I’m Baaaaaack….and Here’s My Top 50 of the Decade

Hello all! It’s been nigh on four years since I last dropped some knowledge on you here at Reel News Daily. I went off and got a Master’s degree, new job and all that, but have still been rocking films from all over the world. I’m happy to be back in the fold here at Reel News Daily and look forward to contributing more this year. Don’t you feel lucky?

So, I figured my phoenix rising from the ashes post should be something that might start a little conversation – my Top 50 films of the last decade. There were so many great films to choose from, which made this list very difficult. After two days of whittling it down and moving films around, I feel confident with what I decided on. I’m sure I missed a few of your favorites, but this is my list so you’ll just have to deal with it.

Here we go:

50) Shoplifters (2018) dir. by Hirokazu Koreeda
49) Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018) dir. by Bob Perischetti, Peter Ramsey & Rodney Rothman
48) Gone Girl (2014) dir. by David Fincher
47) A Hidden Life (2019) dir. by Terrence Malick
46) Annihilation (2018) dir. by Alex Garland
45) Under the Skin (2013) dir. by Jonathan Glazer
44) Her (2013) dir. by Spike Jonze
43) The Favourite (2018) dir. by Yorgos Lanthimos
42) Take Shelter (2011) dir. by Jeff Nichols
41) Leviathan (2012) dir. by Lucien Castaing-Taylor & Verena Paravel
40) Upstream Color (2013) dir. by Shane Carruth
39) Death of Stalin (2017) dir. by Armando Iannucci
38) Columbus (2017) dir. Kogonada
37) Holy Motors (2012) dir. by Leos Carax
36) Shame (2011) dir. by Steve McQueen
35) Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World (2010) dir. by Edgar Wright
34) Midnight in Paris (2011) dir. by Woody Allen
33) Stories We Tell (2012) dir. by Sarah Polley
32) Cold War (2018) dir. by Pawel Pawlikowski
31) Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) dir. by George Miller
30) Inside Llewyn Davis (2013) dir. by Ethan & Joel Coen
29) The Look of Silence (2015) dir. by Joshua Oppenheimer
28) We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011) dir. by Lynne Ramsay
27) BlacKkKlansman (2018) dir. by Spike Lee
26) First Reformed (2017) dir. by Paul Schrader
25) Carol (2015) dir. by Todd Haynes
24) Winter’s Bone (2010) dir. by Debra Granik
23) Citizenfour (2014) dir. by Laura Poitras
22) Animal Kingdom (2010) dir. by David Michôd
21) A Separation (2011) dir. by Asgar Farhadi
20) Meek’s Cutoff (2010) dir. by Kelly Reichardt
19) La La Land (2016) dir. by Damien Chazelle
18) Phantom Thread (2018) dir. by Paul Thomas Anderson
17) The Lobster (2015) dir. by Yorgos Lanthimos
16) Calvary (2014) dir. by John Michael McDonagh
15) Best of Enemies: Buckley Vs. Vidal (2015) dir. by Robert Morgan & Morgan Neville
14) Looper (2012) dir. by Rian Johnson
13) Frances Ha (2013) dir. by Noah Baumbach
12) Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012) dir. by Benh Zeitlin
11) Lady Bird (2018) dir. by Greta Gerwig
10) A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014) dir. by Ana Lily Amirpour
9) Moonlight (2016) dir. by Barry Jenkins
8) Only Lovers Left Alive (2013) dir. by Jim Jarmusch
7) Zero Dark Thirty (2012) dir. by Kathryn Bigelow
6) The Tree of Life (2014) dir. by Terrence Malick
5) You Were Never Really Here (2017) dir. by Lynne Ramsay
4) Ex Machina (2014) dir. by Alex Garland
3) Melancholia (2011) dir. by Lars Von Trier
2) The Act of Killing (2012) dir. by Joshua Oppenheimer

1) The Master (2012) dir. by Paul Thomas Anderson

So there you have it. It was a tough job, but I was happy to do it. Here are a few that nearly made the list: Everybody Wants Some!! (underrated Richard Linklater that more people should watch), Tomas Alfredson’s slow burn spy thriller Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and Paul Thomas Anderson’s hippie noir adaptation of Thomas Pynchon’s Inherent Vice. Admittedly, it was hard to weave many of the films from 2019 into the list as they’ll need to sit me a longer. I will say that Bong Joon Ho’s Parasite and Noah Baumbach’s Marriage Story nearly edged their way on.

