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1/1 and 1/1
1/1 and 1/1
The tiny screen in the corner of the living room – or, more likely, the ceiling-sized one hanging on the wall – took on much more significance with multiplex theaters either closed or regarded with skepticism by moviegoers for much of the year, and with little to show either, as a superabundance of movies and TV series were downloaded, beamed and piped into our homes. Here is our list of the best.
As the first non-English language film to win the Academy Award for Best Picture, Bong Joon-film ho’s about a poor South Korean family that interferes in the lives of a rich family has made history. There’s also a lush black-and-white version, happily whimsical and strongly satirical, and frequent Joon-ho watchers will be delighted to see the inclusion of regular Song Kang-ho, who also stars in South Korea’s dystopian English-language sci-fi thriller Snowpiercer and his Memories Of Murder.
Directed by Brazilian duo Kleber Mendonça Filho and Juliano Dornelles, in a tale about a group of outlaw American “tourists” paying to wipe out a rural village and its inhabitants sometime in the near future, this politically charged black comedy throws everything from Westerns to dystopian sci-fi into the mix. The movie nevertheless manages to add up to more than the sum of its elements, and is very different from anything else you’ll ever see. Bárbara Colen and Thomas Aquino were awarded the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival, starring daily Udo Kier alongside Sonia Braga and Werner Herzog.
For a couple of years now, director brothers Josh and Benny Safdie have been making top-notch low-budget indie films, but with this story set in their home town of New York, they hit it big. As fast-talking Howard Ratner, a jeweler and gambling addict who has a rough day (and night) in hell, they have managed to coax the best performance of his career out of Adam Sandler.
Follow-Up Movie by Borat
Just when we needed him most, Borat, the Kazakh journalist from Sacha Baron Cohen, returned for another tour of America, this time with Tutar’s daughter in tow. Played by the actress Maria Bakalova from Bulgaria, she steals the stage. If even Donald Trump’s departure and the arrival of a coronavirus vaccine couldn’t put a smile on your face, this will certainly do the trick. Astonishingly scandalous and amusing.
With so many of the surefire blockbusters that movie theaters rely on postponing their release this year – see Dune, No Time To Die, etc. – it fell to the sci-fi puzzler of Christopher Nolan to fuel popcorn sales around the nation at multiplexes. In the only real cinematic experience of the year, time travel, smart suits, massively complicated storylines, Robert Pattinson – they were all main ingredients.
Take Millie Bobby Brown, star of “Stranger Things” throw Harry Bradbeer, director of “Fleabag” send Sherlock and Mycroft Holmes a resourceful younger sister named Enola, and shake hard. What could go wrong, potentially? As this made-for-Netflix movie showed, not too much. Just expect a sequel.
Portrait of a woman on fire
In this riveting tale of forbidden love in pre-Revolution France, French director Céline Sciamma cast her former partner, Adèle Haenel, alongside Noémie Merlant. In a nearly deserted chateau on the rugged Breton coast, Haenel plays Héloïse, a painter assigned to paint a portrait of haughty Marianne (Merlant). It’s no surprise the film wowed the Cannes Film Festival, solid, atmospheric, and exquisitely shot and performed.
The vastness of the evening
This Amazon update, weird, funny, thrilling, fast-paced and visually bold, flew under the radar but is well worth discovering. The film, directed by newcomer Andrew Patterson, takes place one night in a small town in New Mexico in the 1950s and follows high school girl and radio nerd Fay (Sierra McCormick) and disc jockey Everett (Jake Horowitz) as they deal with what looks like an alien invasion (and sounds).
“Inspired by the dementia of her grandmother, Australian director Natalie Erika James has created a stylish low-budget horror that mixes extreme jump-scares in the backwoods of Victoria with “House Of Leaves”-style architectural oddities. Starring Emily Mor, starring