2021: My year in film

A list of 2021 releases seen this year at theaters in NYC, SF, Sydney, and on VOD.

Initial tweet-reactions to the higher rated films included. In alphabetical order, by star rating…


One of the most remarkable stories I’ve ever seen told on film. The sheer openness and access, the bone-chilling footage, the thrill of investigative journalism. Forget WaPo and NY Times, SPORTS GAZETTE is where it’s at.

I imagine this is how spice feels. Monumental, lush, intricate, sight and sound overload. Every aspect is on point. Most importantly, does the book justice! Villeneuve is undefeated.

In & Of Itself
They say a magician never reveals their secrets but Derek Delgaudio’s magic trick of storytelling and identity goes all in. A wondrous experience, in some ways more powerful as a film to see the reflections and reactions across many audiences.

The Lost Daughter
A murky, cruel, specific kind of special. Motherhood ain’t for everyone! Can’t believe this is Maggie Gyllenhaal’s debut!

Nine Days
It’s no easy feat to make a life-affirming film this good. Winston Duke is a powerhouse. That bravura, breathtaking ending is my making my all time top 5.

Honestly, this is as good as it gets. Frances McDormand embodies grief and vulnerability. Chloe Zhao is an extraordinary storyteller! Getting the kinds of performances she does out of non-professional actors is the rarest of gifts.

One Night in Miami
It is a pleasure, pure and simple, to take in the words and witness the friendship, delivered by four amazing actors. I smiled every time they did. What can’t Regina King do??

Men being vulnerable and talking it out is as excellent as it sounds. The best anti-revenge film I’ve seen, at least given my expectations with the logline. Kudos to the screenplay, Cage, and Wolff!

For a film about inevitability and tradition, Larraín makes interesting choice after interesting choice, and I liked nearly all of them. Kristen Stewart continues her ascent. So does Jonny Greenwood. A grand ol’ fable.

The White Tiger
Snarling under that subservient smile, Adarsh Gourav is delightfully captivating in this tale of classist India. Love where the story ended up, given how these normally go.

Writing with Fire
A pure, stripped down, reflective window into what journalism really is. The risks and fear these women take daily, in a society completely stacked against them, while adapting, helping each other, and still “running the house” is inspiring.

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