The ultimate 2020 list! (2)

It was the best of times, it was the blurst of times

Well, this week we’ll have a look at the best, alright? Let’s see if we can make that a tad more uplifting than that other list.
The function is the same, the Hounorable Mentions are listed in alphabetical order, and the Top list is arranged from 10 to 1, with 10 being the least impressive of the lot, and 1 being the most impressive one. You get the idea.

As I mentioned last week, there’s also a Meh list, which holds a couple of titles that doesn’t fit on either list, but which I wanted to mention anyway, as they both hold a personal meaning for me, each in their own way.

Also, if you’d like to hear this list discussed in Danish, it is mentioned in the awesome film podcast I Kassen med David Bjerre. Follow the link at the end of the post.

So there, let’s get to it, shall we?

The Meh

Color out of Space
(2019, Richard Stanley)
My expectations were as mixed going in, as the final result of the film turned out to be. On the plus side we have insanely stunning imagery, a good atmosphere, and sweet easter eggs for fans. Drawbacks are a script and a performance of Nicholas Cage, that doesn’t quite cut it.

Valhalla – The Legend of Thor, a.k.a. Valhalla
(2019, Fenar Ahmad)
Some ok expectations were rewarded with a half-baked experience, which sadly didn’t even manage to show the film from it’s best side. A good story that is lost in bad presentation, poor lighting, and odd acting decisions.

Honourable mentions

AM1200 (2008, David Prior)
Antiviral (2012, Brandon Cronenberg)
Black Sabbath, a.k.a. I tre volti della paura (1963, Mario Bava)
Lost Soul: The Doomed Journey of Richard Stanley’s “The Island of Dr. Moreau” (2014, David Gregory)
Mary & Marsha in the Manor of Madness (2017, Kris Theorin)
Splice (2009, Vincenzo Natali)
The Professor and the Madman (2019, Farhad Safinia)
The Resurrected (1991, Dan O’Bannon)
True Grit (2010, Joel & Ethan Coen)
When Marnie Was There, a.k.a. Omoide no Mânî (2014, Hirosama Yonebayashi)

The Top

10. Sound From the Deep
(2017, Joonas Allonen, Antti Laakso)
Winner of “Best short” and “Audience award” at the 2017 H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival, and rightly so. Professional and beautiful look, well written and well acted, this is a perfect way to reinvent Lovecraft for the 21. century.

9. Across the Universe
(2007, Julie Taymor)
Now this is how you do a musical based on The Beatles songs! What a fantastic way to reinvent classic songs, as well as the way we view musicals in. Well written, well directed, and sweet, psychedelic effects.

8. The Pianist
(2002, Roman Polanski)
Adrien Brody delivers a massive performance as the lead, but in the competition of who or what delivers the most gut wrenching punch in the film, Pawel Edelman’s shots gives him stiff competition to the finish line.

7. Doctor Sleep
(2019, Mike Flanagan) (director’s cut)
Flanagan delivers a perfect symbiosis between King’s and Kubrik’s visions of The Shining, and Ewan McGregor nails it in showing the human side of Danny. Not a minute too long!

6. Once Upon a Time in the West
(1968, Sergio Leone) (director’s cut)
Classy Leone, classy photography, classy music, classy acting – all in all, exactly what you need to create a true classic. An epic tale which tells of more than what the surface shows.

5. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
(2018, Bob Persishetti, Peter Ramsey, Rodney Rothman)
Action, humour, buddy moments, romance, heartbreak, a good morale, and that animation! Without a doubt the best Spider-Man film out there, and possibly also the best super hero movie in all.

4. Interstellar
(2014, Christopher Nolan)
So much emotion and atmosphere, dressed in an über delicious sci-fi wrapping. What else can you ask for?

3. Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri
(2017, Martin McDonagh)
Goddamn, this one took me by surprise! A brilliant script and world-class acting are only two of the things that gives this film a top place in this list.

2. Dust Devil
(1992, Richard Stanley) (final cut)
Who would have thought that an underground low budget production such as this would be able to hit home in this way? Awesome atmosphere, perfect photography, delicately down-played, and a stupendous soundtrack.

1. The Lighthouse
(2019, Robert Eggers)
An in all ways perfect film. Beautiful, engaging, singular. I just don’t get how Willem Dafoe didn’t earn an Oscar for that performance.

The Music

Just for fun, these are my most listened to soundtracks of the year, in alphabetical order. Soundtracks that are new to me, of course.

Color out of Space (2019, Colin Stetson)
Dust Devil (1992, Simon Boswell)
House of the Gorgon (2019, Reber Clark)
Music of Dark Adventure (2020, Troy Sterling Nies) (omnibus edition)

If you missed the Bottom list and my stats, go ahead and check last week’s post out for that.

Do you agree or disagree with the listings so far, or do you have your own lists or mentions you’d like to share? Please do so in the comments section below!

To listen to the I Kassen med David Bjerre episode, follow this link:
http://www.ikassenshow.dk/2021/01/i-kassen-talks-3-extraslister.html

For more in-depth reviews of these films and more, visit my profile at Letterboxd using the link below:
https://letterboxd.com/caatnilsson/

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