The 25 best films of 2020

Aaaaannnd here’s the full list. I’ll admit to slacking on documentaries in 2020, an odd development considering the number of friends who’ve confided that docs were about the only full-length things on which their COVID-obsessed minds could concentrate. I’ll admit to falling asleep through about forty minutes of Frederick Wiseman’s City Hall, but I doContinue reading “The 25 best films of 2020”

The best films of 2020: we made it

From the severe (Vitalina Varela) to the joyous (Lovers Rock), these four films kept surprising me. I wish Beanpole had shown up on more lists. At any rate I’m grateful to have survived 2020 to have watched them. Click on hyperlinks for full reviews. 4. Vitalina Varela (dir. Pedro Costa). “No casual Pedro Costa fansContinue reading “The best films of 2020: we made it”

The best films of 2020: part four

We approach the end! Click on hyperlinked titles for full reviews. 8. The Assistant (dir. Kitty Green). ” he cloistered, toxic world of The Assistant offers evidence for the prosecution. This film traces the humiliations suffered by an office peon (Julia Garner) at a Manhattan movie production company. When she suspects her boss has otherContinue reading “The best films of 2020: part four”

The best films of 2020: part three

12. Nomadland (dir. ChloĆ© Zhao). “Envisaging an America with more geography than jobs, Nomadland suggests any of us could become a Fern, dependent on private, abashed charity and one mortgage payment from living in our SUVs. But [Chloe] Zhao hints at a richer, stranger notion: Fern chooses poverty over the comfort of manicured lawns andContinue reading “The best films of 2020: part three”

‘First Cow’ wins Florida Film Critics Circle’s top prize

Following the lead of many of our fellow orgs, Florida Film Critics Circle, of which I’ve been a member since 2015, rallied around First Cow, Kelly Reichardt’s adaptation of Jonathan Raymond’s novel The Half Life starring John Magaro, Orion Lee, and Toby Jones (Magaro was also runner-up for Best Actor). The choice pleases me. SoContinue reading “‘First Cow’ wins Florida Film Critics Circle’s top prize”

The best films of 2020, first edition

The age of quarantine has wrecked havoc on multiplexes, and we’ll see what happens to smaller theaters and art houses; but many of the latter have offered films for streaming. Over half my list are titles seen after mid-March. A week after watching Kitty Green’s bleak The Assistant, I’m still shaken, and I recommend theContinue reading “The best films of 2020, first edition”