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Best Films and TV of 2019

There is little validity to lists like these, but here are mine anyway – just for the record.

You know I think ‘Best Of’ lists are bullshit (apples, oranges etc). I just like to have a year-by-year record of stuff I rated, and of where I was in and out of sync with the general critical consensus.

Short of time due to pursuing personal projects and other matters, I was far more selective in the films I saw this year; hence, I saw fewer films and wrote fewer reviews.

I applied two basic filters in choosing which films to see – or rather, not to see:
1) My tolerance for superhero movies is exhausted, so I ruled those out.
2) I now avoid gratuitously ultra-violent action flicks. Just don’t understand their appeal.

While I place little store in critical consensus – I’m too often at variance with the popular view to accord it much relevance – I do keep an eye on what’s causing a splash and on some awards shortlists (eg: Golden Globe), and make an effort to catch the contenders.

There are very few people whose taste in film and TV correlates closely with mine, but I do have one source of recommendations I act on (hi Matt and thanks for all the great tips!).

Inevitably, I have missed some gems, especially on TV. There is such a proliferation of quality product in that area at the moment that I just don’t have time to catch it all – not even close.

Please note:
I am only assessing films released in Australia in 2019. Some may be 2018 films we got later. Some much-lauded 2019 films have not been released here yet.

Also, I missed some well-received films, including the following: Sorry We Missed You, Jojo Rabbit, 1917, Ford v Ferrari, Little Women. My best-ofs for 2019 are far from definitive, then.

For better or worse, here they are…

Best Films of 2019 (alphabetical order, linked to my reviews where applicable)
Amazing Grace (doco)
Apollo 11 (doco)
Joker – Ignore the naysayers. Superb on all levels.
Knives Out
Once Upon A Time In Hollywood
Pain and Glory
The Irishman

Notable Omissions
The following are reasonably strong films (the middle three, anyway), but the gushing critical acclaim they’ve received is way OTT in my view:
If Beale Street Could Talk
(beats me that this limp work rated so well – see review)
(the first half is a brilliant comedy of manners, but it subsequently derails – still compelling viewing, though)
Portrait of a Lady on Fire
(beautifully crafted but dreary)
The Nightingale
(too many logic flaws, the violence is overdone at times, and I wonder about its raison d’être – it’s not as if we don’t know about the brutality of Tasmania’s early days)
(a disappointment after director Jordan Peele’s brilliant debut feature, Get Out)

Near Misses
Birds of Passage
Gloria Bell
Marriage Story
The Farewell
The Lighthouse

Best of the Rest
Downton Abbey
Stan & Ollie

Dog of the Year

Best TV Series (alphabetical order)
Fleabag Seasons 1 & 2
Succession Season 2

Special mentions:
The ABC showcased some good new Australian comedy/drama in 2019:
Diary of an Uber Driver
The Hunting
The Letdown

Here’s to a stellar 2020 on the big and small screens.

Happy New Year all.

Previous Annual Movie Best/Worst ofs
Best and Worst Movies of 2018 – The Boomtown Rap
Best and Worst Movies of 2017 – The Boomtown Rap
Best and Worst Movies of 2016 – The Boomtown Rap
Best and Worst Movies of 2015 – The Boomtown Rap
The Boomtown Rap: Movies of 2014 – Best, Worst etc
The Boomtown Rap Movie Awards For 2013
The Boomtown Rap Movie Awards For 2012
The Boomtown Rap Movie Awards For 2011
The Boomtown Rap Awards For 2010
The Boomtown Rap Awards For 2009
The Boomtown Rap Awards For 2008
The Boomtown Rap Awards For 2007

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