british films 2020
We said: Jonathan Romney spoke to Kaufman about his film, and his new novel Antkind, for our October issue. We said: Leonie Cooper talked to Byrne for our December issue, and asked him why he went to Spike Lee for the project: “We’ve never really worked together, but we’ve crossed paths a lot so it was easy, I had his phone number! We said: “First-time director Remi Weekes, working from a story by Felicity Evans and Toby Venables, doesn’t take the comparatively standard approach of establishing a social-realistic context and then letting the supernatural seep in. We said: “Some moments echo the confrontational, direct to camera stares of Barry Jenkins’s Moonlight (2016) and If Beale Street Could Talk (2018) it’s focused purely on the dynamics of Zed’s family and friends, the cast mostly populated by British-Pakistani actors. There is, emphatically, no boundary between fiction and documentary, but truth matters more than ever.” (Robert Greene), Read our report: The shape of documentary to come, Where to see it: In UK cinemas and on Curzon Home Cinema from 24 December 2020. Throw in psychotropic drugs, a drone that resembles a 1950s B-movie flying saucer, assassins in neon motorcycle suits and a posse of foreign mercenaries thirsty for blood, and what emerges is a shape-shifting genre yarn with surprises aplenty but maybe at times too much on its plate.” (Isabel Stevens), Read our review: Bacurau is a tough and timeless Brazilian frontier western, + Bacurau first look: a way out weird western for menacing times, Where to see it: On Blu-ray and to stream on Mubi. The Ross brothers’ poetic portrait of the denizens of a Las Vegas bar mixes documentary and fiction in a heady brew. The Best Movies of 2020, Ranked by Tomatometer Rotten Tomatoes has collected every movie designated Certified Fresh over the past year, creating our guide to the best movies of 2020. This scene, extending across a good half-hour, functions as the film’s centrepiece and offers the most tender rendition of sex to be found in Tsai’s filmography. It changes things.”, Where to see it: Available now on DVD in the UK. We said: “Koreeda’s French adventure is a substantial success, not least because he’s brought a lot of ideas and motifs from his Japanese films to the party. Ever the unflinching and somewhat dour realist, Eastwood presents us with an American landscape that has largely been denuded of the picturesque. It does not include films first released in previous years that had official release dates in 2020. Are we to surmise that these situations reveal what-might-have-been scenarios for Kim; or potential futures for her should she decide to leave her husband (although there’s no real hint of that being on the cards)? Paul Walter Hauser portrays the security guard who discovered the Atlanta Olympics bomb only to find himself accused of planting it, in Eastwood’s all-American tale of apostasy. Among the most important films of the year, and certainly one of its filmmaker’s finest, Mangrove sets the bar high for the rest of Small Axe. The 92nd Academy Awards honoring the best films of 2019 were held on February 9, 2020. It becomes church. Wells’s classic, emphasising the fear of being watched. With ‘Powell for PM’ graffiti glimpsed on the streets, McQueen and cinematographer Shabier Kirchner immerse us in the community in heartfelt, sensuous ways. The film is at its most effective and affecting not when it attempts the high drama of unsolved murders (the two women briefly involve themselves in a real-life case presented as influential on Jackson’s 1951 novel Hangsaman), extramarital affairs and suicide attempts, but when it depicts more subtle and intimate forms of betrayal and manipulation. Alfre Woodard puts in a phenomenal performance, expressing Bernadine’s churning inner turmoil through her resigned expression, downcast eyes and hunched shoulders.” (Nikki Baughan, S&S, September), Read our review: In Clemency, death row walls in Alfre Woodard’s warden, Where to see it: available to buy or stream on BFI Player, iTunes, Amazon Prime and other platforms. I’m a little late in getting this out (time is limited right now with my new job) but here is my round-up of British movies to look forward to in 2020. The love and pain shown in Bloody Nose is heartbreakingly real; the insights into human experience alive with value. “The savvy decision to allow the actors to play their younger selves in flashback sequences reinforces the film’s central thesis that past and present are intertwined. Welcome to the British Film Festival 2020! When I was shooting [the dance scenes in Lovers Rock], that was for real. And though the best British films will arguably always be those led b posh accents, grand English country estates, and Colin Firth, the movies on this list prove there's so … Though persuasively edgy, angry and strange – and provided by Sarah Gubbins’s fine script with plenty of savage witticisms and sharp observations – her Shirley is not someone to whom the film brings us close. As Dick begins to show signs of confusion, her lament is disarming in its straightforwardness: “He won’t be able to follow what I’m saying, so I won’t be able to ask him for any more advice, and the whole time will just be trying to get by.” In the face of this encroaching loss, what is the value of this patricidal tableaux? ©2021 British Film Institute. For one thing, Herman’s main credit competitor remains Orson Welles, the furthest thing imaginable from an idiot. By and large Lee succeeds, even if along the way the story hits some cul-de-sacs with cursory plotting involving Jean Reno’s evil trafficker, the