Matt’s Favourite Films & Performers of 2019

Best of 2019

Well, folks here we are at the end of the year, and what a year it has been. As always, it’s been a particularly good year for film because it’s always a good year for film.

I have seen more than eighty films from 2019’s slate and believe you-me it is hard to pin down my favourites to just ten, so I have narrowed it down to twelve. This didn’t actually help much, and I still had to leave a ton of films out.

I’m also going to do something a little different this year and highlight a few performers who really blew me away this year. So without any further ado, let’s get into the best of 2019

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VIFF Review: ‘Portrait of a Lady on Fire’ is one of the most beautiful films you’ll see this year

Portrait of a Lady on Fire / VIFF 2019

In the story of Orpheus and Eurydice, after Eurydice is bitten by a snake and dies, Orpheus is advised that he can head to the underworld to retrieve her. He is told that he must lead her back to the surface world but must not look back for her until they are safely returned. As Orpheus crosses the threshold back to the surface, he relents and turns back, but Eurydice is still below and is then doomed to stay in the underworld forever.

This story is at the heart of the theme in Portrait of a Lady on Fire, a film as concerned with memory as it is with love. As the three principal women discuss in the film, is Orpheus a fool for looking back when he knows that will seal his love’s fate? Or is he a fool for love who wants to catch a final glimpse of his love exactly as she is in that moment, exactly as he loves her, and forgo putting them both through a second painful death?

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