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Marie’s Top Ten Films of 2020

Marie's Top Ten 2020

Numbers 1 & 2 (interchangeable depending on mood)

The idiosyncrasies of UK cinema release dates mean that my two favourite films of 2020 were released in 2019 in most other regions. So although this may feel like cheating for some, I got to see both in a cinema on their UK release here in February 2020 and so they count for my annual stats. Both were outstanding and it’s really impossible to choose which to put at number 1 – and given what 2020 has thrown at us, I really don’t think that matters anymore!

Parasite (dir Bong Joon-ho)

Deserved all the awards it received and then more. First time around, I was able to avoid any spoilers before viewing and so was bewildered, shocked, and entranced as it unfolded. Everyone’s a parasite, at all points in the class system, and the ending is perfection. Second time around I thought it was even better, and I particularly noticed plot pointers and shot framing which mean more, knowing where things are headed. Bong Joon-ho has orchestrated a masterpiece.

Portrait of a Lady on Fire (dir Céline Sciamma)

Mysteriously ignored by The Academy for Oscar nominations, writer and director Céline Sciamma’s screenplay is a thing of beauty. With long, silent moments on screen, the actor’s faces do all of the work. Then come scenes of deep conversation on topics such as female freedom to choose, marriage, love, duty. The two central performances are crucial and are pitch-perfect. Watching these two characters fall in love with each other is never intrusive and is a joy to behold, without being at all frivolous. It is visually stunning and the use of music, in a scene partway through and then at the end, is devastating.

Marie will be back with her Lockdown 2020 Best of List

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