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« June. It's a Wrap | Main | Would you rather? »
Thursday
Jun272019

Halfway Mark - Team Experience Favourites

I'll be sharing my midyear ballots (such as they are) over the next couple of days but first let's hear from the whole team. Or, some of them - those that volunteeered their little in progress top fives. The team hopes you enjoy these little peeks into our individual film experiences from January through June at the movies (and in some cases, at home).

Chris Feil's midyear top five  
Twitter | Instagram | This Had Oscar Buzz | TFE Articles 

01 Her Smell's redemptive anarchy in five acts

02 Ari Aster's hilarious Midsommar -time sadness

03 Claire Denis' sci-fi descent into the black hole of our biology High Life.

04 The haves-and-have-nots horror of Us.

05 Zhao Tao giving another masterclass in Jia Zhangke's Ash is Purest White.  

 

Paolo Kagaoan's midyear top five
Twitter | Instagram | All of Paolo's articles

01 Homecoming: A Film By Beyonce... When  Beyonce descended from those steps, Sergei Eisenstein rose back from the dead, burned every copy of Battleship Potemkin, and killed himself.

02 Elizabeth Olsen in Endgame because she reminded me that Thanos is an asshole... 

03 The first shot of Apollo 11 because it's steampunk or the 60s version of that come to life.

04 For Sama - Waad al-Kateab really made a documentary in Aleppo while taking care of her daughter while I can barely get out of bed in the morning.

05 The shot Kawhi Leonard made on Game 7 against the Sixers Look it up, it's a movie.

 

Ginny O'Keefe's midyear top five
Instagram | All of Ginny's articles

01 Everything Chernobyl is and stands for -The acting, the writing, the score, the Jared Harris. Just an amazing show that gave me everything that the final season of Game of Thrones did not. 

02 Booksmart - it made me laugh, cry and download the soundtrack off Spotify.

03 Zachary Levi in Shazam! - he's been under appreciated for too long and he was the perfect fit for this fun underrated DC movie. 

04 Keanu Reeves in anything - need I say more? 

05 The first Stranger Things 3 trailer dropping - I have been counting down the minutes for this damn season so I was pretty well fed after the first trailer dropped and I spent the entire day glued to my computer deciphering each shot. I think I'm gonna have a pretty good summer *knocks on wood*   

 

Murtada's midyear top five
Twitter | Instagram | TFE Podcast | All Murtada Articles

01  The sense of nostalgia that envelopes The Last Black  Man in San Francisco. I just rambled on with something stinging my eyes on the podcast.

02 A quiet clap to the sad but beautiful, mournful but funny, tranquil in tone but turbulent in emotion Diane.

03 The prophecy realized with striking image after striking image in Native Son and to the birth of a new acutely visual stylist in Rashid Johnson

04 That the beautiful love story at the heart of Sorry, Angel is also one of mentorship that's realized best when the boy is scolded, in the midst of flirting no less, for not liking Jane Campion's The Piano.

05 Mia Wasikowska continuing to deliver revelatory and peculiar performances in oddities like Piercing

 

Eurocheese's midyear top five  
All of Eurocheese's articles 

01 The Good Place. I laughed. I cried. I can't believe we only get one more season.

02 The craft and appreciation for Marvel as a whole put into Avengers: End Game.

03 One of the most beautiful action scenes I've seen in ages, brought to us by Zhang Yimou and his team on Shadow

04 Julianne Moore dancing to "Gloria"

05 Toy Story 4 stuck the landing with one of their best! I'm so pleasantly surprised.    

 

J.B.'s midyear top five 
All of J.B.'s articles 

01 The Souvenir, because it gave me all the elegant, quietly devastating An Education vibes I needed, plus Queen Tilda in wealthy matron drag. What more could a person want?

02 The Last Black Man in San Francisco, because this haunting, exquisitely beautiful film hit me like a ton of bricks, right in the heart.

03 Sorry Angel, because this is exactly the kind of warm, tender, heart-breakingly human gay drama the word needs much, much more of.  

