Anniversary 2020: The Top 5 Movies of the Past Year (For Whatever Reason) – Best Of
Let’s get ‘er done, y’all.
Movies over the last year were pretty great.
We don’t talk about Star Wars.
Except I will. But not yet, because first we’ve got some honourable mentions:
- Long Shot: What a goddamn good romcom, baby. Who would have guessed Charlize Theron and Seth Rogen would have so much chemistry. And the female lead was older than the male lead for a change.
- The Lion King: Big. Yikes. Beauty and the Beast made the list back in its year, but fuck, Disney. Cutting the villain song? Get outta here.
- Good Boys: Oh so close to making the list, and that’s because it was very nearly as good as Blockers. A fun and wholesome little romp to be found among the raunch.
- Spider-Man: Far From Home: Another oh so close, but didn’t quite hold up on a rewatch. The gag of JK showing up in the final reel, though. Nicely done.
- Black Christmas: Peak incompetence, but not flashy enough to make the list, I’m afraid. What the hell happened, Sophia Takal? New Year New Me was great (and part of Into the Dark). Black Xmas (2006) weeps.
And now, the anointed ones.
Star Wars Episode 9: The Rise of Skywalker
I wouldn’t say I was furious during my screening of this. But boy, was I mad.
Such a soggy, overstuffed mess in its own right, but it’s the abandonment of everything from The Last Jedi that really hurts this movie. Sure, Rian Johnson smashed a lot of the toys you put out during The Force Awakens, JJ. But when you skedaddled without leaving a plan, and another director actually had the balls to try something subversive, you don’t get to then throw it all out and try to cram the sequel you would have wanted to make alongside the closing chapter of a trilogy.
From the first words of the opening crawl blithely farting out that the Emperor was back, it was all a downhill ride of disappointment, up to and very much including the sputtered “my name is Skywalker because…?” ending.
I still absolutely love The Force Awakens. I respect The Last Jedi. But bitch, I’m not rewatching this piece of shit.
The Invisible Man
With that out of the way, the following entries are all goodies. With The Invisible Man being the goodest of them all.
My first note I wrote after watching this was simply “fucking terrifying.” Upgrade didn’t quite make the cut last year, but it is such a joy to give Leigh Whannell a spot for his follow-up effort.
The Invisible Man truly is just upsettingly scary. Both in a visceral, there’s an invisible man killing people way. But also for its (sometimes) subtle exploration of domestic violence. It’s refreshing to see a genre story present that kind of topic so matter-of-factly, and so unapologetically.
I really don’t have much to say about this one other than goddamn, I love Zoey Deutch. I will never forgive myself for writing her off as a bad actress after seeing Ringer.
Buffaloed sees her getting down and downright filthy in the world of unscrupulous debt collection, and I’ll happily admit that her ragtag group of women and non-white people she assembles scratches my SJW itch.
But anything else in the movie aside, it’s Zoey’s relentless charm, even as a wholly uncharming human being, that makes this stand out.
And Schitt’s Creek husbando Noah Reid is also here and also still my husbando.
Oh, and Judy Greer. Respect Fern Mayo.
Giant Little Ones
This gay themed movie sent from indie heaven earns this spot by being something I had only just been realising was so rare: an angsty, gay coming of age drama from the point of view of the straight (or in this case, at least the non-gay) guy who is the object of the gay character’s affection.
Giant Little Ones is by no means a perfect movie (there isn’t a single on-screen gay kiss in it! What the hell!?). But what it lacks in titillation, it makes up for with empathy and some great acting.
I know I’ve been harping on about my love of cheap Canadian sci-fi for years, but between this and Schitt’s Creek, maybe I should be opening my heart up to other cheap Canadian things, too?
Alexndre Aja is back. Bitches.
This ain’t no so-so Horns, or the truly forgettable The 9th Life of Louis Drax. Aja is back in the horror game for real this time, and he’s brought some more aquatic carnage to life. Eat your heart out, Piranha 3D.
Crawl is a movie that is 100% honest with the viewer, and is just a blast from start to finish for it. No amount of wonky CGI could dampen the relentless thrill ride of Kaya Scodelario running around a house trying to escape alligators during a hurricane.
At least there were no tigers this time, sis.
What a fab year. And with no Star Wars movies on the horizon, let’s hope things get even better.
If anything can actually get filmed. Or released.
I miss popcorn.