Monday, January 8, 2024

Erika's Favorite Movies of 2023

by Erika Bromley
I started making a "best of" list and then remembered that I mostly prefer making my own "favorites" lists over the years (even though I do love reading "best of" lists from certain writers).

This year proved yet again to be challenging in this "season" of life as they say. Who are 'they' you may ask? I am not sure, but they are right to say that being a working parent - especially one who works outside of the home with little to no flexibility - is not for the faint of heart. More specifically, it can be stressful for anyone with a vested and deep, true interest in the arts or anything creative who is also trying to share their time in a meaningful way with little humans. It is not easy to "find balance" and "make time for yourself" and all the other self-help grifty-nifty-grifts that are thrown (shoved?) our way through books and algorithms and "well-meaning" blogs, podcasts, therapists, friends, whatever.

The truth is, if you value your personal well-being and creative interests and your desire to continue to be yourself, with a full slate of interests (for me personally, that is not something like running marathons, though I often wish it was; it is movies and music and journalism and pop culture and reading and trying new things and knowing what is going on in the world and building and keeping communities and just... learning), balance is tricky or impossible or really, just a constant battle of give/take, now/later - SOMEDAY(?). There really ARE seasons of life, and once we humans can truly understand and accept that, for ourselves and for others, we can remember that we just need to take things one day at a time. ALL this blather to say... I'm still in a wildly unpredictable and busy (not in the cute way) season of working parent life. BUT... due to a cool hubby, super cool "likes to babysit" mom, and wonderful village of friends, neighbors, and family, I was able to see almost everything I wanted to see this year at the movies* (*or at home). And I really liked a LOT of what I saw!
And I'm so very grateful for those who haven't forgotten about me here at F This Movie, who know despite my sporadic appearances, that I am behind the scenes and still loving everything you all do in, on, or around the site. Thank you to those who still read, comment, like, share, message, listen, or even just say hi from time to time. It means so much to know that being a busy working parent in this "season of life" doesn't also mean I can't still exist "here" - a place where people come from all over to share in common interests and passions (mainly, movie love for movie lovers).

Here are ten, er, 12 movies I really loved. They moved me, taught me, changed me, made me think, made me laugh, made me cry, or all of the above. Some were imperfect in myriad ways. Some changed on a second viewing and moved on the list. (That will keep happening of course! Art is subjective and our feelings about it, ever-evolving.) One featured songs that possibly changed the world forever. One kept me up at night, thinking about how much of our existence we have no control over. One kept me up at night, thinking about how much none of us really understand about most events in history. One made me wonder how anyone comes up with screenplays so surreal. One made me care more about a shoe than I ever thought possible. All left me in awe at how smart and creative humans can be if they are allowed to be.

Killers of a Flower Moon

TIE: Dream Scenario/American Fiction
Poor Things
The Holdovers
Past Lives
Are You There God, It's Me Margaret

TIE: The Iron Claw/Air

Here are a few others worth checking out if you have not already seen them:
Theater Camp - so funny, so... smart.
You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah - My daughter watched this ten times in a row when it came out, so I love it just for that. But it also made a lot of smart observations that movies about young people seem to do less often these days, and it was brutally honest about them. And Adam Sandler's daughter was great! Love this family affair.

Bottoms - R-rated laughs with heart.

Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour - I saw this with my daughter, about 12 of her friends, and some other neighbor friends. It was a blast. Props to the AMC Streets of Woodfield for super kind staff members engaging with 11-year olds in the sweetest way (especially Josh!) and to the all-ages sold-out crowd that was just chill and cool with the dancing grade school set who turned this little unknown singer's movie into such a fun concert experience. ;)

The Killer - I liked it!

May/December - These performances. Whoa.
Thanksgiving - Loved it. All will be carved.

MI: Dead Reckoning - If you know, you know.

Knock at the Cabin - Don't answer!

Birth/Rebirth - This movie is so well made and so interesting and so good and I CAN NEVER WATCH ANY SECOND OF IT AGAIN.


  1. HAZAAA! Another outstanding F This list....and as with the others it provides me with MANY suggestions that i must catch up with!!! Thanks!

  2. Only two ties! And none of them are five-way ties! Nice! (I kid! Great list, Erika!)

  3. "All left me in awe at how smart and creative humans can be if they are allowed to be."
    YES GIRL. I want to live in a world that ALLOWS all kinds of filmmakers to make all kinds of films! And books and poems and dances and artwork and essays about movies we like and and and. I'm glad FTM exists so we can celebrate movies together. Great list.