I haven’t seen all the movies that will be featured at the Academy Awards ceremony this coming Sunday, but I’ve seen a few of them and I offer my quick summaries . . .
A Star is Born . . . A very human story about love and longing, and how addiction can sink its claws into our lives. Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper are amazing. Cooper’s directorial debut is first rate. It’s not enough that he’s handsome and a good actor, he can also sing and direct! (Life is not fair.) I liked it.
BlackkKlansman . . . Congratulations to Spike Lee for another wonderful film! This is a movie with powerful social relevance, as well as telling a comical, sad, and suspenseful human story. I loved it. I would love to see Spike Lee win an Oscar. This film is just another in his growing collection of important movies.
The Favourite . . . I wanted to like it. I could not stay awake.
Roma . . . I loved this film. It is a human story of love, heartache and compassion. After I watched it I thought to myself that it’s a movie about life. Real life. Real, ordinary, genuine life that unfolds slowly and deliberately. This is one of the most beautiful films I’ve ever seen. (Spoiler Alert: It will make an appearance in my sermon this Sunday!)
The Wife . . . It’s not an epic film. In fact, it’s small and quiet, but at moments it explodes like a wildfire with long-smothered rage. I liked it. It’s about feminine power, but also an exploration into the secret agreements couples make with one another. There’s a nice suspense factor too. Glenn Close, one of the great actors of our time, offers a stellar performance.
At Eternity’s Gate . . . I wanted to love this film, a bio-pic about the painter Vincent Van Gough. I liked it, but it didn’t really move me. I’m not sure why. Willem DeFoe offers a terrific performance, and if you are an art lover, then I would say it’s certainly worth watching.
Bohemian Rhapsody . . . Yet another music-centered film, this time featuring the story of Freddy Mercury and his band Queen. I loved it! The music of Queen was everywhere when I was in high school and college, so it was a nostalgia trip for me, too. I didn’t really know Mercury’s story, but I found it moving and sad and beautiful.
The Green Book . . . Okay, maybe it doesn’t have the edge of a Spike Lee film, but I enjoyed this movie. There are many ways of addressing racism in our world, and this movie portrays two men — a white man and a black man — finding new levels of understanding, appreciating differences and breaking through old prejudices. It’s more than a road trip story. It’s a reminder that change happens in our world one heart at a time.
Okay, the big show is this Sunday afternoon. (AFTER CHURCH!) Take a Breath and root for your favorite movie. Although the world of cinema has changed dramatically in recent years, there’s still magic in the movies.