So you’ve made it to the end of my list, congratulations/commiserations (delete as appropriate). I promise this year’s list will be a lot smaller.
Here are my top 10 films I watched in 2020 for the first time. I will say in advance only 2 of these films came out in 2020.
Christmas films are everywhere, everyone seems to be getting in on the action. So it’s hard to be seen above the crowd, but Klaus does just that. It’s charming, it’s sweet, it’s original, and it’s stunning.
It also has a stellar cast with the likes of Rashida Jones, Jason Schwartzman, Joan Cusack and J. K. Simmons all putting in great performances. This will now be added to my ‘watch every Christmas’ film list.
9. Never Surrender: A Galaxy Quest Documentary
So a documentary has made it into my top 10, and what a documentary it is. Galaxy Quest has become a cult hit over the years, I can confess to owning the film on VHS and always being a fan. It is one of the best Star Trek films and this documentary pays homage to the film, shares some great stories about the production, and feels like a lovely reunion. Obviously if you haven’t seen Galaxy Quest (why haven’t you watched Galaxy Quest?), don’t bother watching this. If you’re a big fan like me, you’ll love it.
By Grabthar’s hammer… what a documentary.
8. Howl’s Moving Castle
Curses, spells, magic doors, a moving castle, and a mysterious wizard. This movie is my highest rated Hayao Miyazaki, who also directed My Neighbour Totoro and the award winning Spirited Away, so that gives you an idea of how good this film is. The scale of this film is huge, with so much detail you feel that you’re only just scratching the surface. Absolutely stunning.
7. Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood
You can never say that Quentin Tarantino doesn’t like making films. His love for the movies is splattered all over this film. The glitz, the glamour, the seedy side too. It’s all on display and marvellously interwoven as only Quentin can do.
I was surprised by the turn of events, but going by the end of Inglorious Basterds, I should have seen it coming. And yes, Brad Pitt and Margot Robbie steal the show.
This is how you make a R rated comic book film. I’m not going to start talking about Joker again, but this is ten times better. Maybe it’s because we’re with characters we’ve seen grow old over the last twenty years, but it was brutal, endearing, sad, still funny in places, and gut punching too.
Hugh Jackman bows out of the role in blood, style and a shit load of slicing and dicing with the old claws.
5. One Cut Of The Dead
It would be ruining it to tell you anything about this film. What I will say is it’s a zombie film and please stick with it. I had such a smile on my face by the end, amazing.
This has to be the sweetest and most heartbreakingly sad film I’ve seen. A civil servant dying of cancer spends the last months of his life fighting to get a playground built in a poor part of the city.
Akira Kurosawa was my most watched director last year, and although this isn’t my top film from him (spoiler), it’s still a masterpiece.
3. Seven Samurai
So Akira Kurosawa makes two entries in my top ten, and this is probably the icing on the cake. Seven Samurai is the film that other films want to be. The Magnificent Seven was a great film, but this is the original and by far the best. An epic film that takes the time to make us care for the world they are fighting to save. Nothing is rushed and the pay off is immense. I’m only sad I won’t get to watch it for a first time again.
2. Jojo Rabbit
I watched this at 9.50am on New Year’s Day in 2020. It has become a bit of a marmite film, but was the first film I watched and I gave five stars.
Although the main story and cast are amazing, Rebel Wilson, Sam Rockwell and the sublime Alfie Allen steal the show. It’s funny, tense and heartbreaking. For me, Taika Waititi can do no wrong.
My number one film is unsurprisingly Parasite. I went in knowing nothing about the film, which was quite hard considering it had just won best picture at the Oscars.
It was smart, original and funny. I don’t really know what else to say about it. The awards speak for itself, go watch this film, it’s amazing.