10 Favourite Movies 2020

I watched 75 films this year. Unfortunately, I only got to watch two at the cinema before the UK lockdown. Here are my top ten in no particular order, and the places in the UK you can watch them. I prefer to give my viewing money to organisations other than Amazon, but I’d still rather watch films than boycott the company altogether, nevertheless as well as summaries of each film, I have listed the places you can currently see them in the UK. Read to the bottom and you’ll find a few bonus movies that I also recommend.

A few facts and figures about my 10 movies:

  • Five female directors, five male (which I’m pretty pleased about)
  • Four American-made movies, the rest from different countries
  • Three subtitled films
  • One from 1992, one from 2013, the rest from 2019 and 2020

Vivarium
2019
Dir: Lorcan Finnegan
Ireland, Denmark & Belgium

Speculative / science fiction. Gemma and Tom go with a peculiar estate agent to visit a house on an estate of identical houses. When Gemma and Tom try to leave they can’t. It gets more and more odd, and ends with a clever circular twist. Available on Curzon Home Cinema and bfi.org

Once Upon A Time in Hollywood
2019
Dir: Quentin Tarantino
USA

Action drama. It’s the 1960s and Rick is an actor in LA. His stunt man and friend, Cliff lives in a nearby caravan with his dog. The pair go to Italy to film some spaghetti westerns, and when they return they get to know Rick’s heavily pregnant neighbour, Sharon Tate. A reworking of the Charles Manson murders, this doesn’t end as expected. Violent, yes. Brilliant, yes. Available on Amazon.

The Assistant
2020
Dir: Kitty Green
USA

Drama. Jane is an assistant in a film company in New York. She starts early and performs mundane tasks: clearing her boss’s office, fetching sandwiches, photocopying, as well as lying to his wife about where her boss is. When another assistant arrives in the office, Jane is concerned about her welfare but when she tries to report her suspicions things don’t go as planned. Quiet, reflective, excellent.

System Crasher
2019
Dir: Nora Fingscheidt
Germany

Drama. Nine year old Benni, angry and out of control, is in the German care system. She runs away, back to her mother who is unable to provide the love and care Benni needs. She makes a connection with Micha and his family, and goes with him to the woods for three weeks to learn to take care of herself and although this at first seems to help, the system is unable to cope with her. Eye-opening, emotional, tough. Available on Curzon Home Cinema

The Last Days of Chez Nous
1992
Dir: Gillian Armstrong
Australia

Family drama. Beth lives with her partner, JP, daughter Annie, and lodger Tim, in a house in an Australian city, when her younger sister, Vicky comes to stay. The house is wild with laughter and arguments between Beth and JP. Beth goes on a road trip with her father and when she returns much has changed in the house. Real, touching, memorable. Available on Google Play.

Parasite
2019
Dir: Bong Joon-ho
South Korea

Black comedy thriller. Ki-woo, a poor young man living in a semi-basement with his parents and sister gets a job tutoring a rich family’s daughter. Over time he gets his sister, mother and father jobs for the family, ousting the existing staff. When the rich family are away, Ki-woo and the rest of them discover something unexpected in the basement of the house. Tense, thrilling, eye-opening. Available on Curzon Home Cinema and bfi.org

Ordinary Love
2019
Dir: Lisa Barros D’sa
Britain

Family drama. At Christmas Joan discovers a lump in her breast. She begins treatment and her husband, Tom supports her through chemo and a mastectomy. At the hospital Joan recognises a fellow patient, who is her daughter’s former teacher, and a friendship develops. Quiet, emotional, beautiful. Available on Google Play.

Only the Animals
2019
Dir: Dominik Moll
France

Mystery Thriller. Using a complex but satisfying narrative, this film weaves five different stories and perspectives together. A woman disappears in a snow storm and her car is found. Five people know something about what has happened and as the film visits each perspective we learn something new about the previous section. Clever, absorbing, satisfying. Available on Curzon Home Cinema

Blue Ruin
2013
Dir: Jeremy Saulnier
USA

Action drama. Dwight, apparently a down-and-out, goes after Wade, the killer of his parents, after he is released from prison. But Dwight is neither a killer nor a homeless man, but he quickly gets tangled up in looking for and running from revenge for various murders. It’s complicated and violent, but very satisfying. Available on Netflix.

Never Rarely Sometimes Always
2020
Dir: Eliza Hittman
USA

Drama. Autumn is 17 when she discovers she is pregnant. Not finding support from her family or her local clinic, and living in Pennsylvania where she needs parental consent to have an abortion, Autumn and her cousin, Skylar travel to New York. Female friendship, quiet, emotional.

Bonus Movies

There were a few more films that almost made my top ten which you might be interested in looking up. They are:

  • Good Posture
  • Paddleton
  • The Lunchbox
  • It Follows
  • Nancy
  • Calibre

Which of my top ten have you seen and loved? Which have you seen and hated? And do you have any recommendations for me?

6 thoughts on “10 Favourite Movies 2020

  1. I hated Parasite, and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. The others I haven’t seen; looking forward to seeing the Assistant, Only the Animals and The last days of Chez nous. Thanks for the recommendations! I recommend The Souvenir, and The Two Popes, if you haven’t seen them. I thought both were very well done. Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. In no particular order but somewhat alphabetical 😀 …
    Ammonite, The Old Guard, Atomic Blonde, Alita: Battle Angel, Can You Ever Forgive Me, Hell And High Water, In The Shadow Of The Moon, Mad Max: Fury Road, Ocean’s 8, The Adjustment Bureau, A Quiet Place … I’ll stop now. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I loved Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and Parasite. The others I haven’t seen. I also recommend The Two Popes. I just watched Ma Raineys Black Bottom – it feels like a play because it was a play first…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You’re the second person to recommend The Two Popes. I’ll have to try it. And I’ve heard about Ma Raineys Black Bottom…not sure about that if it feels like a play. I always think that’s a shame, that the screenwriter hasn’t taken full advantage of the medium.

    Like

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