7 June 2019.
A bit late in the day, for I missed it in Cannes where it made a huge splash, and just saw it a few days ago, so here goes…
If I compare this to the recent Oscar-anointed Queen/Freddy Mercury biopic, “Bohemian Rhapsody”, I would say this one is the better film: more intense, more heartfelt, better main actor, in a refreshing, bravado form of bio/musical, somewhat reminiscent of the Bob Fosse bio, “All That Jazz” from 1979.
Taron Egerton (of British TV and the KINGSMAN franchise) portrays and sings Elton John with brilliant versatility of talent and emotions, for this story spans from the early, difficult years of Elton’s childhood through his drug-infused times breaking through to stardom. Egerton and Jamie Bell, who plays his best friend and writing collaborator Bernie Taupin, bring tremendous fun and pathos to their relationship, while Richard Madden adds a nasty touch to his role as Elton’s lover and ruthless manager.
The whole project was supported by Elton John himself (and he presented it with great pride at the Cannes film festival), so there is real authenticity to the film.
The musical numbers are sparkling and effusive, his childhood years are achingly sweet and touching, and his wild years of trying to find his sexuality are raw and real, all brought together with ingenuity and feeling by director Dexter Fletcher, the same man who did “Bohemian Rhapsody”. Somehow, Fletcher seems to have put more of his heart into this one. Don’t miss it, and judge for yourselves.
X-MEN – DARK PHOENIX *
I thought blockbusters were supposed to be light, fun and exciting. This one is just downright glum, tedious and destructive, so don’t waste your time and money.
Thank goodness the franchise seems to be coming to an end, hopefully, for all the ‘heroes” just seem to be complaining and using guilt trips on each other, and it’s simply boring. Wait for the latest “Men in Black” coming out next week – that’s always good fun. Will let you know.
Superb **** Very Good *** Good ** Mediocre * Miserable – no stars
Neptune Ravar Ingwersen reviews film extensively for publications in Switzerland. She views 4 to 8 films a week and her aim is to sort the wheat from the chaff for readers.