I used to go to my local cinema 90 times a year before Covid hit, this year I’ve been less than 30 times. Here is the list of 15 Best Films Watched in 2021. Also check out my list of 10 Best Films Watched in Cinemas in 2020 underneath.
Here is the list of 15 Best Films I Watched on Amazon Prime in 2021. I’ve reviewed some of them in my previous posts. Check out my other lists for the year, for best films I’ve watched on Netflix, Mubi, HBO Go, and at the cinemas. Have you seen and loved any of them? Or maybe you didn’t like some of them? Let me know in the comments and if you wish, add me on Letterboxd too.
Here’s the 20 best films I’ve watched on HBO Go in 2021. You can find reviews for some of them on here. If you’d like me to review any of the others, please comment below. This is a list I’ve created on my letterboxd, and thought I’d also paste it in here, just like last year.
I’ve watched 907 films in 2020. I’ve made this list on my letterboxd, and thought I would screenshot and paste it here. I was very much obsessed with Filmbox Arthouse and Mubi this year. A few are rewatches, but ones that I haven’t seen in 10+ years, so I’m leaving them in. Almost all of them are first time watches. Some of these were reviewed on here throughout the year, if there’s a film on this list you’d like me to review, or any film really, please let me know.
Check out my 2019 list: https://joanneholly.com/2019/12/13/200-best-films-watched-in-2019/
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Take me back to last weekend when all I did was watch and rewatch Ratched with no care in the world.
An average person remembers Charlie Chaplin as the silly comedian, but we cannot forget that he was also an incredibly talented director, writer and composer. In Limelight a much older Chaplin saves a ballerina from a suicide attempt, and helps her get on her feet. In return, the woman falls for him. The film ends on a sad note with one of the main characters passing. Also Buster Keaton makes a cameo in it as well!
‘What do you want meaning for? Life is a desire, not a meaning. Desire is the theme of all life!’
‘That’s all any of us are: amateurs. We don’t live long enough to be anything else.’
‘Life can be wonderful if you’re not afraid of it.’
‘What is there to fight for?’
‘Ah, you see, you admit it. What is there to fight for? Everything. Life itself, isn’t that enough, to be lived, suffered, enjoyed. What is there to fight for? Life is a beautiful, magnificent thing, even to a jellyfish. Besides, you have your art, your dancing.’
‘I can’t dance without legs.
‘I know a man without arms who can play a scherzo on a violin and does it all with his toes. The trouble is you won’t fight. You’ve given in, continually dwelling on sickness and death. But there’s something just as inevitable as death, and that’s life. Life, life, life. Think of all the power that’s in the universe, moving the earth, growing the trees. That’s the same power within you if you only have courage and the will to use it.’
You could be Mrs Calvero, in name only of course.
‘Won’t it inconvenience you?
‘Not at all! I’ve had five wives, one more or less won’t make any difference! And I’ve reached the point where a relationship can be maintained on the most platonic level.’
The Babysitter 2: The Killer Queen
Emily Alyn Lind went from playing a young version of Emily VanCamp in Revenge and Jamie from a film adaption of Dear Dumb Diary to being a cult member in both Doctor Sleep and The Babysitter 2? Woah, time flies. I don’t understand why the sequel takes plays 2 years after the events of the first film and not four? The kids are too grown up to pass for 14 year olds and they’re supposed to be juniors now? If they’re 16, than how were they 12 two years ago?
‘I wanna be the world’s best journalist. Renowned, respected, like Geraldo. Only… fuckable.’
‘I really don’t have good luck with women, they end up being murderers.’
A Clockwork Orange
I rewatched this after many many years. A young lad leads a gang of hooligans, and for his misbehaviour he’s sent to a psychiatric hospital. I’ve finally figured out who Evan Peters looks like, a young Malcolm McDowell!
‘Do you still feel suicidal?’
‘Well, put it this way, I feel very low in myself. I can’t see much in the future, and I feel that any second something terrible is going to happen to me.’
She should have told her parents and then go from there. I could relate to the friend getting dropped by her bestie, because she stopped being happy. Young teenagers suck. The anti-abortion plot was ridiculous.
