ABC Film Challenge – Biopic – Q – Bohemian Rhapsody (2018)

Director: Bryan Singer

Writer: Anthony McCarten (Screenplay) Anthony McCarten, Peter Morgan (Story)

Starring: Rami Malek, Lucy Boynton, Gwilyn Lee, Ben Hardy, Joseph Mazzello, Aidan Gillen, Mike Myers


Plot: A chronicle of the years leading up to Queen‘s legendary appearance at the Live Aid (1985) concert.

Tagline – The only thing more extraordinary than their music is his story

Runtime: 2 Hour 14 Minutes


There may be spoilers in the rest of the review


Verdict: Incredible Career, Poorly Told


Story: Bohemian Rhapsody starts as we see Freddie (Malek) working at the airport following an indie band around which has Brian May (Lee) and Roger Taylor (Hardy) in, who have just lost their lead singer, giving Freddie a chance to audition to take over and bring the band to a new level.

We follow the rise of Queen as the three joined by John Deacon (Mazzello) to rise through the ranks becoming one of biggest bands in the world, defining a generation of music makers. We mostly follow Freddie as he does deal with his own sexuality and mortality with his fame and musical genesis being tested.


Thoughts on Bohemian Rhapsody


Characters – Freddie Mercury is one of the biggest names in music history, we know his story, well how it ends anyway, we know the bands music. In this film we learn how he broke from his family traditions to become a Rockstar and bought a brand new meaning to entertaining the audience, we see his vices and how was only part of bands music history. Brian May, Roger Taylor, John Deacon are the rest of the band and have their moments which show us just how the songs came about, they work well together questioning ideas. Mary Austin is the muse for Freddie, the first love even though she knows he is gay, she is one of the few people that never gives up on Freddie.

PerformancesRami Malek is great in the leading role as you believe he has become Freddie ready to perform to the audience, easily his best performance of his career. Diving into the rest of cast, they are all good and perform in the scenes they need to an impact.

StoryThe story follows the career of Freddie Mercury, from the day he joined the band, to the Live Aid performance which changed the concert. The film shows us the important moments, the times they made the big steps in the career, how certain songs came about and the personal demons Freddie was dealing with. Now the story is told poorly because we only focus on the good in the career, there aren’t any truly bad moments shown here even though we know how difficult and isolated Freddie was feeling. The career Queen had was amazing which should be respected and told in a smarter way.

Biopic/MusicThe biopic checklist is filled out nicely because we get to see the good from the career, the problem is, we don’t see enough of the weakness in the career. The music shows us just how entertaining Queen were and how legendary the songs are.

SettingsThe film shows us the settings that the band went through to become the icons that we know.

Scene of the Movie –
Live Aid.

That Moment That Annoyed Me We only see the good.

Final ThoughtsThis is a biopic that plays everything too safe, Malek is amazing and the songs are too with the performances we all know people enjoy.


Overall: Queen fans will love, even though the film has weaknesses.




Darkest Hour (2017)

Director: Joe Wright

Writer: Anthony McCarten (Screenplay)

Starring: Gary Oldman, Kristin Scott Thomas, Ben Mendelsohn, Lily James, Ronald Pickup, Stephen Dillane, Nicholas Jones


Plot: During the early days of World War II, the fate of Western Europe hangs on the newly-appointed British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who must decide whether to negotiate with Hitler, or fight on against incredible odds.

Tagline – Never give up. Never give in.

Runtime: 2 Hours 5 Minutes


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Powerful Historical Drama


Story: Darkest Hour starts as we come to London in 1940, Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain (Pickup) is forced into resignation to help unit the divided parties as they faced in impending Nazi invasion. Who to turn to next is the question, they turned to Winston Churchill (Oldman) a formerly disgraced government member who is known for never backing down.

Churchill takes the reigns in Britain’s darkest hour as they faced certain defeat or peace talks with Hitler, but Churchill isn’t taking into lying down as he comes up with a plan to rescue the stranded troops on the beaches in Dunkirk, even with fellow members of his office trying to push him into peace talks.


Thoughts on Darkest Hour


Characters – These are all based on real people, in a rea time of crisis, which would have changed Britain as we know it today. Winston Churchill is considered one of the greatest world leaders the Earth has ever seen, he we only follow around two weeks of his career, as people are using his past mistakes against him even after picking him to be the leader, he has always been honest, he doesn’t care if you didn’t like him and he will listen to the people when searching for answers in one of the most difficult times Britain ever faced. Cemmie is Winston’s wife and one of the few people that could control him and bring out his nice side, she proves an important part of his life during this tough time because she knows how long and hard he has worked to be Prime Minister. King George VI admits to Churchill he is scared of him, he didn’t want him, but will support him decisions if they are best for the country, he gives us the most important scene in the movie. Elizabeth Layton is the new typist for Churchill, she represents the everyday person that is concerned about what might be coming and her fear helps Churchill make the decisions he does.

PerformancesIt would be fair to say that Gary Oldman has the Oscar in the bag this year, any actor that can make you not realize it is him after 2 hours of watching him deserves all the praise in the world. Jumping into the supporting cast we have wonderful performances throughout, Kristin Scott Thomas, ben Mendelsohn and Lily James take their characters and make them shine.

