This year, documentaries, horror films and adaptations of classic American literature all make it into my top ten. Following on from Get Out, Jordan Peele exceeded all expectations with the astonishing, original and confident Us. It’s closely followed at the top of my list by Olivia Wilde’s Booksmart which hit a painful, truthful nerve as well as my funny bone. My favourite documentaries of the year both dealt with displacement, from the horrifying and brave For Sama to the quiet and intimate Island of the Hungry Ghosts. Both films are unique beasts with a heart-wrenching story to tell. Meanwhile, Greta Gerwig’s smart and sophisticated adaptation of Little Women was a sensational end to a cinematic year and perfect for the Christmas season. Family fun came in the form of Rian Johnson’s joyous Knives Out – a charming and clever who-dunnit with a stand out cast. Although I was underwhelmed by Hereditary, I was much more impressed by Ari Aster’s Midsommar, a feminist tale rooted in tradition and ritual (reminiscent of The Wicker Man). Meanwhile, Ray & Liz proved that British independent cinema is alive and well and boasted astonishing cinematography and camera work. Addiction and paternal devotion are explored with brutal honesty in Beautiful Boy whilst Beats opened up the world of the 90s UK rave scene through a strong friendship set against the black and white backdrop of Scotland, 1994.
Here’s to a new exciting decade of wonderful cinema.
Thanks for reading and let’s all keep supporting our beloved film industry.