by Mark Ahn
Sins of omission
I feel the pain of missing out on these movies most sharply:
Portrait of a Lady on Fire
Queen and Slim
10. Ford v Ferrari
list of favorites of 2019. Also, my dad really enjoyed it too. All inferences about my own aging aside, this is the movie that exemplifies the kind of competency that I wish every Hollywood movie had: charismatic stars, beautiful production value, competent directing/writing/camerawork. Matt Damon and Christian Bale crank up the movie star charm to elevate a simple and perhaps forgotten story about a little race in the farm country of France back in 1966. It’s competitive without being jingoistic, and entertaining while still being grounded in reality.
8. The Last Black Man in San Francisco
6. The Farewell
5. Knives Out
4. Uncut Gems
The “don’t make me choose” level
I put them in this order, but truly, these movies I will take with me from this year far into the future, and can be in any order at the top of my list.
3. The Irishman
1. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
We wondered at how meticulous the recreation of a childhood past can be. We wondered at the juxtaposition of the real and the surreal, in resurrecting real people next to fictional ones. And I’ll admit, we probably wondered whether this might be Tarantino’s last movie. As bittersweet as the prospect of Tarantino retiring would be, I take solace in what the movie has to say about letting go; that all things eventually do go away, whether it’s fame or good looks or opportunity, but that only makes them more meaningful, not less.