From commercial theatrical releases to launch on streaming services, 2019 has seen films that have been a medium for art as well as performances. The lines between world cinema has blurred the most since streaming services around the world have been bringing the content in various languages closer. Shows like Game of Thrones and Money Heist were watched all over the world, and for films, they too have gone beyond boundaries.
With the year coming to an end, here are some of the best releases which cannot be missed for their stories or performances.
Little Women (English- Greta Gerwig)
This coming of age period drama is the eight adaptation based on the book of the same name by Louisa May Alcott. Even though we have seen and heard the story of Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy the things that set this one apart is the narrative written and directed by Greta Gerwig. Little Women this time concentrates on the March sisters and focuses on their lives in contrast with time and themes. The film released this December and went on to receive 2 nominations at the 77th Golden Globe Awards.
Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood (English- Quentin Tarantino)
Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt and Margot Robbie the comedy-drama plays with time and events. The film brings forth real incidents and carries fictional characters to change the events. Premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in May, it has since been nominated for five awards, at the 77th Golden Globe Awards, including Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy. The film has been highly praised for performances, screenplay and even cinematography.
Marriage Story (English- Noah Baumbach)
Directed by Noah Baumbach, Marriage Story tells you a tale about a couple very much still in awe of each other but also the devastating truth of them wanting to separate. Charlie and Nicole, played by Adam Driver and Scarlet Johansson give one of their best performances in this comedy-drama. The film talks about a lot of things and presents a story that is enjoyable moment by moment.
Parasite (Korean- Bong Joon Ho)
The Korean film managed to stir up a lot of buzz at many film festivals. Directed by Bong Joon Ho who is known to bring spectacles, this time with Parasite he brought a story of a con man that turns into your worse nightmare. It talks about status quo and the gap between the rich and the poor.
The Souvenir (English- Joanna Hogg)
The film follows Joanna Hogg's first experience at film school, the semi-fictionalized film is written and directed by Hogg herself. As a young wealthy women attending film school, Hogg has ambition and later finds an older man who fuels her passion for filmmaking. The Souvenir features love in 1980's with respect and freedom for woman, who wish to pursue a life of her own.
The Irishman (English- Martin Scorsese)
Released on Netflix this Martin Scorsese directorial has been marked as one of its best projects. The film keeps you hooked as Sheeran looks back into his life through flashbacks. The violence, comedy and drama that comes along is just as add on with the remarkable cast. It has also been called as one of the best releases in the decade.
The Wandering Earth (Chinese- Frant Gwo)
This Chinese book adaption is the only science-fiction on the list and is definitely unmissable due to the sheer magnitude of its story. The film follows a group of astronauts and rescue workers who are responsible for stirring earth away from the expanding sun and at the same time prevent a collision with Jupiter. Despite being a larger than life story, we see a story about human species, our compelling need to survive and bond with the society around us.
Weathering with You (Japanese Anime- Makoto Shinkai)
The Japanese animation film is a romantic fantasy that will remind you of one of the best Anime releases since 2016, Kimi No Na Wa (Your Name). Created by the same director Makoto Shinkai, Weathering with You is set in Japan when the weather is unexceptionally rainy. The story unfolds as a young boy befriends an orphan girl who can manipulate the weather.
Portrait of a Lady on Fire (French- Céline Sciamma)
The French historical drama written and directed by Céline Sciamma, rewrites how women are portrayed, in this case on a canvas. Set in France in the 18th century, the film tells the story of a forbidden affair between an aristocrat about to get married and a painter commissioned to paint her wedding portrait.
Pain and Glory (Spanish- Pedro Almodovar)
This is another autobiography that has strong fictional aspects to drive the director's idea. The film draws a fine line between heartbreak and joy, between the sadness and laughter. Pedro Almodovar's Pain and Glory starring Antonio Banderas is a story of a filmmaker, lost in inspiration looking for a new way of film.
There have been record-breaking releases in India and in international cinema in 2019, however, while the strong cast triumphed at the box office, art also took the centre stage and won its well-deserved credit. Here are some of the special mentions that also deserves attention, Bombshell, The Post, Her Blue Sky, Children Of The Sea, Ford v Ferrari, and The King.