Films of 2021

Petite Maman, Limbo, and more

20. metal sound (Darius Marder)

Director Darius Marder crafted a profound story of deafness, closely exploring the nuances of hearing loss and the many degrees of deaf identity that have been hidden away from the screen, and the wider community. The integration of sound design and perspective enriches this character study, with film annotations enhancing the narrative The movie and the real calling to get there.” Read Charlotte Little’s full review

19. young promising (emerald fennel)

visually and acoustically, young promising Likewise full of contradictions. The aesthetic is suggested by Jeff Koons by Nicholas Winding Refn. By day, the world turns comic and candy-colored, all-pink cafes and quaint local drugstores, while at night we live in an unnatural neon-lit world, curiously scoring sluggish scores from toxic Britney Spears, which by the way sounds remarkably similar to the symbiotic strings of Micah Levy’s score Under the Skin, another movie about a woman who roams the city in search of erotic men.” Read Jamie Dunn’s full review

18. Annette (Leos Carax)

Carax enjoys crafting. In Annette, he gleefully leans on the phantom magic of classic cinema; during the film’s greatest plot, the pair dance across the deck in front of a predictable storm. And of course, there’s Annette, a doll: perhaps a statement about famous children, perhaps just another way of showing off a stunt The movie, Carax probably didn’t want to work with a child actor.” Read Katie Goh’s full review

17. Undine (Christian Petzold)

“Cancellation It is part of Christian Petzold’s earlier work in several ways. His heroes tend to stay away from their surroundings. in 2007 softens The title character is a literal ghost, while in movies like CrossingAnd Barbara And Phoenix We follow people who are trying to shake off their identity and escape from their past. Petzold also likes to weave elements of genre into his virtual reality dramas, but UndineHis clash with fantasy and reality makes him a very different beast from his extraordinary series of films this century.” Read Jamie Dunn’s full review

16. the missing daughter (Maggie Gyllenhaal)

the missing daughter It is based on Elena Ferrante’s book of the same name and translates Ferrant’s trademark investigations of the ugly and wounded center of femininity with a shattered vibe. Director Maggie Gyllenhaal’s eye is acutely perceptive, and the camera is almost inappropriately intimate in its attention to the miserable wrinkle in Olivia Colman’s mouth, to the intense sensuality—underwear-pressed hands, wrinkled sheets—of frustrated desire. Coleman is unsurprisingly excellent, but Jesse Buckley as the character of a young Leda witch, permeates the peace of a middle-aged Leda with ghostly eagerness.” Read the full Anahit Behrouz review

15th. Spencer (Pablo Larren)

“SpencerPablo Larrain’s anti-fairy tale about the late Princess Diana is, in many ways, a natural successor to the critically acclaimed biography of Jackie Onassis, Jackie. However, there is one important difference that has been hinted at within the titles themselves. One is a familiar first name and the other is an abandoned second. where Jackie He sought to excavate the character behind the public facade, interrogating the illusion of American myth-making through a private account of the First Lady, Spencer Markedly less interested in (re)humanizing her subject than in how the capacity for myth-making has been eroded, and how women’s sense of self has been sacrificed in an act of self-preservation by the powerful. Read the full Anahit Behrouz review

14. Bedouin (Chloe Chow)

“After Fern (McDormand) lost everything in the 2008 recession, she set out in a truck full of all her earthly possessions for a new life of cross-country travel. Bedouin It builds on the earlier Chloé Zhao films in a naturalistic style that accurately captures Fern’s journey and friendships without giving up any of the intense feelings all the characters try to hide. It is a visually wonderful and deeply moving depiction of humanity under tragic circumstances.” Read the full Rory Doherty review

13. pig (Michael Sarnosky)

Rather than a movie about revenge, what emerges is a surprisingly sad and ironic exploration of authenticity and sadness. Despite his physical and emotional chaos, Rob may be the most well-rounded person in this city of gourmets. His style of cooking less is more, and can Saying the same about Cage’s acting here pig It’s unlikely that you’ll join the actor’s infamous YouTube shows, but they will linger in the memory for a long time, like a really great meal.” Read Jamie Dunn’s full review

12. Dune (Denis Villeneuve)

Led by the ever-charming Timothée Chalamet as the Oedipal prophet Paul, the biggest surprise is Jason Momoa as Duncan Idaho, the sword-maker of the land. With just enough charisma to flood the wastelands of Arrakis, Momoa quickly steals the coveted spotlight, Divided by a parade of big names who are given so little screen time.” Read the full review of Rafaela Sales Ross

11. dog power (Jane Campion)