04 Ash Is Purest White, because Zhao Tao is a badass bitch from hell. Her performance in this piquant emotional crime thriller is nothing short of revelatory.

05 All Is True, because this movie is much better than people give it credit for—an affectionate, insightful examination of what it means to be an artist, and what it means to be part of a family—and Branagh’s Shakespeare schtick stills does the trick for me.    

 

Tony Ruggio's midyear top five
Twitter | All of Tony's articles

01 Scissors in Us - Not many filmmakers have a knack for iconography, but Jordan Peele does and I thank him for it. 

02 Matthew McConaughey in The Beach Bum - Career summation work, a free-wheeling embrace of every tic and iota of hippie/hobo identity he’s carved out for himself

03 Shia’s Redemption - The Peanut Butter Falcon, a touching ode to friendship and adventure, redeems perennial bad boy Shia Labeouf and proves he can be a star again. 

04 Life’s Mundanities - Paddleton reminded me that ordinary life can be both depressing and fulfilling, often at the same time

05 Pixar Specialty - No animation studio can produce water works quite like Pixar, and Toy Story 4 continues that record with a great parent metaphor.

 

 

Lynn Lee's midyear top five
All of Lynn Lee's articles


01 Captain Marvel's bangin' '90s grrrl power soundtrack - what can I say, I'm the target demographic for that kind of nostalgia-baiting.  I only wish the songs were available as an actual soundtrack, à la Guardians of the Galaxy's mixtape.

02 The Keanu-ssance no one saw coming - because the man is just so damn lovable (and still delectable after all these years).  He was by far the best thing about Always Be My Maybe.

03 MALALA: the unlikeliest of code words, it perfectly encapsulates the delightful goofiness of Booksmart and the hilariously earnest, exasperating, and exquisite friendship at its center.

04 Every scene between Emma Thompson and John Lithgow in Late Night: He softens her edges, she brings him out of the shadows; together they bring emotional shading to what would otherwise be a fun but shallow movie.

05 The final sequence of Ron Howard's Pavarotti showing the late great tenor's performance of his signature aria, Puccini's "Nessun dorma," at the first Three Tenors concert in Rome.  As a documentary the film's way too airbrushed, but Howard had the good sense to end on a (literal) high note - it's hard to nitpick when that golden voice is gloriously filling an entire movie theater and reducing you to tears.    

 

Spencer Coile's midyear top five  
Twitter | Instagram | All of Spencer's articles

01 Serenity - for being the most inane yet ingenious cinematic experience I’ve had all year

02 Christina Hendricks in Toy Story 4 because no one other porcelain doll could break my heart half as much 

03 Long Shot for somehow hacking into my brain and bringing to life a love story between my two major celebrity crushes 

04 Someone Great because it introduced many of its viewers to Lizzo and her break-up anthem "Truth Hurts".

05 Jake Gyllenhaal’s nudity in Velvet Buzzsaw because, well… is an explanation really needed?     

 

 

Jason Adam's midyear top five
Twitter | Instagram | All of Jason's articles

Jason with John Waters !!!

01 Richard Madden rescuing Taron Egerton from that dismal straights party in Rocketman -- we've all been there, watching our friends hook up, dreaming our own Richard Madden would appear to save us -- musicals make our dreams come true!

02 Every sadly romantic frame of Sorry Angel, a film that tenderly lays bare the loss of an entire generation

03 The one of a kind rhythms of The Last Black Man in San Francisco, a movie that moves like the trolleys up and down and up and down that city's streets, blood through its heart, outwards and alive

04 The three exquisite horror films I have seen so far this year haven't come out yet so I'll mention the fourth one, Nicolas Pesce's perverse and befouled anti-romance Piercing, with great work from Chris Abbott and Mia Wasikowska exploiting each other's weak spots... often literally

05 Annette Bening's sassy intergalactic mom dance in Captain Marvel.

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Reader Comments (30)

1. Amazing Grace

2. Leaving Neverland - the film starts out slow, laying the groundwork for what's to come, and then BAM comes the word "masturbation" drops like a hand grenade, and they just keep arriving for three more hours. Seldom has so much shocking information been delivered with such surface tranquility.

