NWR Film of the Year 2019

As it's January, so time for fun and reminiscing, and I know a lot of people like cinema here, I'm going to start a Film of the Year thread. I think I'll also do a similar one for records.

I have three winners, in no particular order:

1. The Joker. I've read people saying it's a remake of Taxi Driver. I know what they mean...kind of. Taxi Driver would certainly have rated one of my favourite films back in the day, though whether it's still up there I'm not quite sure. The Joker is a remarkable film, not least down to JP's acting. I love the very deliberate feel of every aspect of the setting and direction. My wife appreciated it but found bits of it tough to watch. Not really a "Batman" movie, is it.

2. Little Women. Some people say "it's not a man's film". Maybe not one for the "real men" but it's certainly a film lover's film. Amazing attention to tiny detail, amazing acting, and IMHO that Greta Gerwig didn't get a Bafta nomination is the travesty of the decade. It helps if you know the story because it's definitely Gerwig's take. She also moves the time frame way more successfully than the BBC adaptation did. What has surprised me is not the critical acclaim but the box office. My local indie told me it had taken as much as the last Star Wars movie in its first week there.

3. Marriage Story. This is a harrowing and tiring film to watch. Two-and-a-quarter hours of how marriages can fall apart, and how the (American) legal system takes over divorce like a well oiled machine. It's almost as if it's an adaptation of a play. There's a very long monologue from Scarlet Johansonn early on that seems to go on forever, but I hung on every word. There's an argument between the ex-couple which escalates and degenerates into total pain, and it's painful to watch. If you are remotely discontented with your long term partner maybe don't watch it. But I think it's a great film.
 
Marriage Story for me - a painful, joyous, tender gem of a film which is beautifully crafted and exquisitely acted. Laura Dern monologuing from the grandstand is a wonderful thing!
 
I rarely go to the cinema (which is the place I prefer to watch films - we don't watch much telly at all) but last year I went three times and really enjoyed all of the films I saw: The Favourite, The Good Liar and The Two Popes. The Good Liar was a piece of enjoyable hokum but what an absolute pleasure to watch two great actors (McKellen and Mirren) at work. The Two Popes was marvellous - two more great actors (Jonathan Pryce and Anthony Hopkins) playing a low-key, but long and very wordy, piece absolutely brilliantly (IMV).

I really want to see Marriage Story but I'm not sure it's been to our local (or indeed any) cinemas; I believe it's a Netflix production and I don't subscribe.
 
We watched Marriage Story on Netflix. I admit we got a multiple sub for Netflix 80% so that our children could share it, but I think we have used it quite a lot ourselves over the past three years, more and more. TV seems totally crap these days, though I can't get into these dark crime dramas which seem to fill the schedules. University Challenge and C4 News are about as far as I get. I think the only Xmas TV I watched was the second half of The Sound of Music.

I did enjoy The Favourite but not seen the other two, Colin.
 
Watching McKellen and Mirren in action reminded me of reading rave reviews of them performing together when they were the rising stars of the RSC (it must have been the late 60s or early 70s). IIRC they did a famous Macbeth. Unfortunately I never saw them on stage.

If I had to choose just one it would be The Two Popes.
 

Tom Cannavan

Administrator
It's heartening that 'Hollywood' (inc. Netflix) can stil l produce movies like The Two Popes in a sea of action movies and superhero epics. There was a time when I thought we'd reached a point when only Europe could do quiet and contemplative movies, and Hollywood couldn't live without CGI and explosions.
 
'Rocketman', far better than I expected and vastly superior to 'Bohemian Rhapsody'. Jamie Bell, what a performance. A film that benefits from repeated viewings, given that there is far greater depth than initial viewings may suggest.
 
I did enjoy Rocket Man, both in the cinema and on DVD, and I’m pretty sure I’ll watch it again this year. Part is nostalgia for an artist I really loved as a child of perhaps 11 to 14 but only came back to in later life.
 
