Stay tuned for my 2010’s retrospective (and top films of the decade) in the coming days. In the meantime here are My Top Films of 2019:
- Waves (Trey Edward Shults)
- The Irishman (Martin Scorsese)
- Transit (Christian Petzold)
- Us (Jordan Peele)
- The Last Black Man in San Francisco (Joe Talbot)
- Luce (Julius Onah)
- Harriet (Kasi Lemmons)
- Wild Rose (Tom Harper)
Notable Films I’ve Yet to See: Marriage Story, 1917, Little Women
Weirdest Film: The Lighthouse
Best Guilty Pleasure: Crawl
Biggest Disappointments: Ad Astra, A Hidden Life
And here are my Top Books of 2019:
Favorite Fiction: When It’s Over (Barbara Ridley)
Favorite Non-Fiction: Spying on Whales (Nick Pyenson)
Most Thrilling Read: Pray for the Girl (Joseph Souza)
Best Older Book I Read for the 1st Time: Anil’s Ghost (Michael Ondaatje)
Feel free to share your own favorite books and films of 2019 in the comments!
I have only seen The Irishman, but I am looking forward to catching a few of the others, especially, Harriet, Luce, and Up very soon. Prey for the Girl will make my own list which I hope to publish in a
few days. Happy New Year to you and your family.
Thank John – Happy New Year to you too!
I watched Luce the other night. It’s very impressive. Like you, I think it’s one of the best films of the year.
Yes, Luce is one I was surprised by how effective it was. A great acting showcase with timely societal commentary.
Always love chiming in on “end-of-year” lists, even if the amount of movies I see isn’t near what it used to be.
I’ll just come right out and say that “Avengers: Endgame” was the movie of the year for me. It delivered on so many levels and left me enthralled for all three hours.
“Once Upon A Time…In Hollywood” was a return-to-freewheelin’-form for Tarantino. DiCaprio was good as always, and Pitt did that thing he does so well but hasn’t done in his last several movies, so it was nice to see him doing it again.
I consider “The Irishman” a flawed masterpiece. It’s at its best when Pacino is around. His turn as Hoffa is easily his best performance probably since the one-two punch of “The Insider” and “Any Given Sunday” back in ’99. As the movie went on, the editor in me kept chiming in with thoughts on what should’ve been trimmed down or cut out entirely, to give it a more manageable length, but overall, it was another triumph from Scorsese.
As for books, I didn’t keep track of everything that I read. In fact, I don’t think I read anything from 2019; I mostly spent this year catching up. I found it interesting how, in two cases, the book I was reading dovetailed into other things. I started reading Jeff Tweedy’s autobiography about a week or so before Wilco’s new album came out. I also started reading Jerry Blavat’s autobiography while I was also engrossed in Bob Spitz’s Beatles biography, and certain DJs and pop stars of yesteryear appeared in both books. Also, Blavat was a good friend of Angelo Bruno, who showed up in “The Irishman” thanks to Harvey Keitel.
Oh, wait, I did read a book that came out in 2019. It was a historical fiction novel set in the 30’s and it was very good. It was by some guy who posts about books and movies on some blog, I can’t remember the name… 🙂
My movie intake has definitely dwindled as well. Lots of movies I missed this year – Once Upon a Time in Hollywood being a big one (for some reason it just looks like a chore to me…but I need to give it a chance).
You make some interesting observations about The Irishman. I watched it over the course of three nights which I believe may have allowed me to overlook some of the flaws (in pacing, etc…)
And haha – I’m glad you enjoyed Then Came Darkness 🙂
Happy New Year!