My Favourite Films From 2021
So I want to talk about and share my favourite movies from 2021. That’s it – no beating around the bush.
Just a disclaimer I did not watch everything last year; in fact, I did not actively watch films last year because lockdowns got in the way. There were a lot of movies that I wanted to watch but just missed out on, such as The Green Knight, which I think I’m really going to like. As it is, I only saw ten films in 2021, and only eight of them are on this list because one of the movies I saw was Akira in 4K, so it doesn’t count, and Last Night in Soho was a film I had complicated feelings for.
Films that are probably very good that I probably should have watched: The Green Knight, Antlers, Evangelion 1.0+3.0 Thrice Upon A Time, Dawn Raid, The Suicide Squad, Annette, Candyman, Till Death, Army of the Dead, Malignant, 8-Bit Christmas.
I could have also gone to the Japanese Film festival in Sydney and seen The Deer King, but that plan did not pan out for me. But if it gets a proper theatrical release that will allow me to see it this year, I’ll count it as a 2022 film instead.
And yes, this is a ranked and personal top list. I am not making this list actively from an objective viewpoint though I am not trying to do the opposite either. The list is what it is, and hopefully, you’ll enjoy it. And more importantly, hopefully, you’ll find something you should watch.
First up is The Dry, a mystery crime thriller starring Eric Bana, who I hadn’t seen for a while. I was honestly starting to get worried. And this was an excellent return to form for him, I think. The plot had two murder mysteries, one in the present and the other in the protagonist’s backstory. It’s a film that I would describe as harrowing. However, where most movies like that would use dark and shadowy techniques to get this feeling across like a noir, The Dry predominately uses bright sunlight throughout and fantastic cinematography of desert expanses that make you feel like characters are trapped in large spaces. The film also gives commentary on actual issues rural Australia is facing today. If you’re someone who would like to get into Australian cinema, this is probably the best place to start.
I get the impression many people don’t seem to like this film. And to be fair to them, this was not a film for casual watchers. It is a strange and tragic Nordic fairytale. Or, to put it another way, it is the most A24 film I have seen so far. If you would like to know more about my thoughts on this film, I did write about it when I watched it, so feel free to click here for that.
Pig is probably going to go down as my favourite Nicholas Cage role. And this movie honestly challenges me to be nicer to people who probably don’t deserve it but need it (no, I did not intend for that to be a Batman meme). I, alongside Lamb, included my written thoughts on Pig as a sort of double deal, so if you would like to know more about that, you can find it in the same link.
The Rescue was a documentary about the boys’ soccer team trapped in a flooded cave in Thailand and the cave divers who eventually saved them. This was an exhilarating watch for me, and I think anyone who watches it will appreciate the triumph felt at the end. Though the documentary has a whole lot more going on. I have written a draft of a review for the film that I was meant to have finalised ages ago, so I will try to get that out soon. But if I don’t, you should watch this doco anyway.
The Tragedy of Macbeth
I saw this one just before the year ended, and it’s going to become an AppleTV+ exclusive movie very soon, so I plan to release something on it soon. But in summary, this is probably the best adaptation of a work of Shakespeare so far. Titus Andronicus circa 1999, you have been replaced.
The Last Duel
Out of everything on this list, The Last Duel is the one I want to urge people to watch the most because of its bombing at the box office. I don’t think I can entirely blame moviegoers for this happening, as there wasn’t much promotional material for the film outside of Chris Stuckmann’s video about it that made me aware of it. It is very much a #metoo look at a historical chain of events that very likely happened to an actual noblewoman in plague times France. And the film purposefully parallels the similarities of this situation to issues we are discussing today.
High Ground is probably the most violent film I’ve seen in ages. And I think people will have different feelings about it because of that. Personally, I thought it was necessary as it is an essential look at the historical reality of Australian colonialism. Specifically, the film is about the massacre of an Aboriginal tribe. And how it affects the survivors’ twelves years later and their fierce determination in seeking justice for what happened to their family.
Also, as far as I have been able to research, and correct me if you have insider production info, the Aboriginal language spoken in this film wasn’t a particular one, but rather the actors would talk in the language of their nations.
And lastly, Dune. I knew I was going to love this film. I’m a huge fan of Denis Villeneuve as a director. I’m fond of Timothee Chalamet as an actor. And I’ve wanted to see a desert fantasy for ages. I’ll be honest; as it is, this film is my favourite film at the moment. And yet it is probably just the beginning of a whole new obsession for me that I’ll be looking forward to getting into more detail about in the future as sequels come out and I make my way through the books.
So that’s all I have to say about films from 2021 today. I just recently saw Belle, and I would like to talk about that soon as well, so long as my moving house doesn’t get in the way. So we’ll see. I’ll catch you next time.