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2019 Final, No Takebacks

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jenkins

  • The Master of Two Worlds
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on: December 01, 2019, 10:29:54 PM
John Waters

1 CLIMAX (Gaspar Noé)

The best movie of the year gives new meaning to the term “bad trip.” Frenzied dance numbers combined with LSD, mental breakdowns, and childhood trauma turn this nutcase drama into The Red Shoes meets Hallucination Generation. Freak out, baby, freak out!

2 JOAN OF ARC (Bruno Dumont)

There is a God and his name is Bruno Dumont. His piously poisonous sequel to last year’s best film, Jeannette: The Childhood of Joan of Arc, is artier, holier, and will give you Catholic goose bumps. The ten-year-old star stares nobly and defiantly through the camera lens right into your soul and doesn’t even wait for the church authorities—she burns herself at the stake.

3 ONCE UPON A TIME . . . IN HOLLYWOOD (Quentin Tarantino)

A real crowd-pleaser that deserves every bit of its critical and financial success for pulling the rug out from under America’s true-crime obsession and daring to give the Manson murders a feel-good happy ending that manages to be both shocking and terribly funny.

4 BORDER (Ali Abbasi)

If Eraserhead had cousins, this transgressive troll couple would have welcomed them into their jaw-droppingly bizarre world of over-developed noses, maggot-eating diets, and pedophile-hunting duties. You won’t believe this one!

5 AMAZING GRACE (realized and produced by Alan Elliott)

Top-notch doc about the 1972 making of Aretha Franklin’s gospel album made all the more powerful by its drab church setting and the empty seats inside. Aretha never looked so talented or so lost, almost like an alien who is stunned by her own talents.

6 HAIL SATAN? (Penny Lane)

Not since the Yippies have we seen such a hilarious pack of militant activists as the Satanic Temple. Their real-life pro-separation-of-church-and-state cult leader, Lucien Greaves, makes Anton LaVey look like Pat Boone. Don’t send money to Toys for Tots this Xmas; give it to these heretics.

7 PAIN AND GLORY (Pedro Almodóvar)

The first Almodóvar movie to shock me—it’s not one bit funny or melodramatic and even the colors are muted, yet it goes beyond the valley of maturity and over the top of riveting self-reflection to gay mental health. You’re not dying, Pedro, independent cinema is.

8 THE GOLDEN GLOVE (Fatih Akin)

Even its own American distributor called this film reprehensible, and I agree, yet it’s so appalling, so grotesque, so well made and bravely acted that dare I suggest you give this serial-killer movie a watch? Shame on you, Fatih Akin, for making it. Shame on me for putting it on this Top Ten list. Shame on you if you like it.

9 THE SOUVENIR (Joanna Hogg)

An ugly-to-look-at but beautifully shot high-class art film based on the director’s disastrous first love affair with a junkie. If Marguerite Duras and Philippe Garrel had sex and Martin Scorsese adopted their cinematic offspring, this might have been what their film baby would look like.

10 JOKER (Todd Phillips)

Irresponsible? Maybe. Dangerous? We’ll see. The first big-budget Hollywood movie to gleefully inspire anarchy. Bravo, Todd Phillips! Only you could get away with it.

Sight & Sound

[these are numerical just the numbers didn't transfer and i ain't aboutta]
1. The Souvenir — Joanna Hogg
Parasite — Bong Joon-ho
The Irishman — Martin Scorsese
Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood — Quentin Tarantino
Portrait of a Lady on Fire — Céline Sciamma
Pain and Glory — Pedro Almodóvar
Atlantics — Mati Diop
Bait — Mark Jenkin
Us — Jordan Peele
Vitalina Varela — Pedro Costa
High Life — Claire Denis
Uncut Gems — Ben Safdie and Joshua Safdie
Monos — Alejandro Landes
Marriage Story — Noah Baumbach
For Sama — Waad Al-Khateab and Edward Watts
Midsommar — Ari Aster
The Lighthouse — Robert Eggers
Happy as Lazzaro — Alice Rohrwacher
Hustlers — Lorene Scafaria
Martin Eden — Pietro Marcello
Beanpole — Kantemir Balagov
Border — Ali Abbasi
Transit — Christian Petzold
A Hidden Life — Terrence Malick
The Farewell — Lulu Wang
The Hottest August — Brett Story
Ad Astra — James Gray
Varda by Agnès — Agnès Varda
I Was at Home, But — Angela Schanelec
In Fabric — Peter Strickland
Knives Out — Rian Johnson
Booksmart — Olivia Wilde
Ash is Purest White — Jia Zhang-ke
Synonyms — Nadav Lapid
Zombi Child — Bertrand Bonello
America — Garrett Bradley
No Data Plan — Miko Revereza
Eighth Grade — Bo Burnham
Joker — Todd Phillips
Ray & Liz — Richard Billingham
Hale County This Morning, This Evening — RaMell Ross
I Lost My Body — Jérémy Clapin
Holiday — Isabella Eklöf
Honeyland — Tamara Kotevska and Ljubomir Stefanov
Rocks — Sarah Gavron
Rose Plays Julie — Christine Molloy and Joe Lawlor
If Beale Street Could Talk — Barry Jenkins
Just Don't Think I'll Scream — Frank Beauvais
The Favourite — Yorgos Lanthimos
50. The Mule — Clint Eastwood



eward

  • The Master of Two Worlds
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Reply #1 on: December 05, 2019, 05:17:24 PM
Blank Check/The Atlantic's David Sims Top 10 of 2019

https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2019/12/10-best-films-2019/602797/

