The Year That Was

2019 was a year of lows, with gargantuan sequels screaming “I am coming for your money” rather than life-changing cinema. 2020 will be an even bigger year in terms of budgets, frequency and scale for sure. But how many films do you even remember from this year (and not necessarily just because it was the last film you saw)?

I keep Netflix running at home all the time, to give me white noise for company, so for the purposes of this feature, let us consider only those films that I watched on 70mm. So here are five films I ‘remember’ from this year from a list of over 50 that I might have seen over the year. Honorable mentions include Aquaman, Ad Astra and Long Shot.

Judy

Judy  damaged me. It is a classic case of rags to riches to rags and how the machinations of the system gets to you. It is also about the stripping away of glory, beauty and youth. It is this kind of film that reminds you of how fickle life is. It is also a showcase of Renee’s incredible talent to sing, dance and win hearts. She had me at hello.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Like Judy, this is another true story. Tarantino of course gave the Sharon Tate storyline the fairy tale finish that she and we all deserve. A youthful Brad Pitt taking a step back and playing the second lead and yet completely owning the film made me think of how such magnanimity is sometimes necessary to make a good film.

Ready or Not

It takes on the institution of marriage and looks at the horrors that await you when you know nothing about the family that you marry into, especially one that lives in a manor in the middle of nowhere.

Toy Story 4

I spoke about nostalgia (the word now after watching HBO’s Watchmen means something else entirely to me), and nothing brings generations together like a nice clean Disney movie that is updated and relevant but not necessarily preachy from the rooftops.

Joker

Yes, yes, everybody talks about how amazing the film is. But I found it a screaming emblem of our times, given how polarized the world today is and how like in Judy- where it is just so hard to beat the odds sometimes, especially if you are a little different. The film shines a flashlight at us- who as society- create monsters out of the marginalized and the fallen.

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