“As a study of masculinity, dog power Covers a rolling floor: that male oppression begets male violence; That hegemonic instincts were born out of a thousand pathetic insecurities. However, the stature that Campion excels at is not in her psychological investigations of Vail’s sadism but in her deeply wounded orchestration. Cumberbatch roams the house with a cynical, chilling tread worthy of Daphne du Maurier’s most devious villain, yet his fiercely acquired strength is no guarantee of victory.” Read the full Anahit Behrouz review

10. shiva baby (Emma Seligman)

What happens when your drunk dad, his wife, his kid, your parents, your ex-girlfriend, and your arrogant relatives gather under one roof for a funeral? Emma Seligman shiva baby Dare to ask that question, and the result is a turbulent movie pyrotechnic, stuffed with knife-sharp wit and claustrophobia. move along, Uncut Gemstones. [Xuanlin Tham]

A consensus says that this is Wes Anderson’s most popular Wes Anderson movie, and where one definitely counts on how much he liked it in the first place. It’s good to know that the writers on The Skinny still love Anderson’s compulsive architectural symmetry, the striking emotional openness, and the quivering dynamism between the two; French Dispatch Presents director at his best. [Thomas Atkinson]

8. Summer of the Soul (…or, when the revolution can’t be broadcast on TV) (Ahmar Khalil Thompson)

Ahmir Khalib Thompson (BKA Questlove) has done Lord’s work by revealing footage from the 1969 Mount Morris Park Festival in Harlem. The archive is vibrant, filled with indelible performances – Stevie Wonder, Sly and Family Stone at their brooding best, Nina Simone at sun-goddess mode – but that’s how Thompson weaves music with the history of African-American oppression and resilience that makes summer of the soul Really sing. [Jamie Dunn]

7. Minary (Lee Isaac Chung)

Giving Minary It follows a Korean-American family who move to Arkansas, hoping to build a better life for themselves. Intense family tensions are paired with moments of humor and warmth, creating a real closeness, rarely seen in film. at MinaryLee Isaac Chung creates a story of love and resilience that travels through both joy and pain. [Eilidh Akilade]

6. driving my car (Ryosuke Hamaguchi)

Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s innovative adaptation of Haruki Murakami’s short story is an insightful examination of sadness and heart-wrenching puzzles. He uses long car rides and production Uncle Vanya To shed light on each character’s thoughts and feelings, and three hours later we feel like we know them intimately. driving my car Fun and intellectually stimulating as it is deeply moving, the crew is perfect. [Philip Concannon]

5. green knight (David Lowery)

Arthuriana comes off the ground in David Lowry’s vision. Rich wet ground dominates, the echoes and shadows of stone halls, and the ever-regrowing vines that house the court’s mysterious Christmas visitor. green knightVisual and audio color palette. Lowery’s film moves impartially and relentlessly; Watching Gawain Patel go through his journey — ill-advised, but well — proves a haunting picture of youth. [Carmen Paddock]

4. Titan (Julia Docornu)

The most poignant horror of Julia Ducornu takes the French to the extremes of inspiring strike action at its premiere at Cannes, but it deservedly won the Palme d’Or for director Julia Ducornu. With its visceral images, Titan It uses serial murder, mass communication, and the comedy of friends to illustrate the physical horror of being a woman. Like a raging engine, it pumps engine oil, fear and pure adrenaline through your veins. [Iana Murray]

3. first cow (Kelly Richart)

Kelly Richart first cow She may focus on the successful business venture of an American chef and Chinese immigrant in Oregon in the 1820s, but she sits comfortably alongside her contemporary studies of economic alienation. A loose quote from Jonathan Raymond’s novel half life, This offbeat exploration of friendship, capitalism, and culinary creativity is a welcome recalibration of the American frontier myth. [Patrick Gamble]

2. Limbo (Ben Sharrock)

The hostile environment takes on a literal new significance in this absurd drama about a group of asylum seekers who are sent to a remote Scottish island for treatment. This film is defined by astonishing empathy: director Ben Sharrock meticulously frames his characters in vast and melancholy landscapes, puts tenderness in the most awkward of circumstances, and crafts a quiet but unmistakable denunciation of the West’s response to the refugee crisis. [Anahit Behrooz]

A very touching tale that invites the viewer above all to ask himself a simple question: How would it feel to be an eight-year-old who met your mother when she was also eight? Narrated by director Celine Siyama with its simplicity, with great music by her constant collaborator Para Wan and subtle and clever performances by the twins led by Josephine and Gabriel Sanz, this is a superlative experience. [Ian Mantgani]

Read individual team ballots from our movie Vote 2021 by clicking here

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