to set the stage of the English palace which forms the scenes of The Favorite. This movie is a definite dark comic classic and I am definitely rooting for Olivia Colman for Best Actress in a Leading Role and her fellow actresses Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz. The Favorite was also nominated for Best Picture and with its unique aesthetic values I believe it could be a win, but we’ll see. Fingers crossed.
3) At Eternity’s Gate: Willem Dafoe stars in this biopic about Vincent van Gogh during his time living in parts of France. I haven’t seen this film yet, but it is evidently available on Amazon Prime. It has excellent reviews and Willem Dafoe was nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role as well. I always appreciated Dafoe’s alluring presence in many of Wes Anderson’s films, but he surely blew the Academy out of the water with his depiction of van Gogh’s suffering.
4) Mary Queen of Scots: Aside from the excellent costuming for which this film was nominated for an Academy Award, Mary Queen of Scots did not live up to the initial hype. Although I appreciate Saoirse Ronan’s portrayal of Queen Mary and Margot Robbie’s portrayal of Elizabeth I, I think the problem was in the script. The film seemed unnecessarily choppy in its dialogue and the development of the plot which is why I understand how the film got only about 6.4/10 stars on IMDB. By all means, see the film but know that I didn’t think it was all that and more as the previews suggested.
Many other films had nominations in the various categories such as Vice, Green Book, Isle of Dogs, Black Panther, Mary Poppins, Incredibles 2, and BlacKkKlansman. Many of these films deserve awards for their great performances, excellent style, and original scores. The Oscars occurs this coming Sunday February 24. I’ll be letting you know what I thought about the winners, after they’ve won this weekend. Stay tuned!