In less in 3 weeks 2019 will be over, it’s time to write our Best/Worst Films lists. We will be bringing general lists at the end of the month, today it’s one of the writers. Today it’s Scott Gilliland‘s Top Ten Films.
Scott is one of our new writers and has taken up the challenge of delivering his best films. Like everyone here at The Peoples Movies and you our readers, his best and worst films will be different. The choices are subjective and no one will criticise any writer. Just respect their choices embracing the diverse choices. Of course there will be some we’ll expect, some we didn’t maybe some that will shock you too…
Not every writer at the site is from the UK, some are from other parts of the world. So at times there maybe a film that’s not out yet or that writer considers the film released the year they watched.
Joker is uncomfortable, it is meant to be. This is a film that is meant to beat you into the ground with its nastiness. And it is fantastic for it. Phoenix will rightfully take all the plaudits as he was mesmerizing in this role. Warner Bros took a leap of faith with this film and boy was it worth it. The main question now is does it require a sequel or should it just be left to stand alone? One thing is for sure, it is a hell of a palette cleanser from the Marvel fare we have gotten this decade. It is different and for that I applaud it. (our review)
It is fair to say that Parasite is this year’s Roma. A foreign language film that crosses over into public consciousness. If it doesn’t receive Best Picture nominations, then there is something odd going on in Hollywood. From a technical standpoint, it is an unbelievable film. Following a trend of most of the films this year, Parasite is raw and unflinching. There is no hiding with this film, much like almost all of my chosen list. It just feels like the kind of year where all of these films are needed and personally, Parasite leads that pack by a comfortable distance. (watch Trailer)
Comedies in my mind work best when there is truth and pain also prevalent within them. The Farewell has this in spades. The tears come aplenty, but they are usually followed by laughs at the cutting remarks and situations this pre-grieving family is going through. A top-notch family dramedy that is only elevated by its great cast. (our review)
Us came out at the beginning of the year and I am honestly unsure if another horror film has come close to it since. It is just that strong. Peele has grown as a filmmaker since 2017’s Get Out, with some of his choices her particularly excellent. Nyong’o is, of course, the standout and drives the film with the sheer force of her personality or personalities in this case. Winston Duke is able to bring his comedic timing when most needed to help lighten the mood, but this is Nyong’os show and it is an unmissable one. (our review)
The Favourite rightly got all the fanfare when it was released this year. A film with three pitch-perfect performances should warrant as much. Everything is heightened to 11 with The Favourite. The absurdity of the levels in which the two cousins will go to get the upper hand, the direction, and cinematography which leaves the audience watching the madness unfurl. A film that was unlike anything else this year and what a positive that is. (our review)
If Beale Street Could Talk
Another from the beginning of the year, but it was such a strong start to the year for us here in the UK, that you would truly be remiss if you didn’t mention If Beale Street Could Talk. This is a film that resonates no matter what colour your skin is and should provide further questions as to why we are only getting these films now. A timely heartbreaking adaption (The book was written in 1974) that doesn’t pull its punches. (our review)
For a lot of films chosen, with 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.
Pain and distress are clouding this world at the minute and this is no better shown than in For Sama. It is often easy to forget of the chaos going on in war-torn countries and to get this reality check is important for everyone. This is an intimate depiction of an issue that should be known worldwide. Grief never leaves from the first minute to the last, be it for lost families or lost towns to lost societies. But hope tries to make it’s the way through. Maybe all of these people’s suffering wasn’t for nothing. A skilful film that will and should affect you.
Pain and Glory
Even at 70 years, old Pedro Almodovar can surprise an audience. A film that is worth several viewings and with each one a new realization will warmly arrive. Antonio Banderas provides a starling performance that enraptures you from beginning to end. Almodovar seems to have had a new lease of life in this past couple of years and Pain and Glory continues that trend. His masterful work is hard to ignore. (our review)
The Last Black Man in San Francisco
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As If Beale Street Could Talk started 2019. Rightly, The Last Black Man in San Francisco bookends it. Where James Baldwins film shows us the harsh reality Joe Talbot attempts to show that there is a strong case of hope with the poignant and wonderful film. While the cast and writing are particularly strong hear the cinematography heightens it immensely.