Julia is a movie about which I knew very little, aside from the fact that it had won Oscars — and, being that I’m a movie snob who wants/needs to see as many Oscar-winning (and nominated) films as possible, this was on my seemingly never-ending queue. Also, I’d seen very little of Jane Fonda’s earlier, more dramatic work, and had only seen her in things like Grace and Frankie (a few episodes here and there) and the disappointing Book Club.
It is hardly unusual to see Keira Knightley in yet another period price. It is unusual, however, to see her play a queer character. And, as she has done with her previous, heterosexual characters, she gives a committed, fully-realized performance.
As a fan of Adam McKay’s previous work (e.g., The Big Short), I was fairly disappointed in this movie that can’t decide if it wants to be a biopic or a mockumentary. Despite Christian Bale’s as-expected commitment to the role of Dick Cheney, it’s unclear whether we are meant to root for him or hate him or something in between.
With solid performances from John David Washington and Adam Driver, Spike Lee’s is a powerful, at times comedic and even a tough watch, look at our history that is still relevant today.
The Favourite is delightfully bizarre, and I wouldn’t expect less from the man behind wholly original films like The Lobster. Rachel Weiss and Emma Stone are strong and committed, but it’s Oscar winner Olivia Colman who carries the film, in one of the most complex performances I’ve ever seen.