2019 was a remarkable year in Cinema. More than ever are we seeing Netflix and female Directors at the forefront and you will see this in the Team’s year’s best. Once again we are thrilled to share our favourites with you and would love to see how these align with your own personal faves. If you haven’t caught-up yet on your 2019 viewing, we hope the Team gives you some inspiration for your Holiday viewing!
Enjoy the rest of your Holidays and to an even more amazing 2020!
Team Mr. Will
(There in spirit: Amanda Gilmore, Siobhán Rich)
A farewell to beloved Thompson Diner, where we held our 2019 Holiday Brunch.
AMANDA GILMORE (@GilmoreAmanda on Twitter)
In my opinion, this year has been one of the strongest years in Film for a VERY long time. We had amazing diverse creative talents in front and behind the camera who have worked together to make outstanding work, which is precisely why making this Top Ten list has been extremely difficult for me. I would love to write a Top 30 list if I was allowed, but sadly I’m not. Because of this, I have made my list according to my favourite films of the year that I could also re-watch multiple times for years to come. I have also added some honourable mentions because let’s face it, this year was flipping awesome!
DISCLAIMER: I have yet to see 1917 at the time of writing this list.
The Films below are listed in alphabetical order, they are not ranked.
The Peanut Butter Falcon: an extremely touching and unique coming-of-age story.
Ready Or Not: an inventive thriller with one wickedly funny and badass female lead.
Rocketman: I LOVE Elton John and this film was a knockout!
JONATHAN GODFREY (@FFCottage on Instagram)
Written in order the release, the following are my faves for 2019: winter began with If Beale Street Could Talk, a tale of struggle set to a mesmerizing score. Next, Alita: Battle Angel, a great anime adaptation with mesmerizing MOCAP (Motion Capture) work. Spring brought Toy Story 4, a 3D spectacle for the ages; and Once Upon a Time…In Hollywood, another spectacular Script from Tarantino. IT Chapter 2 scared me silly this summer, and A Hidden Life was my TIFF ’19 darling. Fall brought with it a Trilogy of favorites: the powerful performance piece, Joker; the breathtaking animation of Frozen 2; and of course, a forever favorite, Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker. Winter has returned, and with it, Little Women, a wondrous adaption to warm this holiday season. I have high hopes for 2020, including: Dune, Tenet, Mulan, No Time to Die and Bill & Ted Face the Music.
GEORGE KOZERA (@PartyG on Twitter)
2019 was a banner year for me, watching movies in a darkened theatre. I saw many impressive features from either first-time Directors or from established awards winners. Netflix, the little distribution company that could, released movies that were eclectic in genres and superior in quality and for the second year in a row, one of its offerings made my list as Number One. I saw movies that bored deeply into my skin and heart and mind and soul. It is with apologies to the Christmas releases that I have yet to see (Little Women, Bombshell, 1917, Uncut Gems) and too many Honorable Mentions to list that I submit my Top Ten of 2019:
1. Marriage Story
2. Jojo Rabbit
4. Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood
6. The Irishman
7. Knives Out
8. The Last Black Man in San Francisco
JUSTIN WALDMAN (@DubsReviews on Twitter)
2019 has certainly been an interesting year for movies. We saw the end of The Skywalker Saga, the warfare between Netflix and Distributors continues to grow increasingly-tense, Scorsese and Iger are teasing a conversation. Movies had more surprises this year, and there have been some genuinely heartwarming and enlightening movies this year. In alphabetical order here are my top 10 movies to end out the decade.
Olivia Wilde directing Beanie Feldstein and Kaitlyn Dever may have been the most unexpected, most hilarious thing I have seen all year but this Movie is endlessly-fantastic. It is the only Movie I have seen countless times this year, it became an instant classic for myself, that will be adored for the ages.
Taika Waititi in my mind can do no wrong when it comes to filmmaking. Ragnarok, What We Do In The Shadows,and Hunt for the Wilderpeople. Waititi constantly delivers genuinely heartwarming and hilarious movies. Jojo Rabbit is no exception to that, the WWII satire is everything I expected of it and more.
I love some brilliant Joaquin. I love me some Joker. I just love this Movie. It is haunting and ingenious, but please for everything that makes this great, do not make a Sequel.
This Whodunit was one of the biggest questions from this Agatha Christie-esque film. It was marvelously-acted, packs a punch, and let’s face it, were all obsessing about knitted sweaters now.
I couldn’t begin to tell you what I thought I was getting myself into when I went to see this. All I can tell you is that it is one of the strangest, brilliant movies I’ve seen all year and I still think about it all these months later.
Moment of truth, this was my first Little Women and what Greta Gerwig manages to do with it is nothing short of inspiring. However when you have Emma Watson, Florence Pugh, Timothée Chalamet, Meryl Streep and Saoirse Ronan its also hard not to be delighted the entire time.
This was horrifying. Ari Aster still manages to haunt me with his brilliant Horror Film. The Director’s Cut is significantly better than the theatrical cut as well, as well as more haunting when you pay attention to the background. There is nothing else to say.
If you’ve seen it, you know EXACTLY why its on the list. If you have not, why are you waiting? Stop reading immediately and go see the Movie. There is literally no reason not to. It is brilliant and deserves all the acclaim.
Give Sandman everything. This Movie is neurotic, anxiety-inducing acid and you cannot look away. I felt dirty after watching the Movie, but I can’t shake it. Adam Sandler has never delivered a better performance.
This Movie broke me, is the easiest way to put it. It is beautiful, it is tragic, it is heartwarming, it is heartbreaking. This Movie launches a rocket right into the feelings and explodes on impact.
2020, you’re the start of a new decade, you better deliver as well as if not better than 2019.
