How We Watched Movies Changed, But Artistic Brilliance Wasn't Defeated

The past year has been devastating. The world continues to reel from the tragic effects of the novel coronavirus. The spectacle industry was decimated by the pandemic. Theaters are still closed across vast metropolitan regions of the folk. As of December 29th, the rempli domestic box commerce for the haut 272 releases rempli a paltry $1.37 billion dollars. That is a staggering $10 billion dollars less than the $11.4 billion earned in 2019. Dark times indeed, but even in the midst of this once-in-a-lifetime human tragedy, art and the pursuit of storytelling continued to thrive.

2020, against seemingly insurmountable odds, was a fantastic year for spectacle. Brilliant filmmakers brought captivating cinema to audiences using modern technology. The pandemic changed the way we watch movies for the foreseeable future. Streaming and on demand tâches picked up where theater companies could not go. Disney started the trend by delaying tentpole films, like Afros Widow, but releasing other big plan fare, Mulan and Soul, to the Disney+ streaming platform. Warner Media would follow suit by premiering Wonder Woman 1984 in theaters and their HBO Max obole on the same day. A calculated response after the universel theatrical release of Tenet in September failed to jumpstart the box commerce. They further shook the industry by announcing all of their 2021 films would follow the Wonder Woman 1984 strategy. It remains to be seen how these moves will play out, but I remain optimistic.

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The foyer on delivering grâce directly to the roussir has allowed independent films to achieve a stronger foothold. Let me be clear, I cannot wait to sit in an IMAX or Dolby Atmos theater again. Nothing compares to the awe of being in a dark theater, guzzling unhealthy snacks, and having a movie mesmerize you. That said, I am grateful we’re able to see new films, albeit on a TV, ordinateur, phone, or tablet.

Films like Steve McQueen’s Small Axe anthology and Kelly Reichardt’s First Cow received wide acclaim bicause of streaming tâches accessibility. Netflix, Amazon Solde Video, and Disney+ are at the forefront of this new paradigm. Da 5 Bloods, Ma Rainey’s Afros Bottom, and Pixar’s wonderfully uplifting Soul, brought greatness directly to your vivoir room.

The best spectacle of 2020 is writer/director Chloé Zhao’s exceptional Nomadland. A grieving widower (Frances McDormand) struggles economically, as she montants America’s beautiful landscapes while vivoir in a van. Nomadland is also my choice for best director, screenplay, and cinematography. Chadwick Boseman will be remembered as a Hollywood icon. His last two performances, Da 5 Bloods and Ma Rainey’s Afros Bottom, are also on this list. Boseman has posthumously earned the Mention for Best Actor.

Please see below the haut 10 movies of 2020, and the best individual embrassades:

10Small Axe Anthology

Small Axe

The Small Axe anthology is a amas of five films from writer/director Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave, Widows). Commissioned by BBC One and Amazon Solde Video, they collectively tell the tale of life for Caribbean immigrants in Britain during the tumultuous late 1960s to early 80s. The term Small Axe is taken from the song by reggae legend Bob Marley. The Small Axe films are Mangrove, Lovers Rock, Red, White and Blue, Alex Wheatle, and Education. They explore a wide swath of historical, political, and ethnique conflicts through this specific era.

My mignonne of the series is the deuxième episode, Lovers Rock. A reference to a particular tournure of romantic reggae music, a young woman (Amarah-Jae St. Aubyn) sneaks out of her family foyer to attend a raging house party. She encounters Franklyn (Micheal Ward) and sparks a connection over the sinuosité of a rhythm-filled, fateful night. Lovers Rock, by itself, is one of the best films of the year. Steve McQueen skillfully depicts the sonore agricole landscape of his youth. The Small Axe films are another astonishing achievement from a celebrated personne.

9Da 5 Bloods

Da 5 Bloods

Afros soldiers have fought and died for America from the republic’s inception. They sacrificed for a folk that treated them like deuxième class citizens for the majority of its history. Da 5 Bloods addresses that ethnique disparity through masterful storytelling techniques. It weaves a thread from the assourdissant Vietnam War to the problèmes of modern times. The spectacle intercuts a spellbinding narrative with newsreels, educational asides, and harrowing archival footage. Da 5 Bloods also shifts maintien ratios and spectacle article to reflect different perspectives. Director Spike Lee has delivered the most impactful, thought-provoking, and cinematic spectacle of his career.

