For the month of December, I am joining Girlxoxo and Traveling with T for their #AMonthofFaves blog event. To learn more and to see the list of topics, read their announcement post–#AMonthofFaves 2019 [Blog Event] Announcement.
Today’s topic is “On the Screen or in Your Ear,” so I want to feature five movies I watched this year that I would recommend to others.
I don’t watch that many movies anymore–with so little free time available to me, I either want to be reading or watching the TV shows that my husband and I watch together. I can’t remember all of the movies I watched over the past year, but five of them stand out in my mind, either because I watched them recently, or because they’ve stuck with me all this time. I think if I had kept track of what I watched I would have a longer list, but these are five movies I’ve watched this year that I would recommend to others…
Blindspotting, written, produced by, and starring Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal — This actually came out in 2018, but I just watched it a few months ago. Y’all, the movie is deep and the music is dope. It’s described as a “comedy-drama,” and yeah, I suppose there is some comedy involved, but this movie is not about the laughs by any means.
Collin (Daveed Diggs) is a convicted felon who is struggling through the three days left on his parole when he witnesses a white police officer shoot and kill a black man. Miles (Rafael Casal) is Collin’s white best friend, and has a bad temper that leads to some very erratic behavior. Collin is showing signs of PTSD after witnessing the shooting, and Miles is pissed off at the gentrification of Oakland (where they live), and everything blows up at the end. I’m making it sound so basic, but it’s definitely not. I highly recommend watching it.
Booksmart, starring Beanie Feldstein and Kaitlyn Dever — This movie is funny from beginning to end. This one came out in March of 2019 and I watched it in September while I was house/cat-sitting for my folks.
Amy and Molly are high school seniors who are serious about their grades and their futures. They have worked hard and set aside social lives in favor of school work…and then Molly finds out that even the kids who partied a lot got into good colleges. She realizes that she and her best friend Amy should have spent more time having fun, so she drags Amy to a party that all of the “cool kids” are going to. Except they can’t find the party, so it takes them half the night to get there and all of this hilarious shit happens in between. In the meantime, Amy has been out for two years and has a crush on one of the “cool” girls, and Molly is trying to get Amy to go after her. There are some deep friendship moments in the movie, but it’s mostly comedy and it’s so frickin’ funny.
Midsommar, starring Florence Pugh, Jack Reynor, William Jackson Harper, Vilhelm Blomgren, and Will Poulter — Ari Aster horror movie alert! I’m trying to remember if I watched Hereditary this year or last year. If I watched it in 2019, that should be on this list, too. Both movies were written and directed by Ari Aster, and y’all, that dude’s mind is scary.
In Midsommar, Dani (Florence Pugh) is traumatized by something that happens to her sister and her parents at the beginning of the movie, and when her boyfriend tells her that he’s going to spend the summer in a commune in Halsingland with his friends, she decides to tag along. What they find in that commune is terrifying, but from an anthropological standpoint, it makes you wonder about the fine line between judging a culture for their traditions (that seem terrifying and disgusting to us), and deciding that those traditions really are terrifying and disgusting under any circumstances. I’m not defending what goes on in the commune, but I was definitely hesitant about fully judging another culture. If you’re into horror movies that are psychological mind-f*cks, this one’s for you. And if you like this one, you should also watch Hereditary.
The Favourite, starring Olivia Colman, Emma Stone, and Rachel Weisz — I watched this one the same week that I watched Booksmart, and I laughed just as much through this one.
The Favourite is a period black comedy set in England in 1704. Queen Anne’s health is failing, and the country is at war with France. The movie is basically about Queen Anne’s disinterest in governing, and two women fighting to be the Queen’s confidante and advisor. The comedy is dark, the camera angles are cool, and the story is hilarious. So much 18th-century cussing and scandalous relationships. I loved it.
Parasite, starring Song Kang-ho, Lee Sun-kyun, Cho Yeo-jeong, Choi Woo-shik, and Park So-dam — I just watched this one this past weekend. It’s a Korean film that won the Palme d’Or at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival. The first movie poster I saw for this made me think it was a horror movie, but it’s definitely not–it’s a black comedy thriller. It shows the vast divide between the rich and the poor and how each misunderstands the other (or doesn’t, as the case may be).
The basic plot is that a poor family living in the slums comes up with a scheme to become employees of a wealthy family by posing as unrelated individuals with qualifications they don’t really have. But things go horribly wrong and the ending is pretty shocking. Sometimes it’s hard for me to watch subtitled movies because I get too involved in reading the subtitles to pay attention to what’s going on with the scenery, but I didn’t have that problem with this movie and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I can see why it won the award at Cannes.
What about you? What movies did you watch this year that you would recommend to others? Let us know in the comments!