3. The first dance in Climax

4.The last hour (ok 59 minutes) of Long Day's Journey into Night. A dream I never wanted to end

5. Felix Maritaud in Sauvage/Wild

June 27, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterken s

Happy to see Sorry Angel come up so often. It's a wonderful movie.

June 27, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterMike in Canada

I’m interpreting this list as moments of the year, not necessarily our top 5’s

1. The Fuck Box (HIGH LIFE)
2. Isabelle Huppert’s gleeful, spinning dance in GRETA
3. KNIFE+HEART’s incredible, transcendent credits sequence
4. The first yellow-to-pink edit in HOMECOMING
5. Don’t make MA drink alone!

And of course Matthew McConaughey’s ass in SERENITY

June 28, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterRoger

Paulo's taste is impeccable, but the mirror selfie with the yet-to-be purchased shirt with the tags still on it confuses me. It's probably performance art.

June 28, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterbeyaccount

OK well I've just purchased 'Sorry Angel' from Amazon, based on all the mentions it gets here.

June 28, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJWB

So glad to see "Sorry Angel" get some mentions here. It's a really nice piece of work.

June 28, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterCharlieG

Homecoming was a true experience. Nice mention.

June 28, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterAndy

Nat,Annette Bening is going to play Angela Lansbury's old role in Kenneth Branagh's Death on the Nile remake.

June 28, 2019 | Unregistered Commentermarkgordonuk

Border
Booksmart
Shadow

June 28, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterPlease come

mark, now I may have to watch it. Adore The Bening. But I couldn't stand Branagh's version of Murder On the Orient Express. Sigh.

June 28, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

1. Fleabag
2. Chernobyl
3. Booksmart
4. Gloria Bell
5. Homecoming

June 28, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterRaul

Murtada, my bussy bows down.

June 28, 2019 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtful

Gloria Bell is the highlight of my filmgoing year so far. It's imperfect but fires so beautifully on performance, music and cinematography. Adored it.

June 28, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterH

Murtada, my bussy bows down.
June 28, 2019 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtful

Since there is no way due to the format of the comments section of this site to avoid imposters. Please know that the real me is better than his imitators regardless of how problematic I'll always be on some level.

June 28, 2019 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtful

Elisabeth Moss in Her Smell and the launch of the Criterion Channel.

June 28, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

3rtful: There's only one real you. Just want you to know that I appreciate your comments, even the "problematic" ones. On some level, I'll always be problematic too.

June 28, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterBiggs

@ Markgordonuk- Maybe they can get Olivia Hussey to play the Bette Davis role? (Is she old enough?) It would be nice to get someone from the original in the movie. Vanessa Redgrave and Jacqueline Bisset could've been cast in MOTOE.

June 28, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterTom G.

I'm with Jason on the gay rescue scene in "Rocketman" pure musical fantasy at it finest

June 28, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJaragon

My top 5 so far...

1. Julianne Moore reaction to Claudio Bertoni's poetry in 'Gloria'
2. The epic final battle in 'Avengers: Endgame.' Although I'm not a fan of the franchise, the scene was really exciting.
3. 'Long Shot' and its nice use of Roxette's hit.
4. Almodovar's genius in his latest and most personal film: 'Dolor y gloria'
5. The wonderful performances of Antonio Banderas and the supporting cast of 'Dolor y gloria' (including Penelope Cruz in a warm, sensitive and beautiful part).

June 28, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterLuigi De Angelis

Why are Americans spelling "favorite" with a "u" now?

June 28, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterTyler

1 - Oscar winner Olivia Colman. I watch her awards season speeches every time I need a pick-me-up.

2 - The swimming pool scene in Booksmart. It was perfect.

3 - The sizzling chemistry between Mena Massoud and Naomi Scott in Aladdin. Almost made up for the layers of clothes they had to wear.

4 - IMAX in Lincoln Square. That screen is hilariously huge and I was blessed to see Free Solo, Avengers: Endgame, and Apollo 11 on it.

