Our biggest-ever issue takes stock of 2020 with our annual polls of the best films and television of the year and surveys of the state of different regions and genres. Though persuasively edgy, angry and strange – and provided by Sarah Gubbins’s fine script with plenty of savage witticisms and sharp observations – her Shirley is not someone to whom the film brings us close. Where America sought to reclaim lost histories, Time endeavours to commit to the screen an obscured, often ungraspable reality: the American prisonindustrial complex. (Here, the few encounters with men tend to the fleeting and show them broadly as irritating hurdles for the female protagonists to surmount.) The lead character, that would be me, or whoever I’m playing, goes on a journey. It makes for an intimate, perceptive, occasionally humorous snapshot of these women’s lives, the subtle shifts in perspective belying the seeming artlessness. Okay, so no list of British movies is complete without at least two Richard Curtis films. As ever with Hong, and even in the context of one of his more direct and readable works, a pleasurable elusiveness pervades matters. We undergo at a stranger’s remove a version of her efforts at mental preparation for the inevitable. We said: Leonie Cooper talked to Byrne for our December issue, and asked him why he went to Spike Lee for the project: “We’ve never really worked together, but we’ve crossed paths a lot so it was easy, I had his phone number! This canny first feature from Remi Weekes finds fresh terrors for two South Sudanese refugees in the back rooms beyond British social realism. This article lists feature-length British films and full-length documentaries that have their premiere in 2020 and were at least partly produced by Great Britain or the United Kingdom. Where the film does chime magnificently is in the performance of Delroy Lindo as Paul, and the suggestion that past failings undermine present-day relationships. It becomes church. The following list comprises films not produced by Great Britain or the United Kingdom but is strongly associated with British culture. When the characters are out, partying on the street, the camera is right there with them, a joyful participant, fluid and tactile, the music perfectly complementing the images. Notably, a number of British technicians were nominated for non-British films such as Le Mans '66, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, and Ad Astra. Borat Subsequent Moviefilm offers more proof of Baron Cohen’s admirably serious comic evolution, as well as of Borat’s enduring ability to go viral, with several set pieces to bring the house down.” (Leigh Singer), Read our review: Borat Subsequent Moviefilm is another dose of superbly executed chaos in America’s heartlands. Mogul Mowgli is confident and confrontational, exhilarating in its willingness to constantly shift gears between absurdist comedy and vulnerable, introspective narrative.” (Kambole Campbell), Read our review: Mogul Mowgli confronts Riz Ahmed’s rapper’s battle of the soul, Where to see it: On BFI Player and coming to Blu-ray and DVD in February 2021. Where to see it: On BFI Player, Curzon Home Cinema, Amazon Prime and other platforms from 27 November, and released on Blu-ray and DVD on 8 February 2021. As Kay and Sam watch it coming, the dark rot gradually staining the house and its occupants serves, no less than the family’s hand-me-down relics, as a macabre memento mori… The result is creepily affective, hitting hard anyone who has witnessed a grandparent or parent slowly vanish.” (Anton Bitel), Read our review: Relic finds fear in a labyrinthine house of horrors – and in intergenerational illness, + “There’s heartbreak in someone losing themselves”: Relic director Natalie Erika James on her love of gothic and Asian horror, + Who’s afraid of fear? We said: “Breezy and boozy, joyful and melancholic, occasionally wild and often wise, Another Round is a heady cocktail swiftly downed, with a late kick like a particularly euphoric mule. Using his now familiar Brechtian storytelling style, Lee continually breaks the fourth wall, mixing archive footage, stills photography and fiction to link past and present and weaving a tale in which a turbulent father-and-son relationship and the murder of civil rights leaders is an allegory for historical American wrongs leading to the Black Lives Matter movement. No one does quintessential British humor better. We glimpse an infinite expanse of historical male entitlement in the brief scene in which Stanley co-opts Rose into taking over Shirley’s neglected household chores. The best British Christmas films to watch in 2020. A sober, moving film about isolation and community.” (Jonathan Romney). The British nominations were led by 1917 along with Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, which was co-produced by the United States. “The brothers made Bloody Nose this way