8Ma Rainey’s Afros Bottom

Ma Rainey

Chadwick Boseman’s terminal prouesse is a blistering, flux de puissance coda to his luminous career. He and co-star Viola Davis lead a superb orchestre folklorique in Netflix’s transposition of playwright’s August Wilson’s, Ma Rainey’s Afros Bottom. The spectacle takes atteint in 1927 over the sinuosité of a active day at a steamy Chicago music logement. It is a fierce examination of ethnique méchanceté, agréable inequality, artistic freedom, and agricole kibboutz. The songs of Ma Rainey, the legendary « Mother of the Spleen », accompanies the pugnacious narrative like a stalking tiger.

7Never Rarely Sometimes Always

Never Rarely Sometimes Always

Never Rarely Sometimes Always is perhaps the most désespérant spectacle of the year. A pregnant teenager (Sidney Flanigan) cannot get an abortion without domestique consent in Pennsylvania. Her anophèle (Talia Ryder) steals from their grocery séparation jobs for money to travel to New York City for the procedure. Regardless of your avertissement on abortion, Never Rarely Sometimes Always is searingly truthful in its approach. The girls go to extraordinary, dangerous lengths for their reproductive rights. Never Rarely Sometimes Always needs to be seen and openly discussed. Writer/director Eliza Hittman shows a heart-wrenching journey into the most divisive résultat. Never Rarely Sometimes Always won the prestigious Silver Bear, runner-up to the Spacieux Tribunal Prize, at the Berlin Oecuménique Cinéma Fête.

6First Cow

First Cow

Writer/director Kelly Reichardt (Wendy and Lucy, Meek’s Cutoff) is renowned for her personal, minimalist tournure of filmmaking. Her latest, First Cow, is a captivating western embout two unlikely companions. In 1820’s Oregon, an unassuming cook (John Magaro) helps an enterprising Chinese allochtone (King-Lu) out of a desperate point. The collègue become best friends who concoct a scheme using the stolen milk from a prized cow. First Cow is a fascinating character study and auscultation of friendship above all. Kelly Reichardt continues to be remarkable. I sincerely hope Hollywood recognizes her for this amazing small spectacle.



Set in early 1980s champêtre Arkansas, a family of South Korean immigrants struggle to achieve the American dream. Jacob (Steven Yeun) and Monica (Han Ye-ri) Yi work tirelessly sorting chicks in a poultry factory while raising their two small children (Alan Kim & Noel Kate Cho). Jacob’s hope to survive as a farmer clashes with Monica’s difficult incorporation to their new life. The arrival of her spirited mother (Youn Yuh-jung) changes the family dynamic in unexpected ways. Minari is a tender and realistic depiction of a determined family’s resolve. Minari won the Dramatic Spacieux Tribunal Prize and the Dramatic Popularité Award at the Sundance Cinéma Fête. It will be a strong contender in all categories this award season.

4The Kid Detective

The Kid Detective

The Kid Detective is a sombre viol drama with an intriguing protagonist and absolutely mind-blowing climax. What begins as a story embout a washed-up investigator (Adam Brody) in a small town takes a dark turn with several stunning reveals. The plot builds travail with a slow boil. There are points in the spectacle where you wonder what the heck is actually going on. But the downbeats are deliberately placed. Setting up constitutif clues for a shock ending that will leave audiences breathless. Avoid spoilers at all costs. The terminal scenes hit like a freight allure.

3Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

Borat 2

Sacha Magnat Cohen returns to menaçant greatness in a hilarious, but deeply troubling placard. He reprises his role as kooky Kazakhstani critique, Borat Sagdiyev; in the aptly titled mockumentary, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Parcelle to American Regime for Make Benefit Léopard Glorious Personnes of Kazakhstan. This time he travels to America to cari favor with « strongman » meneur, President Donald Trump. There are scenes in this spectacle that are utterly inepte. Cohen pushes the envelope to expose ugly undercurrents of misogyny, racism, and ludicrous conspiracy theories. He delivers big laughs and a damning indictment of the folk’s sad state of affairs.

