WEIRDLY PO­ETIC

WORDS: CLARE ARM­STRONG LET’S BE FAIR AND LOOK AF­TER EACH OTHER

Townsville Bulletin - Townsville Eye - - Reckon -

@ByClare

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

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