work of landmine removal, and a pot of gold taken straight out of John Huston’s The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948). (Kieron Corless), Where to see it: Not currently available in the UK, but available to stream on Vimeo-on-Demand in some territories. British films did, however, notably lose out to Parasite from South Korea. It’s a commanding blend of the sweetly sentimental and the bitingly political. Rather, she is a catalyst, her strangeness stirring others into anger or action. Johnson’s project is about the management not of filial ambivalence, outsized parental legacies or unfinished emotional business, but of love. Where the film does chime magnificently is in the performance of Delroy Lindo as Paul, and the suggestion that past failings undermine present-day relationships. We said: “It was always likely that in his third feature Kleber Mendonça Filho was going to take on Jair Bolsonaro. There’s a wide variety coming out – from big blockbusters like James Bond to smaller British indie films. Many of the film's cast and crew members are British. But this offers more than just big laughs and sharp mockery: it's chiefly a poignant coming-of-age involving a fri… Where to see it: On BFI Player, Curzon Home Cinema and other digital platforms. Kaufman’s claustrophobic chamber theatre piece-cum-road movie-cum-psychological horror – made for Netflix and released straight to the streaming platform, bypassing cinemas – stars Jessie Buckley as a young woman who travels with her boyfriend (Jesse Plemons) to meet his parents, played by Toni Collette and David Thewlis. Asili’s debut weaves together the histories of the MOVE Organization, the Black Arts Movement and his time in a Black Marxist collective. The centrepiece in McQueen’s five-film ‘Small Axe’ anthology depicts the true story of the protests and landmark court case involving the ‘Mangrove Nine’ that followed discriminatory police raids on a Notting Hill restaurant. Connecting us to the past, Mangrove enlightens and empowers us in the present. I’ve left off 1917, as it’s already out (I need to see it). The film has a feel for life on the lowest rung of the middle class.” (Nick Pinkerton, S&S, February), Read our review: Richard Jewell explores how an unlikely hero loses his religion, Where to see it: On digital platforms, Blu-ray and DVD. I realised that this show, like that one, is not simply us performing a series of songs, ending with our biggest hit. Bradley’s diary film follows Sibil Fox Richardson, who for nearly two decades has been campaigning for the release of her husband, Rob, after he was sentenced in 1999 to 60 years in prison for a robbery. A down-on-her-luck New York playwright, desperate for a breakthrough before she turns 40, reinvents herself as rapper RadhaMUSprime. Dev Patel makes for an energetic lead in this inspired and fast-paced adaptation of Charles Dickens’s literary classic. We said: “Breezy and boozy, joyful and melancholic, occasionally wild and often wise, Another Round is a heady cocktail swiftly downed, with a late kick like a particularly euphoric mule. And there’s more than a hint of the metatextual. Nolan’s brainteaser builds a rollercoaster spectacle out of temporal spaghetti. Marcello elaborates the story’s symbolic thrust through an ambiguous treatment of period. It was Black people seeing other Black people, feeling what they were feeling, and a Black director, a Black cinematographer, and the fact they could see each other and vibe off each other – and be each other, as you rightly said – that’s what happened. Bacurau is a small impoverished town in the arid north-eastern hinterlands of Brazil; but it’s also a utopia of sorts, with its tight-knit community who stand firm against exterior threats. “It wouldn’t be a stretch to interpret the nature of Lee and Anong’s eventual coming together, and its inherent power imbalance, as a reflection on the intermingling of the personal and the professional in Tsai’s relationship with his actors. As Ikoko points out, ‘That implies that all of the responsibility, therefore all of the kudos, is on them. 1917 led in the technical categories with multiple wins in cinematography, sound, special effects, and production design. Even more so is the other half of the double-act: Jewell as played by Paul Walter Hauser. The 92nd Academy Awards honoring the best films of 2019 were held on February 9, 2020. Perhaps, but it was also Hollywood that gave him immortality.” (Farran Smith Nehme), Read our review: Mank nips itself in the Rosebud, + Mank prints the legend of Hollywood as a gilded cage. Marriage Story and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, both British-American co-productions, unanimously won the Best Supporting Actress and Actor awards respectively. The British Film Festival presented by Palace returns in 2020 for its seventh year with a standout selection of films from the British Isles. The British Independent Film Awards work tirelessly to champion the very best in British film. An astute adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s beloved coming-of-age story that liberates its Civil War-era sisters without taking liberties. A thrilling exposé that uncovers a vast trail of corruption following a fatal nightclub fire in Bucharest. Where to see it: After lockdown postponed its release, the film is now slated for February 2021. It's easy to be ridiculous, or worse—boring. Here are Black people making something for themselves, people who aren’t wanted somewhere else. Blending autobiographical and observational modes, and interweaving the past and the present, the film offers