Due to obvious reasons (looking at you, COVID-19), some people think that 2020 didn't produce any movies this year, but that's not true.
Just because there isn't traditional hype surrounding a movie, it doesn't mean it's non-existent. Before the American shutdowns in March, movies released per usual. And during the quarantine, movie companies premiered films exclusively to streaming services or a combination of streaming and theaters when they re-opened.
Sure, there were plenty of duds and OK movies, but there were a few diamonds in the rough.
Take a look at my top five movies of 2020, in no particular order.
Minari, directed by Lee Isaac Chung
Jacob (Steven Yeun ) and Monica (Yeri Han) move their family to a small town in Arkansas to start a farm in the 1980s in A24's "Minari." The story is moving, raw and powerful, proving it's a great addition to movies about the American Dream. Alan S. Kim, who plays the couple's son David, makes a powerful feature film debut.
In recent years, I've discovered Korean cinema thanks to "Train to Busan" and "Parasite." Add "Minari" to the list of must-see modern Korean films.
Minari | Official Trailer HD | A24 www.youtube.com
The Life Ahead, directed by Edoardo Ponti
On the Italian coast, a Holocaust survivor named Madame Rosa (Sophia Loren) takes in a 12-year-old street kid (Ibrahima Gueye) who robbed her.
To think that two of my favorite films this year are foreign films! Originally titled "La vita davanti a sé," "The Life Ahead" is a poignant, compassionate look at an unlikely friendship. It's another film that showcases a young actor's performance and how he brought a well-written character to life.
The Life Ahead | Official Trailer | Netflix www.youtube.com
Soul, directed by Pete Docter, Kemp Powers (co-director)
Disney and Pixar have done it again. In their latest animated feature, a middle school band teacher named Joe (Jamie Foxx) is given an opportunity of a lifetime when suddenly an accident sends him to the "Great Before." This ethereal location is where souls get their personalities and quirks before arriving on Earth, and it's where he meets a stubborn soul named 22 (Tina Fey) on his journey back to Earth.
As I've mentioned in my review of "Soul," Disney and Pixar consistently do a fantastic job appealing to family members of any age. Creators tackle big topics like purpose, death and personality and presented it in a way that kids can understand in their own way. And the animation is wonderful to watch unfold.
Disney and Pixar's Soul | Official Trailer | Disney+ www.youtube.com
Palm Springs, directed by Max Barbakow
Sadistic Nyles (Andy Samberg) and reluctant maid of honor Sarah (Cristin Milioti) are caught in a precarious situation that makes it hard to escape the wedding day in this comedy presented by Hulu. This film is funny; think "Groundhog Day" for the modern generation.
Samberg and Milioti have wonderful, convincing chemistry. And like all good comedies, the storyline carries a serious question for audiences to chew on: "what makes each day worth living?"
Palm Springs - Trailer (Official) • A Hulu Original Film www.youtube.com
The Way I See It, directed by Dawn Porter
Former Chief White House Photographer Pete Souza is the star in this documentary as he talks about his history, his experience working with the Reagan and Obama administrations and his rise to social media fame during the Trump presidency.
This documentary is an inspiring anthem to photojournalists, and it had me near tears a few times, too.
THE WAY I SEE IT - Official Trailer [HD] - In Theaters September 18 www.youtube.com
So ... What do you think?
What do you think of these picks? What are your favorites movies of this year? Oh, and if you want a good laugh, check out my article about my most anticipated movies of 2020 list. That didn't age well at all ... But here's to looking forward. Happy New Year!
Follow the reporter on Twitter at @s_incorvaia.