Scott Gilliland returns with another Top 10 list of films 2019, this the most overlooked. So what does this list differ from the other lists? Simple the selection films below are ones enjoyed by Scott, critically well received but blink you miss. Films that may not be in cinemas for long, or even have a long cinematic run. Sometimes it’s films that may not be shown in every cinema, just independent or arthouse cinemas. We could go on with reasons, like any list it’s subjective…
Varda by Agnes
Lot’s of plaudits immediately upon release, but that soon died away and needlessly so, it was a lovely retrospective that we were lucky to view. Especially in the wake of her passing a few months later. An important person in cinema and a documentary that celebrates her in the best possible way. If you missed it, you really need to catch it.
North America received a theatrical release and from reports, it was beautiful to few on the big screen. The trailer showed glimpses of utterly breathtaking world-building and scenery, yet the studio simply did not believe in it and sold it to Netflix to the rest of the world. As we were robbed of seeing this film on the big screen it brings a sense of sadness to it. Relegating it to Netflix is such a disservice to a film that is glorious not only to look at but acted as well. The all-female team led by Natalie Portman is the type of character you want people to see. An all-female team in a science fiction film is worthy of your time and Portman’s performance as always is very strong. An absolute must-watch for fans of the genre. [our review]
With the wave of strong Foreign-language films released this year and at the tail end of 2018, it feels as if Border simply got lost in the shuffle, but it is a great piece of cinema. Definitely one to sit and ponder on afterwards. Enjoy it. [our review]
The Art of Self Defense
The trailer caught my eye and luckily it fulfils its promises from there. One of Jesse Eisenberg’s best films in a long time. A film that once found, will reward you again and again with its a gloriously dark comedy and spitting social commentary on toxic masculinity.
Disobedience is full of raw emotion. The performances by the three leads are raw, the love scene between Ronit and Esti is as raw as you will see. Though the plot is obvious the acting, cinematography and direction guide the viewer through the lives of three broken people. Ronit, broken by having to leave her family and faith because of her sexuality. Esti, by not being as brave as Ronit and dealing with those consequences. And Dovid who knows his future without getting a choice in the matter. Director Sebastian Lelio doesn’t let us breathe throughout the film, framing the audience close. A subtle and delicate adaption.
Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound
A documentary that will be in a lot of film schools over the coming decades. Making Waves is a documentary for film lovers who appreciate the art of making a film. Sound is so important to our understanding of a film and for too long there have been little documentaries or programmes on them. You would get lovely featurettes on DVD’s and Blu Ray’s but beyond that… Nothing. With a short run time, this will fly by and fill you with great enjoyment. Please check it out where ever you can as it is not one to miss. With a bit of hope, we will get a mini-series on the subject, that is how broad sound in the film is.
The Peanut Butter Falcon
In a year where nastiness and general grimness was all around us. It was so refreshing to see The Peanut Butter Falcon. A film that will just make your heart grow and feel all of those warm and fuzzies. It is a soft caring film that has nothing negative about it. Watch it, enjoy it and talk about it. Faultless.[ our review]
Although Burning was released in 2018 in the United States, it was actually released in 2019 in the United Kingdom, so I am being cheeky by including it… Burning was a terrific character study of a film and I think because of a number of other Foreign Language films over the same period, it got missed. The same was for the Academy Awards, where it was nominated, but was up against, Roma, Shoplifters and Capernaum. That’s one hell of a list of contenders! Burning still stood out however due to its story and pacing, but more importantly, you will think about the film long after you see it. It is one that sticks in your memory. [our review]
A film that just does not let up, it’s unrelentingness was perhaps its downfall, but I thoroughly enjoy it for that fact. Jennifer Kent follows up Babadook with a grim film that shows no mercy to anything or anyone. [our review]
Alita: Battle Angel
Alita: Battle Angel is a good film and no one else should tell you otherwise. It had the utter misfortune of being given the worst possible release date for a film of it’s kind and the reviews, in my opinion, were overly harsh. Audiences who did see the film loved it. Though the film may suit better in the home than at the theatre, it should still be one to check out. [our review]