About ten minutes into “Uncut Gems,” I wondered if I was on drugs. I wasn’t, but the symptoms were all there. I couldn’t understand much of what was going on, but what I did comprehend was completely, almost exhaustingly insane.
In the first ten minutes of “Clue,” writer Jonathan Flynn (“My Cousin Vinny”) tells you exactly what kind of movie you’re in for. As Miss Scarlet (Lesley Ann Warren, “Victor/Victoria”) and Professor Plum (Christopher Lloyd, “Back to the Future”) drive up to the mysterious mansion that serves as the setting for the story, their car stops near the gate. After a dramatic flash of lightning, Miss Scarlet asks, “Why has the car stopped?” “It’s frightened,” whispers Professor Plum.
Robert Downey Jr. (“Avengers: Endgame”) has had many successful movies over the years, despite personal difficulties that have arisen over the course of his career. Movies that he’s starred in, like “Iron Man,” “Zodiac” and “Chaplin,” are legendary pieces of work. Unfortunately, “Dolittle,” in which he plays the titular character, is not one of those stellar films that will go down in history.
This 2019 awards race might have one of the most crowded acting fields in recent years. Last year delivered so many impressive performances that many of them were either snubbed from nominations or will lose to someone we find unfavorable. So here, we did our best to highlight the best performances of 2019. (They’re all more compelling than Joaquin Phoenix in “Joker,” so feel free to turn off the TV when he accepts his Oscar.) — Anish Tamhaney, Daily Film Editor
Every year, we search curiously for movies we love. Often, we miss. I find that I am insufferably dour when it comes to deciding if a given year is a good year for movies up until the very last month, when the Oscar-eligible films come rushing in like the downpour after a drought. This year, we found movies we adored, and we honored some of them here. And when “Joker” wins best picture in February I will only hold this list closer.
I think the phrase “lightning in a bottle” is overused. So, know that when I call Greta Gerwig’s “Little Women” lightning in a bottle, understand that I mean it in the most life-altering, soul-affirming way. “Little Women” is a rush of wonder and youth, containing a kind of emotional depth that I search for in every movie. To boil its infectious and unforgettable zeal down to a single moment would do injustice do its living, breathing charm. So instead, we wrote about several moments. Ones that made us cry, or laugh or simply stare in wonder at the screen. Our favorite moments.
A number of movies could have quote-along showings with packed theaters full of diehard fans following along to every line of the film. But, from my experience, most of those aforementioned movies are part of some epic saga or franchise that has a hardcore fanbase — “The Avengers,” “Star Wars" and other major movie franchises.
In my memory, Winter Break 2019 will always be defined by “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.” While I watched some (far superior) movies like “Little Women” and “Knives Out” during this holiday season, my brain still can’t let “Skywalker” go.