Episode 56: The Favourite

Episode 56: The Favourite. 2018’s period piece about Queen Anne and two of her female courtiers vying for preference in her favours was beloved by critics more than it was by audiences. Some very accomplished performances by the leading role actors led to an Oscar for Olivia Coleman and multiple other awards. Director Yorgos Lanthimos said all along that he was not making an historical documentary so our quest is to establish just how much he played with the known facts in his quest to make an entertaining story about friendship and the corrupting effects of power.

Episode 55: Bohemian Rhapsody

Episode 55 Bohemian Rhapsody. This episode takes a nostalgia trip for both hosts as we examine 2018’s musical biopic about Queen and Freddie Mercury. Critics didn’t much like it but audiences love it, as did the Academy Award committee as the movie won four Oscars including Best Actor for Rami Malek. We very much side with the audiences as we both thoroughly enjoyed what is a very entertaining and moving film. What we’ll try to do here is establish how close to the truth the movie managed to keep as it charts the rise of one of the world’s most successful rock bands.

The Show Must Go On: Queen and Adam Lambert documentary was shown on ABC on 29th April 2019. The usual streaming services haven’t yet picked it up but here are links to YouTube with the show split into two parts. It is highly recommended.

Episode 54: I, Tonya

Episode 54: I, Tonya This 2017 movie details the rise and fall of Tonya Harding, an American figure skater who rose to prominence and then notoriety in the early 1990s. A gritty, darkly humorous movie with some superb performances, notably Margot Robbie in the title role and Alison Janney, who was to win a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role as Tonya’s mother. The movie manages to balance gripping entertainment and humour yet never loses sight of the underlying pathos of the real story. Our task is to determine how close to that real-life story the movie manages to remain. We hope you’ll join us.

Episode 54: I, Tonya This 2017 movie details the rise and fall of Tonya Harding, an American figure skater who rose to prominence and then notoriety in the early 1990s. A gritty, darkly humorous movie with some superb performances, notably Margot Robbie in the title role and Alison Janney, who was to win a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role as Tonya’s mother. The movie manages to balance gripping entertainment and humour yet never loses sight of the underlying pathos of the real story. Our task is to determine how close to that real-life story the movie manages to remain. We hope you’ll join us.

Episode 52: The Right Stuff

Episode 52: The Right Stuff. This week we are delighted to be joined by Sean Munger, host of The Second Decade Podcast (link in the show notes on the website historybyhollywood dot com) who grew up on or near USAF bases and brings both historical expertise and a personal aspect to the show. The movie is big, bold and magnificent covering the American efforts to break the sound barrier then launch men into space. The episode is big and we’ll leave you, our dear listeners to choose any other appropriate adjectives. Over two hours but if you enjoy listening half as much as we enjoyed recording…. you know the rest.

Link to Sean Munger’s The Second Decade podcast website. This is as recommended as anything we’ve ever recommended…. so to speak.
https://seconddecade.net/

Antoher link, this time to Des Latham’s excellent Anglo-Boer War podcast which is as hard hitting as it is entertaining. A playful delivery doesn’t detract from the drama of the conflict. We rather like this!
https://www.abwarpodcast.com/

Episode 49: The Big Short

A very entertaining movie, described in one review as an ‘angry, fiery movie disguised as a comedy’ it has a superb cast including Christian Bale, Ryan Gosling, Steve Carrel and Brad Pitt. The period portrayed leads up to the 2008 financial crash and the movie does a great job of explaining how this was allowed to happen along with a warning that it could happen again. One of the most relevant and topical movies we have covered thus far, we hope you join us on our journey of discovery along the road to the facts. The audio is much improved from last time but still not perfect (some slight background noise) which we are working hard to eliminate from all future episodes. Please bear with us and we promise to be back to 20/20 clarity next time out.

Episode 47: The King’s Speech

Episode 47: The King’s Speech. Join us as we examine 2015’s Oscar-winning movie The King’s Speech, starring Colin Firth as the reluctant King George VI and Geoffrey Rush as his unconventional speech therapist Lionel Logue, an Australian with no formal qualifications but with a history of great success in the field of speech therapy. Ably supported by Helena Bonham Carter as Queen Elizabeth, Derek Jacobi, Timothy Spall and Michael Gambon, the movie was a great cinematic and financial success beloved by critics and audiences alike but did they get the facts right? Or is this a heartwarming tale sculpted into a plausible piece of history?


See below for the link to Sean Munger’s website for his fascinating podcast series The Second Decade. As we mentioned in the introduction to Episode 47, neither Andrew or Martin can recommend this podcast highly enough. It is a wonderful journey of discovery. You can find it on iTunes and the other usual podcast outlets or follow a link from the website:

https://seconddecade.net/

Episode 46: Goodfellas

Episode 46: Goodfellas. Martin Scorsese directed this 1990 masterpiece, starring Ray Liotta as Henry Hill, an Irish/Italian American gangster working in a New York mafia gang through the 1960s and 70s. With superb supporting roles featuring Robert de Niro and Joe Pesci amongst others, this movie has proved a hit for nearly thirty years despite its main character being an unrepentant criminal. Popularity though is no measure of accuracy so we will attempt to discover whether this is an accurate portrayal of events or if, in creating this masterpiece of cinema, Martin Scorsese has ladled on the dramatic license.