Fucking Bradley Cooper, man. I can’t say that I’ve ever been a massive fan but, once again, I seem to be in the minority. We’re in a situation in which the guy has been nominated for an acting Oscar 4 times. 4 times! One Best Supporting and three Best Actor. I just don’t get it. His best role to date, in my mind, is his voice performance as Rocket Raccoon. His performance in Silver Linings Playbook was messy and over-the-top. His performance in American Hustle wasn’t exactly stand-out either. Basically, I’ve just never seen him do anything that really wowed me. He’s just been lucky enough to be surrounded by better actors who make manage to disguise him. So, when I heard he was starring in and directing a remake of A Star Is Born I was hardly queuing up outside the cinema to see it. But then is got all sorts of fucking praise and attention during awards seasons. I kept putting this film off for as along as possible but I finally had to accept that I needed to watch it. So I did. And I have some thoughts.
What? A review? On a Sunday? No, you aren’t going mad. I’ve decided that, in order to get all my pre-Oscar reviews up before the big day, that I’m going to have to change my schedule for a bit. I started writing this yesterday but ended up feeling so bad that I went to bed early. But that’s not important because, at this point in my life, I have watched all of the Best Picture nominees. The only ones I want to try to watch before the ceremony, if I have the time, are The Wife and At Eternity’s Gate. But, if I don’t then I won’t do feel bad. I managed to watch the films I wanted to and well on time. Unlike last year when I was watching them up to the last-minute pretty much. I think I saw my final one the day before the ceremony. In fairness, there were 9 nominees last year. That’s a whole extra film to find the time for. It was tough! But I digress… So, I’ve seen all the nominees but I still need to review 3 of them. And, let’s not forget, the actual ceremony is on February 24th which is just over a week away. If I’m going to have the reviews up in time then I need to hurry the fuck up. Meaning the fact that I’m starting my extra reviews with a non-Best Picture film is kind of absurd… but I watched this before the other two. And I’m not really looking forward to having to write the final 2. To say I have mixed feelings about them is an under-statement.
I’m going to be honest, I’d forgotten that today was Tuesday until a few minutes ago. I was happily sorting everything out and trying to organise my shit when I realised. I needed to hurry up and write this damn review. It’s all because my shifts have changed this week so I’m all off. I keep thinking it’s Sunday or something. But it’s not and I have another Best Picture nominee to review. The BAFTAs took place on Sunday and, despite having several nominations, Vice didn’t do too well out of the ceremony. Winning an award for Best Editing, it missed out on the other 5 categories it was up for. Christian Bale looked like a real contender for Best Actor but Rami Malek beat him out. Whether that changes Bale’s chances at the Oscars remains to be seen but, if you ask me, he’s still a pretty strong possibility. Malek was great but will it speak to the Academy? Especially when Bohemian Rhapsody was so disappointing. Who can say? But, all I know is, it’s never a good idea to discount Bale whenever he drastically alters his appearance for a role. I mean the guy even went to the lengths of thickening his neck. If that’s not commitment to a character then I don’t know what is.
After last week’s disappointing Bohemian Rhapsody, I was ready for a better Best Picture nominee to review. So, I went for one that I’ve been looking forward for ages. Any story that sounds so insane yet is based on a real-life event is something you just have to watch, right? Plus, and without wanting to prove just how superficial I really am, Adam Driver is looking good in that trailer. I admit that I kind of lost interest thanks to his nipple-height trousers from that scene in The Last Jedi but the minute I saw him in a plaid shirt I was back. And it’s great that he’s been given a nomination for his role here. Hell, it’s great that this film got a Best Picture nomination. Not only because I get an excuse to watch it but also because of the lack of recognition for If Only Beale Street Could Talk. Barry Jenkins obviously killed with Moonlight but the Academy have done the least possible for his latest film. Neither the director or the film are being recognised. I know I haven’t seen it yet but everything I’ve seen leads me to believe it deserves a place. Especially now I’ve seen Bohemian Rhapsody. But we can’t have everything.
Normally, I don’t like to take too much notice of critical ratings before I go and see a film. I prefer not to be affected by what other people think. But the mixed reaction to Bohemian Rhapsody did concern me before I saw it. All of my friends who’d seen it had aid it was worth watching, which went along with the majority of fan feedback. However, I couldn’t ignore the fact that so many critics were disappointed. This was one of those films that should have been guaranteed. A biopic of one of the greatest British rock bands with the talented Rami Malik playing the role of Freddie Mercury and directed by Bryan Singer. It should have been perfect but, as we know, the film making process was a huge struggle. Not only was Rami the last in a fairly long list of actors accepting to play Freddie but there were script problems and Singer was replaced by Dexter Fletcher at the last-minute. Singer was reportedly difficult to work with so was thrown off the project with about 3 weeks to go. Talk about drama behind the scenes, eh! So, with all that in mind, it felt like the critical response could have something to it. Meaning I went into this film kind of expecting the worst. But, considering it got a Best Picture nomination, I had to give it a go.