After We Collided
The only intriguing storyline is one of the supporting characters’ past sexual assault. The rest is just 50 Shades of Grey for teens. Also this sequel stars Frank from How To Get Away with Murder and I haven’t seen him in anything else before, so there’s that?
Daughter of mine
I mainly watched this, because the poster fooled me into thinking it was an LGBT film. It’s not, and it’s not good either.
How did it take me this long to watch this gem? I became a fan of Jessie Buckley after seeing her in Wild Rose last year. I just cannot wait to watch I’m Thinking of Ending Things.
I’d like to make a toast. To my family. For everything you have done for me… I forgive you.
Your father’s been acting up, where have you been?
‘I’m in a relationship, Mum. I can’t be there all the time.
Sweetheart, you can’t just change the rules because someone’s shown an interest. Maybe I’ve been too soft on you.
It Happened One Night
Original Runaway Bride and an inspiration for any romantic comedy ever. It’s a required viewing for my uni course.
I watched this David Cronenberg short in my Film Production class today. It made me feel old, especially when the lecturer asked if all the students were born in this millennium. Haha, not even close, oh I’m getting old.
‘When you record the moment, you record the death of the moment. Children and death are a bad combination.’
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I’ve been waiting for this to come out since last year. Sadly, it wasn’t much better than Corey Feldman’s last doc The Rape of Two Coreys from earlier this year. Alex Winter really should have invited him to talk about the sexual abuse him and Corey Haim endured as child actors. He also should have invited Brooke Shields and have her talk about her mother exploiting her and taking those disturbing pre-teen pictures of her since he already chose to show snippets from Pretty Baby. I wish Winter invited more than the 9 child actors that appeared in the film. There’s not much focus there either, they keep going back to drugs, not having normal childhoods, parents sacrificing their lives, parents pushing their kids for their own gain and abuse multiple times. Despite this, I still recommend you check Showbiz Kids out. This is my 10th HBO Documentary and I really liked most of them including Elvis The Searcher which I watched last week. This is also one of Cameron Boyce’s last films.
My local Showcase cinema has been showing movie goer favourites since they re-opened 3 weeks ago, and I didn’t feel like re-watching any of them, until I saw they’re showing Cinema Paradiso this weekend. I watched it many years ago on a very tiny TV screen, and this is one of the films that need to be seen on the big screen. I cried through the last 30 minutes and it was one of my favourite cinema experiences.
‘Living here day by day, you think it’s the center of the world. You believe nothing will ever change. Then you leave: a year, two years. When you come back, everything’s changed. The thread’s broken. What you came to find isn’t there. What was yours is gone. You have to go away for a long time… many years… before you can come back and find your people. The land where you were born. But now, no. It’s not possible. Right now you’re blinder than I am.’
‘Who said that? Gary Cooper? James Stewart? Henry Fonda? Eh?’
‘No, Toto. Nobody said it. This time it’s all me. Life isn’t like in the movies. Life… is much harder.’
‘Get out of here! Go back to Rome. You’re young and the world is yours. I’m old. I don’t want to hear you talk anymore. I want to hear others talking about you. Don’t come back. Don’t think about us. Don’t look back. Don’t write. Don’t give in to nostalgia. Forget us all. If you do and you come back, don’t come see me. I won’t let you in my house. Understand?’
‘Thank you. For everything you’ve done for me.’
‘Whatever you end up doing, love it. The way you loved the projection booth when you were a little squirt.’
Cecile De France turns 45 today. How refreshing to see them cast a 39 year old as the love interest. Summertime is a lesbian drama about a 20 something year old Delphine who after being left for a man by her closeted girlfriend leaves her family farm and goes to Paris where she meets a 30 something year old straight woman she falls in love with, Carole. It’s the 70s and Carole fights for women’s rights to abortion and contraception. The two get together, and Carole follows the main character to the family farm where they hide their relationship from Delphine’s mother. Her mother hopes she’s going to marry a local young man and things don’t go well when she finds out. Delphine makes a decision to leave to Paris, but then changes her mind which she later regrets as per what is revealed in a letter she sends to Carole seven years later. It’s a beautiful lesbian drama I may not have ever found if it wasn’t for Mubi.
