We don’t have to get into it. Not really. But did the Academy not see the dresses in Portrait of a Lady on Fire? Or Jamie Lee Curtis’ outfits in Knives Out? I mean…c’mon. Usually, I will put a still from one of the relevant nominated films here as a means of priming the conversation. Instead:
The Best Visual Effects Oscar has flourished over the past decade, growing into a full-fledged category with five nominees. Prior to that, the category would generally be three nominees. Given the industry’s increasing reliance on visual effects, it is a surprise that it took until 2010 to expand the category to a guaranteed five nominees per year.
2020 is a prime example of this reliance. The category is not reserved for the blockbuster films that are, more and more, composed of VFX. This year, the dramas The Irishman and 1917 use extensive VFX, and the films would be very different without those effects. Then, of course, there’s The Lion King…not all visual effects are a good choice.
The 2020 group of Best Cinematography nominees are composed of a three-time winner, a three-time nominee, a one-time winner (15-time nominee), and two first-time nominees. It is mostly a respectable group. I can’t say there aren’t others I would like to see represented here, but it’s not a bad group.
It is that time of year again. Time to create an exceedingly subjective, by-no-means exhaustive list of the “best” movies of 2019. 2019 was a good year in film. There were plenty of strong contenders for this list (find my full ranking of 2019 films at Letterboxd). I could have stretched this list out to 30 or 40 films, but I decided to keep it short and sweet. I just crammed in as many honorable mentions as felt appropriate, instead.
You can find my candidates for worst movie of the year here.
Honorable Mentions: American Factory, Apollo 11, Arctic, Ash is Purest White, Birds of Passage, Hail Satan?, A Hidden Life, Horror Noire, Midsommar, Once Upon a Time in…Hollywood, One Cut of the Dead, Rolling Thunder Revue, The Souvenir, The Vast of Night, Wild Rose