Recently got to see some of the only remaining films on my list.Richard Jewell and Bombshell, both engaging docudramas with terrific ensemble casts. I wouldn't say either is a must-see, but they are well mounted.Uncut Gems, extremely unpleasant, totally riveting, led by an excellent Adam Sandler.Little Women, which I loved and, minus Emma Watson, had a spotless cast. Vibrant and enchanting.Also, Pedro Almodovar's Pain and Glory, which I thought was gorgeous and moving, and Banderas should be getting an Oscar nomination if the Academy has any sense.Still have only 1917 to see, and then that should do it for this year.
UNCUT GEMS was really something, tight as a drum and mean as f*ck, it starts at a high pitch and stays pretty much exactly there, it never lets up. Sandler's performance is very fine indeed, the character's soon-to-be-ex wife tells him that he's the most annoying person in the world and well yeah, but he's 100% real and almost too painful to watch as his problems mount and mount and mount, and they're all entirely of his own making.A couple of lapses of taste, one in particular very near the film's opening, I was going "oh no, they're not going to do THAT, are they?" and yeah, dammit they did, but hey, one moves on, and this movie sure moves.I liked it.
Here are my top ten(so far)1.The Farewell2.Marriage Story3.Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood4. Rocketman 5.Parasite 6.The Irshman7.Shazam 8. I lost my body 9. Portrait of a Lady on Fire10.The Lighthouse
I haven't seen "Uncut Gems," "The Irishman," or "The Farewell" but here is my personal Top 10 of the year:10. Shazam!9. Rocketman8. Booksmart7. Ready or Not6. Avengers: Endgame5. Knives Out4. Joker3. JoJo Rabbit2. Marriage Story1. Doctor Sleep
I thought this was a fantastic year for movies. Below is my top 10 in alphabetical order, but there's another ten below it that could easily make another worthwhile list.- Ash is Purest White (dir. Jia Zhangke)- A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (dir. Marielle Heller)- The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open (dir. Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers & Kathleen Hepburn)- The Lighthouse (dirs. Robert Eggers)- Midnight Family (dir. Luke Lorentzen)- Midsommar (dir. Ari Aster)- Pain and Glory (dir. Pedro Almodóvar)- Parasite (dir. Bong Joon-ho)- Portrait of a Lady on Fire (dir. Céline Sciamma)- Waves (dir. Trey Edward Shults)
Watched Chained for Life last night, and wow! Wasn't expecting something so funny or deliciously weird and unique. Definitely one of my favorites of the year. My top ten as it stands now is:1. Under the Silver Lake2. The Last Black Man in San Francisco3. Marriage Story4. The Gospel of Eureka5. Chained for Life6. Midsommar7. Long Day’s Journey Into Night8. How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World9. Glass10. Avengers: Endgame
On my first flight today I watched Eighth Grade (2018 release) via Amazon Prime. Loved it.On second flight, to my surprise, Once Upon A Time in Hollywood was available. I have about 20!- 30 minutes left. I’ll finish it on flight home. But so far, I’m loving it. I haven’t seen a lot of the more critically loved films this year, but this easily makes my top 2 of the year (of what I’ve seen) along with Toy Story 4. DiCaprio is amazing in it and Pitt does his best work in years.Also, so far I’m liking that Tarintino isn’t making ample use of the n-word for shock value, edginess, or easy laughs this time. That was my only issue with The Hateful Eight.
I have become less interested in Quentin Tarantino as the years have gone by. His films always have virtues, and they can be fun, but my sense of the guy as this overgrown adolescent boy who never really grew up has made me less interested in his movies despite his obvious talent. I haven't gotten around to watching Django Unchained despite it being on Netlix all the time, and I flat-out disliked The Hateful Eight even though the cast is great.So I went into Once Upon a Time in Hollywood with lower expectations. Having seen it twice, I am convinced this is perhaps the most mature work he is capable of producing. It's certainly a movie that only Tarantino could have made. It has some of the usual issues with Tarantino films, but a lot fewer of them. Basically, I could watch it and enjoy all of the things he does really well without most of the stuff that bugs me. So yeah, I loved it, even took my wife to see it despite her trepidation about the plot - and she enjoyed it a lot as well.There's category fraud in having Brad Pitt as a supporting actor because he's really the co-lead of the film. But I'm not going to complain if he wins an Academy Award because Pitt harnesses his old-fashioned movie star charisma so engagingly.It's probably not the best film of the year, even among the few I've seen, as there's Parasite to consider. But I do think Once Upon a Time in Hollywood will age well as the most enjoyable, accomplished Tarantino film he ever made. If the guy is really going to stop making movies, I sort of wish this was the last one.
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