2020 has been a hell of a year. With theatres ending up being an unsafe place to be during an ongoing worldwide pandemic you’d think it would be a harder year for film, but looking back it’s clear that this year has been an as vibrant and diverse year for film as any other.
Of course, the difference is that without theatres, there have been far fewer blockbusters and far more indie and middle-tier films. The impact on my film diary for the year has been an interesting one, with bigger budget films losing the endorphin high of the theatrical experience –and thus losing some of the immediate forgiveness they earn if they aren’t great. Additionally, film festivals moved to an online experience either in whole or in part this year, which has meant that I have “attended” more of them.
As a result, I have seen more than 120 of 2020’s films, a steep increase from years past. Narrowing the list down to a group of favourites is as difficult as ever! Also this year, for the second time, I am going to highlight some of the performers that blew me away.
Oh hey there. It’s been a weird year and I haven’t been writing again. 2020 has been a challenge, to say the least, and it’s seemed like there have been bigger things going on, and also the ol’ day job has been a little on the intense side.
But things are finally calming down a little so I am back to writing a little. A good place to start is with the films I was looking forward to this year because, well, most of them aren’t coming out this year anymore. Theatres here in Vancouver are re-opening in a limited way, but even if new movies were coming to them (which they aren’t) I don’t think I would feel comfortable going to see them yet. Or for the rest of the year.
So let’s take a look at what I was looking forward to, and see where that leaves us for the rest of the year.
Every year is a good year for movies but every year there are always those few you are really looking forward to. Here is my list of those movies.
Will these end up being my favourite movies of the year? Who knows! Probably not! The only movies that we know anything about as far away as December are the big-budget blockbusters with marketing pockets so deep we can start hearing about them now. There are hundreds of movies per year that don’t have that.
This list should probably be re-titled “most anticipated big-budget films”, really.
In any event, here is the list. See if you can guess the first entry.
It’s been a good year for film because it’s always been a good year for film. I already posted my favourite films of the year but every year there are those films that while they aren’t quite my favourite are definitely great and worth highlighting.
This year I have selected ten more that you should totally seek out and see, presented in alphabetical order.
As 2019 gradually fades into obscurity, it’s time for my yearly tradition of somehow ranking subjective experiences. This year is easier for me, though, as my free time has virtually disappeared (as you can probably tell from my complete lack of writing). As a result, I’m no longer diving deep into complicated experiences until they yield their goods. My metric is simple – is this fun? Does it inspire me? Does it make me feel? And if the answer is no – from a really early point – then it gets pushed aside.
Movies are easier to get through thanks to a much shorter time commitment than a game, so instead, they just get thrown in the outbox. My list of games, though, is more an example of the need for good design throughout – and how a jump in style can put me off forever. So let’s take a look!
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 in 2019. So without any further ado, let’s get into the best of 2019
I know what you’re thinking: December 2019 is a weird time to write about my favourite films of 2018. You might be right, but also there’s never a bad time to write about great movies. Last year I was on a break from blogging, this year I am back at it.
See, it all makes sense.
In any event here are a few disclaimers. First, I wrote this list at the end of 2018 so subsequent viewing in 2019 doesn’t really affect it. Second, if a movie you love doesn’t appear here there are two explanations: either I didn’t see it or it’s not one of my favourites. Third, this list is presented in alphabetical order (ie: not ranked) except for my absolute favourite of the year, which is last.
Another Vancouver International Film Festival has come and gone, and we saw quite a few movies this time around. While there were tons to see, here are my five favourites of the twenty-plus I saw, presented in alphabetical order.
Another year, another list of favourites. 2017 has been a … turbulent year in the real world but a stellar one for film. You may have noticed that I haven’t been writing much lately, VIFF coverage aside, but I have been gong to the movies. As of this writing I watched 323 movies in 2017, 70 of which were 2017 releases. Not too shabby considering that I only go to one festival.
Before we get to my dozen favourites there are a few things worth sharing. First, a few that I haven’t seen yet:
Call Me By Your Name (wr. James Ivory, dir. Luca Guadagnino)
The Florida Project (wr. Chris Bergoch & Sean Baker, dir. Sean Baker)
I, Tonya (wr. Steven Rogers, dir. Craig Gillespie)
The Post (wr. Josh Singer & Liz Hannah, dir. Steven Spielberg)
Phantom Thread (wr & dir. Paul Thomas Anderson)
Professor Marston and The Wonder Women (wr. & dir. Angela Robinson)
Some of these were due to scheduling on my part (I have a day job!) and some on the films part (Neither The Post nor I, Tonya are out here yet), but all of them seem like exactly the kind of movies that would end up near the top of my list.
Second, these choices are presented in alphabetical order except my favourite which will come last. There are a variety of reasons for this but mostly it comes down the fact that they are all good movies that I have a hard time grading relative to each other because they are all so different. Consider also that some of them I have seen multiple times and others just once and that second viewings are often where I end up solidifying an opinion and you end up with a list that looks like this.
Third, don’t have any honourable mentions but I will probably write some further thoughts on 2017 in a separate post.
So without any further ado, here are my favourite dozen
2016 was a good year for film, and anyone who tells you different didn’t see very many films. I’ve already posted my best films of 2016, but there were plenty more films that didn’t make my best of list that you should definitely make the time to see.
So then, let’s take a look at the not-quite best of 2016, presented here in alphabetical order.
2016 has been conspicuous by our absence. It’s been a hell of a year, one with many ups and many many downs. It’d be easy to say that the downs of 2016 were to blame for the lack of writing here, that the year was just so shit that I couldn’t take it anymore. That’s definitely not the case though as for me personally it’s actually been a pretty great year. It’s the good stuff that has kept me from writing.
I don’t even know where to start with the cultural icons we’ve lost this year. I can’t eulogize them all and even if I did, what more could I say? I could tell you the stories of why Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher are equally important in my headcannon (and I might yet) but in the end it just hasn’t felt like my place.
One thing I can tell you about this year though is that despite all the shit it has been a great year for cinema. So much so that when it came time to figure out my top ten films of the year I couldn’t get the list lower than 12 (and I narrowed it from nearly twice that number).
So, in an effort to get going again, let’s close out this year with the 12 best movies of the year according to yours truly. These are presented in no particular order, except for the two that truly stand out as the best of the year.
2016 has been conspicuous by our absence. It almost seems strange that, in a year where everything went wrong, with so many adored artists and creators being whisked off to the afterlife, the events of the last twelve months have barely been registered on Awesome Friday.
2015 was a good year! I already told you my ten favourite films from 2015 but those ten were hard to choose. My first pass over the list of movies I saw resulted in 25 candidates for the top ten, 15 of which were ultimately cut. So rather than make a worst of list like I have in previous years (Pixels was the worst film of last year, no others need be mentioned) I’d rather tell you about ten more you totally should see. So let’s do that.