2021 in Film: Matt’s Favourite Performers of The Year

2021 in Review: Best Performers

It has been a hell of a year and a hell of a year for film. The second year of the ongoing worldwide pandemic has been a bit of a roller coaster, with wave after wave of COVID once changing the film landscape. Theatres re-opened, but people have only really gone back for the biggest blockbuster titles, and even then, the numbers are a bit soft.

That’s not to say that there hasn’t been many a literal ton of films this year, though. I set a new personal record, having seen nearly 180 films released in 2021, and let me tell you that most of them are good!

To break down my favourites a little more this year, I’ll be dividing things up into three lists, one for my favourite performers, one for my favourite films, and one for the best of the rest. There are navigation links at the bottom of each page to the others.

Without any further ado, let’s get started with my favourite performers of the year!

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Review: ‘West Side Story’ reinvents a classic with modern context

West Side Story

Steven Spielberg is about to turn 75 years old. Since his debut feature in 1971, a full fifty years ago, he has tackled all manner of genre and subject matter, but never a musical. It makes sense then that his trademark skills –an iconic eye for composition and blocking, perfectly deployed single takes, finding the best cast for the story, and impeccable detail at every level– now all feel like he might have been refining specifically to make a musical because his new version of West Side Story makes excellent use of all of them.

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Review: ‘Schmigadoon!’ is hilarious, fun, and clearly made by people who love musicals


Here’s a true fact: I grew up watching musicals. I spent a lot of time at my grandmothers house when I was a kid and she had lots of them on VHS. It is my heartfelt belief that she loved them, but it was probably also that they were super long and could keep us distracted for hours at a time. Anyway, the point is that I have seen a lot of the classic musicals and my appreciation for the musical continues to this day.

So it is easy to see why I really like AppleTV+’s new series Schmigadoon!, which features two modern day characters dropped into the middle of a classic 1940s musical.

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