Very good films I’ve seen this year

Billy Wilder
Dean Martin, Ray Walston, Felicia Farr, Kim Novak, Cliff Osmond.

An extraordinary film, fun from start to end, tender and deep, so good-humored in its criticism that you may not notice it, and brave and defiant at the mores of the time — indeed a piece of art.

Yasujiro Ozu
Chishû Ryû, Chieko Higashiyama, Sô Yamamura, Setsuko Hara.

Isn’t life disappointing?‘, asks one of the characters, ‘Yes, it is‘, answers another. And that’s what this film is about —disappointment as a matter of fact, as the way life develops itself; an existential, not particular, disappointment, and as such accepted and not resented it. Beautiful quiet acting upon an almost nihilist script, in which very little happens, devoid of bluntness and drama, and so real and deep for that very reason.

Ruben Fleischer
Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, Abigail Breslin, Zoey Deutch.

Fun, which is rare.

John Huston
Marilyn Monroe, Clark Gable, Montgomery Clift, Eli Wallach, Thelma Ritter.

Splendid filming, acting and scripting. The story goes deep under the pretense of everyday life.

OLEANNA (1994)
David Mamet
William H. Macy, Debra Eisenstadt.

The dystopia this film announced in 1994 has become the world we live in in 2020. Masterful use of the telephone interruption technique. Great acting.

Taika Waititi
Roman Griffin Davis, Thomasin McKenzie, Scarlett Johansson, Taika Waititi, Sam Rockwell, Alfie Allen, Rebel Wilson.

A wonderful film, moving and fun, original, made with an unusual forgiving human touch which makes it truly enjoyable.

Ki-duk Kim
Yeong-su Oh, Jae-kyeong Seo, Young-min Kim, Yeo-jin Ha, Ki-duk Kim.

Beautiful, surprising, profound… and beautiful. Astonishingly so. Never miss your doors.

2 thoughts on “Very good films I’ve seen this year”

  1. From your list I’ve seen “Tokyo Story” (which I loved; along with Yamada’s 2013 remake “Tokyo Family”, also very nice and moving), “Zombieland: Double Tap” (which I only started watching because of Emma Stone but could not finish), “The Misfits” (so long ago I can’t quite assess :) ), and “JoJo Rabbit” (which I also liked but not loved). I’ve seen a few decent films recently but I am very bad remembering names and they may not even belong in 2020. Anyway, four movies that I can recall are Woody Allen’s latest (“A Rainy Day in New York”), Roy Andersson’s “About Endlessness” (there’s something so very attractive in his weird movies) and, of course, Tarantino’s latest (“Once upon a Time in Hollywood”) and Bong Joon-Ho’s “Parasite”.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for the list, I’m writing it down. Of course Allen’s latest (and next to last, and next to next to last) is on my radar, along with the older ones one from him I’ve learnt I haven’t seen (and, incidentally, I’d like to re-watch Match Point, which I dropped but that I know now is a favorite of his and of many people’s. Roy Andersson, I didn’t know about him. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood I also liked. About Parasite (which I haven’t seen but intend to), may I redirect you to the now moderately famous Tabarrok’s controversial analysis of it?


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