Another week and another potential Oscar nominee. This is another that I was really desperate to watch and its mainly because of Olivia Colman. I adore her and it definitely has something to do with Peep Show. Anyone who was a fan of that show and doesn’t still have a massive soft spot for Sophie is insane. Obviously, she has proved time and time again that she is a fantastic actor in any situation but she is such a fantastically funny woman that she deserved a great role like this. The trailer more than hinted that this was going to be a comic creation like we’ve not seen before and I was all for it. The Lobster is the only other film I’ve seen by Yorgos Lanthimos but I loved it. So was excited to see what he did with this story. Everything I’d seen or heard about it was weird. Everything seemed to have been planned, right down to the justification of the credits, to make The Favourite as disconcerting as possible. And I was ready. But before we get into this, one more word about the credits. I’ve heard and seen a lot of people complain about how the words are set out on-screen but I don’t see the problem. Everything is perfectly readable and, maybe its just me, but they sort of end up having the effect of a tapestry. Plus, it’s a historical thing. It fits and, frankly, I think it worked brilliantly. But I’m getting off topic.
I don’t watch as many short films as I should. It’s just not something that I ever really think about. Every time awards season comes round I hear about great short films but never actually do anything about them. I think, over the years, I’ve watched a handful of the animated shorts but that’s about it. However this year, when The Silent Child won an Academy Award I was intrigued. But not for very good reasons. I wasn’t interested because I knew anything about the film or anything. It was simply because the woman who wrote it was once an actor on a soap I used to watch. Yep, I’m a shallow individual but I wanted to see how good her film actually was. So it was perfect when it turned up on iPlayer recently. But it wasn’t until my mother watched it that I finally decided to check it out. And, after the stressful week I’ve been having, it seemed like the perfect thing to review for today’s post. A twenty-minute film? Perfect.
You find me feeling really annoyed today. As you know, I had intended to finish watching all of the films nominated for the Best Picture Academy Award before the Oscars. I managed it but failed to get down my predictions for the awards. To be honest, I was so tired after work on Sunday that I fell asleep. It’s a problem I often have. What can I say? I love to nap. If I had published my predictions I would have been pretty much 100% accurate. The only one I refused to call was Best Support Actress because it was a tough call. Every other main category, I got right. Of course, saying this without proof is meaningless. However, I was one of the few people who correctly saw that Three Billboards wouldn’t win Best Picture. Not that it was a terrible film; it just isn’t an Oscars film. The Shape of Water was the obvious winner. It was beautifully made and beautifully performed. It was an all-rounder. The only one that might have beaten it? Lady Bird. Frances McDormand and Gary Oldman were, basically, unstoppable. And Sam Rockwell. Sorry to anybody else in that category but he was the star. My only upset at the awards was the lack of award for Greta Gerwig. I knew Guillermo Del Toro would win but it would have been a great move for the Academy to give the female director her due. It just goes to show, no matter how well #Timesup and #Metoo are doing, there is still a long way to go for gender equality. And let’s not even get started on racial equality. Hollywood may be improving but it’s still a man’s world.
You catch me on day 4 of my new blog project that sees me writing a letter every single day. So far, I’m finding it okay. I mean I’d hoped to get a bit ahead of schedule by now but I’m not worried. I have about 10 days off work from now so I’m going to use my time wisely. Meaning I won’t get anything done and by this time next week I’ll be stressing out big time. Still, by the time I’m back at work I’ll be almost halfway through the 30 books and that’s something. On the plus side, all of this writing has meant I’ve virtually forgotten that tomorrow is actually my 30th birthday. Not that I’m too bothered by the age thing anyway. I’ve sort of been stuck at 16 for the past 14 years and I can’t see me growing up much any time soon.
With less than a week until the Oscars, my quest to watch all of the Best Picture nominations is getting quite tense. I’ve got three more to go and I’m not really super keen to watch either of them. I managed to watch two in quick succession last week so, if I’m clever with my time, I should be okay. It’s just a shame that the film I’m talking about today marks the end of the list of films I really wanted to see. The Darkest Hour is something I’ve been excited about for months. Combining my love of history and Gary Oldman; what could be better? When the first pictures of Oldman in his full Winston Churchill costume came out months ago, everyone was apparently amazed by the transformation. The picture was placed on the front of newspapers along with the tantalising caption of “we bet you’ll never guess who this really is” or something. I didn’t get the uproar. I mean anyone that looked at the photo should instantly be able to see Gary Oldman’s eyes staring back at them. Don’t get me wrong, the transformation was incredibly but it’s quite clearly the actor underneath all of that makeup. I admit, I have a bit of a soft spot for Oldman so I might be more familiar with his face than many people. It meant that whenever I saw photos from the set of The Darkest Hour I only ever saw Oldman and not one of the greatest Prime Minster’s the UK has ever seen.