The Golden Globe Awards will air Sunday and this year’s race is shaping up to be one of the most exciting ever observed in the early stages. There are plenty of strong contenders, but no out-and-out frontrunner. Watching the Golden Globes or Oscars is always more fun when you’ve seen the movies up for awards so I prepared a list of my favourite ones. These are also my predictions for what movies will appear on the Oscars ballot, come January 23. Ready for some binge-watching?
Margot Robbie stars as controversial Olympic figure skater Tonya Harding in the documentary, based on a true story. Harding was the first American woman to complete a triple axel in competition, but her legacy has forever been defined by her association with an infamous attack on fellow Olympic competitor Nancy Kerrigan. I, Tonya is smart, tragic and darkly hilarious movie and I’m still in awe of Robbie’s performance. Also great is Allison Janney as Tonya Harding’s mother. At first I thought she was stretching her character for comedic effect, but after seeing actual footage of Tonya’s mother, it is clear that Janney nailed it.
Battle of The Sexes
The true story of the 1973 tennis match held between Billie Jean King and the ex-champ Bobbie Riggs that was known as The Battle of the Sexes. The match was the most watched television event of all time and began a global discussion of gender equality and may have even set fire to the feminist movement. For this reason alone its worth seeing the film. Battle of The Sexes is a funny, poignant dramedy that doesn’t fall into the traps that biopics like this too often do. Steve Carell as Bobby Riggs was great casting! And Emma Stone? Although she won the Oscar for best actress in La La Land, there is something really special about her performance as Billie Jean King in this movie.
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Martin McDonagh’s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri won the People’s Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival last year. I also voted for it to win. The main theme of the movie is anger and no one does angry better than Frances McDormand. She plays Mildred Haynes, a mother raging with grief after her teenage daughter has been raped and killed. Haynes blames local police for the lack of progress of the case and rents the space on three decrepit billboards just out of town to let everyone know that. It is a truly great, interesting, disturbing, sad, funny and unpredictable yet heartfelt dark comedy with outstanding screen writing, excellent editing and powerhouse performances not just from McDormand but also from Sam Rockwell and Woody Harrelson.
Call Me by Your Name
One of the most mesmerizing films of the year. Call Me by Your Name is based on a novel by André Aciman, about a brief affair between a 17-year-old American-Italian Jewish boy living with his parents in Italy at their vacation home, and a 24-year-old American graduate student who comes to live with the boy’s family in the summer of 1987. Both Armie Hammer and Timothée Chalamet give an excellent performance, not to mention that the movie itself is extraordinarily beautiful cinematically, technically and artistically.
The Shape Of Water
Guillermo del Toro’s newest film has a mute protagonist, a Cold War backdrop, and a creature. This “Beauty and the Beast” kind of love story with the delicate time period touches, is a very different type of movie and I love the cinematography of it. The Shape of Water blends Del Torro’s stunning visuals with a heartfelt and unique plot. Sally Hawkins is phenomenal in a role where she does not speak, conveying a range of emotions truly seamlessly. Great story, great cast and a lesson to be learned for those who care. Film making at its best.
Jessica Chastain is on fire in Aaron Sorkin’s directorial debut. Based on a true story, the film follows Molly Bloom, an Olympic skier whose career is ended prematurely in an accident. In need of a change, she moves to Los Angeles and finds herself running the world’s most exclusive high-stakes poker games. Great writing and performances. Full of suspense. Perfect pacing. Molly’s game not only is a fascinating biopic but an impressively acted piece all around, particularly with Idris Elba and Jessica Chastain in the leading roles. Also, Jessica wears clothes like weapons as she powers her way through the movie!
Saoirse Ronan and Laurie Metcalf are terrific in this funny, charming and grounded film about growing up a girl from a modest family discovering herself and aspiring to more than what is expected of her, and parents. Every single character feels like a real person with feelings and understandable motivations. All the performances across the board were exceptional. Greta Gerwig deserves a lot of credit for her directing as well. Hilarious, moving, and truthful, Lady Bird will make you laugh, cry, and want to call your mom right after.