- Eighth Grade
- The Irishman
- Toy Story 4
Think this might be a masterpiece? Stunning film IMO. Felt like a Haneke in many ways. Paced in such a confidently slow manner that forces you to study each frame in the same way Cache does. Very impressed with Glen off of The Walking Dead, a brilliantly creepy but charming performance. Want to read the short story now to see how far removed it was, lots of it felt extremely Murakami but a fair bit of it didn’t. Anyway, this is exceptional, go and see it.
2. Eighth Grade
This completely broke my heart. It’s wonderful. Properly, properly wonderful but it made me feel almost unbearably sad about how hard and horrible growing up always is and how completely powerless parents are to assist in any kind of immediately useful or relatable ways. I just kept thinking of my niece being a few years away from that horrible, painful, sudden loss of innocence and how she’s inevitably going to go through a spell where she’s having a horrible time socially and she’ll start hating her Mum and Dad (for no fault of their own) and how inevitable society seems to make it. I am so fucking relieved I grew up without Instagram existing and that was fucking hard enough frankly. Anyway this film is just beautiful despite all that. Watch it.
3. The Irishman
I think it might be a masterpiece? I absolutely lap up stuff from that era, JFK involvement with the mob and Cuba and that? Bloody love it but that in and of itself wouldn’t elevate this film to the level it reaches I don’t think. It’s such a melancholy look at the passage of time. I really related to the kind of inertia of DeNiro’s character and how he just sort of floated through life without ever really seeming to take ownership of it in many ways. There’s something inherently moving about seeing the passage of time elapse like that. The performances were all masterful, Pesci and DeNiro in a very understated, really naturalistic way and Pacino in a scene-chewing, hammy fun way. It obviously looks wonderful without ever being as showy as his earlier work can be. Yeah, fucking loved it. Can’t believe that it didn’t feel like 3.5 hours.
This is pretty astonishing. It’s an absolute sensory overload. First 10/15 minutes had me all set up to do a “ South American Honey more like!” which would have been very witty and insightful but for the fact that it finds another gear so quickly. Absolutely loved how ambiguous everything was from the setting and period to the gender dynamics to the actual resolution of any of the plot. It’s fucking intense and everyone should go and see it on a big screen please.
5. Toy Story 4
I’m relieved. The trilogy ended perfectly but once they announced an unnecessary fourth this was as good as it could get. It actually added to the overall arc in a way that was satisfying ( Woody being the parent enjoying retirement) and I really liked that it touched on some weighty existential issues (although I definitely could have used more of that)
Some genuine laughs (Keanu Reeves mainly) and some emotional gut punches. It made me cry so that’s probably a record for a series of films. Yeah, I liked it and I’m relieved.
Forky being a meta exploration of the entire film’s need to exist was a layer I wasn’t expecting either. I liked (and was eagerly anticipating) it from the point of view of exploring the nature of sentience but it’s a comment on the film itself as well innit. Dead good.
6. The Farewell
God, this is so wonderful. Really, really loved it. Awkwafina was absolutely unrecognisable from anything I’ve seen her in before, a properly brilliant performance. It’s funny and poignant and heartbreaking with a level of specificity that can only come from something very intensely personal. I imagine everyone was gonna see it anyway but if you weren’t planning on it I would really recommend that you do.
7. Knives Out
What a lot of fun! Really loved it. It’s playful and knowing but very respectful of the tropes. Literally everyone on screen seems to be having the time of their lives but I’m going to single out Noah Segan for praise as the naive, dorky cop. Rian Johnson always casts him and it kind of felt this time that he might get crowded out by all the big names on show but I thought he was great. First time I’ve ever enjoyed a Daniel Craig performance as well tbf to the lad. Fun!
8. The Mustang
This is a beautiful little film. Absolutely superb central performance from Matthias Schoenaerts with a brilliant supporting turn from Bruce Dern. It’s a little heavy-handed with it’s central metaphor but it really got to me. I love films that shine a light on a small, specific real-life thing that you wouldn’t otherwise know about as well. The Inmate Wild Horse Program seems like a wonderful thing.
9. Thunder Road
This has one of the most astonishing opening scenes I’ve ever seen frankly. The rest of the film doesn’t scale the same heights but it’s worth it for the opening alone (which apparently is a version of a self-contained short film from the same guy). It’s excruciating and funny and completely heartbreaking and technically brilliant as well. I really enjoyed the film as a whole but the opening is special.
10. Apollo 11
Absolutely breathtaking. I don’t know why I find the moon landings so moving, it feels like a very Top Gear sort of thing to pull at the heartstrings but there’s something about the enormity of it and the thousands and thousands of small, individual human moments of achievement that combined for it that just chokes me up. This looks absolutely fucking stunning, no idea what the technique’s at play were in cleaning the footage up but it’s a visual treat.