Rami Malek deserves an Oscar nod for positively channeling Freddy Mercury in this glorious film. I left the theater overwhelmed with 2 very different feelings. I was both exhilarated and devastated. A rare combo. I’ve been a Queen fan for a very long time but this movie shed new light – including how “We Are The Champions” came to be and when Freddy told his bandmates he had AIDS. Many of my colleague critics are throwing shade on this film for being a by-the-book-biopic. But that’s one of the reasons I like the film so much: it tells their story. No artsy interpretations to decipher. The history just unfolds before your eyes. And their music takes on whole new meaning. With Brian May and Roger Taylor sharing producing duties, this biopic has the blessing of those who were there to live it. Never mind the critics who complain it’s cheesy, melodramatic, airbrushed and superficial. I say this movie is a surefire crowd pleaser!
Lucas Hedges (“Manchester by the Sea”) stars as a 19 year old who after he’s outed to his super conservative parents (his dad is a small town pastor) undergoes conversion therapy. It’s a star-studded cast with Nicole Kidman as his mom and Russell Crowe as his dad. Joel Edgerton wrote, directed and stars as the conversion therapy leader. Flea of The Red Hot Chili Peppers is outstanding as one of those try to convert the young gay kids to heterosexuality. The premise of the film is so emotional and dramatic but the movie actually lacks both. It’s subdued, low-key, and at times slow. I was disappointed.
“A Private War”
Rosamund Pike (“Gone Girl”) is fantastic playing the real life war correspondent Marie Colvin, who was killed at 56 while covering the war in Syria. She not only looks like Colvin, who grew up in Oyster Bay, she sounds like her (we get to hear the words of the real life correspondent). We’ve seen so many movies about reporters covering wars, from “Full Metal Jacket” to “The Killing Fields” to “The Year of Living Dangerously” & so many more, but how many are about women?? There’s Tina Fey’s comedy “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot” but where are the other stories about all the other female war correspondents like Christiane Amanpour or Lara Logan?? In fact when I googled female war correspondents, more than 50 names and pics popped up. It’s about time we get a movie about an untold female war hero.
“Life And Nothing More”
You will not see a more authentic movie this year. It stars non-actors in a story about a single African-American mom in Florida trying to prevent her 14 year old from following the footsteps of his imprisoned dad. The writer/director Antonio Mendez and female star Regina Williams join me on “Sonstein Sunday” at 7:15 am this weekend.