It's never too late for a 'Best of' list and here's ours, consisting of films we feel would be universally enjoyable not just by critics, but by the general public. Movies, after all, are made to move our emotions, titillate our senses , provoke our thoughts, and most importantly provide us with sensible entertainment and worthwhile escape from reality.
[related: Best Of 2019: Impressive Local Films That Make Us Still Believe In Pinoy Cinema]
Parasite by Bong Joon Ho is 2019's best film in my honest opinion, not only in the foreign language category but of the year in film, in general. Fast-paced storytelling, with multi-layered characters and a convoluted plot which is a social commentary on social classes. It delivers commercially appealing entertainment and thrill, told in a fresh new way apart from the usual Hollywood superhero films and blockbusters. It ain't everyday that a Cannes Film Festival Palm D'or Awardee becomes a blockbuster like this one.
The Lighthouse by Robert Eggers (director of 2015 arthouse horror film The Witch) and led by Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe—powerfully depicts the effects of island fever on these two lighthouse keepers and their descent into madness. It's all shot in full black and white glory. Pattinson and Dafoe deliver Oscar-worthy performances and if you ask me, RobPat’s portrayal and the acting range he showcased in this movie trumps Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker. This may be the only so-called 'arthouse film' in the bunch, but I believe that anyone could get into the groove of this genre and thoroughly enjoy it if they just give it a chance.
Marriage Story, written and directed by Noah Baumbach of The Squid and the Whale and Frances Ha, tackles a marriage breaking up and a family staying together. In this film, we see both Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver in their best portrayals to date, making the experience of watching the film so real that it will certainly hit so close to home for a lot of viewers.
Knives Out, written and directed by Rian Johnson, is nominated in this year’s Golden Globes for Best Picture Musical/Comedy, with Daniel Craig for Best Actor, and Ana de Armas for Best Actress. This has got to be my fave whodunnit film to date, with such an airtight script that has woven such an intricate web of deceit. It will altogether keep the audience guessing till the last scene of the movie!
Ready or Not is somewhat a kind of a supernatural thriller but not exactly a horror flick by Matt Battinelli-Oplin & Tyler Gilett. Here’s another cleverly made film that does not hold back on its absurdity and one of the most bloddy yet delightful times I’ve had in the cinema in 2019. It features The Babysitter's Samara Weaving, fully utilizing her natural onscreen charisma and comic timing.
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