1. PORTRAIT OF A LADY ON FIRE
Céline Sciamma’s romantic drama, in limited release this month before it enters wider engagements in early 2020, is a gorgeous blend of sumptuous visual storytelling and raw, tender humanity. Set on a remote French island in the 18th century, it explores a slow-burn affair between a portrait painter (played by Noémie Merlant) and her subject (Adèle Haenel), purely illustrating the ways in which art can capture genuine passion. Every shot is precisely composed, every image deployed for maximum impact, and yet the luxurious aesthetics never distract from the elemental tale being told.

2. THE SOUVENIR
Another love story, but a bleaker one, focused on a 21-year-old aspiring filmmaker (Honor Swinton Byrne) in 1980s London, who gets drawn into an intense but toxic relationship with an older man (Tom Burke). Written and directed by Joanna Hogg, an undersung virtuoso of domestic dramas, the film is a semi-autobiographical work that excavates her most brutal recollections without being cringeworthy. The Souvenir is a darkly sympathetic coming-of-age narrative that catalogs the pain and pleasure of being young, occasionally stupid, idealistic, and openhearted.

3. PARASITE
Bong Joon-ho is no stranger to tonal mash-ups. Still, when your movie might be both the comedy of the year and the thriller of the year, you know you’ve made something major. Even with Bong’s sterling track record, this is the best film the Korean auteur has ever produced—a dizzying satire about two families in Seoul who struggle to co-exist under the same roof, and a salient tale of the gulf between the rich and the poor. Parasite can be madcap in one moment and sweetly sad the next, but always retains its humanity; though the wildly inventive script eventually erupts into violence, Bong somehow keeps every one of his characters from coming off as a villain.

4. ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD
Quentin Tarantino’s film swung into cinemas this summer feeling like both a celebration and a swan song for the traditional moviegoing experience. A shaggy tale of two actors in 1969 Hollywood—one on the rise (the very real Sharon Tate, played by Margot Robbie) and one in a professional spiral (the very fictional Rick Dalton, played by Leonardo DiCaprio)—Once Upon a Time in Hollywood could be a commentary about the end of any era, but it’s especially fitting for today’s shifting filmmaking landscape. Throughout his meteoric career, Tarantino has collected nostalgic objects from his pop-culture past and made them cool again; here, one can see him wondering how many more times he’ll be able to pull off that trick.

5. UNCUT GEMS
The Safdie brothers, directors of grimy indie yarns such as Heaven Knows What and Good Time, are experts in cranking up tension higher than I ever thought cinematically sustainable. Uncut Gems is as relentless and gritty as those earlier projects, while also possessing the weight of a Shakespearean tragedy. It’s buoyed by Adam Sandler’s never-better work as the diamond dealer Howard Ratner—an ambitious, compulsive fool who simply cannot get out of his own way—and by the Safdies’ perfect sense of time and place. They turn the Upper East Side of the early 2010s into a neon-lit Dante’s Inferno and elicit a charming supporting turn from the basketball star Kevin Garnett. What’s not to love?

6. THE IRISHMAN
Martin Scorsese’s supersize funeral for the gangster movie is another magnificently elegiac piece from a Hollywood titan. Netflix’s The Irishman lacks the baroque energy of Goodfellas and other prior Scorsese triumphs, but that’s by design: This is a cold-eyed look at the dehumanizing realities of life in the mob. The film’s hero, Frank Sheeran (Robert De Niro), is a man given to mythmaking, especially when it comes to his fraught relationship with Jimmy Hoffa (Al Pacino). But Scorsese is more interested in stripping Sheeran’s tough-guy image away, staging the film’s best and most tense sequence around a very personal betrayal that is electrifying, and upsetting, to behold.

7. THE FAREWELL
As smaller films get crowded out of the cinematic conversation, I was heartened to see Lulu Wang’s quiet family drama pack more emotional wallop into a wordless hug than most movies could deliver with an expensive set piece. It helps that Wang was inspired by her own family in writing The Farewell, giving an authentic urgency to every little detail. The hook is an unbelievable true story: A young woman (Awkwafina) raised in the U.S. returns to her family’s hometown in China to say goodbye to her terminally ill grandmother (Zhao Shuzhen)—while keeping the diagnosis a secret from the grandmother herself. Beyond that intriguing plot, Wang digs into complex questions about the psychic scars of immigration and what happens when a family is separated by an ocean.

