Now we have all the Golden Globes out of the way and the BAFTA and Academy Award nominations out in the open, it’s time for mainstream audiences to catch up on what all the fuss is about surrounding particular movies, movies that may not have otherwise had a wider release without their awards buzz. Award-worthy movies aside, there’s a lot of seriousness going on in this month’s releases, with only a handful of lighter films to take the edge off. This month’s top three to-see movies have all received at least one nomination in a particular category, so something about them must definitely be worth the watch, despite their not-always-so-lighthearted storylines.
Can You Ever Forgive Me? (1st)
It’s not all that often that we get to see Melissa McCarthy sink her teeth into a truly dramatic role. I can imagine it will be refreshing to see her step away from comedy, and she must have taken a step in the right direction, having been nominated for a Best Actress Academy Award for her role as real-life forger Lee Israel, an author-turned-con-woman with financial woes. Co-star Richard E. Grant has also been bestowed with a Best Supporting Actor nomination. It says a lot about their performances, though not necessarily the film. Still, I think seeing McCarthy take a different route will make Can You Ever Forgive Me? worth a watch.
Nominated for Best Film, Best Actor for Viggo Mortensen and Best Supporting Actor for Mahershala Ali, Green Book shows a lot of promise, particularly when it comes to word-of-mouth and overall positive reviews. Another based-on-a-true-story selection, this one sees the real-life friendship of a classical pianist and his driver as they embark on a tour together. While Ali has been riding high since his Oscar-winning role in Barry Jenkins’s 2016 Best Picture winner Moonlight, Mortensen, despite already having a couple of previous Best Actor nominations to his name, is yet to score a win. Could this be his year?
Proving his worth as a screenwriter, Moonlight‘s Barry Jenkins receives another Best Adapted Screenplay nomination (with a win for Moonlight) for his adaptation of James Baldwin’s If Beale Street Could Talk, the story of a woman trying to prove her husband is innocent of a crime whilst going through pregnancy with their first child. So far it’s proving to be a real front-runner, and it’s definitely one to catch before the awards kick off.
Non-English Language Choice:
Anyone who knows me knows I’m an advocate for Korean cinema, and I’ve been waiting for Burning to hit UK cinemas for some time. It’s a mystery drama about a young man named Jong-su (Yoo Ah-in) who is asked to look after the cat of an old female friend of his. Upon her return, she introduces Jong-su to a guy she’s met, and he discovers this mysterious guy has a secret hobby. It also features Steven Yeun, a familiar face to fans of The Walking Dead. It’s created some major buzz in film festivals all over the world, so this is definitely one to add to the list for February.
Fighting with My Family