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Cinema in the Spotlight

2018 was an incredible year for cinema. We saw the highly awaited Avengers: Infinity War’ reunite 10 years of Marvel superheroes, Love Simon take major step in LGBT representation on the silver screen and A Star is Born prove that good singers can be Oscar nominated actresses. It was a great year for moviegoers all around the world.

Unfortunately, the 76th Golden Globe Awards reflected poorly on 2018’s quality by choosing Bohemian Rhapsody for the Best Drama of the year. This is one fight where I might be alone, but I absolutely despise Bohemian Rhapsody and what it stands for. It is sad that we, as a society, accept a biopic that blatantly lies about the life of an icon to please the public. Indeed, it was produced by one of the group’s former members (Brian May) who assured that nothing controversial would be said about Freddie Mercury. It is truly a shame that the Hollywood Foreign Press supports a movie that is so full of ‘fake news’: it sets a terrible example for biopics to come. By making Bohemian Rhapsody one of the most popular movies of the year, we show that we do not care about the truth because it might hurt our perceptions of famous icons.

With the recent announcement of the nominees for the 91st Academy Award ceremony, hope has returned. I was extremely pleased to see that blockbusters like Black Panther were nominated amongst some of the best indie movies of the year. It seems that Hollywood is finally recognising the talent of bigger productions as well as the value of classical dramas.

The nominations might not satisfy everyone. Some of the snubs, like Toni Colette’s performance in Hereditary or Justin Hurwitz’s score for First Man, reflect poorly on the Academy’s taste, but we can only hope that this time real movies will triumph and that box office results won’t affect the jury’s decision. This year’s Oscars have the potential to change Hollywood for the best if they are brave enough to give awards to more unexpected (yet still deserving) movies.

One thing for which we must praise the Academy is the representation it offers this year. The multiple nominations of Roma (the Netflix film directed by Alfonso Cuarón) and Cold War show that Hollywood recognises the value of international movies that can resonate amongst more isolated communities. And the inclusion of two Netflix films (Roma and The Ballad of Buster Scruggs) proves that streaming platform should be considered the same as traditional movies. It is a step forward that will hopefully resonate all the way to the Cannes Film Festival that is still reluctant to accept Netflix in the cinema industry.

2018 was a beautiful year for cinema, and we can only hope that the Oscars will reflect well upon that. 2019 should not disappoint with highly expected releases like Avengers: Endgame, Us or Star Wars: Episode IX. Moviegoers, we have a bright year ahead!

Elie Breton des Loÿs

Elie is Bath Time's 2021/22 Editor-in-Chief (Online). He was previously the Lifestyle Editor for 2019/20 and is still our resident cinema-goer, best known for witty and informative film reviews.

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