8. AD ASTRA
Only James Gray, one of the most exciting and under-acknowledged filmmakers working today, would make a big-budget, major-studio space movie starring Brad Pitt and have it be about the uselessness of Hollywood’s masculine, cool-headed ideal. Casting Pitt as a soldier on a dangerous mission through the solar system, Gray uses his journey as a frame to reflect on humanity’s increasing failure to connect and the depressing future our species faces because of it. Ad Astra is a hopeful tale, but a pensive and melancholy one, wrapped up in the splendid visuals of outer space.

9. LITTLE WOMEN
Greta Gerwig’s energy and verve as a director have not been the least bit blunted by the challenge of adapting a totemic and frequently filmed work of American literature. If anything, she’s more emboldened than ever, cutting Louisa May Alcott’s pages into pieces and reassembling them into a movie that’s actively in conversation with the novel it’s based on. Little Women is filled with admiration for Alcott’s characters and story, though it’s not afraid to boldly tweak some of the book’s flaws. Most important, the talent Gerwig demonstrated in Lady Bird for making an entire ensemble crackle with life is on display here as well, with Saoirse Ronan and Florence Pugh giving the standout performances among the March family.

10. MARRIAGE STORY
As a director, Noah Baumbach has always thrived on intricacy, picking apart little comic moments and family traumas with equal deftness. His newest theatrical tale is driven by Adam Driver’s and Scarlett Johansson’s portrayals of a husband and wife who have fallen out of love, and its power is all in the witty details. Even for Baumbach, who has already made an excellent film about divorce with The Squid and the Whale, Marriage Story is something special—a movie told with staggering force despite its intimate trappings.

HONORABLE MENTIONS
Pedro Almodóvar’s Pain and Glory, anchored by a career-best Antonio Banderas, was a remarkable piece of retrospection from a cinematic master that inspired me to revisit many of his past works. Rian Johnson’s Knives Out was a bold and brassy recasting of an old-fashioned genre, one of the most well-constructed and satisfying theatrical experiences of the year. Terrence Malick’s A Hidden Life was a return to form, a wrenching tale of martyrdom in the Second World War replete with stunning imagery of pastoral life disrupted by war. Jordan Peele’s Us was a rollicking horror ride that revolved around an endlessly rewarding metaphor, an ambitious follow-up for a rising filmmaking star. Claire Denis’s High Life twisted the space-movie formula into a vision of futuristic prisons, mental and social rehabilitation, and love that endures in the most extreme of circumstances.
If I could move the night I would
And I would turn the world around if I could
There's nothing wrong with loving something you can't hold in your hand
You're sitting on the edge of the bed, smoking and shaking your head
Well there's nothing wrong with loving things that cannot even stand
Well there goes your moony man
With his suitcase in his hand
Every road is lined with animals
That rise from their blood and walk
Well the moon won't get a wink of sleep
If I stay all night and talk


eward

  • The Master of Two Worlds
  • *****
    • Posts: 3670
Reply #2 on: Yesterday at 01:50:28 PM
If I could move the night I would
And I would turn the world around if I could
There's nothing wrong with loving something you can't hold in your hand
You're sitting on the edge of the bed, smoking and shaking your head
Well there's nothing wrong with loving things that cannot even stand
Well there goes your moony man
With his suitcase in his hand
Every road is lined with animals
That rise from their blood and walk
Well the moon won't get a wink of sleep
If I stay all night and talk


jenkins

  • The Master of Two Worlds
  • *****
    • Posts: 3186
Reply #3 on: Yesterday at 02:58:26 PM
‘scuse you re showing queen & slim but not putting it on the list, will only forgive since the farewell number five

this year there are four things i’m checking

ouatih v the irishman
marriage story v the souvenir
if queen & slim is listed (zero people)
if the farewell is listed (many people, in line with their take on the first two)


eward

  • The Master of Two Worlds
  • *****
    • Posts: 3670
Reply #4 on: Yesterday at 03:34:58 PM
‘scuse you re showing queen & slim but not putting it on the list

He did the same with The Lighthouse and Avengers  :(  But it's all good, the Whole New World/High Life and Circle of Life/Midsommar segments had me in stitches. And he clipped my favorite Leo moment from OUTIH ("WOOOAH, I got it, I got...Go back a bit, would ya?")

13 on that damn list I still haven't seen. I'm tired.
If I could move the night I would
And I would turn the world around if I could
There's nothing wrong with loving something you can't hold in your hand
You're sitting on the edge of the bed, smoking and shaking your head
Well there's nothing wrong with loving things that cannot even stand
Well there goes your moony man
With his suitcase in his hand
Every road is lined with animals
That rise from their blood and walk
Well the moon won't get a wink of sleep
If I stay all night and talk