On February 13, 2018, then 11th grader Will Simotas ‘19 cast and uploaded a ballot awarding a 2017 film the “Golden Potato Award,” a prize aimed to represent Grace Church students’ favorite film of a given year. The 2018 Golden Potato Award went to writer/director Jordan Peele’s breakout masterpiece “Get Out” (2017). More than ⅓ of the student body seemed to agree that “Get Out” (2017) was their favorite film of the year with the final poll showing that roughly 40% of students loved Jordan Peele’s instant classic. This year, the ballot went a little differently, with there being no clear, overarching majority.
For the 2019 Golden Potato Award, the winner was director Bryan Singer’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” (2018), which got 11% of students’ votes. The Queen biopic was followed in popularity by “Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse” (2018) with 9.9%, and in last place, Warner Bros. Pictures’ “Crazy Rich Asians” (2018), which got 8.8%.
“Bohemian Rhapsody” (2018) (image above), produced by 20th Century Fox, Regency Enterprises, and Initial Entertainment Group was an instant success with moviegoers, though it was quickly panned by most critics. Bryan Singer’s film inaccurately depicted the life of Freddie Mercury, fictionalizing his openness and comfortability with band members, Brian May, Roger Taylor, and John Deacon, which Mercury actually didn’t have with them. Despite its issues, the film managed to get nominated for 5 Academy Awards, ultimately winning 4, including Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role, which went to Rami Malek.
On December 14, “Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse” (2018) was released in theaters and became an immediate critical success. The film won over all the critics with its incredible animation and emotional story. During awards season, “Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse” (2018) managed to win awards left and right, including the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film; the Golden Globe for Best Animated Motion Picture; and the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Award for Best Animated Feature Film.
The only film out of the three mentioned to not get nominated at the Academy Awards, “Crazy Rich Asians” (2018), was a massive critical and financial success for Warner Bros. Pictures. For a film with a $30 million production budget, “Crazy Rich Asians” (2018) managed to earn just south of $250 million worldwide. Beyond that, Rotten Tomatoes gave the film a 91%; Metacritic, 74%; and Empire, 80%. In the end, “Crazy Rich Asians” (2018) was a surprise hit that won over moviegoers and critics alike.
Golden Potato Award image created by Declan Slonim ’19.
Other images sourced from respective distributors.