Monday, 4 January 2021

2020 Top 50 Film Recommendations

I’m sure readers of this blog know that I keep Excel sheets of both bowling alleys and football grounds I have visited, but I also keep a spreadsheet of all the feature films I’ve watched. I started this back in September 2010 when I started my Film Production degree to see what films I would watch over the three years, but I have kept it up ever since. There is a column for the film title, the director, the date the film was made according to IMDb (what would I do without you), my rating out of five, a line for comments and a tally where I mark subsequent watches (though these day I don’t re-watch films as much as I used to).

The only thing I left out was the date in which I watched it- I would have found that really interesting. Which is why at the start of 2020 I created a separate document titled ‘2020 watched’. After adding the films to my main spreadsheet, I would copy and paste them into the supplementary document allowing me an account of films watched by the year. I have already started this again for 2021 and will continue to do so for years to come.

In 2020 I watched 219 different films, all ‘new’ watches, besides three which I have seen in previous years. One of these was on purpose (oh hey Waking Life) and two by mistake (I had no recollection of having watched them until I went to add them to the spreadsheet only to find they were already listed).

Instead of putting the whole list up for all the world to see, I edited it down to my top 50. I have put them in the order of which they were watched, rather than try to find a number 1 film and so on (would have genuinely been too difficult a task). The title of the film is in bold, with the director(s) in italics and the date in (brackets). If you can’t spot a film on there, it’s either because I’ve not yet seen it, I watched it prior to 2020 or I simply didn’t think it was good enough!

Please enjoy and let me know any recommendations in the comments.

1. Mustang, Deniz Gamze Erguven (2015)

2. If Beale Street Could Talk, Barry Jenkins (2018) 

3. Our Little Sister, Hirokazu Koreeda (2015)

4. Only Yesterday, Isao Takahata (1991)

5. Capernaum, Nadine Labaki (2018)

6. American Honey, Andrea Arnold (2016)

7. Diego Maradona, Asif Kapadia (2019)

8. Stations of the Cross, Dietrich Bruggemann (2014)

9. Three Identical Strangers, Tim Waddle (2018)

10. The Grand Bizarre, Jodie Mack (2018)

11. Portrait of a Lady on Fire, Celine Sciamma (2019)

12. The Lunchbox, Ritesh Batra (2013)

13. Ghost Town Anthology, Denis Cote (2019)

14. Honey Boy, Alma Har'el (2019)

15. Eden, Mia Hansen-Love (2014)

16. It Felt Like Love, Eliza Hittman (2013)

17. The Wind Rises, Hayao Miyazaki (2013)

18. The Souvenir, Joanna Hogg (2019)

19. The Farewell, Lulu Wang (2019)

20. The Selfish Giant, Clio Barnard (2013)

21. The Vast of Night, Andrew Patterson (2019)

22. Fruitvale Station, Ryan Coogler (2013)

23. Woman at War, Benedikt Erlingsson (2018)

24. I am Not Your Negro, Raoul Peck (2016)

25. Jeune Femme, Leonor Serraille (2017)

26. The Red Turtle, Michael Dudok de Wit (2016)

27. 1985, Yen Tan (2018)

28. Girlhood, Celine Sciamma (2014)

29. Sorry We Missed You, Ken Loach (2019)

30. Bait, Mark Jenkin (2019)

31. Lynn + Lucy, Fyzal Boulifa (2019)

32. Never Rarely Sometimes Always, Eliza Hittman (2020)

33. Finding Vivian Maier, John Maloof; Charlie Siskel (2013)

34. Little Women, Greta Gerwig (2019)

35. Notes on Blindness, Peter MiddletonJames Spinney (2016)

36. Matthias & Maxime, Xavier Dolan (2019)

37. Rocks, Sarah Gavron (2019)

38. The Forty-Year-Old Version, Radha Blank (2020)

39. Queen & Slim, Melina Matsoukas (2019)

40. Perfect 10, Eva Riley (2019)

41. You, the Living, Roy Andersson (2007)

42. Calm with Horses, Nick Rowland (2019)

43. Ernest & Celestine, Stéphane Aubier; Vincent Patar; Benjamin Renner (2012)

44. Mangrove, Steve McQueen (2020)

45. Song of the Sea, Tomm Moore (2014)

46. The Australian Dream, Daniel Gordon (2019)

47. Parasite, Bong Joon Ho (2019)

48. Roma, Alfonso Cuaron (2018)

49. Festen, Thomas Vinterberg (1998)

50. Saint Frances, Alex Thompson (2020)

I’ve also added on a couple of bonus films (it’s my blog I can do what I want). These were two of the re-watches, but wanted to recommend them as they are both fantastic each in their own right.

Waking Life, Richard Linklater (2001) 

Like Father, Like Son, Hirokazu Koreeda (2013)

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