My Top 10 Movies of 2019

These are my 10 favourite movies I saw in 2019. Even though they’re in order, still not sure I can pick a favourite. Honorable mentions include ‘Knives Out’, ‘Fighting with my Family’, ‘Shazam’ and of course ‘Avengers: endgame’, which even as someone who hasn’t seen most of the Marvel movies gave me serious feels.

1. Parasite #

I needed some time to mull this one over, but the more I did the more it clicked for me. I initially left the cinema very confused, I felt it was an unfar portrayal of the working class being a ‘parasite’ on society. But the more I thought and read other’s reviews I realised I was the one being taken for the ride. I was the parasite. I was the ignorant privileged one who saw the lower class family in the movie as inhuman. But they are not, they are an incredibly tight-knit family desparately doing what they can to survive. It is the privileged family who fails to see them as human. The rich family are the true parasite. As well as being an extremely entertaining watch, this movie played some serious mind games with me. It made me reflect on myself, my views and the morality of my perspectives which to me is the mark of a great piece of art.

My rating: 10/10

2. Little Women #

Greta Gerwig’s interpretation of Little Women is a masterpiece. So many books are being made into movies these days, with most of them being a very underwhelming paper to screen translation. When making a new piece of art, shouldn’t it bring something new to the table? Little Women defied the norm and twisted the plot in an acknowledgement of Louisa May Alcott’s successful life as an author who never married. Gerwig “wanted to give (Alcott) an ending she might have liked”. I am still amazed that this book was written such a long time ago, the feminist themes the story explores are barely acceptable for women today. It is exciting and refreshing to watch a women become ‘successful’ in a way that does not involve a husband and children. And what an excellent tip of the hat to Louisa May Alcott, a women who truly was more than a century ahead of her time.


3. Marriage Story #

Although not a particularly enjoyable film to watch, it was spectacular. It is a melancholic tale of a marriage that is falling apart and the painful process of divorce. The film does an impecible job of isolating your time with each character. In the time you spend with one character you grow to understand them and lose your understanding of the other, to the point where they become a stranger or even a villain. There are no good or bad parties in this film, neither is objectively right or wrong. It is purely an exploration in the breakdown of communication between two human beings. It hits home pretty hard for anyone who has experienced a break-up.

My rating: 9.5/10

4. The Lighthouse #

My initial reaction after watching this film was “wtf did I just watch?”. But the more I think about it, the more I love it. It is one of the most creative films of the year. It’s script, cinematography, sound design and acting are all superbly executed. Based on the journals of real wickies (lighthouse keepers) living remotely at sea, you are gradually driven insane along with the characters. You find yourself questioning reality, creating your own reality, then questioning that one too. A true mind bending adventure that I still think about months after watching it.

My rating 9.5/10

5. The Farewell #

A hilarious and extremely well put together film about family dynamics and differences in culture. As someone also living away from family and the country I call home, I found this to be an artful exporation of what it means to have 2 homes, both with very different things to offer.

My rating: 9/10

6. Hustlers #

I’ll admit, I wasn’t expecting much from Hustlers but it absolutely blew me away. I was so impressed with how well the movie portrayed the importance of women’s relationships and the power of motherhood. The depth of the characters is impressive and a credit to the superb cinematography and acting. I liken it to a feminist version of ‘The Wolf of Wallstreet’ (so better, obviously ;)).

My rating: 8/10

7. Jojo Rabbit #

Certainly the best comedy I saw this year. The protagonist is a young nazi boy whose imaginery friend is Hitler. This movie is bursting with creativity and I admire Taika Waititi’s quirky style and brave sense of humour.

My rating: 8/10

8. Us #

I hate horror movies, so I was reluctant to see this one. But after watching and enjoying Jordan Peele’s other film ‘Get out’ my husband managed to convince me to see ‘Us’. The thing I love about Peele’s films is that he doesn’t just do horror for the sake of horror, but rather uses the medium as a way to express meaningful thoughts and commentary on society. ‘Us’ is no exception. It is an exploration of classes and what it means to be fortunate vs unfortunate. It blatantly shows our inability to empathize with those less fortunate than ourselves, despite the fact that they too are human, we are essentially the same. If only we could see it, we would realise, they are us.

My rating: 8/10

9. A beautiful day in the neighborhood #

A refreshing film about a pure human who sincerely cares and sees the good in everybody. As a non-American, I didn’t grow up watching Mr Rodgers, but I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know him through this film. With patience and kindess, Mr Rodgers teaches kids emotional awareness through his TV show and in the movie, he teaches the adult protagonist, Lloyd Vogel, too. There is a lot to learn from this real life character. It’s a valuable watch for both adults and kids.

My rating: 8/10

10. Apollo 11 #

I was struggling to pick which film would be the final in my top ten list. I picked ‘Apollo 11’, because to make a modern film that is so entertaining and informative, entirely from real footage is a serious accomplishment. I learnt so much about the real events that inspired this film and was surprised to find myself laughing throughout. I cannot stand films that take themselves too seriously and refuse to include an ounce of humor in their script, it isn’t reflective of how humans really are. In ‘Apollo 11’, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin are making their first steps on the moon, a life and death situation and still cracking jokes about how they hope they don’t lock themselves out of their spaceship. I loved the genuineness in which this movie demonstrated humor as a important, human coping method.

My rating: 8/10

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