We have not yet reached the equator but in these first months of the year we have received more than enough works to create a really interesting list for any movie lover. So let's look back, let's choose the best movies of 2019 so far.
A couple of clarifications before continuing, to avoid misunderstandings. The selection of titles responds to my personal criteria, does not reflect the opinion of the other editors of Espinof; on the other hand, to make the list I have taken as reference the spanish news calendar, that's why there are productions of 2018. Without more, here I leave my 16 favorite movies of the year, for now …
Direction: M. Night Shyamalan. Distribution: Bruce Willis, James McAvoy, Samuel L. Jackson, Anya Taylor-Joy, Sarah Paulson, Spencer Treat Clark, Charlayne Woodard …
A new demonstration that the superhero cinema can be something else, beyond the spectacular adaptations of Marvel and DC comics. They are very good, but they lack the originality and freedom of works such as 'The Protected' ('Unbreakable') or 'Multiple' ('Split'), parts of the trilogy that closes 'Glass'. Is a beautiful and raw movie, from a creator who loves his characters but who seeks to surprise and upset his audience, until the last consequences. One of those that you want to have in your collection, to be able to meet your characters again.
Criticism on Espinof de 'Glass'
'The favorite' ('The Favorite')
Direction: Yorgos Lanthimos. Distribution: Rachel Weisz, Emma Stone, Olivia Colman, Nicholas Hoult, Joe Alwyn, Mark Gatiss, James Smith …
It may be that the author of 'Canino' has been tamed in some way to reach a wider audience; Proof of this is that his last work received ten Oscar nominations (he only won one, for best leading actress). However, his cinema is still strong, he knows how to catch our attention, and he has not neglected that twisted sense of humor with which he portrays the absurd order of society and human misery, leading to unexpected hilarious moments. He is still an unpredictable creator, and that's wonderful.
Espinof's review of 'The Favorite'
'Jack's House' ('The House That Jack Built')
Direction: Lars von Trier. Distribution: Matt Dillon, Bruno Ganz, Uma Thurman, Sofie Gråbøl, Siobhan Fallon Hogan, Riley Keough, Jeremy Davies …
And speaking of creators with a twisted sense of humor, our favorite Danish director returned with one of the most crazy, controversial and fascinating They have reached movie theaters in recent years. A work very personal, that only Von Trier could have signed, and that requires the viewer a total surrender; including the will to laugh at everything, however violent or disturbing it may be at first sight.
Espinof's review of 'Jack's House'
'Alita, combat angel' ('Alita: Battle Angel')
Direction: Robert Rodriguez. Distribution: Rosa Salazar, Ed Skrein, Eiza González, Jackie Earle Haley, Jennifer Connelly, Christoph Waltz, Mahershala Ali …
One of the surprises of the year. Of course you would expect a great action show and visual effectsHowever, what captivated me about this blockbuster was not the amazing technical section but sensitivity and love with which the journey of his heroine is shaped. That said, I think it is an experience that is most enjoyed in 3D, it really immerses you in the world and adventure, as few films have achieved to date (it cannot be coincidental that James Cameron is involved).
Criticism on Espinof de 'Alita'
Direction: Mamoru Hosoda.
With works such as 'The girl who jumped through time' or 'The boy and the beast', Hosoda has established himself as one of the most imaginative and interesting authors of animated cinema, and with 'Mirai' he offers us what is possibly His most mature job to date. Starting from the birth of a girl, we attended the deployment of a fantastic trip to meet several generations of the family, allowing the filmmaker to touch eternal issues through the naive look of a boy. Beautiful and fun, an adventure for all audiences (Really, not for children that adults can see) that invites reflection.
Criticism in Espinof of 'Mirai'
Direction: Jordan Peele. Distribution: Lupita Nyong'o, Elisabeth Moss, Winston Duke, Tim Heidecker, Anna Diop, Kara Hayward, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II …
After causing a sensation with 'Let me out', Peele returned with the inescapable expectation surrounding the second feature film, already judged more severely; The promising filmmaker who has just started his career is looking with magnifying glass. 'We' shows that the most inspired thing about Peele's debut was not a matter of luck, that he has a talent for telling stories and ideas to make them fresh and personal (despite the influences). Definitely, one of the most fun and exciting horror proposals of recent years.
Criticism in Espinof of 'We'
Direction: Kirill Serebrennikov. Distribution: Teo Yoo, Irina Starshenbaum, Roman Bilyk, Anton Adasinsky …
This year has come to us but it was, together with 'Cold War' and 'Roma', one of the films that fell in love in 2018 with a precious Black and white photography. Together with a soundtrack with mythical themes of Iggy Pop or Lou Reed and an elegant staging (which breaks the narration with funny musical numbers), we find one of the most pleasant and stimulating film experiences of the year. Of those works that captivate you and to which you are wishing to return.
