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The Best Films of 2023

Better late than never. Special Citation Award : Beau Is Afraid Directed by  Ari Aster 20. Elemental Directed by Peter Sohn 19 . Napoleon Directed by Ridley Scott 18. Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret. Directed by Kelly Fremon Craig 17. Priscilla Directed by Sofia Coppola 16. Knock at the Cabin Directed by M. Night Shyamalan 15. The Holdovers Directed by Alexander Payne 14. Oppenheimer Directed by Christopher Nolan 13. The Iron Claw Directed by Sean Durkin 12. Monster Directed by Hirokazu Kore-eda 11. E arth Mama Directed by Savanah Leaf 10. Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie Directed by Davis Guggenheim 9. Society of the Snow Directed by J.A. Bayona 8. Killers of the Flower Moon Directed by Martin Scorsese 7. Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One Directed by Christopher McQuarrie 6. A Thousand and One Directed by A.V. Rockwell 5. Ferrari Directed by Michael Mann 4. Anatomy of a Fall Directed by Justine Triet 3. Past Lives Directed by Celine Song 2. The Zone of Interest Dir
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Edward Berger 's All Quiet on the Western Front had a surprisingly successful night at the Oscars earlier this year, winning 4 Academy Awards, including Best Cinematography. My latest mashup reimagines a different -- if not more "wondrous" -- threat than the French Saint-Chamond Assault Tanks that were seen in the film.


  My latest mashup trailer re-imagines Greta Gerwig 's Barbie in the fashion --pun intended -- of Olivia Wilde 's Don't Worry Darling, in that Barbie starts to suspect the outside world isn't what she thinks it is. In my vision, Barbie realizes that, outside of the Victory Project (a.k.a. Barbieland)...she's just a toy.

The Best Films of 2022

Now that the Oscars are over, here go my picks for the Best Films of 2022. Todd Field 's Tár towers over all others at number one. This is Cate Blanchett 's There Will Be Blood,  an American epic -- but set largely overseas -- brimming with filmmaking bravado on Field's side and ferocious tragicomedy for its antihero Lydia Tár. By the time we get to its final shot, we've reached the cinematic mashup of Jordan Belfort asking an eager audience to "Sell me this pen" and Daniel Planview, drained, saying "I'm finished!" Tár Vortex Aftersun Bones and All To Leslie Decision to Leave Broker The Batman EO Cyrano Happening Athena Ali & Ava Thirteen Lives Dos Estaciones Memoria Armageddon Time Nope Women Talking Top Gun: Maverick Other films that I thought were enjoyable (even if only for some stretches of their running time): Smile, Emily the Criminal, Barbarian, Avatar: The Way of Water, Everything Everywhere All At Once, Hustle, All Quiet on the Wes

The 21 Best Films of 2021

Will movie theaters ever back to what they once were? The ongoing (and seemingly never-ending) pandemic tore a hole into the fabric of theatrical exhibition. I streamed more movies this year than any other. A lot of people did. The one constant is this: Whether you watch them on the big screen or on your phone, good films rise to the top. Here go my picks for the best films of 2021. (And some other notes too.) Biggest Disappointments: The Matrix Resurrections Candyman (2021) Don't Look Up Special Citation : Kanye with Special Guest Drake: Free Larry Hoover Benefit Concert Seanne Farmer (director) // Niklas Bildstein Zaar (creative director) Kanye West Free Larry Hoover Concert GIF from Kanye West GIFs Best Needle Drop: "Light House" by Future Islands in Titane Best Supporting Actress : Olga Merediz, In The Heights Best Supporting Actor : Simon Helberg, Annette Best Actress : Alana Haim, Licorice Pizza Best Actor : Alessandro Nivola, The Many Saints of Newark Before w

Star Wars: Licorice Pizza

  If we were living in the the movie Minority Report , Paul Thomas Anderson 's latest film Licorice Pizza would get arrested for "Precrime." At least in the court of (some) public opinion . Anderson's film -- which I think is pretty great -- has come under criticism for the age gap between its two lead characters (15-year-old Gary and mid-20-something Alana), who go back and forth between friendship and playing flirtatious footsie. At no point in Licorice Pizza do they do anything sexual. Their feelings are sincere and the physical attraction is sometimes there, but it's all never acted on. Does that make the movie immoral? I don't think so. Could Gary and Alana some day end up together? I could see that. And Gary would (presumably) be of age by that point.  This age gap controversy had me thinking about a similar George Lucas ' Star Wars: Episode 1 - The Phantom Menace . In the Star Wars films, we know that Queen Padmé Amidala will eventu

Video Essay: Mare of EATStown

  Not since Brad Pitt 's performance as Billy Beane in Moneyball have I been this emotionally invested in what a character was always eating or drinking onscreen.  In HBO's Mare of Easttown , Kate Winslet plays Pennsylvania detective Mare Sheehan. (Winslet is brilliant in the role.) Like Billy Beane, Mare's approach and understanding of her immediate environment or dilemma is translated through what she's consuming; it's as if the food or drinks become company players in her stage drama. And it's not just food either; Mare vapes and smokes too. Anything she consumes becomes important in the moment. My ears are listening to the dialogue and my brain is processing the plot, but my eyes and salivary glands are licking up the drops of condensate beading down her bottles of Rolling Rock.  The foods become so integral to the Mare experience, to the unfurling of her character, that at one point she's even attacked by a full gallon of milk (it's thrown through