Rocketman, the fantastical musical biopic on Sir Elton John, scooped this year’s Oscar for Best Original Song for I’m Gonna Love Me Again, co-written by Elton and his long-time lyricist Bernie Taupin.
Rock biopic meets musical fantasy in this fabulous rollercoaster of a movie about a little boy called Reginald Kenneth Dwight, who grew up to be one of the greatest musical icons of all time. It’s a celebration of the music, the dreams, and the larger-than-life persona that’s made Elton a legend. But it’s also the story of his struggle with addiction, and of his friendship with Bernie, which helped him through.
As Elton, Taron Egerton won a Golden Globe and was nominated for BAFTA, Screen Actors Guild, People’s Choice and Teen Choice awards. The movie also stars BAFTA winner Jamie Bell (Billy Elliot, Film Stars Don’t Die In Liverpool), Golden Globe winner Richard Madden (Bodyguard, Game of Thrones), Golden Globe nominee Bryce Dallas Howard (Jurassic World) and BAFTA winner Gemma Jones (Bridget Jones’ Diary).
Rocketman was penned by Billy Elliot writer Lee Hall and directed by double-BAFTA Award nominee Dexter Fletcher (who took Bohemian Rhapsody to completion after Bryan Singer was fired).
Celebrated author Joe Castleman is about to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature. As he travels to Stockholm, he’s accompanied to the event by his wife Joan. Through almost 40 years, Joan has played her role as the Great Man’s Wife with grace and diplomacy, supporting his career, championing his work, overlooking his indiscretions, and ultimately, herself. The Wife is a simmering, intimate study of a marriage, of compromise, betrayal and devotion.
Glenn Close received her seventh Oscar nomination, won a Golden Globe and was nominated for a BAFTA for her portrayal of Joan, with the London Evening Standard saying, “If ever a film belonged to an actor… this one belongs to Close.”
Oscar nominee Jonathan Pryce (The Two Popes), Golden Globe winner Christian Slater (Mr. Robot), BAFTA nominee Harry Lloyd (The Theory of Everything, and Game of Thrones’ Viserys Targaryen) and Max Irons (Condor) also star, along with Close’s daughter, Annie Starke, who plays the younger Joan.
Jason Momoa. There, we said it. What more do you need to know?
Seriously though, Aquaman tells the origin story of DC comic book hero Arthur Curry, who we saw in 2017’s Justice League. Born to Atlantean-queen mother Atlanna and a human father, Arthur has lived his whole life on land. But when his undersea half-brother, King Orm, threatens war on the surface dwellers, Arthur is called upon to fulfil his destiny and claim his rightful throne.
The cast includes Oscar winner Nicole Kidman (Dr. Chase Meridian in Batman Forever), Oscar nominee Willem Dafoe (Green Goblin in 2002’s Spider-Man), Golden Globe nominee Patrick Wilson (Nite Owl in 2009’s Watchmen), Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (Cal Abar in the new Watchmen), action legend Dolph Lundgren (Konstantin Kovar in Arrow), and Amber Heard (who – spoiler alert! – shared the MTV Movie + TV Best Kiss Award with Jason Momoa), reprising her role as Justice League’s Mera.
The movie is directed by James Wan, who helmed Fast & Furious 7 (the Guinness World Record holder for grossing $1bn at the global box office in just 17 days) and is slated to direct Aquaman 2, announced for 2022.
“Momoa’s Aquaman isn’t tortured and conflicted; he’s a badass, and he digs it,” says Slate. “Wan not only embraces the inherent silliness of a hero whose signature power is talking to fish; he revels in it, finding the childlike awesomeness at its core.”
FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE CRIMES OF GRINDELWALD
Dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald (Oscar nominee Johnny Depp) has escaped and is gathering followers, most unsuspecting of his true agenda: to raise pure-blood wizards up to rule over all non-magical beings. In an effort to thwart Grindelwald’s plans, Albus Dumbledore (Oscar nominee Jude Law) enlists his former student Newt Scamander (Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne). Lines are drawn as love and loyalty are tested, even among the truest friends and family, in an increasingly divided wizarding world.
The movie is directed by David Yates (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows), from a screenplay by J.K. Rowling, who is also a producer. The cast also includes Zoë Kravitz (Big Little Lies), Carmen Ejogo (Selma, True Detective) and Ezra Miller (The Perks of Being a Wallflower).
This Oscar-winning comedy drama is based on the life of figure skater Tonya Harding and the scandal that ended her career. Harding was the first American woman to pull off a triple axel in competition, but her success was overshadowed by her implication in the attack on rival skater Nancy Kerrigan in 1994.
Margot Robbie (Harley Quinn in Birds of Prey, and a second-time Oscar nominee for Bombshell) was nominated for an Oscar for her performance as Harding, who never fitted the stereotype of what a figure-skater was expected to be, and Sebastian Stan (Bucky Barnes from the Avengers movies) plays her dodgy ex-husband Jeff. But it’s Allison Janney (The Help, Hairspray, The West Wing), who skates away with all the glory in an Oscar-winning performance as Harding’s viciously ambitious mother, LaVona.
Read the SAMDB review of I, Tonya.
Molly’s Game is based on the true story of former Olympic-class skier Molly Bloom, who ran the world’s most exclusive high-stakes poker game on little more than her wits until the FBI arrested her in a high-profile, middle-of-the-night sting that threatened everyone from Hollywood stars to the Russian mob.
Molly’s Game stars two-time Oscar nominee Jessica Chastain (The Help, Interstellar), Golden Globe winner Idris Elba (Luther, Avengers), MTV Movie Award nominee Michael Cera (Juno), Oscar winner Kevin Costner (Dances With Wolves), Critics Choice winner Jeremy Strong (Succession), and Emmy winner Chris O’Dowd (Bridesmaids).
Molly’s Game is the directorial debut of Aaron Sorkin, who created The West Wing and won an Oscar for The Social Network. He also wrote the script, which was nominated for an Oscar, a Golden Globe and a BAFTA for Best Adapted Screenplay.
ALL ABOUT NINA
Nina Geld has attitude, a brilliant stand-up routine, and the makings of what just might be about to turn into a decent career. Then her love life blows up, complicating everything. Looking to change her life (and escape her ex), she makes the move to LA and encounters a challenge she didn’t see coming in Rafe.
The comedy-drama stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead, who’s in Birds of Prey, Fargo and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, and won an Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films award for 10 Cloverfield Lane. “Winstead shines,” says Screen Daily, “She’s electric.”
Oscar winner Common (Selma) plays Rafe, and look out for Nailed it! star Nicole Byer, Golden Globe nominee Beau Bridges, Emmy nominees Jay Mohr and Mindy Sterling, and Veep star Clea DuVall.
A SIMPLE FAVOR
When Connecticut small town mommy-vlogger Stephanie meets fellow mom Emily, she’s instantly beguiled. Emily is beautiful, funny, worldly and mysterious. Then she disappears, and Stephanie takes it upon herself to find out what happened her.
Oscar nominee Anna Kendrick (Up in the Air, Pitch Perfect) and People’s Choice winner Blake Lively (Gossip Girl) star in this twisty mommy-noir directed by four-time Emmy nominee Paul Feig (Bridesmaids, The Office). Teen Choice nominee Henry Golding (Crazy Rich Asians) plays Emily’s husband Sean, and keep your eyes peeled for Emmy winner Jean Smart (Laurie Blake in Watchmen).