As every year, it’s kind of impossible to get to see all the most promising movies in time for the article. For example this year I haven’t seen “Knives Out” yet, or “The Farewell”, “1917”, “Little Women”… But compared to other years, this time I was on track. These are the Best Movies Of 2019
“Joker” is the story of Arthur Fleck, a guy who is dealing with a ton of issues in his life. He is struggling with very negative thoughts, he is having trouble at work, in his social interactions, he is living in a run-down apartment where he cares for his elderly mother… And all of this pressure slowly builds up to the point of making something flip.
“Joker” was beautiful for so many different things. First of all Joaquin Phoenix’s performance, which was breathtaking. We felt really angry about his character’s choices, but also sad for him, we try to understand him. Also because the film allows the viewers to form their own personal opinion on the topics.
You can see it as a society making Arthur Fleck become Joker, you can be disappointed or scared, in disbelief. It all depends on the individual viewer’s way of approaching the topics.
There are lots of good performances out there this year but Joaquin Phoenix’s one was just incredible. Some have criticized “Joker” as a copy of “Taxi Driver” or “The King of Comedy” but I think that’s something you could say more of the trailer, not the actual film.
Because the plot goes way deeper with all the analysis of Arthur’s mind, of his life. It’s not just some sort of tribute film. Also because the few elements that reference those films, which you can see in the trailer, just briefly overlap.
It’s kind of the same concept of comparing Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker Joker to Heath Ledger’s Joker. They are just two different concepts. And we don’t always need to have to find something similar.
If you haven’t seen “Joker” yet, this is the one 2019 film I would recommend watching.
Directed by Martin Scorsese. Now “The Irishman” is a rather demanding film. So I know why it wouldn’t be everyone’s cup of tea. But setting all personal tastes aside (even setting my personal taste aside) I still think that that film is objectively well put together.
It’s three hours and a half long and it follows along the lines of other Scorsese films, which usually present epic stories, stories of a whole lifetime, there are intense dialogues, often with a big focus on correctly depicting specific cultural traits.
So following along these lines “The Irishman” is not the kind of film you would set up on your phone while you’re baking a cake or just a film you would casually pick on a random evening for a light pastime.
Even films like “Goodfellas” or “The Departed”, that cover similar themes move along the plot much faster. But the fact that “The Irishman” is on Netflix means you don’t have to commit to spending hours and hours and hours and hours at the cinema.
You can just stop it when you like, you can watch it however you prefer. I know the cinema experience has that special something, but the pause button does come in handy here.
“The Irishman” brings together three of the biggest names in the industry when it comes to epic crime films: Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Joe Pesci. Robert De Niro portrays the real-life character of Frank Sheeran, who went from selling meat to working for one of the largest mafia organizations in the United States.
His contact in that world is a mobster portrayed by Joe Pesci, who assigns him to various jobs. One of these is to work alongside Jimmy Hoffa (Al Pacino) who needs… a little assistance in his line of work.
The film covers all the protagonist’s life from when he was a young soldier to his much older years, so there’s an impressive use of digital effects, but without solely focusing on that, it doesn’t distract the viewer from the actual plot.
The amount of information we have on the characters is mesmerizing, this is the story of a lifetime, so we obviously become very attached to the characters, not only in a positive manner but in that manner that makes it feel so realistic.
Directed by Bong Joon-Ho, who is mostly known for his more mainstream work such as “Snowpiercer”, “Okja”, “The Host”. But this time around, “Parasite” is the story of two families. One very wealthy family and one very poor family.
Now when I say very wealthy I mean huge mansions, packed with modern art, gigantic glass walls and house workers for every type of assistance. One of the members of this poorer family eventually gets a job as a private tutor for the wealthy family, after faking a diploma.
As he successfully manages to work in that rich environment his whole family soon sees that this is their chance for a better life. But instead of regularly asking for a job, they basically start acting like “parasites”, making their way into the household through various ingenious but immoral manners.
And from that point onwards the plot degenerates into a borderline horror Story in which everything these “parasites” do avalanches into even worse consequences.
The film has actually also been described as a dark comedy because it actually treats the wealthy part of the story in a very comedic manner. Because they are presented as very naive, they don’t realize what’s going on.
But at the same time, the story of how this poorer family infiltrates their life is presented in a very dark way. And the film actually shows more than what the trailers reveal.
Starring Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson. I’ve been in love with this film from the moment I first saw the trailer, which was so different from all the other hundreds of hot-face-posters and predictable storylines.
It was a breath of fresh air, although it does present old-school material. But I was so weird and fascinating I had to get to see it. And when I did I realized why it had been receiving so much appreciation. “The Lighthouse” is the story of two lightkeepers who are stranded on a cold blustery island.
These guys are living in a very cramped space, in terrible weather conditions, with no particular comfort, their rations are limited, they’re isolated and their mind starts to wander off… in all the weirdest directions.
This is especially harsh for Robert Pattinson’s character who is a newcomer to that environment. He is struggling to adapt to the situation, to living with his grumpy coworker.
Everything in this film reminds you of those old stories about sailors, sea creatures, legends, mysteries, adventures, friendships. There’s always this dark power of the sea, the darkness of the mind. The photography is unbelievable.
And then you have these peak performances on behalf of Dafoe and Patterson: they let their emotions free, they let all their instincts free. Their conditions led them to behave more like animals than humans, there is a lot of shouting, weird thoughts creating weird behavior, intense discussions. And the delivery is fantastic.
So I would definitely recommend checking him out in “The Lighthouse”. I know it screams pretentious black-and-white wannabe artsy indie film, but it definitely isn’t. It’s fantastic.
Stars Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson as a New York couple who after years of what appears to be a happy marriage, with a child, with various personal projects… start to fall apart.
Things begin with a simple “It’s not working out, maybe we have to split up”. To progressively becoming more and more aggressive, lawyers are involved, there are a lot of breakdowns. And all of this brings the best out in the actors, especially in Adam Driver.
There are some scenes in which he is so broken that he is totally red, spitting while angrily swearing, then breaking down on his knees sobbing into the carpet.
It’s not a happy story, but the way the two protagonists delivered it made it so convincing. And these are people that a few minutes earlier we didn’t even know existed! Now we feel as if we know their whole life, what they liked of each other, how they fell in love. And we feel sad for them breaking up, and that’s something hard to feel about people we didn’t even know!
So it never felt like just two random strangers fighting, it was more a matter of… there used to be a big love, and now it’s not there anymore. But it might still be there! But it’s not the thing we want in this moment.
You are the person I hate most in my life! But do I really? Or do I just want that? A lot of things. So as I was saying earlier, this is not my go-to film but it is wonderfully made. And it makes you realize how often the most down-to-earth stories are the most impactful.
I really hope Adam Driver’s huge role in the Star Wars films as Kylo Ren really pushes him more into the spotlight, because he has made so many great films and he really deserves more attention.