I have no idea how 2019 became my year of cinema, much less my year of contemporary cinema, but it did. Compared to the 6 films I had on my list in 2018, I not only completed my list, but went over it for a total of 21 films. Out of those, 16 were made in 2015 or later. So here’s to seeing what stood out in this year of watching movies!
Best Movie: 12 Angry Men was one of the few old movies I watched this year, but it was an absolute powerhouse of writing, acting, film-making and tension-building. There is little I can say about it other than that you should go watch it now. (Close runner-up was Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse, which was a great story and gorgeous visual spectacle.)
Most Enjoyable Movie: And Then There Were None is technically a mini-series, but you can watch it in one sitting if you’re determined, and I would recommend diving into this tense murder mystery all at once. Even if you go in having read the classic novel it’s based on, as I had, it is so tense and rich that it is absolutely worth the journey.
Worst Movie: I am very torn on this one. Cats (2019) is an objectively worse piece of cinema, but I enjoyed it a lot more than Isn’t It Romantic, which just annoyed me. I think I ultimately have to go with Isn’t It Romantic, just because there’s no way I would see it twice, while I am planning my third trip to see Cats.
Most Frustrating Movie: We Have Always Lived In The Castle is a wonderful book that was adapted by someone who had no idea what the source material was about. I think even if I saw it as a new viewer, it wouldn’t stand up, but I will fully admit that I’m blinded by my love for the novel and the complete lack of subtlety in the film. (Constance isolates herself in a world of carefully-contained beauty. She also collects snow-globes. GET IT?????)
Biggest Surprise: I had heard some good things about Murder Party going in, but I certainly had not expected it to be as fun as it was. This is just some cleverly-written horror comedy that you should check out.