Criticism of 'Leto' in Espinof
'The Sisters Brothers' ('The Sisters Brothers')
Direction: Jacques Audiard. Distribution: John C. Reilly, Joaquin Phoenix, Jake Gyllenhaal, Riz Ahmed, Rutger Hauer …
The western is still alive in the 21st century thanks to authors who still find inspiration in a genre that continues to reinvent itself. Audiard prints its European vision to a story of murderers and gold diggers, of four men before the opportunity to flee their destiny. Four actors in a state of grace lead this peculiar, beautiful and crude drama which plays with expectations and topics to show the more human facet of the wild west gunman.
Review of 'The Brothers Sisters' in Espinof
Direction: Ari aster. Distribution: Florence Pugh, Jack Reynor, Will Poulter, William Jackson Harper, Vilhelm Blomgren …
One of the most amazing, stimulating and fun movies of the year. Yes, fun, because despite being sold as a horror film, the truth is that the new Aster is a cocktail staff that plays with elements of terror but where there are moments of comedy and drama, in addition to a reflection on the couple. It is confirmed that 'Hereditary'It was not an accident. The only "but" that can be put to 'Midsommar' are its excessive 147 minutes; That said, I am looking forward to discovering what is in that extended three-hour version (perhaps small details that help digest the footage with more pleasure).
Criticism of 'Midsommar' in Espinof
'The days to come'
Direction: Carlos Marques-Marcet. Distribution: María Rodríguez Soto, David Verdaguer, Albert Prat, Sergi Torrecilla …
Director of '10 .000 Km ' Y 'Mainland' He is still interested in reflecting the conflicts that arise in a couple, now due to an accidental pregnancy, and how the experiences and reflections of each individual threaten to break the bond. It's not just one of the movies most authentic, sensitive and best interpreted this 2019 (Memorable Rodríguez Soto, really pregnant during part of the shooting, precisely, of Verdaguer, his partner also behind the cameras) but it brings interesting ideas and reflections for which the film accompanies you beyond the immediate viewing in the armchair.
Critic of 'The days to come' in Espinof
'Long journey to the night'
Direction: Bi Gan. Distribution: Tang Wei, Sylvia Chang, Meng Li, Huang Jue, Chen Yongzhong …
One of the most fascinating films that have been released this year in Spanish theaters is this poetic romantic drama not to go which has a striking particularity: the last act is shot to be seen in 3D. The experience is surprising and sweeping. Far from the conventional narrative, I advise being carried away by the elegant staging and Bi Gan's talent for creating deep, ingenious and beautiful images. It may be slow, it may not count much; But its impact remains.
Criticism of 'Long Journey to the Night' in Espinof
Direction: Todd Phillips. Distribution: Joaquin Phoenix, Robert de Niro, Zazie Beetz, Frances Conroy, Brett Cullen …
The movie of the year. Phillips surprises with a really dramatic and crude approach of a comic book villain who, despite Oscar de Heath Ledger, had never been taken so seriously, becoming the center of a tragedy. With Phoenix giving it all and the Golden Lion in Venice, prejudices have been put aside and all kinds of opinions are clashing; because of the Joker we can all talk. He does not have a great script, but his artistic achievements seem unquestionable, it is a very enjoyable audiovisual experience. We have to see it.
Review of 'Joker' in Espinof
'See you forever, my son'
Direction: Wang Xiaoshuai. Distribution: Liya Ai, Du Jiang, Zhao-Yan Guo-Zhang, Jingjing Li, Qi Xi …
Delicate and exciting story that runs through the life of a marriage, devastated by a tragedy, and those around him, affected by the oppressive Chinese government and the profound transformation of his country over several decades. It's three hours of film, it requires an effort, but it's worth it and there are times that you'll always remember.
Critic of 'See you forever, my son' in Espinof
Direction: Bong Joon-ho. Distribution: Song Kang-ho, Lee Seon-gyun, Jang Hye-jin, Cho Yeo-jeong, Choi Woo-sik.
The Korean filmmaker recovers the talented narrative pulse of his beginnings with an extraordinary black comedy full of tension, surprises and violence, which catches and does not breathe until the end, supported by a murky and extreme portrait of social differences. A whole film lesson.
'Portrait of a woman on fire'
Direction: Céline Sciamma. Distribution: Adèle Haenel, Noémie Merlant, Luàna Bajrami, Valeria Golino, Cécile Morel …
After competing at the Cannes Festival (where he won the prize for the best screenplay) and going through the "Pearls" section of San Sebastián, Sciamma's new work finally arrives in Spanish cinemas, one of the most exciting and beautiful romantic dramas of recent years. Both for the story and for the way of telling it, I can only describe it as a true work of art.
Review of 'Portrait of a woman on fire' in Espinof
Direction: Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia. Distribution: Ivan Massagué, Zorion Egileor, Antonia San Juan, Emilio Buale, Alexandra Masangkay …
The winner of Sitges 2019 is one of the biggest surprises of the year. The Gaztelu-Urrutia's raw opera is witty, ruthless and blunt, an allegory about the selfishness of the human being that moves between genders to break expectations and always go to more, getting to extract everything that the powerful premise can give of itself. It may not really help, but everyone should watch this movie and reflect on your ideas.
Review of 'The hole' in Espinof
So far my list, which I will expand over the months and the arrival of more premieres, as in previous years. Now it's your turn: What are the best movies you've seen so far in 2019?