The Austin Chronicle

Kimberley Jones’ Top 10 Films of 2023

December 15, 2023, Screens

1) 20 Days in Mariupol This harrowing, you-are-there document of the Russian invasion of Ukraine is essential viewing – and you can watch it for free on PBS Frontline's YouTube channel right now.

2) Maestro Simply, the moviemaking that most made my heart sing this year.

3) Asteroid City Wes Anderson's stealth masterpiece smuggled a meditation on grief into a bouncy yarn about an alien landing.

4) Killers of the Flower Moon A monumental work from an American master acknowledging his own limitations and, perhaps, the limited time left to him.

5) Anatomy of a Fall I swear I watched the whole thing – taut at 152 minutes! – leaning forward in my seat.

6) La Chimera Stealing looks from silent comedy, Roman antiquity, and French New Wave, Alice Rohrwacher's romancer about grave robbers beguiled me.

7) Past Lives Six months later and I'm still thinking about that ending.

8) May December Netflix's death grip on all our eyeballs foretells Christmas dinner fights over Todd Haynes' is-it-camp? instant classic. I love it.

9) Suzume Makoto Shinkai contemplated a national tragedy via a sentient three-legged chair and the schoolgirl who falls in love with him/it. Beautifully bonkers stuff.

10) The Eternal Memory There is a superhuman love engining this doc about dementia – the light in the dark :that never gets snuffed out.

Near Misses: Sanctuary, American Fiction, Passages

Most Overrated: Air, The Pigeon Tunnel, Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One

Most Underrated: The Creator, Rye Lane, Sanctuary

Wild Card: Casting directors killed it with the killer ensembles of Barbie, Oppenheimer, Poor Things, and Killers of the Flower Moon.

Acting Kudos (Male): Andrew Scott (All of Us Strangers), Josh O'Connor (La Chimera), Jeffrey Wright (American Fiction, Asteroid City)

Acting Kudos (Female): Emma Stone (Poor Things), Rachel McAdams (Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret.), Da'Vine Joy Randolph (The Holdovers)

Best Director: Wes Anderson (Asteroid City), Bradley Cooper (Maestro), Justine Triet (Anatomy of a Fall)

Best Original Screenplay: Asteroid City, The Holdovers, May December

Best Adapted Screenplay: American Fiction; Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret.; Killers of the Flower Moon

TV Series/Event: I swooned for season 3 of Starstruck (HBOMax) – a funny, romantic, generous-hearted picture of moving on.

Worst Film: Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny – unnecessary and utterly deflating

The Little Film That Could: How to Blow Up a Pipeline – a provocative film about eco-terrorism that was also popcorn-movie suspenseful

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