Evergreen note: The world is a crazy place right now. The global pandemic has forced everyone inside, in hopes of flattening the curve in our communities. Of course, that leaves folks with a lot of time to eat up, and what better way than to watch some movies. So, stay healthy, stay safe, and watch movies.
I have never claimed to have good taste in movies. But I’m trying to give a variation in style, genre, theme, and platform.
#10: The Platform (Netflix) – Horror/Thriller
A lot of these straight-to-streaming-service horror or thrillers are pretty bad. A modern day straight-to-video analog, the few that break through are truly worth it. Enter The Platform, an import from Spain (with a watchable dub for the subtitle averse). With a starkly spartan aesthetic it affords its performers the space to descend into madness in an intimate manner. Strong eat-the-rich vibes give it relevant overtones, give this body horror thriller a chance. Read my thoughts.
#9: The Invisible Man (VoD) – Thriller
Based on the Dark Universe character from the 1930’s, The Invisible Man could have easily fallen prey to camp and overuse of CG. But what Director Leigh Whannell (Upgrade) has created is a thriller with incredible moody atmospheric tension and a sense of unnerving that few films have managed to achieve in recent years. Yes, the $20 VoD price tag is scary, but it should still be in theaters, and it’s well worth it. Read my thoughts.
#9: The Two Popes (Netflix) – Drama
It’s not often a movie comes out with two Popes. One, sure. But two Pontiffs? In all seriousness, it seemed like a very uninteresting plot: two aging Catholic Popes talking in rooms. But wow, was I wrong. A fictional script based on a real life event, The Two Popes is a staggering work of beauty. You don’t have to be Catholic (or religious at all) to feel the humanity that director Fernando Meirelles is communicating. And I’m sure we could all use a little more uplifting media in our lives right about now. Read my thoughts.
#7: The Report (Amazon) – Drama
This film was lost in the Adam Driver shuffle of 2019. Between his Oscar-nominated role in Marriage Story and his blockbuster role in the divisive Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker, very few people lost sight of The Report. The Scott Z. Burns vehicle is based on the real like of Senate Staffer Daniel Jones and his quest-turned-crusade to uncover the truth behind the 9/11 CIA Torture report. As gripping of a boardroom drama as they come. Read my thoughts.
#6: I Lost My Body (Netflix) – Drama
A French film about a disembodied hand making its way home as an allegory of moving beyond childhood trauma to become whole again? Yes. The quick Oscar-nominated animated film is as inventive with its camerawork as it is in nurturing its weird love story. Some slight stalker vibes from the male protagonist but don’t let that persuade you from a deeply personal story. Read my thoughts.
#5: Burning (Netflix) – Drama
Darkly satirical, this long, slow burn of a drama is beautiful and haunting. From master filmmaker Lee Chang Dong, it’s the story of a love triangle gone wrong. But the undertones of lackadaisical youth, classism, and a sterling performance from Steven Yuen, Burning is a must watch for any lover of film. Read my thoughts.
#4: Knives Out (Vod) – Murder Mystery
Once in a while, a film comes along that isn’t just clever, but so much fun and so pitch perfect, that it’s undeniably great. Writer/Director Rian Johnson lays out all his cards for his whodunnit that’s laden with an all-star cast that. The laughs, the jabs, and the fun don’t stop. It’s on available to rent or buy right currently, but well worth your cash. Read my thoughts.
#3: The Farewell (Amazon) – Drama
One of the more moving films of the last decade, a personal family drama from the mind of Writer/Director Lulu Wang. A story that puts Eastern and Western differences in the spotlight, it shines a light on the humanity behind lies, the power of family, and the complicated relationships that American immigrants and first gens experience. A truly powerful story. Read my thoughts.
#2: Portrait of a Lady on Fire (Hulu) – Romantic Drama
The greatest love story ever told. Period. A beautifully rendered story of forbidden love, duty, social norms, and desire. Director Celine Sciamma has made a film that will stand the test of time. Read my thoughts.
#1: Parasite (Hulu) – Drama / Thriller
Once in a while, a film comes along that pierces the social consciousness and takes on a life of its own. Bong Joon Ho’s Parasite is just that. Dark. Funny. Whip Smart. Brutal. Clever. Gorgeous. Well Acted. It has the entire package. From a master filmmaker working at the height of his powers, Parasite is a must watch.. Read my thoughts.