2019, the year Brad Pitt fixed antennas (Ad Astra and Once Upon A Time In Hollywood), Scarlett Johansson tied shoelaces (Marriage Story and Jojo Rabbit – out in the UK on 1st Jan), Adam Driver seemed to be everywhere and washing machines featured more than expected (In Fabric and Seahorse).
There were a lot of films shown at the Picture House during 2019, here are my highlights from the new films:
- La Belle Époque – It’s too soon to know if this is really as good as it made me feel during the film festival or an “overegged French time-travel comedy” as Peter Bradshaw claimed in The Guardian.
- The Favourite – One of the first films I saw this year which made me think it would be a while until I saw something I enjoyed more and I was right.
- Eighth Grade – A really long wait to see this in the UK but it was worth it, a film about hope, despair, anxiety and it manages to be terrifying and funny in equal measures.
- Marriage Story – Everything feels so authentic, it’s heartbreakingly beautiful and also surprisingly funny.
- If Beale Street Could Talk – A beautiful film with a beautiful soundtrack.
- Knives Out – Another recent film that may not stand the test of time but I had so much fun whilst watching it I had to include it in this list.
- Midsommar & Us – Horror is a genre I tend to overlook but both of these films exceeded my expectations, both are carefully constructed and unravel in an enthralling way.
- Irene’s Ghost, Seahorse, Our Most Brilliant Friends – Great documentaries that were enhanced by Q&A with the filmmakers.
My favourite film of 2019 only got a single screening as a Tuesday Wonder and (confession time) I didn’t see it at the Picture House. Minding The Gap: An American Skateboarding Story is one of those documentaries where the subject matter is just a cover story for the way it brilliantly exposes just what it means to be human and I absolutely loved it. It’s available on iPlayer as part of the Storyville strand and would make a great double bill with the underrated Mid90s.
Honorable mentions to: Collette, Beautiful Boy, RBG, Pond Life, Vox Lux, Madeline’s Madeline, Booksmart, Sometimes Always Never, Apollo 11, Only You, The Farewell, Peanut Butter Falcon.