I’ve done singles, I’ve done scripted TV shows, and I’ve done albums – so here we are at my final, yes final list of 2k19 (aside from the conclusion to my decade-end singles, of course): my favourite movies. Gosh, don’t you just love this onslaught of ALL MY OPINIONS?! …Anyone?
Here are the “””flicks””” with UK release dates in 2019 that I adored most. (I kinda spaffed The Favourite up the wall a bit early last year – because it came out in London on Boxing Day, y’see).
Predictable, formulaic… and thanks to this exceptional cast and some genuinely brilliant gags, also a lot of fun. Perfect viewing for a casual night in. Loved this way more than I expected.
19. Official Secrets
The problem with ‘based on a true story’ things is that sometimes, if the true story is dramatically a bit naff… you’re fucked. That’s not entirely the case with this – in fact I really liked it, and thought Kiera Knightley was fab – but because of its faithfulness to Real Events, be prepared for a very abrupt ending.
18. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
This is a sharp about-turn away from the more boundary-nudging style Rian Johnson introduced in The Last Jedi, which means that – although TROS is a fine ride on its own terms – the sequel trilogy as a whole feels a touch more disjointed than it perhaps could have. But I did think this was a satisfying finale overall: the action set-pieces are brilliant, the one-liners are in no short supply (it’s Anthony Daniels’ best C-3PO outing since the very beginning), and the third act is one hell of an impressive spectacle. Is it a bit daft? Hell yes!!! Did I expect it to be a bit better? You betcha! But I enjoyed myself.
17. Stan and Ollie
A really sweet film, this: Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly are excellently cast as Laurel and Hardy, and Nina Arianda is a standout in a supporting role.
16. Pokémon Detective Pikachu
Psyduck should be part of the Best Supporting Actor conversation and that’s all I’ll say on this baffling fever dream of a motion picture.
15. Late Night
I honestly thought this was going to be crap, but I adored it. I watched it on my own on a weekday afternoon and just walked away feeling so buoyed. Mindy Kaling is a treasure, and I’m looking forward to adding this to my regular list of pick-me-up comedies.
14. Always Be My Maybe
You all did The Most over Keanu Reeves’ supporting role, but – thanks to Ali Wong and Randall Park – ABMB is eeeeasily one of the best Netflix originals of this year.
13. Captain Marvel
I thought Carol Danvers’ origin story took a little while to find its feet, but once it got going? WHEW!!!! The final act especially was SO exciting; and Brie Larson did great in the tricky role of a woman who doesn’t have a scooby-doo who she really is.
You fuckin’ bet I’m basic enough to give this extra points for having a Richard Madden gay sex scene. And hey, even without that, this is still really good!!
11. Toy Story 4
The “chatter” around this was all about whether or not it’s really NECESSARY after the third movie, and honestly it’s really not – but it’s still a wonderful story, in my opinion. Plus it’s only gently emotional this time around; much easier on the tear-ducts than the all-out devastation of its predecessor.
10. Brittany Runs A Marathon
This, on Amazon Prime, is a right treat – especially for anyone who goes running occasionally but doesn’t think of themselves as “a sporty person”. Lots to relate to.
09. Avengers: Endgame
Best enjoyed if you don’t think about the logic too much, I maintain that the Infinity Saga stuck the landing and went out on a very satisfying high. Can’t say I was a fan of all the story decisions (Black Widow’s ending still feels a bit crap), but as a huge Blockbuster Event it was monumental.
08. Wild Rose
Jessie Buckley’s come a long way since I’d Do Anything!!! She’s fabulous in Wild Rose, a drama about a wannabe singer that is – I’M GONNA SAY IT, DON’T TRY AND STOP ME!!!! – easily better than A Star Is Born.
07. Eighth Grade
I only just saw this last weekend, and crikey – even though my upbringing was (obviously) very different to Kayla’s, I saw FAR! TOO! MUCH! of myself in this film!! I had to keep pausing it so I could take a breather from the discomfort!! What a movie, though: Elsie Fisher is outstanding (all of you who said she should have had more awards noms were 100% correct) and I also thought Josh Hamilton pitched his performance as her dad very well indeed.
06. Can You Ever Forgive Me?
With a career-best performance from Melissa McCarthy and Richard E Grant’s most enjoyable turn since Spice World, Can You Ever Forgive Me? is a really hearty, gently funny biopic that I think deserved a tiny bit more recognition than it got.
05. Fighting With My Family
It sticks to a formula to an extent, but the ride is so enjoyable I didn’t really care. Florence Pugh is magic as Norwich-born wrestler Paige; writer/director Stephen Merchant’s heartfelt and family-focussed storytelling making it accessible even to those of us who don’t have a clue about actual wrestling.
04. Marriage Story
It’s a shame that the ~discourse around this has been dominated by that one hysterical scene being shared out of context on social media, because I found Marriage Story to be a really bloody brilliant film. Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson are great as the two deeply flawed lead characters whom you never really like, but you still kinda root for all the same. Laura Dern and Alan Alda are awards buzz-worthy in supporting roles, and I’d really recommend putting your phone out of touching distance and giving this a go on Netflix.