Here’s to hoping that the next ten years brings as many great films as the last ten have.

Netflix News: Netflix Original Films selected for competition in Cannes Film Festival

Cannes Film Festival announced today its Official Selection which will include two Netflix original films. The titles that will be featured at the festival will launch everywhere Netflix is available in 2017.

Two of Netflix’s upcoming narrative, feature films – The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) and Okja – have been programmed in Official Selection, and will mark both their world premieres In Competition at the 70th Edition of the Film Festival. Okja marks the fifth time director Bong Joon Ho has been a guest of the Cannes Film Festival.

“The Cannes Film Festival’s commitment to giving an exceptional platform to distinct stories from the world’s most acclaimed auteurs is second to none. We are thrilled at the opportunity to premiere two of our highly-anticipated films from directors Noah Baumbach and Bong Joon Ho in this prestigious forum,” said Ted Sarandos, Netflix Chief Content Officer.

“I’m honored to be returning to Cannes, most especially this year with Okja and my partners at Netflix – it is wonderful to bring their first produced original film to premiere In Competition,” said Bong Joon Ho.

Written and directed by Noah Baumbach, The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) stars Adam Sandler, Ben Stiller, Dustin Hoffman, Elizabeth Marvel, Grace Van Patten and Emma Thompson, and is the intergenerational tale of adult siblings contending with the influence of their aging father. From IAC Films, The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) is produced by Scott Rudin, Baumbach, Lila Yacoub and Eli Bush.

Director Bong Joon Ho’s Okja stars Tilda Swinton, Jake Gyllenhaal, Paul Dano, Giancarlo Esposito, Steven Yeun, Lily Collins, Devon Bostick, Daniel Henshall, Shirley Henderson, Hee Bong Byun, Je Moon Yoon, Woo Sik Choi and newcomer An Seo Hyun. Written by Bong and Jon Ronson, Okja is the story of a young girl (An Seo Hyun) who must risk everything to prevent a powerful, multi-national company from kidnapping her best friend – a massive animal named ‘Okja’. The film was produced by Plan B Entertainment, Lewis Pictures and Kate Street Picture Company in association with Netflix.

‘While We’re Young’ and think we know everything.

whilewereyoungposter

Being a grown up… firstly, let me say that phrase is so off putting, I can’t believe I actually wrote it, but I digress. Let’s start again. Being an adult, and by that I mean living by the expectation that we’ve made our path our own and are so brilliantly happy with those decisions that we feel self satisfied, is frankly a bunch of bullshit. Few of us who identify as adults are completely content to say we’ve plateaued at the level of “Everything is Awesome”. Most if us are simply lying. It’s much easier to tell the younger generation that they’re doing it wrong (Because, if we’re being honest, self loathing, fear, and envy throw those words and thoughts into our frontal lobe pretty swiftly on a regular basis. But, are we completely wrong? When I watch some of the “interactions” between millennials these days, I have to wonder: “How do they live this way?!” When did “swiping to the left” becoming any way to meet anyone? How conceited do you have to be to not even give an individual more than a few seconds of attention before writing them off completely? Were we just as annoying, bold, outspoken, talented, brash, lost, self aware, smart, lazy, passionate, and entitled? WHILE WE’RE YOUNG is Noah Baumnach‘s new film starring Ben Stiller, Naomi Watts, Amanda Seyfried, Adam Driver, Charles Grodin, and Adam Horovitz. In a day and age where technology makes life easier and harder all at once, a middle aged couple, Cornelia and Josh, think they’ve got it made; no kids, free schedule, and creative passion for filmmaking. When they meet young hipster couple Darby and Jamie, their preconceived notions of what life should be like are thrown into a bit of chaos. Jaime is a huge fan of Josh’s work. The young couple boldly asks if Cornelia and Josh want to hang out with them. What would a middle aged couple have in common with a barely mid twenties couple? Turns out a lot, if a lot meant doing all the things we did in our youth that almost seem ironic to a millennial generation. But fondness might just be an act of manipulation forcing Cornelia and Josh to grow up themselves.

