Over the last two weeks, I shared my best of series ranging from Best Comedies to Best Performances, and after watching 301 2020 releases in the calendar year, I am here to unleash my top 25 movies of 2020.
The year in film has been strong, but this is the first year I have only given out one five star review.
25. Half Brothers – **** out of *****
24. Host – **** out *****
23. Hillbilly Elegy – **** out of *****
22. Herself – **** out of *****
21. Bee Gees – How Can You Mend a Broken Heart – **** 1/2 out *****
20. The Way Back – **** 1/2 out *****
19. On the Rocks – **** 1/2 out of *****
18. Gretel & Hansel – **** 1/2 out *****
17. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom – **** out of *****
16. Rebuilding Paradise – **** 1/2 out of *****
15. Sylvie’s Love – **** 1/2 out of *****
14. Swallow – **** 1/2 out of *****
13. Tenet – **** 1/2 out of *****
12. Synchronic – **** 1/2 out of *****
11. Let Him Go – **** 1/2 out of *****
Chloe Zhao and Frances McDormand is a match made in heaven as this in-depth, emotional personal journey in this world of Nomads.
You Cannot Kill David Arquette is an in-depth look at a man who is struggling to find who he is, who he wants to be, and someone trying to alter the course of his past.
We get to this massive high, and we are just smacked in the face by Stevenson in this remarkable shot and well-placed timing he has throughout the film. The way he ripes your heart in half showcases how emotionally invested you are into the story, and that’s a testament to Stevenson and his writing/directing.
Lastly, The final fifteen minutes of this film is what I love about filmmakers willing to take a risk. I promise this will be hands down one of the most talked-about scenes of the year as some will like it and some will hate it. But for me, as someone who loves the risk, it paid off.
The King of Staten Island is damn near perfect. The film provides the perfect combo of drama/comedy, the acting from all parties is remarkable, and the direction was top-notch. The movie felt important, it felt like a film that was made with a purpose, and for that, I love it.
5. Nine Days
Do I? or don’t I? add this to my 2020 list was something I was battling for quite some time. I saw ‘Nine Days’ during AFI Fest, and they decided to delay the film into 2021, but I am going for it because I saw the movie already.
Edson Oda presented a beautiful piece of filmmaking that will be remembered for years to come. The script is authentic, original, captivating, and just something that inspires you to want to create something of this nature. For this to be his first feature blows my mind.
Finally, without divulging deep into spoilers, Chung’s writing is consistent, thought-provoking, and practical. He handles the story from start to finish, ensures that you are left on the edge of your seat throughout. Chung opens our eyes to the things we can see and the things we cannot as he offers the perspective from the eyes of this minority family that faces some of the same obstacles we do but face it on a grander scale. As we take a more in-depth look within ourselves throughout this quarantine, Minari might be the single most important film of our time.
In closing, revenge is a game that Hollywood has played on repeat for a lot of years but Fennell had other things in mind with this revenge story. She tells the story of best friends, love, redemption, power and does so in a breathtaking way from start to finish. The way she weaves in and out upon the story is something that not many people are capable of doing and the little nuances of which she utilizes throughout the film will demand several watches.
Carey Mulligan gives one of the best performances of the year.
For this movie to work, Ruben had to be accessible and, within that layer, Ahmed is in charge of making us feel what he feels, which he manages to do very well. He made me feel empathy, pain, and sorrow with his body language, movements, and facial expressions. I felt connected to his journey.
Marder’s ability to challenge us to take a walk down this Ruben journey is what made this film so special.
1. The Father
Florian Zeller has this profound way of telling Anthony’s story that makes it feel personal, not just for him but also for the viewer. Between his masterful work behind the camera, the perfect production design, Hopkins giving a career-best performance, and a beautiful score, The Father is easily the best film of the year.
It’s my number one film of the year and the only film to garner a five-star rating.