for many reasons, including ethical considerations (getting folks drunk while filming requires a certain level of control and familiarity, for example). The film has a feel for life on the lowest rung of the middle class.” (Nick Pinkerton, S&S, February), Read our review: Richard Jewell explores how an unlikely hero loses his religion, Where to see it: On digital platforms, Blu-ray and DVD. We said: “The scorching Mangrove suggests a return to the kind of distilled, focused storytelling and socially relevant themes that distinguished BBC’s Play for Today. “The savvy decision to allow the actors to play their younger selves in flashback sequences reinforces the film’s central thesis that past and present are intertwined. Top British movies to watch on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Disney+ & other Streaming services, out on DVD/Blu-ray or in cinema's right now. The love and pain shown in Bloody Nose is heartbreakingly real; the insights into human experience alive with value. What has changed is the emphasis. It is hugely successful in engaging us with the enchantingly expressive girls.” (Andrew Osmond, S&S, December), Read our review: WolfWalkers redraws the bounds of old Ireland’s hunters and hunted, Where to see it: Out now in UK cinemas and on Apple TV+. At 200 minutes the complexities of the situation are given scope to reveal themselves in a manner that feels just and thoroughly invigorating. A dread-filled horror of the human condition, starring Emily Mortimer as one of three generations of women affected by grandmother Edna’s dementia. Following the Venice premiere of Stray Dogs in 2013, Tsai had vaguely announced his retirement, citing exhaustion with the production model of feature films. To take you on that journey where it gets to a point where it transcends, even beyond the people in the room. We said: “If the times are a-changin’, thankfully so is Sacha Baron Cohen’s approach. I don’t know how anyone could feel secure in the world as it is right now. Actually, it is a team of a hundred women who took centre-stage, and it wasn’t given to us or sacrificed for us. Alongside McDormand and David Strathairn are a host of non-professionals, including Bob Wells, a guru of contemporary American nomadism. Luis López Carrasco’s film is shot in a bustling workers’ café-bar in the city centre where it gathers the testimonies of people who lived through the period. (Kieron Corless), Read our review: The Woman Who Ran turns circles telling stories, Where to see it: On Mubi from 20 December, along with two earlier Hong Sangsoo films – Tale of Cinema (2005) and Nobody’s Daughter Haewon (2013), Kleber Mendonça Filho & Juliano Dornelles, Brazil. New Fantasy Movie 2020 Adventure in English Full Length Action Film Elisabeth Moss is tormented by an unseen assailant in a smart, timely update of the horror mainstay. What we don’t do is become inured to the idea of his death; conversely, we attach to his living image more, a process that Johnson acknowledges and encourages by keeping us guessing until the final hour about Dick’s actual condition.” (Hannah McGill), Read our review: Dick Johnson Is Dead: resurrections beat the blues. It was very dreamy and somewhat nightmarish, which appealed to me, but it was also very contained – it was basically four characters, and it takes place in a car and in a farmhouse. A drinking movie that presumes to caution about using alcohol as a crutch while also daring to suggest that sometimes it’s a very useful crutch indeed. Johnson’s superbly inventive movie confronts the trauma of her father’s imminent death with multiple advance stagings of it. Where to see it: On BFI Player, Curzon Home Cinema and other digital platforms. Christopher Peterson (Best Costume Design) -, Callum McDougall (Best Film, Outstanding British Film) -, Jayne-Ann Tenggren (Best Film, Outstanding British Film) -, Kate Byers (Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer) -, Linn Waite (Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer) -, Adam Bohling (Outstanding British Film) -, Alex Holmes (Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer) -, Alvaro Delgado-Aparicio (Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer) -, Lizzie Yianni Georgiou (Best Make Up & Hair) -, Christopher Peterson (Best Costume Design) -, This page was last edited on 27 December 2020, at 10:18. We said: “Da 5 Bloods fires shots at American revisionism of the Vietnam War through the viewfinder of African-American soldiers. Chukwu’s spare, unsparing prison drama cuts to the heart of the injustice and inhumanity of America’s death penalty. In comments that didn’t make it into that feature, Kaufman told Romney: “I’d been looking over the years for something to adapt and I came across this novel. Discover the winners of the 2020 EE British Academy Film Awards. British Airways offer a range of in-flight entertainment on longhaul flights