Today we went to Alamo Drafthouse for a screening of the animated short films nominated for Oscars this year. Of the nominees, I hope Hair Love wins. It’s beautiful! And somehow the least devastating. (Seriously was that a requirement this year?)
After the nominees, they screened a handful of other animated shorts and wow, The Bird and the Whale is extraordinary. It’s paint-on-glass animation and all seven minutes are made of “over 4300, 24 x 34 inch paintings and took more than 14 months to paint.” The effect is gorgeous.
Here’s a trailer for the film and a behind-the-scenes video:
This list was much harder to make than my favorite movies of 2019. I was able to get it down to 15 and that’s how many Chris Coyier did, so I figured that’s great.
It was especially difficult because movies released earlier in the decade have the advantage of nostalgia and repeat viewings. I might revisit this in 5 years to see how my opinions change.
14. Get Out
13. Midnight in Paris
12. Moonrise Kingdom
11. Baby Driver
10. JoJo Rabbit
9. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
8. Guardians of the Galaxy
7. Crazy Rich Asians
3. Gone Girl
2. Pitch Perfect
1. Eighth Grade
Crazy Stupid Love
This Is The End
Lots of great movies this year, but here are my ten favorites.
10. The Farewell
5. Avengers: Endgame
4. Always Be My Maybe
3. Knives Out
1. JoJo Rabbit
I love Bo Burnham’s directorial debut, Eighth Grade, so much. And I love this You Should See It from FilmJoy a whole bunch too. If you haven’t seen this marvelous film, please do.
Colin Firth as a gentleman spy? Yes please. Kingsman: The Secret Service is just awesome, combining great actors, fine suits, comedy, and over-the-top-violent fight scenes. It’s James Bond meets Kick-Ass (basically the only kind of James Bond film I’d be interested in seeing from this point on).
Watch the trailer again and then go see it in theaters immediately.
Some more animation goodness. Everything is awesome in this video showing the process behind The LEGO Movie. Creating the realistically miniature world was all about attention to detail. I especially love how it’s computer animation, but feels like stop-motion.
Last week I finally saw Into the Woods and although I’m a huge fan of musicals and classic fairy tales, I didn’t love it. It was charming and funny at parts, but I suspect it works much better on stage than on film.
Anna Kendrick and Emily Blunt are as lovely as can be, Meryl Streep is excellent as always, but Johnny Depp is borderline annoying as the Wolf, a creepy child predator.
As much as I wish it were the songs, the true highlight of the film is the costume design. The clothing, especially worn by the women, is truly stunning. Just look at those dresses!
I’ve previously posted the trailer for the Laika stop-motion animated film The Boxtrolls (watch it here, it’s amazing). Now watch this short time lapse that shows a small fraction of the work involved with putting a film like this together. Impressive to watch and still so charming.