What a great year for cinema fans. So many good films were released in 2019. This year will go down as one of the best for movie fans. So here is a list with some flicks I loved to watch.
10 - Knives Out
Knives Out is a great, old fashioned “who done it” kind of film written and directed by Rian Johnson.
The movie is so funny, intelligent and has great performances from the ensemble cast. Ana de Armas stands out as the female lead among a cast of some of Hollywood’s most beloved stars.
I loved all the great twists and turns and it kept me enthralled and entertained the entire time.
The flick is very well-paced and edited. Johnson really knows how to steer the story. You will keep guessing until the very end.
09 - The Farewell
What a heartfelt poignant, and entertaining Dramedy! Writer and Director, Lulu Wang, truly did a great job with this movie. She dealt with some tough topics and managed to create a film that is well-balanced and engaging. A resonant drama with universal appeal and some unexpected humor.
The cast is pretty good and I hope to see Awkwafina taking on more dramatic roles because her performance is incredible. I really liked the way Wang portrayed the difference between east and west cultures dealing with an incoming death, it was amazing. And it also helps me to learn a bit more about Chinese culture.
08 - Marriage Story
Marriage Story was written, directed and produced by Noah Baumbach and it was loosely based on his own divorce story. This is a very emotional and heart-wrenching film that shows us both sides of a divorce.
Although this is not a subject matter I normally would be interested, the movie does bring a wonderful mix of emotions together and I really enjoyed it. This could have been terribly executed but Baumbach's writing is reflective and fair and in the end, it worked well. The dialogues seemed so natural, that I almost forgot it was a movie.
Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson are both great in it. But Driver gives one of the best performances of the year. Laura Dern and Ray Liotta. They are also really good as supporting cast.
Two lessons to take from this film: never get married, it won’t work but, if you decide to tie the knot, don’t do it in LA.
07 - Pain & Glory
Pain and Glory is a deeply profound and moving movie by the great Pedro Almodóvar. He created such a beautiful film in which unwind in unexpected ways. It may seem a bit slow to the average moviegoer but I enjoyed it a lot.
Pain and Glory is about Aging, the artistic process, drugs, sexuality, and childhood. Probably one of the most revealing and personal films of Almodóvar. I also really enjoyed the wonderful performance from Antonio Banderas and the ending which was thought-provoking.
06 - Waves
Waves is the third movie by the very talented director Trey Edward Shults (It Comes at Night). And it hit me like a punch to the gut. It is so brutally honest and beautifully intense. It has a heavy subject matter and it showed just how quickly your life can change by making one bad decision.
Sterling K. Brown heads an outstanding cast. The film is visually gorgeous, too. With beautiful cinematography and constantly shifting of aspect ratios, sets, and costumes. It has a totally unique narrative structure and an amazing score by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross.
05 - The Irishman
The Irishman is a gripping, poignant, and witty return to classic Martin Scorsese filmmaking. It is so beautifully crafted in its storytelling and character development. And masterfully directed by Scorsese.
The Irishman is a very, very long movie but it managed to hold my attention throughout. The film works on so many levels - the acting, editing, costuming, production design, and CGI de-aging techniques are all awesome! Al Pacino gives one of his best performances in 20-plus years. And It was wonderful to see Joe Pesci back on screen. Also, those thirty or so final minutes are so emotional and powerful and will hit you hard.
04 - Once Upon A Time In Hollywood
Quentin Tarantino is back with a movie that captures beautifully the essence of the 60’s. Once Upon A Time In Hollywood is a stunning love letter to a very particular place and time. It has beautiful cinematography, a stellar cast, and a great soundtrack. Good performances all around but Brad Pitt & Leonardo DiCaprio performances were Oscar-worthy.
The movie has incredible slow-burn humor and its climax is so good. The final 20 minutes are absolutely bonkers and I loved the alternate ending to what was a very tragic night in real life.
03 - The Lighthouse
I was very excited about going to see Robert Eggers' new film since I was a big fan of his first one, The Witch.
The Lighthouse is an amazing movie. A nicely paced ride that ultimately culminates in a very surreal experience. It feels impossible to slot this movie into one definitive genre. It is beautifully shot, wonderfully written, and fantastically acted. The aspect ratio and the b&w cinematography worked really well for the movie and exacerbated the constant sense of dread. But the thick accents of the characters made them tough to understand. I had to rewatch with subtitles to understand everything it was said.
Overall this is a weird, bizarre movie! But, I can't stop thinking about it. A worthy follow-up to The Witch.
02 - Uncut Gems
I absolutely adore this movie. What a dizzying, chaotic, and full of anxiety journey. This is the most nerve-inducing movie I've seen and I loved every minute of it.
Because of all the yelling in tight spaces happening in the film, you will have a "get me out of here" feeling. It really captures the chaotic energy of NYC. The Safdie brothers are some of the most exciting new directors right now. They are incredible filmmakers. They created this roller coaster of bad and self-destruction decisions that is impossible not to be drawn to.
The movie has a brilliant performance by Adam Sandler. Who deserves at least an Oscar nomination. Julia Fox is also great. She is a star in the making. And I loved how her character actually had depth. The former NBA player, Kevin Garnett played himself and his performance felt so authentic.
I cannot wait to see what the Safdie Brothers bring us next.
Parasite lives up to all the hype. It is flawless. A true masterpiece by director Bong Joon Ho. It is everything that I love about movies put together. All senses and emotions all wrapped into one. So thrilling and clever. And so darkly funny. A two-hour-long roller-coaster social satire. The film is amazingly written, directed, acted and edited. And watching how it turns from one genre to another was definitely a unique experience.
I highly recommend people to avoid knowing too much about it before going in. Because trust me, it will add to your experience.