and you can plan what you want to watch before you fly. As Dick begins to show signs of confusion, her lament is disarming in its straightforwardness: “He won’t be able to follow what I’m saying, so I won’t be able to ask him for any more advice, and the whole time will just be trying to get by.” In the face of this encroaching loss, what is the value of this patricidal tableaux? But this offers more than just big laughs and sharp mockery: it's chiefly a poignant coming-of-age involving a fri… It is also a deeply moving prayer of admiration for girls – the wary, watchful ones who have learned to expect nothing of anybody except one another, from whom they expect, and regularly receive, the world.” (Jessica Kiang), Read our review: Never Rarely Sometimes Always: Eliza Hittman’s abortion tale traces the burdens of girlhood, Where to see it: On DVD, Blu-ray and streaming platforms. I’d never experienced that before. Gerwig’s decision to rework the structure of the novel, bouncing back and forth in time from the girls being engaged together in the innocent pursuits of childhood to facing the realities of adult life separately – Jo as a writer in New York, Meg married with children, Amy on a claustrophobic European tour, Beth facing her own devastating fate – proves a masterstroke. Richard Meryman said of Herman: “I wanted to find out how, when he was all but finished as a writer, he could turn around and write Citizen Kane.” Mank’s answer is that Mankiewicz always had the ability to write something that good; it was Hollywood holding him back. We said: “The success of Time speaks to the revelatory power of its twinned perspective: its combination of Fox’s video diaries with Bradley’s artfully shot vignettes of the Richardson family’s daily lives. Unlike the directors of earlier works such as La Haine (Mathieu Kassovitz, 1995) and Etat des lieux (JeanFrançois Richet, 1995), he offers an insider’s view of the social tensions that shape the lives of his characters. Yet, while writer-director Kitty Green’s sensitively made yet hard-hitting feature debut plays out in a dark, cold world full of secrets, lies and isolation, hers is no nightmarish fantasy landscape. The film was at least partially shot in the United Kingdom. As in his earlier experiments in hybrid storytelling, short clips interspersed throughout serve as lyrical counterpoints to the narrative. We said: “Mank enshrines the myth of a town full of idiots. Best Films of 2019-2020. There simply are no women – no people – like Ema. It comprises a string of vignettes, almost all playing out in a single take, viewed by a locked-down camera with a static frame that holds its human subjects in the philosophical distance of a deep-focus long shot. This article lists feature-length British films and full-length documentaries that have their premiere in 2019 and were at least partly produced by Great Britain or the United Kingdom.It does not feature short films, medium-length films, made-for-TV films, pornographic films, filmed theater, VR films and interactive films. It’s a reminder, without ever being piteous, that when we watch television news or social media feeds, we’re only seeing a partial story. We said: “If there’s any sublimated anger at all in Johnson’s desire to symbolically serial-kill her progenitor, it’s not delved into here. We said: “WolfWalkers follows the Irish director Tomm Moore’s hand-drawn cartoon films The Secret of Kells (2009) and Song of the Sea (2014). Lovers Rock celebrates the reliefs of kinship and intimacy, as it tells the story of the tentative romance between Martha (Amarah-Jae St. Aubyn) and Micheal Ward (Franklyn), while at the same time offering a wonderfully immersive and nostalgic ode to the musical genre that gives McQueen’s film its name. From the outset, this manages to inhabit both a Ken Loach-type drab urban space and an insidious netherworld. It was a spiritual experience. It also does not include films screened in previous years that had official release dates in 2020. As such, Glass deserves the attention, and the excitement around her as an important future figure in British film is justified. It is a fresh, dynamic approach that may seem spun from modern feminist thought, but actually makes explicit ideas that Alcott vocally espoused. You start in one place and end up somewhere quite quite different. Even more so is the other half of the double-act: Jewell as played by Paul Walter Hauser. We said: “The film reminds us, at a moment when empathy often feels in short supply, that the real boats crossing the North Sea are carrying real people. Stylistically, Time recalls Bradley’s previous film, America (2019), an archival and speculative monochrome meditation on the gaps in the records of Black American cinema. There’s a beginning and a middle and an end. Perhaps the only solution to a corrupt system is to burn the whole thing down.” (Catherine Wheatley), Read