The 91st Academy Awards: Comments and Concerns

It has been an absolutely astonishing year for the cinema. But for as amazing a year as 2018 had been, we’re also left with facing one of the most insulting awards seasons to have come by in recent memory. You’d think that given last year’s set of nominees they actually would have been growing progressively better, especially having given a film like Moonlight the top honour for the 2016 ceremony (and a well-deserved one at that), but after the Golden Globes came by, I was already worried that we’d already be in store for one of the absolute worst in recent memory. To think that the Oscars would already have gone far beyond that “popular film” award in order to try and raise their viewership, as if the ceremonies themselves haven’t already been stale enough (i.e. overlong montages praising the industry and shallow activism that amounts to nothing), who knew that we’d be in store for one that was so out of touch – particularly in last year’s amazingly bad timing (with it being only barely ahead of the Olympics rather than in February like they usually were)? As a supposed celebration for the cinema comes by within the year, there are many things here to be concerned about.

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Bohemian Rhapsody is Insultingly Formulaic and a Vaguely Homophobic Portrait of a Queer Icon: A Review

Queen was a band whose music defined an entire generation, and over the years their popularity never would die down. But between every album there was a whole lot more that came along the way especially given how fascinating a subject like Freddie Mercury is. Beloved by many, and also having established himself as one of the most recognizable queer icons in history, trying to make a biopic about their history was always going to be a difficult subject to tackle and to say the least, a film like Bohemian Rhapsody only tries to go so far. But “trying” can only get you somewhere, because that’s one way of describing where everything had gone wrong with Bohemian Rhapsody. If you’re already thinking of many of the most influential bands of all time, whether it be generation-defining names like The Beatles or Nirvana, you’d already imagine that there would be many tensions coming along the way – and Queen weren’t saints in that same regard either. But there comes a point where you’re looking at a story about a band struggling to remain together as difficult as their relationships may be and outright lying to the audience through the obvious favouring of many members over the other. And unfortunately, Bohemian Rhapsody happens to be the latter.

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Ain’t Them Bodies Saints – Review

✯✯½

It’s easy to find influences from Terrence Malick spreading everywhere, for David Lowery’s debut Ain’t Them Bodies Saints is only making itself clear its own homages to Badlands and Bonnie and Clyde among a few. But the fact that it lays upon these influences only is one thing that keeps me from coming closer, for it tries its best to feel soothing as a sight for the eyes and a sound for the ears, and yet on the inside it still feels so thin. I’m not even sure that writer-director David Lowery seemed especially interested in going beyond these stylistic influences to make something all the more compelling. It’s easy to see why Ain’t That Bodies Saints has drawn such a divided reaction towards the manner to which it is channeling Malick for some say it is a loving homage and others say it is a flagrant copy, and unfortunately I happen to be on the other side of the fence.

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