Opinion: My Top Ten Films Of 2021
unCrazed name their top ten films of 2021 as the year of some amazing cinematic releases finally comes to an end.
2021 has been an exceptional year for cinema. Not only did theatres re-open but the industry is thriving with unique stories and outstanding performances.
This year more than ever the world has needed a safe space to escape, and film has once again proven that it has the ability to do this by transporting audiences.
Although it was difficult, we have created a list of the top ten films released this year.
Warning: there could be spoilers ahead if you have not seen some of the movies.
10. No Time To Die
Cary Joji Fukunaga’s No Time To Die, which saw Daniel Craig’s last venture as 007. The film I felt was under immense pressure to ‘get things right’ and see Craig off in a respectable manor and I think it achieved just that. For me, there was an excitement around the women in the film – Lashana Lynch as the new agent and the incredible action-scene with Ana De Arms allowed the film to connect with audiences in a way that perhaps they haven’t done before. Bond felt much more vulnerable – you couldn’t help but admire his character and all that he has achieved in the last fifteen years.
Next is Denis Villeneuve’s Dune, a remake of the 1984 movie and based off the original novels by Frank Herbert. Although it’s a slow starter, the film managed to leave me intrigued, confused, and overall in awe. I felt it was the intense score by Hans Zimmer that carried the film from scene to scene, that and the incredible performance by Timothee Chamalet. Paul Atreides’s visions of the future hold us in suspense right until the very end scene as he joins the Fremen and walks off into the desert, leaving us wanting and waiting for part two.
8. Don’t Look Up
I went into Adam McKay’s disaster comedy expecting an easy but humorous watch, however, the end of the film left me having an existential crisis as it mirrors the very state of the world today. The rich (Meryl Streep and Jonah Hill) saving themselves from the end of the world by travelling to a different planet and the poor (Leonardo Dicaprio, Jennifer Lawrence and Timothee Chamalet) are left to have on last supper before the end of the world. Dicaprio’s finishing line is a gut-puncher – “we really did have everything didn’t we?”.
7. Mitchells vs. The Machines
Michael Rianda’s Mitchells vs. The Machines came from producers Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs). The film is a reminder of how hilariously heart-warming animation can be as it explores technology’s grip on society, through a chaotic but loving family.
6. House of Gucci
Number six is Ridley Scotts House of Gucci, what I was expecting from this film was not what I got. The story line alone was enough to want to sit through the two and a half hours never mind the star-studded cast with Lady Gaga and Adam Driver. However, the stand-out actor for me, was surprisingly Jared Leto, who, whether intentionally or not, added much humor to the film and made for an overall enjoyable experience.
Cruella was a standout film for me this year and it’s a film I won’t be forgetting for a long time. Directed by Craig Gillespie the film is an ode to nostalgia and 101 Dalmations whilst also creating something new and dare I say cool. Emma Stone brings her A-game like always, as we are thrown into the making of Cruella de vil. The cinematography and soundtrack, with songs like She’s a rainbow and Should I Stay or Should I Go Now, will have you hooked until the very last minute.
4. The French Dispatch
Wes Anderson is back and once again reminding us why he is one of the greats in the cinematic world. The French Dispatch had Anderson’s usual star-studded cast with familiar faces such as Bill Murray, Adrien Brody, Owen Wilson and Willem Dafoe. Through the stunning visual style and storytelling, I was left feeling enriched, and with a childlike curiosity – intrigued by French Journalism and Timothee Chamalet with a moustache. By the end of the film I was left wanting to revisit all of Andersons work.
I am a sucker for a Disney animation, and Encanto was everything I could wish for and more. It has all the same magic, warmth, and fun, as my favourite Disney films, feeding feelings of nostalgia. Like always the film touched on deeper meanings and I left the theatre feeling connected to Mirabel and her displacement within the family. It was overall a joyous and warm watch.
2. Drive My Car
Asian cinema has been in the spotlight recently and there’s a reason why. Drive My Car is a Japanese drama directed by Ryusuke Hamaguchi which touches on the complexity of life in all its glory. The film has you invested in the lives of Yûsuke Kafuku and Misaki as they form an unusual relationship. The car acts as a vehicle for vulnerability taking us on a journey of tragedy, grief, love, loss, and sorrow. Cleverly reflecting and soothing the challenges we face in our own lives.
And the winning film is…
- Last Night In Soho
Edgar Wrights Last Night in Soho had to take the top spot for me, purely because of Anya-Taylor Joy (just kidding). This film had me entertained for the full two hours. I was utterly mesmerized by Sandy and her relationship with Eloise. The twists and turns of the film had me gripping the popcorn, fearful of what lurked round the corner. Wright managed to perfectly balance both the stunning and the frightening, whilst he critiqued old and modern masculinity. I am already excited to watch again and see what I missed the first time.
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