To start with, a disclaimer: There are virtually no 2019 titles on my Best of the Decade checklist, not as a result of there weren’t quite a lot of nice movies this 12 months, however as a result of I haven’t had the chance to reside with them for all that lengthy. My Best of 2019 checklist was its personal problem to jot down, however this 12 months’s films are simply too new for them to have knocked round in my central nervous system the best way these earlier titles have. (Decades are a fairly arbitrary division as properly, however that’s a subject for one more day.) Film historians can debate the most important movie-related occasions of the last decade — the rise of streaming, the dominance of Disney — however these are the movies took up residency with me and refuse to maneuver out:
11-30 (alphabetically): “Anomalisa,” “Before Midnight,” “Bernie,” “Bridesmaids,” “Call Me by Your Name,” “Certain Women,” “Clouds of Sils Maria,” “Ex Machina,” “Force Majeure,” “The Great Beauty,” “The Handmaiden,” “Happy Hour,” “Holy Motors,” “Leave No Trace,” “Little Women” (2019), “Love & Friendship,” “Love Exposure,” “Melancholia,” “The Other Side of the Wind,” “Take Me to the River” (2015), “Tamara Drewe,” “Their Finest,” “This Is Not a Film,” “A Touch of Sin,” “The Trip to Italy,” “Under the Skin,” “Upstream Color,” “We Are the Best!” “The World’s End,” “Zama”
10. “The Skin I Live In” (2011) Pedro Almodóvar takes a daring leap into physique horror in a movie that, in some methods, foreshadows the obsession with decay and dissolution that marks this 12 months’s extraordinary “Pain and Glory.” Antonio Banderas stars as a surgeon who wreaks unspeakable vengeance on his daughter’s assailant in a chiller that’s as indebted to artist Louise Bourgeois as it’s to David Cronenberg.
9. “Carol” (2015) Todd Haynes takes a novel by Patricia Highsmith (tailored by Phyllis Nagy) and weaves a swoony story of affection and suppression within the upright, uptight 1950s. Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara dance seductively round one another, working within the inflexible codes of the period, till their ardour can not be hidden behind a veneer of propriety, and the end result is likely one of the decade’s most breathless romances.
8. “Locke” (2013) Writer-director Steven Knight and a never-better Tom Hardy take an experimental-film idea — what if the protagonist and the digital camera by no means depart the within of a shifting automobile? — and create rigidity, drama, characterization, backstories and all the pieces else that so many conventional films handle to bobble. As Hardy’s character’s life implodes via a collection of telephone conversations (the voices on the opposite finish of his calls embrace Olivia Colman, Ruth Wilson and Andrew Scott), he grapples with…
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