Whilst it may not feel like it, we are already halfway through 2020. We should have had many other releases by now including No Time to Die, A Quiet Place: Part II and Wonder Woman 1984 by now, but there have already been some great releases and it is time to rank them in my top ten.
Disclaimer: as I am from the UK, I have a rule where I go by the UK official release date so that I can give the love to these films that they deserve. If I didn’t, at least five of these films would have been in the top ten of last year and I would not have been able to share my love for them. As well as this, it also helps fill out the list when looking at the few releases we have had in 2020 due to lockdown.
I will give some shout outs though. I watched a lot of short films in the first few months of the year with festivals running and I want to particularly highlight Scrable and Basic, which you can learn more about in my individual reviews of them. I also want to mention my love for films such as Onward and The Invisible Man, both of which surpassed my expectations for and continue to satisfy my love of both the animation and horror genres respectively.
With that out of the way, here is my top ten:
10. Never Rarely Sometimes Always – a beautifully told tale that is honest and presents a serious subject matter in a mature manner that I wish other films would even attempt to do.
9. Dark Waters – completely surprised me by the passion behind the story and the incredible performance that Mark Ruffalo gives. This could have been a stereotypical film of this genre but it was so much more than that.
8. Da 5 Bloods – Spike Lee nails it once again with a passionate film filled with raw emotion and the best performance of 2020 by Delroy Lindo. Keep an eye out for this one in the awards season.
7. Miss Americana – as a Taylor Swift fan this may be biased, but I found this to be wonderfully crafted and gives a great view of the struggles in the limelight and the issues around the media in this day and age.
6. Parasite – whilst I may not be completely sold on the ending, the first two-thirds of this film is perfection and it is certainly a worthy Best Picture winner. I cannot wait to go back and revisit it once again.
5. All Joking Aside – an independent film that was meant to be shown at Cinequest this year, this film completely took me by surprise. A charming and beautiful story told with great humour along the way, I fell in love with it and I hope others get a chance to.
4. Jojo Rabbit – I was hesitant about this film when I heard the concept, but Taika Waititi just made it work for me. The cast, the production design, the script and the balancing of tones. I simply loved it all here.
3. 1917 – we may be talking a lot about passion in this list of films here, but none screams it more than 1917. Sam Mendes put his heart and soul not only into the story and characters, but the craftsmanship of the filmography to create an authentic experience. I was captivated from start to finish.
2. Portrait of a Lady on Fire – each frame of this film is itself a piece of art and I just want it all framed in a museum. As proven by this and Parasite, please open yourself up to foreign cinema and enjoy the beauty the world has to offer.
1. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood – This was my most anticipated film for a long time and yet it still surpassed my expectations. I am a tough person to make cry with a film (excluding Pixar) and this managed in three separate moments, and it holds up just as well on a second viewing. Please, if you have not had the chance to check it out yet, I encourage you to do so.
What do you make of my list? Were you aware that many of these films weren’t released until 2020 in the UK? What is the top film for you so far? Let me know all of your thoughts in the comments section and let’s have a discussion.