|Still image from Tenet|
2: Promising Young Woman, make sure you know as little as possible about this film before you see it and its shock value will be most greatly experienced. Unforgettable. Very dark but as timely as it gets, putting center stage a tragedy all too familiar but never quite explored like this.
3: Supernova, it could've easily been maudlin and melodramatic, but instead this is one of the most beautiful portraits of love I've seen in years, and the same sex nature of the central relationship between Colin Firth and Stanley Tucci is pretty much irrelevant to the restrained proceedings, such a breath of fresh air, stunning acting and cinematography. Love wins my heart over more acclaimed, darker stuff.
4: Nomadland, yes the hype is well-deserved, this moves at such a gentle, poetic, almost hypnotic pace, I was in awe and carried along. Frances McDormand gives Prime Frances McDormand here and it's wonderful to behold.
5: Sound of Metal, Riz Ahmed is sexy and perfect in this touching, deeply powerful portrait of an average guy/talented drummer who suddenly loses his hearing. The sound editing is perfection. I can't imagine a more compassionate and realistic portrait of something most of us would dread to experience. A must watch.
6: Minari, very cute, gentle, sweet, enjoyable experience watching a Korean family re-start their lives on a 1980s Arkansas farm, perfect performances from everyone.
7: Judas and the Black Messiah, Daniel Kaluuya is mesmerizing in this, I could tell watching his power on screen that he'll probably be winning awards for this portrait of a natural born leader who takes his place in the Black Panther movement of the 1960s, only to be betrayed by a troubled FBI informant.
8: Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, short and sweet, makes it point and then finishes, Chadwick Boseman is fabulous here as is Viola Davis.
9: Palm Springs, Adam Samberg is great alongside co-star Cristin Milioti in this funny, and thought-provoking piece about a man and a woman (and one or two others we see) caught in a Groundhog Day-esque time loop. I so needed this charmer during Covid Wave Three, thank you!
10: Violation, dark, dark, dark, but strangely satisfying, its objectification of the naked male form, also the perpetrator in this story, was long overdue. Perhaps I would've liked it more had I seen this after Promising Young Woman.
And the rest in order of preference:
Monsoon, a slow burn that really drew me in, a love letter to lost homelands, this story chronicles the beautiful Henry Golding's return to Vietnam, a place he left as a child with his family. There, he enjoys a hot affair with the stunning Parker Sawyers. Beautiful story, beautiful cinematography, beautiful men.
One Night in Miami, impeccably polished, well-acted and
written, it's fun being a fly on the wall listening to these
conversations, although I wished for more actual drama.
Mank, interesting, but not as interesting as I was hoping, and definitely not the sum of its parts. David Fincher has done much more interesting films than this.
The United States Vs. Billie Holiday, Andra Day along with the incredibly hot Trevante Rhodes of Moonlight fame are awesome in this biopic about the Jazz legend's struggles with racist U.S. authorities and her own demons.
The Mauritanian, great, restrained flick about a wrongfully imprisoned man stuck in Guantanamo for years. Also loved Jodie Foster.
Antebellum, fascinating, surprising allegory of how the legacy of racism impacts on the present day. Modern day queer goddess Janelle Monáe is stunning in the lead role.
Ammonite, interesting watch, Kate Winslet can do no wrong, not riveting but still I had no difficulty finishing it.
The Social Dilemma, a completely accessible documentary with dramatizations that make clear to the masses how social media giants like Facebook have been not only hurting all of us, but undermining democracy itself.
The Father, a thoroughly depressing and unnecessary portrait of the experience of the onset of Alzheimer's Disease by its protagonist. Yes, this was superbly conceived and produced and deserving of its artistic accolades. Yes, Anthony Hopkins' acting was probably the most deserving of the Best Actor Oscar, even though I can't help but regret he beat out sentimental favourite Chadwick Boseman. Regardless of this film's strengths, it should be avoided by most people (especially people who've lost lost ones to diseases like this) unless you want to depress yourself. Not too many of us are looking for more depressing experiences now or ever.
Death to 2020!, the tonic we needed at the end of last year.
Love and Monsters, its special effects are superb and made me squeamish when I watched the trailer, I almost didn't start it. But Dylan O'Brien's gorgeous talents and a friend's recommendation helped me press play and I wasn't let down. Lots of fun.
Still Processing, a short film by Sophy Romvari I saw at TIFF 2020, this really moved and impacted me with its unique portrait of the director coming to terms with her family's tragic past.
Greyhound, great little WWII flick about the Battle of the Atlantic, gripping, well-done.
Uncle Frank, didn't break much ground but superbly acted and lovely all around.
Summer of '85, the hottest French boys you could imagine have a tortured affair, mostly pointless though, so it needed either way more story or way more nudity to be memorable.
Ava, I could stare at Jessica Chastain, aka 'Brandy' in this flick forever. A lot of fun.
Hillbilly Elegy, finally watched it and liked it, although Glenn Close's best moments don't happen until near the end, but was glad when they did. Still, this movie wasn't good enough to win Oscars, so sadly Glenn will be empty-handed again on April 25, I predict.
Escape from Pretoria, lovely Daniel Radcliffe doing lovely things in a South African prison, get your minds out of the gutter.
Cherry, I had no idea this film contains uber hottie Tom Holland's first nude scenes, which make this film a landmark. But sadly, the film is otherwise godawful. So I recommend you just search for the Holland nude clips online and skip this torturous depiction of two loser addicts.
Falling, a bit too tortured of an experience, can't really recommend it.
Songbird, not the greatest, a bit too timely this portrait of a love affair during a horrendous pandemic, but this flick gives us the first look at KJ Apa's beautiful butt, so I'll forgive it for anything.
Want to see as soon as possible:
Da 5 Bloods
Pieces of a Woman
On The Rocks
The Boys in the Band (remake)
The Midnight Sky