What is it with James Spader and amusement parks? Remember when his character was trying to rape and then set on fire Lori Loughlin’s character in one of my favourite films The New Kids? I know I haven’t really commented on the Lori Loughlin scandal, and I cannot really. Lori was one of my first favourite actresses and crushes for that matter, so I cannot hate her, like what the rest of the world is doing, because she’s been in some of my favourite films and I thought Full House sucked before her character was introduced, even though I hated what they did to her character after she had the twins. Anyway, this review is about Dream Lover, which also stars Twin Peaks and Riverdale‘s Madchen Amick.
Look, just cause I’m halfway pretty guys look in my eyes and think they know me. Like I’m their fantasy. I’m just a regular screwed-up person. So when you say I’m beautiful it’s like you’re not seeing me at all.
The Far Shore
This is exactly the kind of film I needed to see today. Two sisters and their mom struggle to move on from the sudden death of their father. While the 16 year old one begins a relationship with her rapist, the 11 year old one is being bullied by her nasty classmates. It’s a beautiful film and I am so glad I got to see it. Thanks, HBO!
I haven’t seen Nicolas Saada’s Taj Mahal, but my dad said it was better than this one. I’ve now added it to my watchlist. The racist British woman who panics and accuses a lady for working with terrorists because she speaks their language and then asks Dev Patel’s character to take off his turban was so inappropriate and realist at the same time. What is she even doing in Mumbai? She does understand she’s not in England, so of course people will be speaking their language. Dev Patel has had a wonderful career since his time on Skins. He played the Slumdog, he was in both Hotel Marigold films, he was in Lion with Nicole Kidman and now Hotel Mumbai.
Natalie Wood: What Remains Behind
Oh please, we all know he did it. Not much to say about this one. Natalie Wood was a bright light and just think of all the roles she would have played in her 50s, 60s, 70s. It’s tragic to think her story ended there, in the middle of the ocean. Her older daughter looks strikingly exactly like her. I have so many films to watch in my immediate watchlist, but I’m tempted to see Natalie’s entire filmography. I’ve only seen 6 of her films in total, from smaller ones like Inside Daisy Clover to big hits like Rebel Without a Cause or West Side Story. Speaking of West Side Story, I cannot believe Spielberg is making a remake. Why on earth do we need a new version of one of the biggest and most popular films? And just because teens these days won’t reach for a film from 20 years or more?
Steve Coogan and Paul Rudd make awesome gay dads and I would watch this as a TV series. Kate Walsh has a very small part in it. One of my most favourite actresses, Julianne Moore said earlier this week that she would not have taken the role of one of the moms in The Kids Are Alright now, because she’s not gay and that role should have gone to a gay actress. Isn’t that the whole point of acting? If this was a rule now, I probably would have never seen The Children’s Hour, Boys Don’t Cry, Disobedience, The Favourite or so many more of my favourites. She never said anything about her other lesbian roles, in Freeheld or The Hours. Lisa Cholodenko, who co-wrote and directed The Kids are Alright and is a member of LGBT said that both Julianne and Annette Benning could have fooled anyone with their wonderful acting, so it doesn’t matter because they were believable. She also said they were thinking of sending the script to Jodie Foster, who is gay or bi, but chickened out. Either way, I would love the film because both Jodie and Julianne are two of my three favourite actresses (Sally Field is one of the three too). There aren’t that many famous openly lesbian actors in their fifties, so I don’t think The Kids Are Alright would have been such a hit, because who would have played Jodie’s counterpart then? Ellen or Jane Lynch?
Lili Taylor’s audition piece for The Conjuring. It’s a good horror focusing on vampirism, and it tries to be even better with its black and white artiness.
‘We drink to escape the fact we’re alcoholics. Existence is the search for relief from our habit, and our habit is the only relief we can find.’
‘What’s gonna happen to me?’
‘Read the books. Sartre, Beckett, Burroughs. Who do you think they’re talking about? You think they’re works of fiction?’
I wrote this review over the course of a few days, while watching Stromboli starring Ingrid Bergman, Scorsese’s Raging Bull and listening to Taylor Swift’s Folklore.