Many blockbusters have been moved to 2021, however there’s still been some strong releases both in the theatres at the start of 2020 and to stream in the safety of your home.
While the Ruthless On Film team may have different tastes, we’re united in what makes a good movie. With that in mind the team have collated their top 3 favourite films of 2020.
1. Jojo Rabbit
Jojo is a lonely German boy whose imaginary best friend is Adolf Hilter. Ever-dedicated to the cause Jojo is horrified to discover that his mother has been hiding a Jewish girl named Elsa in their home.
Jojo Rabbit was undoubtedly my guilty pleasure of 2020. It’s awkward, and you know you shouldn’t laugh, but dammit you just can’t help it. It’s hilarious, inappropriate escapism and I’m here for it.
I’m not normally a fan of rom-coms where more often than not we see a woman’s life dramatically improved by a guy, only for it to go to shit when they argue and then return to normal after a ridiculous chase to the airport.
But Love Wedding Repeat is unlike any rom-com I’ve ever seen. The laugh-a-minute comedy has quite literally been playing on repeat at the Barrett house this year.
Bombshell tells the true story of the sexual harassment scandal that rocked Fox News. With documentary-style precision it gives an uneasy insight into the most powerful and controversial media empire in the world and the women who brought down the infamous man who created it.
This film is more relevant now than ever. In a time when a woman is at a disadvantage from when she is born, its message couldn’t ring more true. Believe women, support women and fight back against people abusing their power and taking advantage of those without a voice.
The story might be from the late 1960s but it’s as relevant today in 2020. A fight for free speech and innocence against those who with you oppress. Aaron Sorkin’s second directorial effort comes on leaps and bounds from Molly’s Game to show his true flair not only in the short and snappy dialogue that we know of Sorkin but in the storytelling wizardry on display.
With so many characters and stories at play, they’re balanced to perfection with every one of the wonderful cast given their time to shine. When you can bring in Michael Keaton half way through for a scene stealing supporting role, you know you have star power.
Bursting onto the screens in January, 1917 certainly benefited from getting into that cinematic window before everything changed. A true cinematic experience that tries something fresh and bold in the World War genre that’s been done many times over.
Combined with a fantastic score, you’re holding onto every moment with these tired soldiers and the mission that they undertake. It’s delightfully simple storytelling but done with incredible execution both creatively and technically.
3. Borat 2: Subsequent Moviefilm
Hopefully my A Level Film Studies teacher doesn’t see this and takes back all the credit I previously received discussing nuanced film and French New Wave Cinema. But the sequel of Borat, the one we never really thought was coming or needed, might be exactly what was needed in a year like 2020.
The shocks might not actually feel that shocking given the influx of social media but it’s still a delightfully wild and comic outing with Kazakhstan’s favourite son. A perfect escape in a sense and not to mention THAT Rudy Giuliani Scene that might very well be one of, and maybe the only, comic peaks of 2020.
My first entry seems like it had to have released in 2019 but it didn’t get its UK cinema release until February 2020. Parasite is many things, part reflection on excess and poverty, part comedy, part thriller, but it is always fantastic.
Korean cinema has thrown out some gems over the years and while it isn’t my favourite film from the Korean peninsula (it will always be Old Boy) Parasite is definitely top 5. Fully deserving of the Oscars success it received it is well worth a watch before the inevitable (and probably inferior) Hollywood remake.
I was looking forward to taking my daughter’s to see Onward at the cinema but COVID messed with those plans. We eventually managed to watch it on Disney+ with some pizza in our living room but it was worth the wait.
Some tremendous voice talent is on show across the board but Tom Holland is amazing, portraying so much vulnerability and Chris Pratt is equally endearing as his happy go lucky brother. I was initially underwhelmed by the trailers for Onward but in reality it was a heartwarming family film that had me fully invested in the Brother’s epic Quest!
3. An American Pickle
This is the film about a Jewish immigrant pickled for 100 years that you never knew you needed! Yes the concept is absurd but Seth Rogen is absolutely fantastic at playing Herschel and his lone surviving relative Ben.
The film itself is essentially a story about family and their differences while managing to shine light on the absurdity of “woke culture”, Trump and MAGA and the slavery of unpaid internships to name a few things. Herschel and Ben swing between being endearing and appalling flawed from moment to moment, much like a real person and not some Hollywood caricature. The end is ridiculous yet heartwarming in equal measure, much like the year 2020 has been in reality.
So there you go, that’s our roundup of the best films 2020 gave us. Who knows what directorial delights 2021 will bring?
By Ruth, Jordan and Mark.