Fortune News | Aug 06,2020
Last year was not a bad time for movies. True, several major releases were postponed as a result of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. But these were largely big productions that had cost a lot of money to make and market and whose producers could not risk losing money on. The experience of Tenet, a Christopher Nolan vehicle that showed that there could be such a thing as too much creative liberty, was the warning signal that if audiences were to be goaded out of their houses, it would not be by movies. It has unfortunately been an industry in decline long before countries had to lock down their economies.
But smaller offerings, such as The Father, Minari or Nomadland, the latter of which was the winner of this year’s Oscars for best picture and director, knew that pandemic or not, they would not make money. To their advantage, it also meant that blockbusters did not overshadow them.
Some movies that had received hype earlier were underwhelming. Mank is a David Fincher-directed love letter to Hollywood, but it is too slow-paced. And I entirely failed to comprehend the rave surrounding Nomadland. The performances were first-rate but it also seemed to drag on forever. It also pains me to say that Charlie Kaufman’s I’m Thinking of Ending Things was underwhelming, too vague and convoluted to comprehend. It had none of the spark that his previous eclectic outputs, from Anomalisa and Being John Malkovich to one of the best-written movies of all time, Adaptation, had.
But Thomas Vinterberg’s – the second Danish wonder to Lars von Trier - Another Round was an absolute joy. The Father was heart-wrenching and Anthony Hopkins deserved every bit of the Best Actor award. Sacha Baron Cohen himself was in two fantastic movies. Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, by some work of magic, was just as funny a commentary on American political life as its prequel. The actor’s performance in Aaron Sorkin’s The Trial of the Chicago 7 was just the courtroom dramedy-cum-appraisal-of-leftwing-politics that we needed.
And let us not forget Sound of Metal, a heartfelt journey that takes audiences through the downward spiral of a drummer that loses his hearing. With fantastic editing and sound mixing, a movie showed what a relatable leading man Riz Ahmed would make. The movie's quirkiness, and yet the film’s ability to be a character study immersed in exploring the lead’s emotions and impulses reminded me of Uncut Gems.
But none of these was the best movie of the year. That honour should go to the angry and loud Promising Young Woman. A thoroughly original work, it has been described as a feminist revenge pyscho-thriller. It is the perfect description.
Directed by Emerald Fennel, it follows Cassie (Carey Mulligan), a young woman, 30, who seeks revenge against “nice” guys. Typically, she would go to a nightclub and appear wasted. A man inevitably approaches and makes a gesture. He asks if she is alone, is she is okay and finally offers a ride. The ride turns into an invitation to his crib and eventually, even though she is clearly in no condition to offer consent, he attempts to sleep with her. At that very moment, and to their horror, she drops her acting and soberly asks, “what are you doing?”
This synopsis must have been a hard sell to studio executives to greenlight the movie. A thriller about a woman that gives her assailers a good, long stare does not necessarily scream exciting. But throw in an uncompromisingly plotted script that could only rarely be matched in its cynicism, deadly serious acting work from Mulligan and excellent scene development from Fennel, and the movie surprises and leaves audiences aghast at every turn. These also make it the best movie of 2020.
PUBLISHED ON Apr 30,2021 [ VOL 22 , NO 1096]
Fortune News | Aug 06,2020
Agenda | Nov 06,2021
Fortune News | Jun 14,2020
Radar | Jun 20,2020
Viewpoints | Jan 03,2021
Fortune News | Oct 12,2019
Agenda | Feb 13,2021
Fortune News | May 21,2022
Fortune News | Nov 30,2019
Obituary | Jul 10,2020
Photo Gallery | 82744 Views | May 06,2019
Photo Gallery | 74887 Views | Apr 26,2019
Fineline | 58536 Views | Oct 03,2020
Fortune News | 58329 Views | Jul 18,2020
Leaders of the National Election Board are in a charm offensive mood, of a sort. Last week, they organised a rare tour for members of the me...
When the country's most senior diplomats and envoys return back to their posts after two-week debriefings, they leave behind a point or two...
Dec 2 , 2023
The symphony of traffic noise in Addis Abeba is not just a sign of life, but a siren...
Nov 25 , 2023
Ethiopia's quest to develop a functioning capital market is a demanding yet not unach...
Nov 18 , 2023
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD) has made a fervent call for landlocked Ethiopia to ga...
Nov 11 , 2023
In November last year, a ray of hope pierced the gloomy skies of Ethiopia as the Pret...
I have a love-hate relationship with my phone. It is my go to source for information. I enjoy interacting with text messages and browsing t...
Over the weekend, I attended a wedding where my husband was one of the protocols. Despite the typical joy...
Dec 2 , 2023 . By MUNIR SHEMSU
Mamo Mihretu, the governor of the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE), has outlined a com...
Dec 2 , 2023 . By AKSAH ITALO
BGI Ethiopia, one of the largest brewing companies, is in the throes of a major trans...
Minister of Agriculture, Girma Amentie (PhD), is leading a charge to overhaul the fer...
Dec 2 , 2023 . By AKSAH ITALO
Amidst accession to a cross-regional trade, one of the oldest industries is strugglin...
Or see contact page