whilewereyoungbenandnaomistill

Ben Stiller gives us a really grounded performance. You know this guy. While still having perfect comic timing, he plays Josh as a genuinely earnest guy trying to reinvent his life and marriage. Naomi Watts as Cornelia is hilarious and heartbreaking. Struggling with fertility issues she attempts to pass off as not so big a deal, she connects with Darby over the simple moments, woman to woman. Speaking of Darby, Amanda Seyfried plays this character with a gentle ease. Her down to earth attitude is refreshing and she remains altogether likable. Adam Driver, whose stock is has taken off since GIRLS began, is fantastic. His combination of perceived sincerity and inflated ego trips are spot on for this generation. Charles Grodin plays Cornelia’s documentarian father, Leslie. He is the father we all wish we had. Loving, guiding, with a hint of cynicism, Grodin is a delight on screen.

whielwereyoungadamandamandastill

In a world where every moment can be edited with an app, Baumbach throws our societal downfalls back into our own faces. He has a habit of injecting personal moments into  his scripts. They play with an elegant ease and familiarity that touch a wide audience.  For Baumbach, writing what he knows has been extraordinarily successful in his previous films like The Squid and the Whale, Kicking and Screaming, and Frances Ha. The film has an eclectic soundtrack, with tracks from Vivaldi, The Psychedelic Furs, David Bowie and HAIM. WHILE WE’RE YOUNG is heartfelt, funny, and a real joy to watch. The struggle between Gen X and millennials is a revelation on screen. I highly recommend this film to audiences of all ages. You will walk away one happy camper, I assure you.

WHILE WE’RE YOUNG opens today! (Friday, March 27th)

Jeremy’s Review & Interview: ‘About Alex’, The Big Chill for the 20-teens & Footprint Features CEO Adam Saunders Gives Us Some Production Skinny

about alex-posterSometimes movies are anchored in the minds of those who watch them, so much so that they become a permanent part of the landscape of when they were watched or released. I first saw The Big Chill when it hit home video back in 1984, but I had already soaked in an integral part of the film as my parents played the soundtrack (on vinyl of course) at home on a regular rotation (and usually at parties they threw). I was immersed in the film and although its subject matter was rather advanced (suicide) for someone of 9-years old, I truly think it is a film that had a profound effect on me without me really realizing it. So when I had the chance to review Jesse Zwick‘s About Alex, a film that covers many of the same themes as Lawrence Kasdan‘s 80s classic, I jumped at the chance. I am excited that I was able to interview Adam Saunders, CEO of Footprint Features and producer of the film, which helped fill in some blanks about the film, its production and the process by which it was made. Read More →

Jeremy Goes to the Indy Film Fest: ‘Fort Tilden’ Is a Hilarious and Poignant Snapshot of Privileged Millennial Discontent

Many are the films that depict the haze that young people are in once they graduate from college. Few are the films that depict that haze in a convincing and fresh way. To me, Noah Baumbach‘s Kicking & Screaming has always been the bellwether in this cinematic realm. Many have tried and mostly all have failed to capture what he, his cast and crew did with that film. Now, enter Fort Tilden, a quirky film about two women, Harper (Bridey Elliott) and Allie (Clare McNulty), who make a plan to go to the beach at Fort Tilden, New York City, to meet up with two boys they met the night before. It treads on this same cinematic terrain and succeeds admirably. Read More →