Okay, I know exactly what you are all thinking right now, “Bede, we know that you always release your top 10 of the year lists a little later than everyone else but we’re 9 months into 2021 already… Don’t you think it’s a little *too late* to finally post one? The year is almost over”. Well… That is certainly true. To be honest… I actually debating when to even post one year or not. Even though 2020 being a pretty awful year to the Covid-19 pandemic that was sweeping the world, 2020 still managed to deliver quite a lot of great films throughout the year despite cinemas being closed down for most of the year (even some film festivals either closing down completely or shifting to online instead). Thank goodness for streaming and psychical media, which definitely help in watching films in preparation for the list since I couldn’t go the cinema. I originally planned on publishing my top 10 list around February as I usually do every year but in-between January to now, I’ve just been so preoccupied with a whole bunch of stuff that I probably had a chance to sit and write until recently. Between work, my personal life, family stuff, podcasting, reviewing, working on a top secret project with Marcey, Covid-19 lockdowns and the occasional complete lack of enthusiasm, I just didn’t have the motivation to write it.
However I definitely knew that I needed to buckle down and write it though. Especially after realizing that we’re about 3.5 months from 2021 finishing up. It would just look weird if I a top 10 list for this year when I didn’t write one for last year. So here it is, better late than never. Plus you could say that the 9 month long wait gave me time to catch up on films that I missed from 2020 in preparation to putting this list together. Overall while 2020 wasn’t the greatest year for films when compared to previous years (you can than the Covid-19 pandemic for that), there were still a lot of great films that were released throughout the year nonetheless. Now before I go into my final official top 10 films of 2020 list, here are all my honourable mentions of the year. Enjoy!
NOTE 1: I’ve only included films that were officially released in theatrical/home media/streaming platform in either Australia, the U.K. or the U.S. during 2020. However some films that I saw at film festivals in 2020 won’t be included if they haven’t had a official release in either of those three countries yet.
NOTE 2: After putting my list together a few months ago, news broke that the filmmaker behind my number 8 film had allegations brought to him of domestic abuse. While I do not condone these allegations whatsoever, I decided to keep the film on the list for two reasons. 1. Outside of the filmmaker in question, this film was also a collaboration with the cast and crew members of it too. Their passion and hard work on this film should not have to suffer due to the horrible actions of one individual, so the film will stay on the list. 2. I do genuinely love the film and personally think that it’s one of best films of 2020 on its own and as someone who has also been able to sperate the art from the artist, it would be hypocritical of me not include it on my list because of that. It’s placement on this film is for my love of the film itself despite its filmmaker, who’s alleged actions I stated before I do condemn.
HONOURABLE MENTIONS (In Alphabetical Order):
Birds Of Prey (And The Fantabulous Emancipation Of One Harley Quinn)
Hearts And Bones
One Night In Miami…
The Trial Of The Chicago 7
…And now onto my official top 10 films of 2020…
(Dir: Brian Duffield)
“Without a doubt the best teen high school film since THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER. It uses its really bizarre premise to create something that is truly hilarious, heartfelt, charming, romantic, timely and life affirming. Katherine Langford & Charlie Plummer were terrific in the lead roles as well.”
(Dir: Shannon Murphy)
“I wasn’t sure to expect when I sat down to watch to Shannon Murphy’s theatrical directing debut, but I was absolutely floored by the end of it. This was a truly fantastic, funny, emotional and beautifully put together coming-of-age comedy/drama that has brilliant performances from its four leads.”
8. COLOR OUT OF SPACE
(Dir: Richard Stanley)
“There have been many strong film adaptations of H.P. Lovecraft’s work, but this is definitely up there as the best. This was an absolutely fantastic cosmic sci-fi horror film that’s equal parts riveting, weird, unsettling, visually stunning and darkly hilarious. Nicolas Cage steals the film with his off-kilter turn.”
7. SOUND OF METAL
(Dir: Darius Marder)
“After delivering many strong turns over the years, Riz Ahmed gives without a doubt the performance of his career so far in this truly captivating and excellently made character-study that brilliantly puts us into the mindset of someone who is losing their sense of hearing. Simply superb.”
6. TRUE HISTORY OF THE KELLY GANG
(Dir: Justin Kurzel)
“While it’s unique approach won’t be for everyone, I personally found Justin Kurzel’s latest film to be utterly brilliant. This was a truly spellbinding, bold, crazy and absorbing film that that radically deconstructs/reinterprets Ned Kelly’s story in fascinating ways. The entire cast were fantastic.”
5. PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN
(Dir: Emerald Fennel)
“While I can see why it has had such a divisive reaction, but I found this to be an absolutely fantastic, riveting, intense and entertaining film that approaches its timely dark subject matter in a fiercely intelligent way without it ever feeling too heavy-handed. Carey Mulligan was brilliant in the lead and debut writer/director Emerald Fennell is a talent to watch.”
4. THE ASSISANT
(Dir: Kitty Green)
“I’ve a quite a number of films that have been centered around the Me Too movement, but this narrative filmmaking debut for acclaimed Australian documentarian Kitty Green is absolute best that I’ve seen so far. This was a brilliant, understated and disturbing film that takes a less-is-more approach to its story. It truly sticks with you long after you have watched it.”
3. I’M THINKING OF ENDING THINGS
(Dir: Charlie Kaufman)
“It took a bit to fully grasp Charlie Kaufman’s latest but once it clicked all together, I absolutely loved it. While it won’t be for everyone, I found it an exceptional, surreal and haunting film that sticks with you long after you’ve watch it. The cast were all equally great in their roles. Especially Jessie Buckley, who was truly terrific as the lead. “
2. THE INVISIBLE MAN
(Dir: Leigh Whannell)
“It’s been quite a struggle bringing the legendry Universal Monsters back to the big screen over the pass few years, but Australian horror mastro Leigh Whannell managed to do exceptionally with this truly excellent modern update of H.G. Well’s classic novel.”
(Dir: Chloé Zhao)
“It’s rare for me to say that a film is ‘perfect’, but I can safely say that this one is for sure. Chloe Zhao’s latest is a truly incredible, moving and visually stunning character-study/slice-of-life film that approaches its story/themes in an beautifully naturalistic nuanced way. France McDormand was absolutely excellent and her character’s journey was deeply affecting. From beginning to end I was completely absorbed by this film. Not only is it the best American made film of 2020, it is without a doubt my pick as the best absolute overall film of the year as well.”
Well, there you have it. Those are my official top 10 films of 2020. Agree or disagree? Let your voices be heard in the comments below or on the official Super Network Facebook page!
Article written by Bede Jermyn