Richard Whittaker’s Top 10 Films of 2019
By Richard Whittaker, Fri., Dec. 20, 2019
1) The Souvenir
A quiet, autobiographical tale of the trauma of lost love, and the unspoken tragedies that define us.
Trey Edward Shults' story of a family in collapse isn't a film: It's a roaring beast.
3) Avengers: Endgame
C'mon, you know you love it 3,000.
4) Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood
Platonic friendships and the Platonic Ideal of the end of the Golden Age of Tinseltown.
A pitch-black satire about social climbing that has no mercy for the top or bottom of the mountain.
6) The Last Black Man in San Francisco
The power of the lies we tell ourselves, the cycles of gentrification.
7) The Farewell
An immigrant song sung with verve, humor, and no straight answers to the questions of belonging.
8) Uncut Gems
Take a roller-coaster ride through NYC's diamond district, with no safety bar.
Beyond the sheer visual ambition of a single-shot run through the trenches of World War I, the humanity shines.
10) One Cut of the Dead
Horror cinema gets its Living in Oblivion.
Dragged Across Concrete, The Lighthouse, Joker
The Irishman, Midsommar, Long Shot
The Souvenir, Aquarela, Starfish
Between psychotropic horror Bliss and VHS splatterfest VFW, Joe Begos is the new King of the Underground.
Acting Kudos (Male)
Bill Camp (Dark Waters), Shia LaBeouf (Honey Boy, The Peanut Butter Falcon), Joaquin Phoenix (Joker), Adam Sandler (Uncut Gems)
Acting Kudos (Female)
Park So-dam (Parasite), Mary Kay Place (Diane), Honor Swinton Byrne (The Souvenir), Elisabeth Moss (Her Smell)
Joanna Hogg (The Souvenir), Benny Safdie and Josh Safdie (Uncut Gems), Trey Edward Shults (Waves)
Best Original Screenplay
Max Eggers and Robert Eggers (The Lighthouse), Benny Safdie and Josh Safdie (Uncut Gems), Quentin Tarantino (Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood)
Best Adapted Screenplay
Matthew Michael Carnahan, Mario Correa, Nathaniel Rich (Dark Waters), Micah Fitzerman-Blue, Noah Harpster (A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood)
The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance
Acceleration: Well, the Lundgrennassiance is officially over.
The Little Film That Could
The Head Hunter: A $30,000 indie marvel that proves the budget doesn't have to be high to make high fantasy.