It’s a shame that this biopic didn’t quite reach the heights that I wanted it to, to rightly honour this legendary music group. However it does offer lots of enjoyable musical performances, the standout being the recreation of Queen’s 1985 Live Aid performance in the third act. My main hope is that this film introduces Queen’s music to a new generation of people who may not be familiar with their work.
Like many people I loved A Star is Born. Bradley Cooper makes an impressive directorial debut and Lady Gaga delivers a knock-out performance on the Big Screen. They star as our central leads, Jackson Maine and Ally. When we first meet them, Ally (Lady Gaga) is an unknown yet very talented singer/songwriter and Jackson Maine (Bradley Cooper) is a veteran star who struggles with an alcohol and drug addiction. The pair meet, form a relationship and as this grows, we see Ally’s career blossom while Jackson’s goes on a downward spiral.
In ‘The Breadwinner’, we see Afghanistan during a time of heightened tension and conflict through the eyes of a young child. Although it has a 12A certificate, it deals with multiple difficult themes including violence, oppression, loss and suffering. The film, an international co-production between Canada, Ireland and Luxembourg, has a unique style which packs quite the punch and demonstrates that animation is sometimes best placed to tackle tough subject matter.
Hollywood’s attempts at putting theatre related shows on screen have had varying degrees of success (Smash and Rise, yes I’m referring to you). The latest attempt to catch my attention was the 2016 film, ‘Opening Night’, which is now available to stream on Netflix.
This week, Netflix released its newest Young Adult Rom-Com – ‘To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before’ based on the novel by Jenny Han. In a film genre which is saturated with predictable plot lines, it’s commendable that this has a unique starting premise. But it doesn’t take long to realise that it’s a pretty ordinary film, filled with one too many clichés and stereotypes which we’ve been served up before.
It’s not often that you see film studios attempt to capture religious figures cinematically, particularly in the format of an animated musical. However, the 1998 DreamWorks film ‘Prince of Egypt’ uniquely did just that. We are presented with a protagonist who showcases outstanding bravery to demand that the leader of slaves lets his people go following years of persecution. In the news, we learn of atrocious abuses on human rights yet rarely take it upon ourselves to do something about it. With that in mind, it’s hard not to marvel at this portrayal of someone courageous enough to challenge the people and systems known to be wrong.
It’s been a long time since I’ve felt such an emotional response to a film. I am known to shed light tears occasionally, but Lady Bird has somewhat changed the game. It was during my second viewing of the film that I felt my insides ache as if I had just been punched in the stomach.
Since then, I’ve been able to make better sense of why the 2018 Oscar nominated film has received such a mixed set of reviews. It’s been labelled ‘over-hyped’ at one end of the spectrum to ‘perfection’ at the other.
I abba-solutely adored the first Mamma Mia and once did a one-woman rendition of the whole film, much to the bemusement of my poor friends who suffered through it. Despite having inevitably high expectations for the sequel, it did not disappoint.