Yes, it’s that time again, where film reviewers bring out their top films lists of the previous year. I hope you enjoy mine! No spoilers this time!
10. The Last Black Man in Sanfrancisco
Last Black Man has knocked Knives Out off the tenth spot by its sheer beauty, emotion and humour. For the first 20 minutes or so I had no idea what was going on and I didn’t care. In this wonderful piece of cinema the two main characters, Jimmie and Mont, help each other with their separate dreams of lives they can’t admit they aren’t living.
9. The Irishman
A surprising choice from me. Although I enjoy the odd gangster flick, they don’t usually appear on my “best films” lists. This one had heart, however. This one had style. And it had masses of plot. Saying that, it is more than 3 hours long and we watched it in 3 blocks – more like a mini-series. Cheating? Maybe. But De Niro, Joe Pesci and Al Pacino all on screen together? Makes a bloody masterpiece.
8. The Lighthouse
As one of the films I saw at the London Film Festival, you may have read about this in a previous post. But here it is again. Willam Dafoe and Robert Pattinson, in a lighthouse, in black and white. There’s a mermaid. It’s all creepy and scary and weird and and and GO SEE IT.
7. Little Women
HOW Gerwig didn’t get nominated for an Oscar for this film ELUDES me. The direction is a wonder. This adaptation mixes the book’s original narrative and still makes it flow wonderfully. You’re not so much wondering WHERE the girls end up but HOW and WHY. Florence Pugh (above) is my favourite part of the film, along with the suited Charlamet.
It is not at all fair to compare Booksmart to Superbad. Booksmart is funnier, sweeter, more stylish and less gross-out. As Amy and Molly end their final year of high school they set out on a night of fun and pursuit of their respective love interests. A portrayal of a friendship anyone (male or female alike) would be lucky to have.
5. David Copperfield
WARNING: this film contains sweaty images of Dev Patel. You have been warned. This adaptation is a fast-paced, brightly-coloured, star-studded Dickensian romp. I loved every minute. Following Cooperfield through his life from a down and out child to a writer with great ideas, it will keep you smiling for days after.
4. Marriage Story
This film destroyed me. But, like, in a good way. Driver and Johansson play Charlie and Nicole, a married couple who have decided to divorce. Because they share a child, Henry, it gets messy, but only because of their love for him (and in a way, for each other). It’s a crier, but it’s worth it.
3. Woman at War
Probably the one that the least of you have seen (feel free to correct me) – Woman at War is a story of a woman who wants two conflicting things: to have a happy normal life with her adopted child and, to save the world. Halla (who has an identical twin) is a climate activist who keeps narrowly avoiding arrest. She then finds out a dream is coming true – there is a young girl who she will be adopting. How will she juggle the two? Also, there’s a weird band of musicians who just turn up in scenes with no explanation. Loved it.
2. JoJo Rabbit
Twice now I have basked in the glory of Jo Jo Rabbit. JoJo, a 10-year-old member of the Hitler Youth finds out his mother has been hiding a young Jewish girl in the attic of their house. Along with his imaginary friend Adolf, he has to decide what to do. The end of the war is approaching and in this emotional comedy, you see it through the eyes of naivety. This was my number one for a long time, until it was pipped to the post by…
I almost don’t want to say a single thing about Parasite, because not knowing anything when you go in makes this film even more amazing. I wish I could erase the memory of seeing it so I could see it again for the first time. A dark comedy-thriller about class division in Korea, Parasite keeps twisting and turning until you don’t know who to trust, who to like, who to root for. The shots are almost fantasy-movie levels of beautiful and the performances (even in a language I don’t speak) are wonderful. Also, if you can catch a showing with a Q&A, I recommend – Bong is fascinating.
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