The second part of my friend Alex’s post about films he has seen in 2019. Here are the films that did not make it to his Top 10 list, but nonetheless deserve a mention:
Ad Astra – Brad Pitt anchors this sci-fi space tale about trying to locate his father located in the far reaches of Neptune…it’s basically Apocalypse Now set in space…
Midsommar – Again, I’m not into horror films, but this updated taken on cults a la The Wicker Man is worth checking out.
Marriage Story – I saw this one on my TV via Netflix, so I couldn’t include it for my list…Adam Drive and Scarlett Johansson are both excellent in it, and Laura Dern is a safe bet to win the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress (Both she and Ray Liotta justify why I never want to practice matrimonial litigation ever again!). This is perhaps writer/director Noah Baumbach’s best work to date.
Ford v. Ferrari – I’ll pretty much see Christian Bale in anything at this point, and he’s great as stubborn driver Ken Miles in this somewhat atypical sports/buddy movie about Ford trying to produce a car (and driver?) to beat out Ferrari in the 24 hours of Le Mans.
Jojo Rabbit – A darkly comic story about a young Hitler youth having Adolf Hitler as an imaginary best friend during the waning years of WW II-era Germany is certainly not for everyone, but writer/director Tika Waititi walks a perilous line between the comedy and the more dramatic subject matter. It’s been compared to A Beautiful Life, and the truth is that that film has not aged very well, but I still think Jojo Rabbit is worth seeing.
Ash is the Purest White – A Chinese gangster film set in roughly the first 20 years of the 2000’s that follows a female lead as she figures out what to do in a rapidly changing Chinese society.
A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood – Tom Hanks capably handles Mr. Rogers and a film that’s not quite a biopic manages to capture the essence of the beloved children’s TV host by avoiding typical biopic tropes.
Birds of Passage – A fantastic Colombian film involving an indigenous Colombian family and the drug trade of the 1980’s…
Most overrated film of 2019
1917 – This flick may win the Best Picture Oscar, but it’s certainly not the best picture of the year (that would be Parasite). The script is pretty lacking, there’s hardly a story, and its big claim is its seemingly single-shot take, a la Birdman (FYI…Birdman, a Best Picture winner from a few years ago, hasn’t really aged well either). I’ve liked director Sam Mendes since American Beauty, but I’m kind of over war films…With any luck, the Best Picture Oscar goes to Little Women, or perhaps Parasite…
My friend Alex in New York City
When he’s not working as a lawyer, Alexander Keblish can be found exploring New York to find another reason why he’ll in all likelihood never leave the city…this can be anything from checking out museum/gallery openings, discovering the latest $1 oyster happy hour or new restaurant with his food and drink Meetup group, checking out live stand up comedy, people-watching in a park, having a NY-based author join his book club to discuss their book…the list is seemingly endless…He resides in Ridgewood, Queens with his cat, Rusty. Questions or comments? Send Alex an email: [email protected]