I know it’s become a bit of a bandwagon-jump to say it, but I’m gonna say it anyway: J-LO FOR THE OSCAR!!! Hustlers is a riot; a delicious based-on-a-true-story drama that packs more of a punch than the publicity might have had you believe. Constance Wu, Keke Palmer and Lili Reinhart are also brilliantly cast.
Another movie that’s been tarnished somewhat by THE DREADED DISCOURSE, Booksmart is – I have to tell you!! – absolutely amazing. Olivia Wilde’s journey from bisexual icon in The OC to genius film director is a TREAT to behold. Her story of two keep-your-head-down high school kids who reach their graduation and realise they forgot to have fun along the way is uproariously funny and full, FULL, of heart and warmth. Kaitlyn Dever and Beanie Feldstein are STARS.
01. Knives Out
I had very high expectations for Knives Out, and they were 100% met. Rian Johnson’s film is both a knowing tribute to (and ever-so-gentle send-up of) classic whodunnit stories, and a refreshing addition to the genre in its own right. Daniel Craig’s accent is camp and ridiculous, and Jamie Lee Curtis in a power suit is EVERYTHING – but this is a star-making vehicle for Ana De Armas, and she – and Johnson!! – deserve all the praise they’re getting. I don’t even care if this did have a couple of minor flaws; it was the most fun I had at the cinema all year by a long shot (/blade?).
We’ll find out who Rey ~really ~is in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
‘People are interested in whether there’s more to be learned of Rey’s story’
The issue of Rey’s parentage in the Star Wars sequel trilogy has already been asked and answered, but it seems there’s more still to come in the upcoming saga finale.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker will dig more into not only Rey’s history, but who she is right now. Which presumably ties into that creepy shot of her in the new trailer looking all villain-y.
Speaking to Empire for their new issue’s excellent TROS special, writer Chris Terrio teased: “We kept coming back to ‘Who is Rey?’, and how can we give the most satisfying answer to that not only factually – because obviously people are interested in whether there’s more to be learned of Rey’s story – but more importantly who is she as a character?
“How will she find the courage and will and inner strength and power to carry on what she’s inherited?”
Another question we’ll get answered – or at least explored in more detail – is “how strong is the Force?”
Terrio added: “[‘How strong is the Force?’] sounds a little simple, but actually when you get down to it, that is a sort of Zen Koan that we would really meditate on – not literally in yoga poses or anything, but like we would discuss, ‘What is the Force and how strong is the Force?'”
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is out in December and if we’re taking cues from The Last Jedi, we could be due a new trailer later this month 👀
Jennifer Lopez responds to that joyous Hustlers acclaim and Oscars buzz
“It brings tears to your eyes”
Jennifer Lopez, after decades in critically-eviscerated movies, is finally at the centre of some Oscars buzz – and hold the front page; she’s excited.
The reviews for Hustlers came out earlier this week and are almost unanimously positive. It currently has an 89% score on Rotten Tomatoes; her first movie to score a Fresh rating (over 60%) since Antz’s 93% back in 1998. It’s also at a hefty 80/100 on Metacritic.
Several of the critics are saying she should be part of the Best Actress conversations as we head into awards season, and honestly if she could at LEAST get a Golden Globe nod, I would be emotional.
She told the Los Angeles Times: “To wake up to that today was like, ‘OK’. Obviously, I’m flattered. You work so hard your whole career.
“I’ve done so many movies and I’ve done so many roles that I’ve learned to not do them for anything except that I love doing them.”
She added: “It brings tears to your eyes. It’s like, oh! Somebody liked what I did!
“I love doing this and it doesn’t matter, but it does matter – it does make you feel like all my hard work is being recognised, and that’s nice.”
Alongside Lopez, writer/director Lorene Scafaria is being heavily praised for the film, which is out in the UK and US tomorrow (September 13).
Constance Wu, Cardi B, Julia Stiles, and Lizzo are also aboard.
Side-bar: I’m looking at J-Lo’s list on Rotten Tomatoes and can you believe Best Ironically Great Film Of All Time, The Boy Next Door, is only on ELEVEN PERCENT? And all-time great Maid In Manhattan is on 39%?!?! Who needs critics anyway!!!
Everyone’s shitting themselves because Pierce Brosnan said a female James Bond might be cool
“I think it would be exhilarating, it would be exciting.”
The “I’m all for equality but…!!” borelords are at it again, I’m afraid; this time because Pierce Brosnan was like “yeah sure why not” over the prospect of a female James Bond.
Lashana Lynch will play a female agent bestowed with the 007 job title in the upcoming No Time To Die, but there are no plans for a female to play Actual Bond – at least according to rumours concerning producer Barbara Broccoli’s brain.
Asked by The Hollywood Reporter about the idea, Brosnan said: “Yes! I think we’ve watched the guys do it for the last 40 years, get out of the way, guys, and put a woman up there.
“I think it would be exhilarating, it would be exciting.”
But, he agreed, the current producers are unlikely to go for it.
“I don’t think that’s going to happen with the Broccolis. I don’t think that is going to happen under their watch,” he said.
The comments have taken James Bond to the top of Twitter’s trending list this morning and guys… it’s mostly just people with the Arsenal logo as their profile picture saying this is PC GONE MAD!!!, which is pretty much all they’ve been tweeting since about 2010.
No Time To Die, the most ridiculously-titled Bond movie since most of the other Bond movies, is out next April.