Directed by Ron Howard, Pavarotti is a close look at the life and voice of the the man who brought opera to the people, legendary opera singer Luciano Pavarotti.
Pavarotti promises intimate interviews, history-making performances and never-before-seen footage…
I’m in because even though I’m not an avid listener of opera music, Luciano Pavarotti is the only opera singer I can immediately name. And considering that all I really knew about him besides his occupation and Princess Diana being a big fan is that he was Italian. I actually can’t wait to see exactly what else I can learn – and very likely love about the man.
Princess Diana, Bono, Spike Lee, Phil Donahue, Stevie Wonder, Nelson Mandela, José Carreras and Kofi Annan are among those featured in some of the archival footage.
From writer / director Guy Nattiv, Skin stars Jamie Bell, Danielle Macdonald, Mike Colter and Bill Camp in a biographical drama about Bryon Widner.
Widner is a young a young man who, with the help of a black activist and the woman he loves, he goes about turning his back on hatred, violence and the racist skinheads who raised him….
I like that I don’t already know how Widner’s story ends. I therefore look forward to finding out and comparing it to one of my favourites which also deals with a similar subject. Namely American History X (1998).
Vera Farmiga, Louisa Krause, Zoe Margaret Colletti, Kylie Rogers and Colbi Gannett also star.
There are a number of things including the history lesson that made me want to watch Mary Queen Of Scots; the story of the troubled relationship between Elizabeth I, Queen of England, and her cousin Mary Stuart.
Considering that director Josie Rourke’s film is a costume drama, I’d hoped to see lots of sumptuous clothing design, in addition to very well written dialogue delivered by great actors. The film’s trailer even had me expecting something not too far from as epic as director Shekhar Kapur and Cate Blanchett’s Elizabeth (1998).Unfortunately for me, things didn’t quite transpire that way.
Starring Margot Robbie, Saoirse Ronan, Joe Alwyn and Guy Pearce, there certainly were a handful of well designed costumes to enjoy. Yet it’s the few moments of beautiful visuals – especially outdoor cinematography that proved most arresting for me. Even more so than the dialogue and general story editing which I have to admit had me less engaged and interested than I envisioned I’d be.
It’s likely that in addition to finding the story more dull than anticipated, my interest also started to diminish in part because of how distressing sitting through the sexism and misogyny proved to be.
Just like my recent review of On The Basis of Sex (2018), another historical drama, it’s the part near the very end that I liked most about Mary Queen Of Scots. Meaning, everything from the moment the two royals finally meet. Actually, even with that said, I still choose the few visually arresting moments over the dialogue and this telling of the Elizabeth I and Mary Stuart story.
Watch Mary Queen Of Scots if you absolutely must. As for myself, I think it’s time I re-watched the great Elizabeth (1998).
Trial By Fire is the true and tragic story of Cameron Todd Willingham, a man executed in Texas for killing his three children after scientific evidence and expert testimony that could have proven his innocence were suppressed.
Directed by Edward Zwick, Trial By Fire stars Jack O’Connell, Laura Dern, Emily Meade, Joshua Mikel…
It’s going to be sad but it’s O’Connell and Dern’s performances that are the reason I’m drawn to this one. I also wonder if I’ll be surprised by how those guilty of suppressing vital evidence that could have saved Willingham, may even begin to defend their actions.
Jade Pettyjohn, Jeff Perry, Chris Coy, Jason Douglas, McKinley Belcher III, Carlos Gómez, Rhoda Griffis and Elle Graham also star.
On The Basis Of Sex, the Mimi Leder directed biopic about US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and her notable achievements especially in her fight for equal rights is… it’s a movie I’m disappointed to say isn’t quite all I’d hoped.
Prior to viewing and thanks to the trailer, I had a certain idea of what this movie might be like. However, my bubble of great expectations burst quite early on, thanks to the rather annoying opening song. And not too long after that, it became quite clear to me that something important was missing from Leder’s movie. The missing element (better script and / or execution) made a big chunk of On The Basis Of Sex feel quite flat and unexciting.
Bearing in mind the huge impact of Ginsburg’s work in the United States and beyond, I really expected a more ‘epic feeling’ finished product. Instead the thought that ‘an opportunity has definitely been missed here’ entered my mind and never left.
The scene in the US Supreme Court at the end is certainly the best. Especially because of the words and delivery of the all important rebuttal. I also couldn’t help but notice how wonderful it surely must have been for Ginsburg to have a support system as great as those in her immediate family. Namely, Martin Ginsburg and their daughter Jane. I really did want to love this one, but it simply wasn’t to be.
Watch it for the US Supreme Court scene, the clothes worn by Felicity Jones and if you’re really, really curious. Just know that the documentary RBG (2018) is better.
From director Farhad Safinia; starring Mel Gibson, Sean Penn, Steve Coogan and Natalie Dormer, The Professor And The Madman is the origin story of the principal historical dictionary of the English language, the Oxford English Dictionary.
After Professor James Murray started the dictionary in the mid 19th century, he soon received more than 10,000 entries from Dr. William Minor. A man who happened to be a patient at Broadmoor Criminal Lunatic Asylum…
In all my years of appreciating the beauty of the English language, not once have I given a single thought to the founding of the English Dictionary. As a fan of words I sure hope this one is a tale even more interesting than this trailer suggests.
My fingers are also crossed that all the logophiles and lexicographers will have a good time.
Jennifer Ehle, Ioan Gruffudd, Jeremy Irvine, Aidan McArdle, Brendan Patricks, David Crowley and Kieran O’Reilly also star.
Joe Pesci, Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Harvey Keitel are the stars of new biography / crime / drama The Irishman.
Directed by Martin Scorsese, the story centres around a mod hitman’s recollection of his possible involvement with the slaying of Jimmy Hoffa.
The names of everyone in this movie is enough to get any serious movie fan very excited – and excited I certainly am. I also have to congratulate the creative mind behind the decision to have the shell float in the place of the letter I. I admit to yelping with delight at the beauty of the execution, especially when De Niro’s name came up. Then I had rewind to watch it again in case I imagined the whole thing; and a third time so I could actually listen to the dialogue.
No actual footage has even been released bur I’m convinced that Autumn has never seemed so very far away.
Anna Paquin, Jack Huston, Bobby Cannavale, Ray Romano, Jesse Plemons and Stephen Graham also star.
Ethan Hawke, Chris Pratt, Vincent D’Onofrio and Dane DeHaan are the stars of The Kid.
Directed by D’Onofrio, The Kid is a biography / western about a young boy forced to go on the run whilst trying to save his sister from his villainous uncle. On his journey he finds himself increasingly entwined in the lives of Sheriff Pat Garrett and Billy The Kid…
I’m not overly familiar with the Sheriff Pat Garrett and Billy The Kid story but I am aware of that Billy is an outlaw and I’m interested mainly because of Hawke and Pratt. My fingers crossed for a pleasant surprise.
Leila George, Adam Baldwin, Jenny Gabrielle and Tait Fletcher also star.