Hi everyone! So this time next week we will know who has won a gold statuette at the Academy Awards. I’m not going to attempt to predict the winners – I’m so bad at guessing I’ll probably jinx someone – so instead I thought I would mention a couple of movies that I would like to see win. Some nominated films, like Isle of Dogs, BlackkKlansman, and Shoplifters were mentioned in my Top 10 films of 2018 so I won’t bother talking about them here. But without further ado I’ll jump into the movies!
The Favourite Dir. Yorgos Lanthimos
Set in 18th century England, we follow Lady Sarah (Rachel Weisz) and Abigail (Emma Stone), cousins vying to be Queen Anne’s (Olivia Colman) favourite. I adored this movie. It has quite a dark sense of humour which I really enjoyed and the setting and costumes were stunning. It is a very beautiful film. But my highlight was the acting, especially the three actresses. Weisz and Stone clearly relished playing these characters, and the fun they had making the movie radiates off the screen. Colman was simply sensational. Her Queen Anne was such a sensitive, fragile woman and she gives a deeply affecting performance, especially when in lesser hands the part of Anne could have slipped into melodrama. If she wins Best Actress I would be very happy. The Favourite has already won tons of awards and critical acclaim, and I believe it deserves all of them.
Mary, Queen of Scots Dir. Josie Rourke
I feel like this film doesn’t need much explanation; it’s about Mary Stuart (Saoirse Ronan) and her cousin, Elizabeth I (Margot Robbie). This film has had quite a mixed response but certainly I enjoyed myself throughout. Yes, there are some historical inaccuracies but this isn’t a documentary and besides a lot historical films are somewhat inaccurate – due to time or storytelling or many other elements. I find that ‘criticism’ redundant quite frankly. But before I go on a rant about that, I shall go back to the film. Ronan and Robbie did excellent jobs playing these famous figures; you feel sympathetic for both women and, despite knowing how it ends, hoping they can become allies. I also found the court intrigues and politics really fascinating as I don’t know much about Elizabethan court so it helped me understand a bit more about this period of history. If you like period pieces then you will like Mary, Queen of Scots.
If Beale Street Could Talk Dir. Barry Jenkins
Based on the book by James Baldwin, If Beale Street Could Talk follows Tish (Kiki Layne) a young, pregnant woman in Harlem, whose life is shattered when her fiancé Alonzo (Stephan James) is accused of rape. I’m surprised this never got nominated for Best Picture. This is one of the best films I’ve seen this year (I know we’re still in February but I’ve got a hunch it will still be a highlight come December). It won’t be for everyone; it is quite slow-paced and it jumps between past and present throughout. But I think it is a very tender exploration of love and family. It is hard to single out a particular actor because the entire cast is amazing. The cinematography James Laxton is incredibly beautiful; New York never looked better (and the film made me want to go back there so bad).
And there we have it! I still need to see Green Book and Vice to round off the nominees, if you have seen them let me know what you thought. Or even some of the other films that have been mentioned. I keep promising I’ll post a review – it is in my blog name – but I promise next Thursday a review will be up. Pinky promise. Until then, hope you have a good week.