Best and Worst of 2020

Last year sucked for movies just as it did for everything else

A scene from Mank

I will always prefer a big screen in the dark with strangers instead of my living room but we had no choice. 2020 was a sad, bizarre year in which we had to watch movies at home. I missed so many movies that were scheduled to open on theaters and were postponed. The film festivals that could have taken the opportunity to include a global audience didn’t and it’s hard to keep pace with what gets released where, so I feel very bereft of movies this year. Scrolling through the plethora of offerings from Netflix and Amazon Prime became a ritual in frustration. There is so much mostly mediocre stuff, that nothing grabs you. There’s good stuff too, but I have already seen it. The good news is that HBO Max has a fantastic back catalog with great classic movies, including great films by Fellini, Antonioni, Agnes Varda and more. I find that after all the junk movies, watching films like Cleo de 5 a 7 and Blow Up, are a balm. Right now I am mesmerized by the 1965 Russian version of War and Peace.

What worked best for me was to rent new releases that I would have seen in a theater, for less than what a movie ticket in New York City used to cost — almost $20. I would suggest that when movie theaters reopen in NYC, they tone down their prices a notch. Maybe they will have to because streaming sucks but it is convenient and cheap and people like that.

In any case, thanks to the pandemic I did binge on certain TV series, and so for the first time, I will include series below this list.

Collective

The Personal History of David Copperfield

Mank

The Invisible Man

Portrait of A Lady on Fire

Sound of Metal

First Cow

Emma.

My Happy Family

An Easy Girl

Graduation

I’m No Longer Here

The Blackcoats’ Daughter

An Elephant Sitting Still

Bad Education

Linda Rondstadt: Sound of My Voice

Another Round

The Truth

American Utopia

Relic

Yes, God, Yes.

Dolemite Is My Name

My Octopus Teacher

Never Rarely Sometimes Always

The Nest

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

The Vast of Night

The Forty-Year Old Version

Mucho, Mucho Amor

Let Them All Talk

His House

The Trial of The Chicago Seven

The Lodge

Shirley

Rebecca

Downhill

Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga

Sarah Cooper: Everything’s Fine

What the Constitution Means To Me

Uncle Frank

Hillbilly Elegy

Possessor

Amulet

Cuties

She Dies Tomorrow

I Am Your Woman

The Color of Space

The Assistant

Da Five Bloods

I’m Thinking of Ending Things

The Glorias

The Prom

In order of preference:

Succession

Shtisel

Le Bureau

The Crown

Call My Agent

Ozark

Perry Mason

I May Destroy You

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

The John Mulaney Specials

Schitt’s Creek

Unbelievable

The Flight Attendant

Peaky Blinders

The Queen’s Gambit

Broadchurch

Move

The Bee Gees

Ethos

Stath Lets Flats

The Undoing

The Vow

I’ll Be Gone In The Dark

The Spy

A Jewish Aztec Princess with strong opinions about film, food, and human foibles. Cofounder of dada.nyc

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