Written by: Film Guru
It was a great year for movies and ATP guest blogger Film Guru shared with us some of his favourite movies for 2019.
Let us know if you agree or disagree and what movies should have made the list!
Let's start this list off with some West Indian flavour. Sprinter, directed by Storm Saulter is a breakout Caribbean film where a Jamaican teen who is burdened by an unstable father and an unruly older brother hopes a meteoric rise in track-and-field can reunite him with his mother, who has lived illegally in the U.S. for over a decade.
Working as a stripper to make ends meet, Destiny's life changes forever when she becomes friends with Ramona -- the club's top money earner. Ramona soon shows Destiny how to finagle her way around the wealthy Wall Street clientele who frequent the club. But when the 2008 economic collapse cuts into their profits, the gals and two other dancers devise a daring scheme to take their lives back.
8. Last Black Man in San Francisco
Jimmie and his best friend Mont try to reclaim the house built by Jimmie's grandfather, launching them on a poignant odyssey that connects them to their past, even as it tests their friendship and sense of belonging in the place they call home.
7. Hero - Inspired by the Extraordinary Life & Times of Mr. Ulric Cross
Frances-Anne Solomon’s deft drama-documentary tells an unfamiliar story with budget-defying ingenuity. Inspired by the life and times of Ulric Cross whose life spanned key moments of the 20th Century like WW2, African independence, Black Power, the rise of a new brand of Black leadership around the world - all events that have shaped the world today. Trinidadian lawyer and war hero Ulric Cross is not a name known to the public, but this engrossing biographical drama-documentary shows how his life and times joined the dots between valour and the tricky post-colonial transition for several new African republics.
Korean director Bong Joon Ho's black comedy–thriller, about an impoverished family who scheme their way into an upper-crust household, artfully explores resentment between the haves and the have nots. Even more striking is its deep humanity, both the scammers and the scammed earn our sympathy.
Forever alone in a crowd, failed comedian Arthur Fleck seeks connection as he walks the streets of Gotham City. Arthur wears two masks -- the one he paints for his day job as a clown, and the guise he projects in a futile attempt to feel like he's part of the world around him. Isolated, bullied and disregarded by society, Fleck begins a slow descent into madness as he transforms into the criminal mastermind known as the Joker.
A couple travel to Sweden to visit their friend's rural hometown for its fabled midsummer festival, but what begins as an idyllic retreat quickly devolves into an increasingly violent and bizarre competition at the hands of a pagan cult.
3. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Is a 2019 comedy drama film written and directed by Quentin Tarantino. It features a large ensemble cast led by Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, and Margot Robbie. Set in 1969 Los Angeles, the film follows an actor and his stunt double, as they navigate the changing film industry, and features "multiple storylines in a modern fairy tale tribute to the final moments of Hollywood's golden age".
2. The Irishman
The Irishman (also titled onscreen as I Heard You Paint Houses) is a 2019 American epic crime film directed and produced by Martin Scorsese and written by Steven Zaillian, based on the 2004 book I Heard You Paint Houses by Charles Brandt. Starring Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Joe Pesci, the film follows Frank Sheeran (De Niro), a truck driver who becomes a hitman involved with mobster Russell Bufalino (Pesci) and his crime family, including his time working for the powerful Teamster Jimmy Hoffa (Pacino). Reminiscent of The Good Fellas the film delivers an impactful gangster movie worth a watch.
1. Pain & Glory
Is a 2019 Spanish drama film directed and written by Pedro Almodóvar. It stars Antonio Banderas, Asier Extxeandia, Penélope Cruz, Julieta Serrano and Leonardo Sbaraglia. The film narrates a series of reunions of Salvador Mallo, a film director in his decline. Some of these reunions play out in real time, others are recalled through flashbacks: his life in the 1960s, when he moved with his family to the primitive village of Paterna, his schooling, his first love in Madrid in the 1980s, the pain of the breakup of this relationship, writing as a therapy to forget, the discovery of cinema and facing the impossibility of continuing filming. This one is a must see!