In the world of cinema, just like everything else these days, we have all had to embrace change. What used to be an experience going to the theaters has been put on hold for what feels like an eternity. Viewing film via streaming service has become the new normal and our living rooms, the new theaters, our kitchens, the concession stands. Although location changes the viewing experience, it does not mean that we still don’t get to indulge in something special.
In the world of movies, every year follows a similar pattern. Halfway through the calendar, those critics inclined to pessimism start ringing the warning bell over a lack of quality film. Outlandish fear over the death of cinema persists through the splashy summer season, but as Oscar season winds down the same conclusion is nearly always reached: a great year for film. Now, 2020 has broken just about every mold we understand, up to and including the way we perceive time. One thing this pandemic decimated year hasn’t changed? It has still been a great year for film.
Towards the end of Summer, the year in film was looking pretty bleak. Endgame had smashed box office records, but moviegoers had precious few truly great films to choose from. Fast forward to December and to consider 2019 anything less that great year in film would seem crazy.
Like most years, the best movies in 2019 were reflections of the world around us. Some of the most resonant films put a microscope on the global inequality we see today. We were treated to films that thoughtfully explored economic hardship, the uphill battle faced by women in male dominated worlds and the zero sum nature of late capitalism. It’s truly been a spectacular year for movies and here are my 10 favorites from 2019.
2018 was a year unlike any in my recollection. America was rocked by countless scandals, unimaginable cruelty, but also undeniable glimmers of hope. Personally, my life changed in ways that have forever altered my way of thinking. The word that comes to mind when trying to distill this year gone by is "tumult." Indeed, 2018 has been a tumultuous journey, but one that has always been lined with the optimism that smoother seas lie ahead.
The world of film was no different. Cinema so often is a mirror to society, so it is no wonder that many of the movies that resonated enough to make this countdown traversed in a familiar instability. Each of the following films center on displaced or disparaged people. More often than not they depict the plights of those seeking stability and control over their own fates. Here they are, my top 10 films of 2018: