WORDS: CLARE ARMSTRONG LET’S BE FAIR AND LOOK AFTER EACH OTHER
Ilove reading film reviews. The minute I walk out of a cinema I almost immediately start tapping away on my phone to find out what the “critics” thought of the thing I just watched.
I don’t mind if I agree with what they say or not. Just reading other people’s opinions helps be firm up my own.
Of course it’s always nice to have a little smug moment when I find a review that completely aligns with my own thoughts – it’s kind of the same feeling you get when you read a Betoota Advocate article that perfectly describes an everyday scenario you’ve often thought about yourself.
But for the most part I’m not overly fussed if I’m in complete disagreement with the “experts”.
The one rule I do have however, is I don’t read any review before I watch the film.
Not just because I don’t want to come across any spoilers, but because I don’t want to have their voices in my head before I can figure out my own. Last week, I very stupidly broke my own rule. I was preparing to go and watch the Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsody when I decided to google the film to see how it was being received. Right at the top of the search results was a number: 56. Review score aggregator Rotten Tomatoes had given BoRap a 56 per cent approval rating, or as their system calls it, certifiably “rotten”.
I was devastated. I had been waiting for the film to come out all year and now I was being told I wouldn’t like it.
Yet as a big fan of Queen, and music biopics in general I just couldn’t believe it was going to be *that* bad.
Before I go on I realise this is about the fifth consecutive column I have written about a movie or television show – perhaps it’s a hint I need to get out more? I promise next LISA McCune has a simple response to the #Me Too movement: fairness for both men and women. “I just want to support my colleagues and make sure it’s a great place to go to work,” the veteran actor said. . “It is just about fairness for everybody really, I really believe that. I know so many males and females who I adore working with and fortunately I’ve never been in that situation myself, I just think we really need to look after each other more than anything - male or female.” Audiences first fell in love with the four-time Gold Logie winner as Constable Maggie Doyle in Blue Heelers 25 years ago and again on Reef fortnight I won’t mention anything to do with a screen.
But back to the movie. I actually felt NERVOUS walking into the cinema. I’d caved and read half a dozen reviews – by writers I love and respect – saying it was all over the place factually, creatively and thematically.
Two hours later I raced out of the cinema and called my parents urging them to clear their schedule and go watch Bohemian Rhapsody as soon possible. I loved the film. I could 100 per cent see why the critics didn’t like it. But all of those things still in no way made it bad.
I’ve already seen it a second time just to make sure I wasn’t crazy.
It was so fun and more than anything, the music is still just so good.
Much has been said about the incredible performance of Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury.
Quite frankly if Malek misses out on the Oscar I will probably riot.
The best part is that the movie inspired me to go on an internet deep dive and rediscover Queen.
The first thing I noticed was how many critics absolutely panned their records at the time.
Of course in their decades-long career there were a few missteps, but the harsh words about some of Queen’s best work was staggering.
So the fact the first real attempt at dramatizing their lives on the big screen had also been kicked to the kerb by critics ended up being weirdly poetic.
In the end the movie was number one at the box office the world over, so clearly I’m not the only one who disagrees with the professionals and I highly encourage anyone who ever loved Queen to disregard them as well. Doctors in 2013. After a stint away from mainstream television, she returned to Channel 10 this week in new TV comedy How To Stay Married. The 47-year-old actor praised co-star Pete Helliar, who wrote the series, for tapping into subject matter audiences can relate to. “There are lots of little things that people identify with and have a laugh at … and I think Pete really gets women. He likes women,” McCune said. “I think he (Helliar) has hit on a subject matter where there’s a huge demographic of people who have been married for that period of time. They’ve hit their 14, 15 year marriage - there’s a lot of us in that kind of demographic with young children - just emerging from the baby bunker that you go into, and it’s kind of like ‘who are we?’ when you get to that point.” As for her own personal life, McCune has always been notoriously private and the mother of three says it’s a calculated decision out of respect for her kids. “I just think the stuff I’m doing on screen is much more interesting to talk about,” she joked. “I’ve got three gorgeous kids and they’ve got their own stories going on at the moment and I’m really respectful of letting them have their time now and letting them have their lives.”
RAMI MALEK AS ROCK ICON FREDDIE MERCURY