Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Ten Great Movies from 2021

Emilia Jones & Marlee Matlin (r) star in CODA

Movies I watched in 2021 that I'd happily watch again, and probably will: 

CODA - (APPLE TV) - Touching coming of age story with Emilia Jones as a high school senior struggling to explain to her non hearing family why she wants to study singing.  

THE POWER OF THE DOG - (NETFLIX) - Cruel rancher Benedict Cumberbatch meets his unexpected match in Kodi Smith-McPhee, the effeminate son of his sister-in-law. 

LICORICE PIZZA - (THEATERS) - Ambitious 15-year-old boy meets immature 25-year-old woman.  Fun and adventure ensue in L.A.'s 1970's San Fernando Valley.  Alana Haim and Cooper Hoffman debut. 

BELFAST - (Streaming - $19.95) - Kenneth Branagh memories of growing up in Northern Ireland during the 1960's civil unrest.  

NIGHTMARE ALLEY - (THEATERS) - Guillermo del Toro revives the 1947 film noir of of a carnival con man's rise and fall.  Outstanding performances include Bradley Cooper, Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara and Toni Collette.  

SUMMER OF SOUL - (HULU) - Questlove restores footage of the 1969 Harlem Music Festival, revived with commentary on how those times relation to ours.  

WEST SIDE STORY - (THEATERS) - Steven Spielberg restyles one the great musicals of the 1950's. Ansel Elgort and Rachel Zegler honor Leonard Bernstein's music and Stephen Sondheim's lyrics.   

PASSING - (NETFLIX) - Ruth Negga and Tessa Thompson deal with the color line of 1920's New York.  A story of Blacks and Whites told in Black and White. 

THE CARD COUNTER - (STREAMING - $5.99) - Oscar Issac fascinates as a small-time gambler drawn to avenge his training as a military interrogator.  

THE FRENCH DISPATCH - (STREAMING - $5.99) - Wes Anderson pays tribute to a New Yorker style magazine in three delightful vignettes.