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This is the blog of Ian Rosales Casocot. Filipino writer. Sometime academic. Former backpacker. Twink bait. Hamster lover.

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Monday, January 13, 2020

entry arrow2:53 PM | My 60 Favorite Films of 2019

Last year was the year I resolved not to watch movies on the grind, the way I did it in 2018, which exhausted me and temporarily turned me off anything cinema. But alas, the love for film proved stronger than any disdain, and so we were soon back at regular screenings but no longer with a compulsive need to watch everything. For this list, I refuse to limit my choices to just ten or 25, since every year there are more films to cherish, and lists like this should be a document on how much I've enjoyed a film year -- hence the word "favorite" instead of "top." I also didn't get to watch everything on my must-watch list given the usual vagaries of release dates and distributions, hence no 1917 (Sam Mendes, United States), Honey Boy (Alma Har'el, United States), or Waves (Trey Edward Shults, United States) -- but surprisingly, the no-watch list proved more livable than usual. I've also decided to complete forego Filipino films as a protest against its Manila-centric distribution, and I've also decided to forego the usual write-ups. So here goes...

The Best of the Lot

1. Little Women (Greta Gerwig, United States)
2. Parasite (Bong Joon-ho, South Korea)
3. Aquarela (Viktor Kossakovsky, United Kingdom, Germany, Denmark, and United States)
4. Marriage Story (Noah Baumbach, United States)
5. Portrait of a Lady on Fire (Céline Sciamma, France)
6. Asako I and II (Ryūsuke Hamaguchi, Japan)
7. Booksmart (Olivia Wilde, United States)
8. I Lost My Body (Jérémy Clapin, France)
9. Ad Astra (James Grey, United States)
10. 63 Up (Michael Apted, United Kingdom)

The Films That Blew My Mind or Moved Me

11. The Great Hack (Johanna Noujaim and Karim Amer, United States)
12. The Two Popes (Fernando Meirelles, United Kingdom, United States, Italy, and Argentina)
13. The Biggest Little Farm (John Chester, United States)
14. Uncut Gems (Josh Safdie and Benny Safdie, United States)
15. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (Marielle Heller, United States)
16. Midsommar (Ari Aster, United States, Sweden, and Hungary)
17. The Report (Scott Z. Burns, United States)
18. Varda par Agnes (Agnès Varda and Didier Rouget, France)
19. The Lighthouse (Robert Eggers, United States)
20. High Life (Claire Denis, France, Germany, United Kingdom, Poland, and United States)

The Films That Made Me Go Hmmm...

21. In Fabric (Peter Strickland, United States)
22. Gloria Bell (Sebastián Lelio, United States and Chile)
23. The Irishman (Martin Scorsese, United States)
24. Knives Out (Rian Johnson, United States)
25. Diane (Kent Jones, United States)
26. Bombshell (Jay Roach, United States)
27. Pain and Glory (Pedro Almodóvar, Spain)
28. Missing Link (Chris Butler, United States)
29. American Factory (Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert, United States)
30. Primal: Tales of Savagery (Genndy Tartakovsky, United States)

The Films That Weren’t Perfect But I Liked Nonetheless

31. Doctor Sleep (Mike Flanagan, United States)
32. Truth and Justice (Tanel Toom, Hungary)
33. Transit (Christian Petzold, Germany)
34. Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood (Quentin Tarantino, United States)
35. Ford v. Ferrari (James Mangold, United States)
36. The Nightcrawlers (Alexander A. Mora, United States)
37. The Last Black Man in San Francisco (Joe Talbot, United States)
38. Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles (Max Lewkowicz, United States)
39. Ready or Not (Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett, United States)
40. Jojo Rabbit (Taiki Waititi, United States)

The Films I Found Myself Surprisingly Enjoying

41. Star Wars: Episode IX - The Rise of the Skywalker (J.J. Abram, United States)
42. Apollo 11 (Todd Douglas Miller, United States)
43. Honeyland (Tamara Kotevska and Ljubo Stefanov, North Macedonia)
44. Climax (Gaspar Noé, Belgium and France)
45. Hail, Satan? (Penny Lane, United States)
46. Un Rubio [The Blonde One] (Marco Berger, Argentina)
47. Luce (Julius Onah, United States)
48. Amazing Grace (Sydney Pollack and Alan Elliott, United States)
49. Hustlers (Lorene Scafaria, United States)
50. Ghosts of Sugar Land (Bassam Tariq, United States)

The Films That Not Everybody Loved But I Genuinely Liked

51. Rocketman (Dexter Fletcher, United Kingdom and United States)
52. Atlantics (Mati Diop, Senegal)
53. Beanpole (Kantemir Balagov, Russia)
54. Alita: Battle Angel (Robert Rodriguez, United States)
55. Weathering with You (Makoto Shinkai, Japan)
56. Diamantino (Gabriel Abrantes and Daniel Schmidt, Portugal)
57. Crawl (Alexandre Aja, United States)
58. Piercing (Nicolas Pesce, United States)
59. Cats (Tom Hooper, United States)
60. Last Christmas (Paul Feig, United States)

RELATED: A Quick Portrait of a Film Year, 2019

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