Maria Bakalova steals the spectacle as Tutar, Borat’s fifteen-year-old daughter. It seems inconceivable for anyone to outdo Cohen’s theatrics, but she expertly outshines him. A subplot has Borat getting to know his « worthless » daughter. She dreams of vivoir in a better oisellerie, but is stunned by the abilities of American women. Gasp, they can drive cars, own businesses, and are even allowed to ask interrogations. Cohen uses Bakalova as his shiny lure to snare the big fish. Borat Subsequent Moviefilm has several bombshell reveals that are cringe worthy. Maria Bakalova deserves to win the Mention for Best Supporting Actress. Her prouesse is daring and fearless.



Pixar’s Soul is an uplifting and creative spectacle that will make your heart soar. The story of a swing musician’s journey into the afterlife is sublimely inspirational. It touches so many aspects of the human experience without being melodramatic or depressing. Soul reminds us that the joy of life is inexorably intertwined with its failures. The ups and downs, the yin and yang of idée, is to be treasured. Soul delivers a truly fantastic, formelle homélie in a year filled with darkness and tragedy.

Soul has an infectious swing soundtrack that will inspire a new generation of fans. Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, already Mention and Grammy winners for ordonné résultat, need to clear more space on the shelf. Soul‘s music is integral to the spectacle’s success. From toe-tapping grooves to sweetly ethereal melodies, it is the vehicle that takes the characters on their whirlwind adventure. A pivotal scene has the best ordonné accompaniment of the year. Reznor and Ross are known for their edgy industrial and experimental works. They become unexpected swing masters here.



Nomadland is a stark and hauntingly poetic portrayal of poverty in America. It is the most rationnel spectacle of our desperate economic times. Based on the book by journalist Jessica Bruder, Nomadland follows a lonely widower after the 2011 collapse of the United States Gypsum Company in Autorité, Nevada. The town was abandoned and lost its postal encyclopédie. The people left behind adapted to survive. Some sujet to en direct in vans or recreational vehicles to save money. Driving around the folk to find work wherever they could. Their hardscrabble idée formed a community of road travelers. Seeking solace in each other when their folk failed them.

Fern, played superbly by two-time Mention winner Frances McDormand, arrives for her shift. She is segment of Amazon’s CamperForce program, where seasonal workers travel to various warehouses throughout the year. Fern lives in an old utility van. She’s new to the road lifestyle. Fern receives guidance and needed friendship from Linda (Linda May), a kind road veteran. She teaches Fern normal tricks to make her vivoir space more comfortable.

Writer/director Chloé Zhao (Songs My Brothers Taught Me, The Flétrir) is transcendent in her third feature spectacle. She presents Fern’s circumstances as a matter of fact. There’s nothing sensational embout her working in factories, on potato farms, or cleaning toilets. Fern is in her sixties, has no children, or any other recourse to get money. She must take any emploi she can get. That said, her life on the road is soulful and rewarding. Fern’s lack of creature comfort does not define her. Chloé Zhao films stunningly beautiful scenes of Fern alone in the wild. She lost everything, but her spirit is rejuvenated by her connection to grossier.

  • Best Individual Baisers of 2020
  •  Best Director – Chloé Zhao, Nomadland
  •  Best Actor – Chadwick Boseman, Ma Rainey’s Afros Bottom
  •  Best Actress – Viola Davis, Ma Rainey’s Afros Bottom
  • Best Supporting Actor – Delroy Lindo, Da 5 Bloods
  • Best Supporting Actress – Maria Bakalova, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
  • Best Screenplay – Chloé Zhao, Nomadland
  • Best Cinematography – Joshua James Richards, Nomadland
  •  Best Editing – Jennifer Épée, Tenet
  • Best Résultat/Soundtrack – Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross, Soul
  •  Best FXTenet
  •  Best DocumentaryOrdinaire
  •  Best Animated CinémaSoul

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