StoryThe story focuses on two weeks of Winston Churchill’s life, starting the day Neville Chamberlain resigned to the moment Britain refused to surrender to the Nazi invasion heading our way. This is a huge moment in history and seeing the political divide between the people in office shows the terror, fear and panic the minds would have been going through during this horrendous time. The story does shine a spotlight on the idea that the public were not completely sure what was going on and had to trust the government to make the right decision too.

Biopic/History/WarChurchill was an inspiring leader, we have seen three versions of him in the last 12 months too, to show of him in this time is important too and a moment in history that will never be forgotten during our time of need World War II.

SettingsThe settings are well constructed, but at times the military view points seem added because no one knew how to describe the situations or didn’t trust the audience to understand the terms.

Scene of the Movie –
A Royal visit.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The look up moments.

Final ThoughtsThis is a brilliant look at how Churchill help guide Britain to victory during World War II, he stood up when no one else would to be the leader Britain needed to win.


Overall: Brilliant, Masterclass performance from Oldman.




The Theory of Everything (2014)

logoDirector: James Marsh

Writer: Anthony McCarten (Screenplay) Jane Hawking (Book)

Starring: Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, Tom Prior, Harry Lloyd, Alice Orr-Ewing, David Thewlis, Michael Marcus


Plot: A look at the relationship between the famous physicist Stephen Hawking and his wife.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Fitting Film For Icon


Story: The Theory of Everything starts by taking us to 1963 Cambridge and introducing Stephen Hawking (Redmayne) and his best friend Brain (Lloyd). We see how Stephen and Jane’s (Jones) first meeting at a university party where they instantly get along, even though they are very different in beliefs. We start to see the first effects that something isn’t right with Stephen’s body just as he is starting to fully understand what he will go onto study. As Stephen is about to fully understand what he is going to understand, he collapses. Stephen finds out he is suffering from motor neurone disease and is given two years to live. Refusing to let Stephen go through the situation alone Jane stays wanting to make sure they spend his remaining time together.

Stephen and Jane get married and start their own family as his illness worsens, Stephen continues to study his physics where he wants to prove time had a beginning. Stephen continued to break boundaries in science proposing theories nobody else could imagine. We watch how the hawking’s family continues grow and Stephen continues to defy the odds the doctors gave him, all while he continues to try and prove his theories. Stephen’s condition gets worse after he catches pneumonia leaving him without a voice, but even that won’t stop him.

The Theory of Everything is a brilliantly told story of how one of the most iconic men in history defied all the odds to live past the two years he was given in 1963 and still be living today. The incredible story isn’t just about how he lived long past his said time, it shows how he continues to push the boundaries of physics. This turns into a brilliant story of one of the few men that every single person in the world should know because of how much he saw and tried to change about everything we might have known. (9/10)


Actor Review

Eddie Redmayne: Stephen Hawking we follow him from 1963 where starts his journey into the world of physics before finding out about his motor neurone disease and given two years to live. We follow him as his falls in love, starts a family and makes history. Eddie gives a brilliant performance that shows he will be ready for the mega roles in the future. (10/10)


Felicity Jones: Jane Hawking after meeting Stephen they fall in love and she sticks by him as he starts to get sick, she inspires him to continue his work but as time goes by help is needed in their lives. Felicity gives a great job in one of the best performance this year. (10/10)


Support Cast: The Theory of Everything is filled with characters who came into and left the lives of the couple over the years together. We don’t see any that put him down and nearly all of them praise his work. Each one helps tell how loved they both were and how many people helped through the years.


Director Review: James Marsh – James does a great job directing this story of how Stephen Hawking became one of the most influential people of recent time. (10/10)


Biographical: The Theory of Everything shows the relationship between the couple and how both struggle with different parts but stay loyal throughout the time shown. (9/10)

Drama: The Theory of Everything is one of those brilliant dramas that has each scene show how much is going on in the lives. (10/10)

Romance: The Theory of Everything shows how Stephen and Jane fell in love and how their love drove Stephen to carry on going. (9/10)

Settings: The Theory of Everything uses very authentic settings to show the time periods involved. (10/10)

Suggestion: The Theory of Everything is one to be watching because of how important Stephen Hawking is to the world. (Watch)


Best Part:  The speech in America.

Worst Part: It does comes off slow at times.


Believability: Based on the true story of the great man. (10/10)

Chances of Tears: (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No


Awards: Nominated for four Golden Globes including Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Original Score.

Oscar Chances: It will get plenty of nominations.

Box Office: $23.5 Million (so far)

Budget: $15 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 3 Minutes

Tagline: His mind changed our world. Her love changed his.

Trivia: Eddie Redmayne met with Stephen Hawking only once before filming. “In the three hours I spent with him, he said maybe eight sentences,” recalls Redmayne. “I just didn’t feel like I could ask him intimate things.” Therefore, he found other ways to prepare for the role. He lost about 15 pounds and trained for four months with a dancer to learn how to control his body. He met with 40 ALS patients, kept a chart tracking the order in which Hawking’s muscles declined, and stood in front of a mirror for hours on end, contorting his face. Lastly, he remained motionless and hunched over between takes, so much so that an osteopath told him he had altered the alignment of his spine. “I fear I’m a bit of a control freak,” Redmayne admits. “I was obsessive. I’m not sure it was healthy.”


Overall: The Theory of Everything Great

Rating 90