DAVID BALDWIN (@DaveMABaldwin on Twitter)
2. Jojo Rabbit
3. Marriage Story
4. The Farewell
6. Once Upon A Time…In Hollywood
7. Honey Boy
8. Blinded By The Light
2019 will go down as one of the best years for Film this decade – maybe even the singular best one. There is so much to say about these ten brilliant Films, and even more to say about the multitude of films that did not make this list. Yes, many will remember this year for the end of The Avengers and Star Wars Sagas. But others will remember it for the magnificent new discoveries that were made, for the masters making some of their best work to date and for the actors we completely wrote-off giving us plenty of reasons to remember them again. I lived, breathed and loved so many movies this year. And know that with the impending birth of my first child, that so much about next year and the next decade of my filmgoing life is going to be so drastically different. So it might just be the nostalgia talking, but I doubt I will ever see another exquisite year of Cinema like this ever again.
Mr. Will’s 2019 Best-Of List is here.
(Photo credit: Netflix/Fox Searchlight/MK2/Mongrel Media/Sony Pictures/Mr. Will Wong)
US impacts huge upon debut with a stellar $68.5 million for Universal Pictures from 3,741 theatres. The sophomore directorial effort by Jordan Peele sets a record opening for original Horror Film. The record previously was held by 2018’s A QUIET PLACE with its $50.2 million bow. It gets a B CinemaScore and 94% score on the Tomatometer.
In second is CAPTAIN MARVEL still performing strongly with $34.5 million for Disney/Marvel, from 4,278 theatres. In its domestic run thus far it has made $320.9 million over three weeks.
In third is FIVE FEET APART with $9 million for eOne Films/CBS Films. Over two weeks it grosses $26.7 million domestically.
WONDER PARK lands in fourth of $7.9 million, a total $28.3 million made in two weeks for Paramount Pictures.
Highly-acclaimed GLORIA BELL expands to 654 theatres, taking-in $1.7 million for A24 Films/VVS Films. Starring Julianne Moore, the Film gets 94% on the Tomatometer.
ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL rounds-out the Top Ten with $1 million, a total 83.7 million made over six weeks in North America for 20th Century Fox.
Capping-off aa successful Franchise, HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON: THE HIDDEN WORLD lands on-top with $60 million from 4,295 theatres for Universal Pictures. It gets 91% on the Tomatometer and takes over top spot for an opening for the Franchise, besting 2014’s second installment, which bowed at $49 million.
ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL slips to second spot with $11.1 million from 3,802 theatres in its second week out for 20th Century Fox, a total $59.7 million made over two weeks.
THE LEGO MOVIE: THE SECOND PART lands in third woth $9.6 million, a total $83.2 million for Warner Bros. in three weeks.
FIGHTING WITH MY FAMILY debuts in fourth with $7.7 million from 2,711 for Universal Pictures. It gets 91% on the Tomatometer.
ISN’T IT ROMANTIC finds itself in fifth with $7.4 million for Warner Bros., totalling $33.6 million over two weeks.
RUN THE RACE bottoms-out the Top Ten with $2.2 million from 853 theatres for Roadside Attractions. It gets 40% on the Tomatometer.
ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL fights its way to the top of the Box Office in its debut this weekend. The James Cameron production takes top spot with $24.4 million from 3,790 theatres for 20th Century Fox. It gets 59% on the Tomatometer, just short of a passing grade.
In second is THE LEGO MOVIE: THE SECOND PART with $19.1 million for Warner Bros. bringing its two week total to $66.1 million in North America.
Opening in third is the Anti-Rom-Com ISN’T IT ROMANTIC starring Rebel Wilson, with $13.3 million from 3,444 theatres for Warner Bros. It gets 68% on the Tomatometer.
WHAT MEN WANT is in its second week out lands in fourth with $10.4 million, a two week tally of $37.2 million for Paramount Pictures.
Slipping to fifth is HAPPY DEATH DAY 2 U with $9 million for Universal Pictures, a two-week total of $14.9 million.
Toronto-made THE PRODIGY is in ninth with $3 million in its second week out, bringing its total run to $11.3 million for Orion Pictures.
Rounding it all out is GREEN BOOK with $2.8 million, a total $66.2 million grossed domestically for Universal Pictures.
20th Century Fox Canada x Mr. Will want to give Readers a chance to win Advance Passes to see ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL! Screenings take place as follows:
Thursday, February 7
MONTREAL – ENGLISH
Thursday, February 7
Cinema Banque Scotia
MONTREAL – FRENCH
Monday, February 11
Thursday, February 7
Scotiabank Theatre Vancouver
From visionary filmmakers James Cameron (AVATAR) and Robert Rodriguez (SIN CITY), comes ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL, an epic adventure of hope and empowerment. When Alita (Rosa Salazar) awakens with no memory of who she is in a future world she does not recognize, she is taken in by Ido (Christoph Waltz), a compassionate doctor who realizes that somewhere in this abandoned cyborg shell is the heart and soul of a young woman with an extraordinary past. As Alita learns to navigate her new life and the treacherous streets of Iron City, Ido tries to shield her from her mysterious history while her street-smart new friend Hugo (Keean Johnson) offers instead to help trigger her memories. But it is only when the deadly and corrupt forces that run the city come after Alita that she discovers a clue to her past – she has unique fighting abilities that those in power will stop at nothing to control. If she can stay out of their grasp, she could be the key to saving her friends, her family and the world she’s grown to love.
See the Trailer:
To enter to win, click “like” on this Post at MR. WILL ON FACEBOOK and indicate in the comments there, your City. Montreal entrants, please indicate English, French or both. Re-Tweet this Tweet from @mrwillw for an extra chance!
20th Century Fox Canada release ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL Thursday, February 14, 2019.
(Photo/video credit: 20th Century Fox Canada)
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