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The Australian - - ARTS - STEPHEN ROMEI DAVID STRATTON

Bo­hemian Rhap­sody (M) When it comes to who will be named best ac­tor at the 91st Acad­emy Awards, put down the glasses. Amer­i­can ac­tor Rami Malek must win for be­ing Fred­die Mer­cury in Bryan Singer’s out­stand­ing rock biopic Bo­hemian Rhap­sody. Ma­lik, who worked with a move­ment coach and wore pros­thetic teeth, is Mer­cury, front­man of the rock group Queen, from the over­bite down. Some com­men­ta­tors have crit­i­cised this movie for “hid­ing” Mer­cury’s ho­mo­sex­u­al­ity. All I can say in re­sponse is they must have seen a dif­fer­ent movie to the one I saw. Mer­cury was not part of the gay pride move­ment. This is a movie about him as one of the great­est per­form­ers in rock ’n’ roll. This is not a per­fect movie. The script is a lit­tle limp in parts and the merg­ing of real events into the film doesn’t al­ways work. But such small prob­lems are blown away by Malek’s 10star per­for­mance.

Jour­ney’s End (M) Re­leased to co­in­cide with the 100th an­niver­sary of the armistice that ended World War I, Jour­ney’s End is a pow­er­ful trib­ute to the men who fought in the trenches in that ter­ri­ble con­flict. The British film, di­rected by Saul Dibb, is based on the cel­e­brated 1928 play by RC Sher­riff, which was mem­o­rably brought to the screen by di­rec­tor James Whale in 1930. The tragic story un­folds across the course of a few days in March 1918 in north­ern France. British troops are anx­ious about an ex­pected as­sault from Ger­man forces but have been told no re­in­force­ments will be forth­com­ing. As a re­minder of the sac­ri­fices made by the men who fought in a hope­less and in­sane con­flict, Jour­ney’s End, which is stur­dily acted and sim­ply but ef­fec­tively staged, is im­pres­sive.

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