So…the Oscar nominations have been released, and boy are they a mixed bag. Stan & Ollie has been completely ignored, while Bohemian Rhapsody has led in several categories. Here, I’ll run through the main list of nominations, while offering my thoughts on potential winners and definite snubs.
What’s that? Another film based on true events? During Awards Season?! What’re the chances of that! This one tells the story of Mary Queen of Scots and her rivalry to the throne of Queen Elizabeth 1st. It’s not entirely accurate, and becomes mildly tedious in places, but it’s still a thrilling Tudor Political drama.
Bringing together the characters of Unbreakable (2000) and Split (2016), Glass is the final chapter in M. Night Shyamalan’s unlikely superhero trilogy, nineteen years in the making. Despite some minor narrative issues, Glass delivers the superhero thrills you’d expect, while also offering a lot more depth than the average comic book film.
Yet another true story film being released during Oscar season, The Upside is a remake of a 2011 French film ‘The Intouchables’. Telling the story of a paralysed billionaire who has an unlikely friendship with his new carer, an ex-convict on parole, the film's cliché narrative lets down what could be a great film with fantastic performances.
Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly return to our screens after appearing together last month in Holmes and Watson. A million miles away from that rubbish pile, they this time appear as Hollywood’s great comedy double act. Telling the story of Laurel and Hardy’s final tour together, Stan & Ollie is a beautifully sentimental tale of friendship and love.
Adam McKay is quickly becoming the one of the most unique writer/directors currently working. After creating classic comedies like ‘Anchorman’, ‘Step Brothers’ and ‘The Other Guys’, he turned his attention to more serious topics with ‘The Big Short’, using his comedy background to make the 2008 Financial Crisis entertaining. This time, McKay turns his attention to the White House during the Bush/Cheney administration, and it’s no overstatement to say that he has created a satirical masterpiece.
Based on the real-life memoirs of David and Nic Sheff, ‘Beautiful Boy’ tells the tragic story of a father and his drug-addicted teenage son, and the strain this puts on their relationship. Supported by two stellar performances, the film is a weighty and emotional ride with a dark truth at its heart.
Yorgos Lanthimos is known for his surrealist sensibilities. Other hits like ‘The Lobster’ (2014) and ‘The Killing of a Sacred Deer’ (2017) have shown his love for the bizarre and farcical. Here, he turns this twisted vision on the court of Queen Anne, and creates a hilarious political melodrama of power plays and jealousy.
The Transformers franchise has, for a long time, been a joke among film lovers. While the films are entertaining enough, they are some of the worst written films of recent years, saved only by their pioneering CGI effects. Bumblebee, the latest in the series, has taken clever steps to ensure the characters are more important than giant metal creatures smashing together. Though it still doesn’t quite work, if you’re a fan of Transformers and The Iron Giant then this is the perfect film for you.
Well, 2018 was pretty good! There were some absolute corkers in the cinema this year, as well as some total stinkers. Overall, the blockbuster has seen a continued success with Disney and Marvel continuing to dominate the box office. As the year draws to a close, it’s time to reflect on this year’s best films, as well as revealing my personal Top 10.