We haven’t reached the equator yet but in these first months of the year we have received more than enough works to create a really interesting list for any film lover. So let’s look back, let’s choose the best films from 2019 so far.
Address : Jordan Peele.
Cast: Lupita Nyong’o, Elisabeth Moss, Winston Duke, Tim Heidecker, Anna Diop, Kara Hayward, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II…
After causing a sensation with ‘Let me out’, Peele returned with the inescapable expectation surrounding the second feature film, already judged with greater severity; one looks with a magnifying glass at the promising filmmaker who has just begun his career.
We’ shows that the most inspired part of Peele’s debut was not a question of luck, that he has a talent for telling stories and ideas to make them fresh and personal (despite the influences). Without a doubt, one of the most fun and exciting horror proposals of recent years.
Address : M. Night Shyamalan.
Cast: Bruce Willis, James McAvoy, Samuel L. Jackson, Anya Taylor-Joy, Sarah Paulson, Spencer Treat Clark, Charlayne Woodard…
A new demonstration that superhero cinema can be something else, beyond the spectacular comic adaptations of Marvel and DC. Which are very good, but lack the originality and freedom of works like ‘El protegido’ (‘Unbreakable’) or ‘Múltiple’ (‘Split’).
Parts of the trilogy that closes ‘Glass’. It is a beautiful and raw film, by a creator who loves his characters but seeks to surprise and disturb his audience, to the last consequences. One of those that you want to have in your collection, to be able to rediscover his characters.
The Favourite’ (‘The Favourite’)
Address: Yorgos Lanthimos.
Cast: Rachel Weisz, Emma Stone, Olivia Colman, Nicholas Hoult, Joe Alwyn, Mark Gatiss, James Smith…
The author of ‘Canino’ may have been somewhat domesticated to reach a wider audience; proof of this is that his latest work received ten Oscar nominations (he only won one, for best lead actress).
However, his cinema is still strong, he knows how to catch our attention, and he has not neglected that twisted sense of humour with which he portrays the absurd order of society and human miseries, giving rise to unexpected hilarious moments. He is still an unpredictable creator, and that’s wonderful.
The House That Jack Built
Address Lars von Trier. Cast: Matt Dillon, Bruno Ganz, Uma Thurman, Sofie Gråbøl, Siobhan Fallon Hogan, Riley Keough, Jeremy Davies…And speaking of creators with a twisted sense of humour, our favourite Danish director returned with one of the craziest, most controversial and fascinating films to hit theatres in recent years.A very personal work, which only Von Trier could have signed, and which requires from the viewer a total surrender; including the will to laugh at everything, no matter how violent or disturbing it may seem to the naked eye.
Alita, Angel of Combat’ (‘Alita: Battle Angel’)
Address : Robert Rodriguez.
Cast: Rosa Salazar, Ed Skrein, Eiza González, Jackie Earle Haley, Jennifer Connelly, Christoph Waltz, Mahershala Ali…
One of the surprises of the year. Of course I expected a great show of action and visual effects, however, what captivated me about this superproduction was not the amazing technical section but the sensitivity and love with which the journey of his heroine is captured.
That said, I think it’s a more enjoyable experience in 3D, it really immerses you in the world and adventure, as few films have achieved so far (it can’t be a coincidence that James Cameron is involved).
Address: Mamoru Hosoda.
With works like ‘La chica que saltaba a través del tiempo’ or ‘El niño y la bestia’, Hosoda has consolidated himself as one of the most imaginative and interesting authors of animated cinema, and with ‘Mirai’ he offers us what is possibly his most mature work to date.
Starting with the birth of a child, we witness the unfolding of a fantastic journey to meet several generations of the family, allowing the filmmaker to touch eternal themes through the naive gaze of a child. Most beautiful and amusing, an adventure for all audiences (really, not for children who can see adults) that invites reflection.
The Sisters Brothers
Address : Jacques Audiard.
Cast: John C. Reilly, Joaquin Phoenix, Jake Gyllenhaal, Riz Ahmed, Rutger Hauer…
Western is still alive in the 21st century thanks to authors who still find inspiration in a genre that keeps reinventing itself. Audiard imprints his European vision on a story of murderers and gold diggers, of four men facing the opportunity to flee from their fate.
Four actors in a state of grace lead this peculiar, beautiful and raw drama that plays with expectations and clichés to show the most human face of the gunman of the wild west.
Address : Ari Aster.
Cast: Florence Pugh, Jack Reynor, Will Poulter, William Jackson Harper, Vilhelm Blomgren…
One of the most surprising, stimulating and fun films of the year. Yes, fun, because despite being sold as a horror film, the truth is that Aster’s new is a personal cocktail that plays with elements of terror but where there are moments of comedy and drama, as well as a reflection on the couple.
It is confirmed that ‘Hereditary’ was not an accident. The only “but” that ‘Midsommar’ can be put on is its excessive 147 minutes; that said, I’m looking forward to discovering what’s in that three-hour extended version (perhaps small details that help digest the footage with more pleasure).
The days to come
Address : Carlos Marqués-Marcet.
Cast: María Rodríguez Soto, David Verdaguer, Albert Prat, Sergi Torrecilla…
The director of ‘10,000 Km’ and ‘Tierra firme’ continues to be interested in reflecting on the conflicts that arise in a couple, now due to an accidental pregnancy, and how the experiences and reflections of each individual threaten to break the bond.
It is not only one of the most authentic, sensitive and best interpreted films of 2019 (memorable Rodríguez Soto, really pregnant during part of the shooting, precisely, of Verdaguer, her partner also behind the cameras) but also provides interesting ideas and reflections for which the film accompanies you beyond the immediate viewing in the armchair.
Largo viaje hacia la noche’ (Long Journey into the Night)
Address: Bi Gan.
Cast: Tang Wei, Sylvia Chang, Meng Li, Huang Jue, Chen Yongzhong…
One of the most fascinating films premiered this year in Spanish theatres is this poetic romantic drama noir that has a striking peculiarity: the last act is filmed to be seen in 3D. The experience is surprising and captivating.
Far from the conventional narrative, I advise you to let yourself be carried away by the elegant staging and the talent of Bi Gan to create deep, ingenious and beautiful images. It may be slow, it may not count for much, but its impact remains.