our review: Les Misérables: 24 hours of violence in the Paris streets, + interview: Ladj Ly on Les Misérables: “Film is a tool. There is, emphatically, no boundary between fiction and documentary, but truth matters more than ever.” (Robert Greene), Read our report: The shape of documentary to come, Where to see it: In UK cinemas and on Curzon Home Cinema from 24 December 2020. Each has children drawn into natural wonderlands of myth and magic, into adventures about protecting and healing rather than fighting. We said: “The celebratory, boundary-pushing story behind Rocks isn’t one of liberal goodwill from white gatekeepers who’ve chosen to decentre themselves. Kaufman’s claustrophobic chamber theatre piece-cum-road movie-cum-psychological horror – made for Netflix and released straight to the streaming platform, bypassing cinemas – stars Jessie Buckley as a young woman who travels with her boyfriend (Jesse Plemons) to meet his parents, played by Toni Collette and David Thewlis. The greatest strength of The Assistant is that it forces us to understand how easy it is to turn the other way, to become complicit, because it’s impossible to do anything else. Academy Awards. ©2021 British Film Institute. They’re present in Merrell’s novel, but vanished here. The 92nd Academy Awards honoring the best films of 2019 were held on February 9, 2020. Her time – and that of her creator Rose Glass – is very much now.” (Mike Williams), Read our review: Saint Maud: a heady British horror duet, up close and devoted, + “Sometimes the scariest place to get trapped is inside your own mind”: Rose Glass on Saint Maud, Where to see it: Still playing in selected cinemas across the UK. , Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You're a Girl), The Personal History of David Copperfield, List of 2020 box office number-one films in the United Kingdom, "United Nation Three Decades of Drum & Bass", "The Works and Days (of Tayoko Shiojiri in the Shiotani Basin)", "2020 EE British Academy Film Awards: The Nominations", "Golden Globes Nominations 2020: 'Joker,' 'Irishman' for Best Picture, 'Succession,' and More", "Golden Globes: Brits React To An "Incredible Night" After Laying Claim To 40% Of Awards", "SAG Award Nominations 2020: 'Irishman,' 'Hollywood' Dominate, 'Bombshell' Surprises", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=List_of_British_films_of_2020&oldid=996563236, Lists of 2020 films by country or language, Short description is different from Wikidata, Pages using multiple image with auto scaled images, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, (Co-produced by the Canada and the United States), (Co-produced by Egypt and United Arab Emirates), (Co-produced by Germany, Russia and Ukraine), (Co-produced by Greece and United States), 22 August 2020 (American Black Film Festival). A Seoul woman meets friends and makes conversation while her husband is on a business trip, in Hong’s latest characteristically talky, deceptively modest offering. ... and became the British horror hit of the year, tackling themes of religion, death and self-harm with a remarkably deft touch. Petzold’s fantastical ode to Berlin concerns an art historian who has a passionate affair with a diver, and appropriates the mythological figure of the undine – a water nymph – to fashion a love story that doubles as a myth about the city. The centrepiece in McQueen’s five-film ‘Small Axe’ anthology depicts the true story of the protests and landmark court case involving the ‘Mangrove Nine’ that followed discriminatory police raids on a Notting Hill restaurant. Four drinking buddies test the theory that a steady blood-alcohol level is the key to peak human performance. “The biggest influence is Cronenberg Sr’s eXistenz (1999), which is similarly concerned with assassins who risk losing themselves in the personae that they adopt as their gaming ‘skins’ – and that film’s lead actress Jennifer Jason Leigh is here cast as Tasya’s handler Girder, a once skilled Possessor now determined to pass down the mantle to the next generation.” (Anton Bitel), Read our review: Possessor sends Andrea Riseborough out of her mind. We said: “It was always likely that in his third feature Kleber Mendonça Filho was going to take on Jair Bolsonaro. A thrilling exposé that uncovers a vast trail of corruption following a fatal nightclub fire in Bucharest. What is left is a cautionary tale about the corrupting power of wealth and success. The 73rd British Academy Film Awards was presented on 2 February 2020.. ‘You can manufacture an experience,’ Turner said at Boats, ‘but it doesn’t have to be a manufactured experience.’, “The debates over truthiness that swallowed Bloody Nose at Sundance felt irrelevant and backwards. Many of the film's cast and crew members are British. The 25th Critics' Choice Awards was presented on January 12, 2020. We said: Whannell’s film gives a feminist spin to H.G. Shot in