Category Archives: based on a true story

FILM REVIEW: The Front Runner (2018)

In a time where a man with multiple allegations of sexual assault against him can become president, it’s crazy to think that thirty years ago another man’s presidential campaign could come crashing down so easily because of adultery. In 1987 Gary Hart was considered the frontrunner for the 1988 Democratic Party presidential primaries, but withdrew from the campaign a week after news broke of his alleged affair with his mistress, Donna Rice. George H.W. Bush went on to win the 1988 election for the Republican Party. Continue reading FILM REVIEW: The Front Runner (2018)

FILM REVIEW: Mary Queen of Scots (2018)

Having been in the pipeline for several years, Mary Queen of Scots, directed by Josie Rourke, finally makes it to the big screen. Based on John Guy’s biography, Queen of Scots: The True Life of Mary Stuart, with a screenplay adapted by Beau Willimon, the film sees last year’s best actress contenders, Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie, star together at last, even if it’s just in one scene that has historical purists all riled up. Continue reading FILM REVIEW: Mary Queen of Scots (2018)

FILM REVIEW: Can You Ever Forgive Me? (2018)

Following an Oscar nomination for Bridesmaids back in 2012, Melissa McCarthy is getting Oscar buzz again for her starring role in Can You Ever Forgive Me? based on the memoir by Lee Israel.

Lee Israel (McCarthy) was a celebrity biographer who was down on her luck after poor sales and a lack of support from her agent (Jane Curtin). With not even enough money to pay for her cat’s vet bills, a chance find by Lee sparks an idea about how she can make money from her writing: create fake letters by literary greats and actors and sell them to collectors. The film, directed by Marielle Heller (The Diary of a Teenage Girl) and written by Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty, does a thorough job in setting this up well so that we can empathise with Lee’s criminal actions – her cat is sick, her apartment is flea-ridden, she can’t afford a coat. Not to mention that her victims, for the most part, aren’t exactly the most likeable characters. Continue reading FILM REVIEW: Can You Ever Forgive Me? (2018)

THEATRE ON FILM REVIEW: Everybody’s Talking About Jamie (2018)

Back in 2000, the film gods gave us Billy Elliot, a story about a boy who wanted to break gender stereotypes and be a ballet dancer. In a supporting role, Billy’s friend Michael is revealed to enjoy cross-dressing, with this scene celebrated in one of the best numbers in the stage musical adaptation (which premiered on the West End in 2005), ‘Expressing Yourself’. Elton John’s lyrics include “What the hell’s wrong with wearing a dress, being who you want to be… What the hell is wrong with expressing yourself? For trying to be free”. It’s a beautiful moment but its place in the show is mostly as a comical reprieve from the drama of the main character. Continue reading THEATRE ON FILM REVIEW: Everybody’s Talking About Jamie (2018)

FILM REVIEW: Beautiful Boy (2018)

Based on the memoirs of David and Nic Sheff, Beautiful Boy portrays a family’s ordeal with drug addiction with grace. Not to be confused with the 2010 film of the same name which focused on the parents of a mass shooter, the title does similarly refer to a well-loved child who hit rock bottom despite support. Continue reading FILM REVIEW: Beautiful Boy (2018)

FILM REVIEW: The Greatest Showman (2017)

“Ladies and gents, this is the moment you’ve waited for”.

And so begins this year’s second lavish musical extravaganza, The Greatest Showman. But have we been eagerly awaiting this one? The trailers were promising, but with an unfamiliar score and a first time director it seemed a risk. Would this just be another Hugh Jackman letdown in the vein of Pan? Continue reading FILM REVIEW: The Greatest Showman (2017)