My Three Favorite Films of 2019

In recent years, there is a good film to come out every year, but very rarely do you have a year where there are multiple classics; the most recent year that accomplished this was 2019. This is one of the best years for film. So many of the greatest directors in the industry today had films that were released that year. Two things that made this year so special was the diversity of all of the films and the shift in the way movies are being made today. With all of the legendary filmmakers also came some new and very promising ones too. We had countless breakout performances and phenomenal screenplays. I am certain that anyone can find a movie they like that was released in 2019.

The first film I want to talk about is “Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood.” This movie was written and directed by Quentin Tarentino. He happens to be one of my favorite filmmakers of all time. This film is his love letter to Hollywood. It stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, and Al Pacino. Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt were both nominated for Oscars with Pitt taking home the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. The film is set in 1969 Los Angeles during the Golden Age of Hollywood. What I love about it is the intense dialogue throughout the film. The production design and costumes really make you believe that you are looking at 1969 Los Angeles.

The second film I want to talk about is “The Peanut Butter Falcon.” This film was written and directed by Tyler Nilson and Michael Schwartz. The film is set in present day North Carolina. It stars Shia LaBeouf and Dakota Johnson. This film wasn’t talked about during the Academy Awards due to the fact that it wasn’t marketed very well. It is about a young man with Down Syndrome who lives in a nursing home who has dreams of becoming a wrestler. He decides to run away from the nursing home and meets an outlaw who is running away from his past. From there the film follows their adventures together. Meanwhile, the young man’s caretaker is on the lookout for him. What I love about this film is how real it is. It felt like I had met all of these people before. Another thing I love is how genuinely heartfelt it is. It is one of the sweetest movies I have ever seen. It honestly made me want to be a better person to people.

The third movie also happens to be my favorite of 2019. The film I want to talk about is “Marriage Story.” The film was written and directed by Noah Baumbach. The film goes back and forth between present day New York City and Los Angeles. It stars Adam Driver, Scarlett Johansson, and Laura Dern. All of them were phenomenal performances and Dern went home with the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. This film, along with “Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood,” was nominated for Best Picture. This film is about Charlie and Nicole, a couple who live in New York City for Charlie’s directing career and Nicole’s acting career. They have a child who both of them love very much. The movie starts by both of them talking about everything they love about each other and based on this, you would think that they were perfect for each other… but this isn’t the case. Sadly, they were saying these things as a couples exercise at marriage counseling. Shortly after, they come to the conclusion that they want to get a divorce and Nicole wants to move back to Los Angeles with her mother. They wanted to do the divorce quickly and painlessly but tension arose when they couldn’t come to a conclusion about who their son was going to live with. After multiple, very heated and personal arguments and rough divorce trials in court by the end of the film they realize that even though they aren’t meant to be married to each, they still love and care about each other and their son. What I love about this movie is that there isn’t a typical happy ending. They don’t end up getting back together and that’s okay. They both made very bad decisions in their marriage and said things they didn’t mean during the divorce. I love Baubach’s direction during this movie. You really feel his control and style throughout the entirety of the film. Randy Newman, who wrote the score for “Toy Story,” phenomenal score really draws you in during very raw and high tension scenes and makes you feel like everything is fine. In the hindsight of it all, “Marriage Story” isn’t a story about divorce, it’s a story about love.