Views from the Sofa is 8 Years Old today! As has become tradition, we always use our birthday to look back at the past year and give some awards based on the movies we have viewed and reviewed within that year.
Best Actor 2019
Winner: Joaquin Phoenix (Joker)
This year I revisited some classics, particularly Luc Besson’s Leon but it was the actors who lost themselves in roles which took the turn. So Bale becoming Dick Cheney or Malick becoming Freddie Mercury but it was Phoenix’s transformation into comic book’s greatest villain which demonstrated the greatest performance of the year.
Best Actress 2019
Winner: Lupita Nyong’o (Us)
The reason I like to do my review of the year as “awards” is because the award season neglects specific types of movies and Us will be one of the them. Nyong’o is required to play two parts and they are both so different but so compelling, with a subtlety that works perfectly. She should be recognised but will sadly go without this “award season.”
Best Director 2019
Nominees; Jordan Peele (Us), Luc Besson (Leon), Steven Spielberg (Jaws), Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead), Todd Phillips (Joker)
Winner: Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead)
This seems like a random choice, particularly considering the other nominees but consider that Shaun of the Dead reinvented two genres (zombie-horror and rom-com), introduced the world to Shaun Pegg and Nick Frost and was the big screen debut of Edgar Wright and it elevates the already brilliant Shaun of the Dead even further.
Best Documentary watched and reviewed in 2019
Nominees; The World vs Bobby Fischer, Three Identical Strangers, Fyre, Won’t You Be My Neighbor
Winner: Three Identical Strangers
I usually like to watch at least five of any category but didn’t quite manage it in 2019. The four I did see were fantastic and this was a tight call. For the compelling nature, the absolute tonal shift it causes and the way the story develops, Three Identical Strangers just about takes it.
Best Animated film Viewed and Reviewed in 2019
This year I began introducing “classic Disney” to my daughter and this required a lot of watching early Disney. This was a blessing and a curse, as a lot of early Disney is poor and overrated. In the year that saw Aladdin remade as a live action feature, revisiting the classic animation confirmed how brilliant the “golden age” Disney movies really are.
Best Film Released in 2019
A look at those nominees may raise some eyebrows but this year was one of my worst for getting to the cinema. When I did it was big, blockbuster releases and although many were average, some delivered exactly what they promised. Joker was not a “blockbuster” but did deliver a performance and a movie which captivated and intrigued and blew me (and the competition) away.
Best Film Viewed and Reviewed in 2019
Nominees: Leon, Aladdin, Jaws, Shaun of the Dead, Joker
This year I saw 107 films in total (not quite matching last years) and there were some fantastic movies included there. Leon is a personal favourite and a drama with comedy, action, emotion and two powerhouse performances at it’s core. Although the others are classics in their own right, Leon just about tipped over the edge.
Worst Film Viewed and Reviewed in 2019
Nominees: Francis Ha, Robin Hood: Men in Tights, Bambi, Seed of Chucky, Pinocchio,
Winner: Seed of Chucky
This year I watched two franchises in their entirety (Rocky and Child’s Play) and also started the classic Disney re-watch. This saw some great movies but also some of the worst as well. Chucky and the Child’s Play franchise went from great to shockingly poor and then back to great with the reboot. Seed of Chucky was the franchise at it’s worse.
Most Anticipated Movie of 2020
Nominees; Black Widow, Birds of Prey, No Time to Die, Tenet, A Quiet Place II
Alongside the now mainstay blockbusters of the year, like the return of Bond, Black Widow’s first solo movie and Margot Robbie returning as Harley Quinn, nothing can quite beat the anticipation of a Christopher Nolan movie. Tenet has the usual Nolan mystery that surrounds his movies but enough was in the trailer to make this look like another Inception style action thriller.
Overall, another year and another great line-up of movies. The greatest superhero saga came to an end but couldn’t quite match the quality of the greatest comic book villain. Lets hope that the awards season manages to reflect popular opinion rather than the vocal, insider minority it usually demonstrates.