The Year in Film—Mysteries of 2019 edition

  1. Who thought a live remake of Aladdin was needed? Bonus question: Who ever told Will Smith that he could sing?
  2. Which is the worse example of moneygrubbing—the endless stream of comic book movies that constitute the MCU, or Julian Fellowes and company cranking out a lame Downton Abbey movie when he clearly ran out of plot well before the television series finished its run? Bonus question—Why did Fellowes abandon the theme of the series, which was all about time marching on and the need to adapt or be left in the dust, for a retro-values plot about royalty coming to visit?
  3. What possessed Tom Hooper to make a CGI-heavy version of a Broadway musical and cast it primarily with big name non-dancers? Bonus question: Will this big-budget flop land Hooper in director jail? (Most likely answer—he’s a straight white dude, so no.)
  4. How many ways did the film version of The Goldfinch get it wrong? Bonus question: What do people find appealing about Ansel Elgort?
  5. How did For Sama make the Oscars documentary shortlist and The Cave did not? Bonus question: do the Oscar voters simply not have room in their brains for two documentaries about Syrian women in the same year? | Sarah Boslaugh

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