The Year in Movies

I love films. We have watched almost every film up for the Oscars this year, including foreign films. It was an excellent year for cinema. Perhaps one of the reasons we are seeing better films is the world of cinema is connected globally. Most of my favorite films these last few years have been made in other countries, and we can easily watch them. That was not as much the case a decade ago.

There are a few films that have stuck with me, so I am going to share. American Fiction and the Holdovers are entertaining films with underlying messages and excellent acting. Both are worthy of your time.

Anatomy of the Fall is a legal drama thriller set in France and keeps the viewer engaged from start to finish. The lead female lead character is in two top films this year. Past Lives is about two childhood friends who reconnect after two decades, having known each other as children. As one left to come to the US as a young child and the other grew up in Korea, their impact on each other speaks to everyone’s journey. The Zone of Interest refers to the restricted zone around Auschwitz. It is loosely based on Rudolph Hess, whose dream home is butted up against Auschwitz, where his wife lives raising their children. It is a stunning film that gives insight into the life of the elite Germans during WW2. Haunting. More foreign films are making it onto the list of the year’s top films.

Poor Things takes from Frankenstein and might be one of the most creative films I have seen in a long time. Emma Stone is phenomenal. Her character grows over the film and begins to find herself, which is complex and captivating. One scene might be one of the top scenes ever shot.

There are three foreign films nominated for best foreign film that I continue to think about. The Zone of Interest was nominated for Best Movie and Best Foreign Film, as I mentioned above. Society of the Snow is based on the true story of the Uruguayan rugby team that crashed in the Alps in 1972 and their survival. The other one is Perfect Days, which tells the story of a Tokyo toilet cleaner who goes about his days over two weeks. It is slow, repetitive, and subtle. No matter how simple one’s life appears, everyone has their complexities.

Although not nominated for the Oscars, my favorite film is The Taste of Things. It is a masterful slow crescendo about food, community, love, and culture. It is exquisite. The food scenes dominate the film, I only wish that the theater provided the aroma to what was happening in the films kitchen. I loved this film; it is food for the soul.

I am not providing much context because I am far from a “reviewer of films,” but being able to enjoy this many films in one year and have them all impact me that still resonates is powerful and one of the most amazing things about the movies. As they say, see you at the movies!