BY SOFIA MENDEZ
Each year, thousands of movies are created and released. Despite the many movies released and competitive industry, some manage to stand out from the rest as they are terrific because of their uniquely talented filmmakers and relevance to today’s society. Although 2019 has come to a close and the new decade awaits, let’s take a look at the past year and the most loved films.
In February of 2017, African-American storytelling broke box office records and made history with the release of “Get Out,” by extremely talented director Jordan Peele. Peele returned in 2019 with the film, “Us.” The movie is centered around Adelaide (Lupita Nyong’o) as she travels with her family back to her childhood home, where she is forced to face her counterpart and watches the world subsequently turn upside down. The movie demonstrates Peele’s ability to capture the world in such a way that forces viewers to think. His motivation was to bring to light the ramifications caused by privilege and challenge the notion that people get what they believe they deserve.
Director Todd Phillips exceeded all expectations with his film “Joker,” which seeks to explain the origin of the Batman’s franchise’s most beloved villain, the Joker. He not only tells an amazing and intriguing story but also manages to touch upon current issues such as gun violence, privilege and the mental health system. Actor Joaquin Phoenix portrays Arthur Fleck in such a way that he evolves into the Joker as his madness seems to take over and the lack of meaning changes his entire outlook on life and overall behavior.
3. “Avengers: Endgame”
This movie specifically stands out as it makes death and finality of great importance. As seen throughout the film, there is a huge amount of time dedicated to the very popular Marvel heroes’ experiences with grief. The film captures their attempt to bring back half of the entire universe as it was snapped away; this creates a sense of deep thought as “Avengers: Endgame” is very different compared to all the previous Marvel movies made. Characters that people have known since they were kids have said their final goodbyes in the movie, leaving the audience speechless.
2. “Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood”
Iconic pop culture director Quentin Tarantino delivered a love letter to a bygone era of filmmaking with his film “Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood,” released in July of 2019. The movie takes place in Hollywood during the 1950s and tells the story of a popular actor and his stunt double as one tragedy particularly “changes Hollywood” and the rest of the country forever. The movie is an unlikely fairytale, but a very thought-provoking exploration of historical fiction. Stupendous performances from Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt throughout each scene bring the humorous side to the movie.
1. “Pain and Glory”
A film director known as Salvador Almódovar (Antonio Banderas) gives the performance of a lifetime as he portrays the director of the actual movie, Pedro Almodóvar. Salvador reflects on the choices he’s made in life as the past and present come crashing down around him. The movie may be Almódovar’s most transcendent one he’s ever made. It is a panorama of vibrant colors and the characters in it express such intense emotion that makes the audience connect with their lives. The film talks about creation in general, as it is difficult to distinguish it from one’s own life, and about the passions that give it value and hope.
Photo by Sydney Katz