Friday, December 27, 2019

Best of 2019 - Movie Edition

As we say goodbye to 2019 I thought I would share my top ten list of the best movies I saw this year. I kept this to movies that came out this year to help narrow it down.

These are in no particular order (as that would be impossible). There are also some movies that have come out this year that I haven't seen yet (like Uncut Gems for example).

There were plenty of movies I liked this year but only a few that I would say I LOVED. I don't really have a Call Me By Your Name/A Star Is Born movie that I am completely obsessed with this year. It makes this list a little harder, and a little more interesting to write.

Here is my Best Movies of 2019 list:

1. Parasite

There are always movies that people will tell you to go in knowing as little as possible as to not ruin or taint the experience. Many have said it regarding Parasite. This is one of the times where this advice should actually be followed. It's a fantastically plotted movie that is better enjoyed as an experience. The performances, directing, script, and pretty much everything else are incredible.

2. Marriage Story

This movie offers an uncomfortable look at a marriage that is ending. It, at times, may feel too authentic to people who have gone through a divorce. It's, mostly, filled with reasons that this marriage does not work, but does show you these little moments where you understand why they were together. It doesn't take a real 'side' in terms of who is a fault but instead offers that it was a mixture of both people in the marriage that caused it to not work out. Adam Driver gives an incredible performance as do many other members of the cast.

3. The Farewell 

A beautiful, sad, and sort of uplifting movie about a woman and her connection with her grandmother and what happens when that grandmother gets ill and the family decides to keep the diagnosis from her. This is one that manged to sneak up on me and I didn't realize how much it had impacted me until it was over. Awkwafina delivers a different performance than what is typically expected of her and does so brilliantly.

4. Knives Out

A fun, incredibly entertaining, whodunit from director/writer Rian Johnson that I had a blast watching. Great performances from the entire cast (and an especially enjoyable turn from Chris Evans in a fantastic cable knit sweater) and a satisfying conclusion to the mystery at hand make this one a must watch.

5. Booksmart

A supremely fun coming of age story from director Olivia Wilde that boasts amazing performances from Beanie Feldstein, Kaitlyn Dever, and Billie Lourd. Think Superbad but teen girls instead. It's a funny, sometimes raunchy, heartfelt, and entertaining coming of age story that entirely charmed me.

6. Rocketman

Taron Egerton carries this movie and does so brilliantly. It is one of my favourite performances of the year. It also happens to be a good movie. Elton John's involvement ensured that the music was exactly what you wanted from this movie, and he didn't demand they sweep past any of the struggles he went through. Making it more of a musical than a straight up biopic was a fantastic choice as Elton John's story is one that would lend itself to this more than others.

7. Us

I did not like Us as much as I liked Get Out. There were elements from US that fell a little short for me, but it was still one of my favourite experiences at the movies this year. It boasts one of the year's best performances from Lupita Nyongo. She's incredible as Red. The movie itself is a good horror movie, and once again showcases Jordan Peele's directing skills.

8. Little Women

I am pretty sure people will be mixed on this movie, but I enjoyed it immensely. Saoirse Ronan is a great Jo, and Timothee Chalamat is a perfect Laurie. I do think that fans of Little Women, and those familiar with the story, will enjoy it more than those who are going into it fresh (but I doubt that applies to many people at this point). You can tell that director Greta Gerwig loves the source material and that shines through every frame of this movie.

9. Hustlers

This is another movie that is fun to watch. It may be overtly about this group of women scamming money out of a bunch of rich wall street guys, but it is also about female friendship. Constance Wu and Jennifer Lopez's performances are great (and Jennifer Lopez should absolutely be in the Supporting Actress talks for Oscar nominations). It is the type of female led movie that I hope to see more of in the future.

10. Lords Of Chaos 

A movie that will absolutely not appeal to everyone. It's violent (sometimes brutally so) and doesn't delve as far into some of the elements surrounding the true crime that inspired this movie as I would have liked. It does, however, boast some pretty good performances and manages to be mesmerizing while you are watching it. Rory Culkin and Emory Cohen, in particular, stand out in the cast, but Jack Kilmer's portrayal of Pelle 'Dead' Ohlin also lingers with you.

What movies make your Best of 2019 list? Let me know which ones I need to check out in the comments below.

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