For my penultimate column as arts editor for The Heights, I have chosen to write about something I can never spend enough time talking about: movies. We are wading through Oscar season. It’s one of my favorite times of year. I don’t get to see as many movies as I would like during the academic year (it’s like school is “important” or something), but Oscar season means that Winter Break is almost upon us. I get to go back to Florida and spend Christmas at Clearwater Beach (I’ll be here at BC for Hanukkah this year) and finally be warm again. It also means that I get to catch up on all of the award-worthy or award-nominated movies that I didn’t get to see when they came out.
You may have seen the previews for this admittedly weird-looking movie if you go to a lot of movies (like me). The Favourite focuses on the court of Queen Anne (Olivia Colman) in an apparently addled state. She is doted on by Lady Sarah (Rachel Weisz). When a new woman, Abigail (Emma Stone), arrives, things start to get weird. The Favourite looks like a slapstick comedy performed with period-accurate 18th-century clothing. Two forces vie for the favor of another character. To further the probably absurdist nature of the film, it’s directed by Yorgos Lanthimos, who is best-known for directing The Killing of a Sacred Deer and The Lobster. For anyone who has seen the second film, it’s clear that Lanthimos can mix the serious and dramatic with a surreal straight-faced act. I think this movie is going to be great, but I know it’s going to be weird—and I’m into it.
If Beale Street Could Talk
Based on the novel of the same name by James Baldwin (Notes of a Native Son, The Devil Finds Work), this film was directed and adapted for the screen by Barry Jenkins, notable writer and director of Moonlight, the actual and deserved winner of Best Picture of its year. If Beale Street Could Talk takes place in Harlem as one woman struggles to clear her fiancé’s name of a crime and get him out of jail. The movie stars Stephan James (Selma, Race), Teyonah Paris (Dear White People, Mad Men), and a woman named Kiki Layne. Layne is apparently entirely new to Hollywood—her IMDB has no other credits except for two films in post-production. The casting director and Jenkins had to have seen something truly incredible in her to cast her in a movie as big as this, which certainly piques my interest. Also, I think this movie is about more than the couple’s strained relationship, but I can’t figure out what—so let’s see it.
Vice has probably already won a Greatie Award™ for Best Trailer of the Year, but I don’t think I’m looking forward to any movie as much as I’m looking forward to this one. Vice is written and directed by Adam McKay (The Big Short). Point one in its favor. It’s about a very interesting subject—how Dick Cheney became vice president to George W. Bush and what he used his newfound and extensive power to do. Point two in its favor. It has an absolute all-star cast. Vice stars Amy Adams as Lynne Cheney, Steve Carell as Donald Rumsfeld, Sam Rockwell as George W. Bush, and Christian Bale as Dick Cheney. And Bale looks just like him. He sounds just like him. He walks just like him. I know transformation movies get a lot of flack, but they are always incredible to watch. Points 3 to 10 in its favor. I’m pumped for this movie, and if I called Best Picture right now, this would be it.
Anyway, thanks for reading this far. Check out my column next week—the last one I’ll write as arts editor. Sad.
Featured Image by Annapurna Pictures