5 - GAYS AND LADIES BEING AWESOME ON TV. Sorry for this catch-all, but #PeakTV has been so good this first half of the year--Russian Doll, Fleabag, The Other Two, Schitt's Creek, Killing Eve, Big Little Lies, Jane the Virgin, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Broad City, Veep, The Good Place, Fosse/Verdon, Tales of a City, Special, etc. etc.

June 29, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterRyan T.

Am I the only one who thought the pool scene in Booksmart was awkward and poorly edited? The cuts in the music when she surfaces are really jarring and totally took me out of the movie.

June 29, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterPfan

Best of 2019 for Me So Far:

1. The electrifying but naturalistic camerawork of STYX

2. The tenderness of the storytelling and the final powerful shots in PORTRAIT OF A LADY ON FIRE

3. The touching rivalry-turned-romance between the two cuties of AND THEN WE DANCED

4. The madhouse antics and intense chemistry between Dafoe and Pattinson in THE LIGHTHOUSE

5. The elegiac musical interlude of "San Francisco (Be Sure To Wear Flowers in Your Hair" by a street performer in THE LAST BLACK MAN IN SAN FRANCISCO

June 29, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterEvan

Pfan — I’m with you. I did not like Booksmart at all. I found the whole thing to be reeking of white privilege, especially when you figure that 90% of the cast are rich Hollywood kids. All that was missing was Ben Platt!

June 30, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterAdam

Well - if i may say so - all-in-all it sounds like a very thin halfway mark :-(

June 30, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterMartin

1. "Pain 6 Glory"'s final shot
2. "The Good Place" season 3
3. Everything "Us"
4. "Endgame"'s final battle
5. "Toy Story 4"'s ending

June 30, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJesus Alonso

1. The Favourite and Olivia winning everything :)
2. Arya killing the Night King and Danyerys walking away from Drogon as he expands his wings. I wasn't as disappointed as most in the final season but I was still disappointed. Nevertheless, these two scenes where amazing and showcased all that was brilliant about the visual story telling of GoT throughout all 8 seasons.
3. Big Little Lies. How lucky are we to have all those amazing women giving such nuanced performances weekly on our telis.
4. The Good Place. I was on board with this from day 1 and it only got better. I was so excited when we drove through the set at Universal studios.
5. I haven't really seen too many movies in the cinema this year. I'm making notes of movies that people here have enjoyed and will try and catch up with those that are streaming. I saw Yesterday last weekend and really enjoyed it. A film full of heart and great music. There were a couple of little things that really surprised me so that's my number 5 :)

July 1, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJoanne

It IS performance art.

July 1, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterPaolo

1. Everything about The Last Black Man in San Francisco. The acting, music, cinematography, the script, the storytelling, the costumes - everything. I teared up multiple times and sometimes it was just because what I was seeing wasn't necessarily sad (although that happened, too) but so beautiful.

2. The fantasy sequences in Rocketman. Finally! I director brings something to the biopic table other than just "this happened, then this happened..." The floating Elton and crowd, the pool scene, etc., were exhilarating.

3. Lupita in Us. That fireplace scene alone should get her an Oscar nom.

4. Tom Burke and Honor Swinton Byrne in The Souvenir. Wonderfully full, subtle, alive performances from two actors I'd like to see more of.

5. The astronauts floating down in Highlife. So haunting.

July 1, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterDJDeeJay

1- TRANSIIT's potboiler-ish, nighmarish miss-en scene and final twist.
2- The LAST shot in Almodóvar's PAIN & GLORY_ The anti-Roma. Reminding us that ci-ne-mah it's still a work of fiction, no matter how you may or may not want it to make it "autobiogtaphical".
3- Eggers guiding The Simpsons "Rocket Cabin" episode to its most harowing 18th Century isolating-effects conclussion in THE LIGHTHOUSE. Pattinson and Dafoe's road to the Oscars should be a no brainer.
4- HIGH LIFE
5- BURNING was top 5 last year to me. But I saw it this year. South Korean's BARTON FINK minus the cynicism, humor and period piece. The mind of a writer can be a hell. Or how to make your own thriller inside a thriller.

July 1, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterchofer

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