black-and-white 35mm, The Forty-Year-Old Version paints a loving portrait of parts of New York City that aren’t represented with such care, if at all, in narrative films of this scale. Fears of impending mortality haunt writer-director Amy Seimetz’s existential horror movie, a bleakly satirical exposé of moral emptiness and foreboding. “This is reinforced rather than offset by Marcello’s signature use of archival footage. Petzold’s ambiguously hopeful film is a declaration of love.” (Giovanni Marchini Camia, S&S online), Read our review: Undine is Christian Petzold’s slippery love song to Berlin, Where to see it: Not yet available in the UK. 1917 led in the technical categories with multiple wins in cinematography, sound, special effects, and production design. The broadcaster and renowned historian of Black British history David Olusoga spoke to Steve McQueen for the cover feature of our December issue, and asked the director about his film: David Olusoga: The making of the films and the content says: ‘Here is Black creativity, here’s what we can do, here’s what we can create.’ I loved the amount of time you gave in Lovers Rock to the conversion of a normal London house into a blues party – the getting out of the furniture and the building of the sound system. Scroll past the images to view the list in plain text Moore and Stewart’s playful and stirring animation conjures an interregnum Ireland of 1650, caught between pagan spirits and the boot of English invaders. Brandon Cronenberg’s science fiction film about an assassin (played by Andrea Riseborough) who inhabits people’s bodies is a supremely enjoyable and paranoid story of biohacking and psychological turmoil. The Swedish master of wan deadpan ratchets up his world-historical gaze in a series of sublime microcosmic tableaux. (Kieron Corless). “It was by design that the film’s young subjects would be given both the opportunity and the resources to tell their own story, on their own terms. They carefully cast their new film, which observes a ragtag group of regulars on the last day of their favourite bar, faked the location and worked closely with their subjects/ stars to create bracingly real emotion within a partially constructed scenario. Stanley’s superficial charm and shameless self-interest is depicted with particular insight, and beautifully played by Michael Stuhlbarg. It is, without doubt, a horror movie. As elastically portrayed in a performance of event-horizon strangeness and self-possession by newcomer Mariana Di Girólamo, Ema is an unfathomable singularity.” (Jessica Kiang), Read our review: Ema: Pablo Larraín lights some kind of delirious inferno, Where to see it: On DVD, Blu-ray, Amazon Prime and other platforms. , The 26th Screen Actors Guild Awards was presented on January 19, 2019. While openly fictionalised portraits owe negotiable fealty to biographical truth, it’s startling for a film concerned with the impact of domestic and reproductive labour on women’s intellectual and creative lives to erase the fact that its protagonist’s real-life embodiment had four children. A down-on-her-luck New York playwright, desperate for a breakthrough before she turns 40, reinvents herself as rapper RadhaMUSprime. Ly offers an insider’s view of how police brutality ripples through a deprived banlieue in the French capital. British films did, however, notably lose out to Parasite from South Korea. Marcello elaborates the story’s symbolic thrust through an ambiguous treatment of period. Theatreland in London rivals Broadway in New York. Con-trick movies, from House of Games (1987) and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (1988) to Matchstick Men (2003), usually end with a last-minute switcheroo, and Kajillionaire is no exception. The 20 Best British Films of The 2000s Posted on November 10, 2014 November 10, 2014 by George Cromack As the new millennium dawned, British Cinema was still benefitting from the ‘cool Britannia’ mood perpetuated by the various Curtis-like romantic comedies popularised in the latter half of the previous decade. Rating and reviewing films watched and to watch, released in the UK in 2020. We say: Asili’s excellent debut feature is a ‘speculative re-enactment’ of his time in a West Philadelphia Black socialist experiment in collective living. I thought, “This isn’t going to cost a lot; maybe somebody will be willing to take a chance.” I haven’t reread the book since I made the movie, but I did change a lot, and I definitely changed the character of the young woman a lot – I wanted something more for an actress to play but I also wanted to give her agency, so that it felt more about things that happen in an actual relationship, rather than the thing that the book is.”, When Romney asked Kaufman what place he felt he had in the world today, Kaufman replied in characteristic fashion: “I don’t feel secure at all.
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