Poppin’ fall films

Tim Powers

Throughout the next few months, movies will begin premiering at certain film festivals, such as the Venice Film Festival, hoping to vie for Oscar attention at the end of the year. Many titles opened to rave reviews and some to controversy. 

‘First Man’

One of the first movies to screen at Venice was the Neil Armstrong biopic starring Ryan Gosling. It chronicles Armstrong’s journey to becoming the first man to walk on the moon. Critics gave the film rave reviews while some criticized the film for not showing scenes of Armstrong planting the American flag on the Moon. Conservatives claimed the film to be “un-American.”

‘A Star is Born’

This film starring Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga, opened up to rave reviews from critics. This is the fourth iteration of the story which concerns Ally, a rising star falling in love with fading country musician, Jackson. For one star to rise another must fall. Previous versions of the film have starred Barbra Streisand, Judy Garland and Janet Gaynor. This version has received criticism due to one of the producers, Jon Peters, having been accused of sexual harassment multiple times. In the age of the #Metoo movement, it is incredibly important to set a standard in the workplace. Critics say the inclusion of Peters on the film as a betrayal of these standards.

‘Bohemian Rhapsody’

A biopic chronicling the life of Freddie Mercury and the rock band “Queen,” starring Rami Malek. The film portrays the rise of the band to stardom while also documenting Mercury’s diagnosis with AIDS. The film experienced production trouble during filming when director Bryan Singer did not show up to set one day. Some sources saying that the cast and crew often clashed with Singer. In addition, Singer was accused of sexual assault in December 2017.

This film divided Venice audiences due to its portrayal of a school shooting. A sensitive subject in today’s age due to the increased attention on gun control. The film begins with the school shooting, injuring many, including main character Celeste, who then goes on to become a pop sensation, due to a song she performs at a memorial event for those lost at the horrific event. Since her rise to pop stardom, Celeste suffers many controversies and drug addictions. The film explores the negative effects of fame and the startling effects of PTSD.

It remains to be seen how these films will fair when it comes to box office potential or receiving Oscar votes. But it safe to say it will provide for an interesting award season.