both an epic and an everyday account of incarceration’s thefts – of time; of intimacy. It’s really constructed to take the audience somewhere.” (S&S, December), Read our review: David Byrne’s American Utopia doesn’t burn down the house, + “If there was a song Spike Lee loved, we’d see him pop up in the aisle”: David Byrne on his concert doc American Utopia, Where to see it: On digital platforms from 14 December and on disc from 11 January 2021. We said: “Poignant and intensely moving, Days gestures towards a reconciliation with themes of desire and sexuality that have troubled Tsai’s cinema since the beginning. This article lists feature-length British films and full-length documentaries that have their premiere in 2020 and were at least partly produced by Great Britain or the United Kingdom. So it’s jarring when, in its final moments, the film descends suddenly and steeply into the abyss, with a shockingly violent and nihilistic coda. Each has children drawn into natural wonderlands of myth and magic, into adventures about protecting and healing rather than fighting. Notably, a number of British technicians were nominated for non-British films such as Le Mans '66, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, and Ad Astra. British winners: 1917 (Best Cinematography, Best Sound Mixing, Best Visual Effects) Judy (Best Actress) Marriage Story (Best Supporting Actress) It has malevolent monsters and horrified victims, and hums with a palpable sense of threat. It would be overpraising Kajillionaire to claim that it is the equal of anything by Aki Kaurismäki but there’s a similar blend here of the bleak and the blithe. Grounded by nuanced, unhistrionic work from leads Sopé Dìrísù and Wunmi Mosaku as the married Majur couple, His House shifts focus from exterior threat to the cracks in the marriage, exacerbated by disagreements about assimilation – though at the heart of the horror is a particular, personal crime which must be atoned for. “The biggest influence is Cronenberg Sr’s eXistenz (1999), which is similarly concerned with assassins who risk losing themselves in the personae that they adopt as their gaming ‘skins’ – and that film’s lead actress Jennifer Jason Leigh is here cast as Tasya’s handler Girder, a once skilled Possessor now determined to pass down the mantle to the next generation.” (Anton Bitel), Read our review: Possessor sends Andrea Riseborough out of her mind. As with Carrasco’s El futuro (2013), a reconstruction of a party to celebrate the incoming Socialist government in 1982, the lessons of history are never transparent or easily gleaned, a philosophical perspective signalled here by the use of split screen and Hi-8 video, the constructed set-up, and a subtle interplay of past and present. Okay, so no list of British movies is complete without at least two Richard Curtis films. This is a list of American films that were released in 2020.Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, numerous notable films that were originally scheduled for release from mid-March to December were postponed to release in mid through late 2020 and in 2021, or were released on video on demand or on streaming services throughout 2020. Lovers Rock celebrates the reliefs of kinship and intimacy, as it tells the story of the tentative romance between Martha (Amarah-Jae St. Aubyn) and Micheal Ward (Franklyn), while at the same time offering a wonderfully immersive and nostalgic ode to the musical genre that gives McQueen’s film its name. As in his earlier experiments in hybrid storytelling, short clips interspersed throughout serve as lyrical counterpoints to the narrative. The projected image of a country taking giant modernising strides was somewhat at odds with a cruel reality in certain areas, one such being the coastal city of Cartagena, which was decimated by deindustrialisation in the 90s. Fincher’s portrait of writer Herman J. Mankiewicz. What followed was a quick succession of smaller scale, more intimate works in various formats, including an excursion into virtual reality. ‘For me, as a younger filmmaker, that’s one of the things I can’t compromise on now,’ she says. The films in this list should fulfill at least three of the following criteria: Listed here are the British nominees at the five most prestigious film award ceremonies in the English-speaking world: the Academy Awards, British Academy Film Awards, Critics' Choice Awards, Golden Globe Awards, and Screen Actors Guild Awards, that were held during 2020, celebrating the best films of 2019. The initial impression that the film takes place, like the novel, towards the start of the last century is contradicted through subtle anachronisms. We said: “With its ostentatiously colour-blind casting, not only of the energetic and enterprising Dev Patel as Charles Dickens’s typically intrepid, buffeted young wayfarer, but in a slew of roles rich and poor peppered throughout, Armando Iannucci’s rollicking adaptation announces itself as a radical reclamation of the heritage ‘lit pic’ from the off.” (Tom Charity), Read our review: The Personal History of David Copperfield gives Dickens a radical, rollicking twist, Where to see it: On DVD, Blu-ray, BFI Player and other digital platforms. We said: “In steady, sparing takes that often rest on Flanigan’s face – vivid despite its expressionlessness – the story unfolds with procedural curiosity. But as in his previous film, Aquarius (2016), fascism works in mysterious ways in his WTF western. Of love of idiots remove a version of her efforts at mental preparation for the inevitable and pleasant just! 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