I did enjoy Rocket Man, both in the cinema and on DVD, and I’m pretty sure I’ll watch it again this year. Part is nostalgia for an artist I really loved as a child of perhaps 11 to 14 but only came back to in later life.
David,
Your Rocket Man comments resonate with my youth.
I got on the bus early with Border Song (my first 70’s single) and Skyline Pigeon and rode the wave until for some reason, Blue Moves was a bit lost on me.
I came back to it after a series of covers made me realise what highlights it contained.
I shall dig out my original Two Rooms covers CD today and may even go two channel with shuffle off!
Thank you for the prompt, and if you have not heard George Michael’s version of Idol do treat yourself.

Apologies to those thinking this is a film thread...

Green Book
Rocket Man
Once upon a time in Hollywood
A Star is Born (for personal reasons)

Disappointments were

The Irishman. Jervais was right.........long
The Favourite. I find Olivia Colman irritating in big roles particularly The Crown.
She is so suited, and excels in the back up detective type roles in TV series IMHO.
 
I cannot believe nobody has mentioned Marvel's Avengers : Endgame. A superb ending to an already amazing film franchise.

Agree with Jonathan with Star Wars : The Rise of Skywalker which was great for so many reasons.

Caveat : Haven't seen Joker or Once Upon A Time In Hollywood yet, but I reckon they will be right up my street.
 
Indeed Leigh.

I still think Infinity War is the best film ever made, but as a follow up and a story culmination, there was nothing else remotely close last year. I saw it 4 times at the cinema and it’s almost worth getting a subscription to Disney just to watch it again. My only minor quibble is that the final battle itself was a bit weak - fatastic setup, but you would have expected a few more of the good guys to have been killed.
 
Indeed Leigh.

I still think Infinity War is the best film ever made, but as a follow up and a story culmination, there was nothing else remotely close last year. I saw it 4 times at the cinema and it’s almost worth getting a subscription to Disney just to watch it again. My only minor quibble is that the final battle itself was a bit weak - fatastic setup, but you would have expected a few more of the good guys to have been killed.

Disagree re the final battle. The whole setup was for the avengers to be down and out in the face of insuperable odds and then for the cavalry to come in at the critical moment and sweep them to victory in a stirring come back. Stirring come backs don't really work with multiple heroes being killed on the way - it just goes against the whole momentum of the movie and the mood swing they've just taken the audience through. Having one hero die at the end was just perfect. indeed, I'd say the whole thing was done perfectly. Indeed, the brilliance of the movie just highlights how poor the last Star Wars movie was.
 
Very interesting views gents, and I can see both points. While there were epic moments in that final battle, you could argue perhaps it didn't last as long as it could have done (although I need to watch it again to see just how long it does last). Also with the power Thanos was wielding you might have expected a
Rocket or Mantis or even Natasha
to cop a laser beam or fist to the face and die. Having said that the attention span of people to take in battle scenes on that scale and to be kept enthralled... any longer may have been too much.

I do agree with you Dan that having just one hero die was perfect, and allowed the film to focus on that one death. And it was done so well. Hats off to them.

Plus, with the amount of future spin-off series I'm not sure they could get rid of anyone else could they? :)
 
Garbage article for me. I have been a fan of indie cinema over the years, loved going to the Scala to see the cult and the curious, but no matter how good these films were, they never attracted full houses at 7am on a Thursday morning, nor did they have the audience standing, clapping and cheering like it did it Endgame when a character shouts “Wakanda forever’. That film made people come out and have a response that no other film I have seen has managed to do. The only other film I can think of that elicited such a response was Avatar (my 85 year old gran sat there amazed with her 3D glasses on). I imagine Gone with the Wind had a similar effect all those years ago.
 
We just watched Two Popes (new on Netflix) tonight. Excellent, no, brilliant film. Can’t believe how good I thought it was. Very grateful for the recommendations because I’d probably not have watched it (down to the subject matter) otherwise.
 
Yes, the subject matter wasn’t something that would normally have attracted me, David. TBH, it was a very favourable review by a critic whom I respect that intrigued me. I was home alone for the weekend while Mrs B was away on some indulgent binge and took myself off to see it. So glad I did.
 
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