Dave Griffiths keeps counting down is top 30 films of the year. Today we look at the Top 10.
10. THE GENTLEMEN
After the year that we have had it is hard to believe that the brilliant Guy Ritchie film was a 2020 film – but it was it landed on January 1st. Ritchie at his pure best!!!
9. A WHITE, WHITE DAY
Brutal and unrelenting this drama simply reminded me why I love Scandinavian cinema so much.
Waves is simply one of those films that will stay with you a long time after you have watched the film. Brilliant acting and a film with a twist that you will never see coming.
7. UNDERGROUND INC: THE RISE AND FALL OF ALTERNATIVE ROCK
A brilliant documentary that not only celebrated the rise of alternative rock but also revealed the dark side of the music industry that forced a lot of bands to give up.
6. THE DRY
Harshly beautiful The Dry is the perfect crime thriller. Eric Bana is sensational and we are all reminded just how good Robert Connolly is as a filmmaker.
5. THE INVISIBLE MAN
Horror re-boots are not supposed to be this good, right? Somehow though Leigh Whannell managed to take an old concept and turn it into something so, so terrifying.
Beautiful yet brutal at the same time. This foreign language film about child soldiers is destined to become a cult classic.
3. THE COMEBACK TRAIL
It is rare for a comedy to ever get this high on my Best Of lists but The Comeback Trail was something special. Funny, an all-star cast that brought their A-Game and a look back at Hollywood’s past – what wasn’t there to like?
2. THE PEANUT BUTTER FALCON
Few films stuck with me in 2020 like The Peanut Butter Falcon. A touching story that also showed why Shia LaBeouf is never an actor that we should forget about.
1. ABOUT AN AGE
The perfect coming-of-age film. This Aussie film came out of nowhere and reminded us all just how great a film can be with perfect casting and screenplay that is full of natural dialogue. An Aussie classic!
Summary: A family that are led by a domineering father are put through a catastrophic series of events.
Australian Cinema Release Date: 9th July 2020
Thailand Cinema Release Date: NA
Australian VOD Release Date: TBA
Country: USA, Canada
Director: Trey Edward Shults
Screenwriter: Trey Edward Shults
Cast: Joshua Brockington (Stan), Rueben E.A Brown (Wally), Sterling K. Brown (Ronald), Justin R. Chan (Chang), Clifton Collins Jnr. (Bobby), Alexa Demie (Alexis), Harlan Drum (Sophie), David Garelick (Ryan), Renee Elise Goldsberry (Catherine), Kelvin Harrison Jnr. (Tyler), Holland Hayes (Doctor Steve), Lucas Hedges (Luke), Neal Huff (Bill), Harmony Korine (Mr. Stanley), Taisha Perez (Coroner Jessie), Viva Pineda (Elena), Taylor Russell (Emily), Bill Wise (Coach Wise)
Running Time: 135 mins
Classification: MA15+ (Australia)
OUR WAVES REVIEWS & RATINGS:
Dave Griffiths’ Waves Review:
One of the things I missed most during the cinema lockdowns was that feeling in the pit of your stomach when you discover a truly brilliant film for the first time. Yesterday, that feeling returned for me as I sat and watched Waves, a remarkable film that is made a masterpiece by a creative director, an amazing script and performances that deserve to be mentioned in the same breath as the word Oscars.
From filmmaker Trey Edward Shults (It Comes At Night) Waves chronicles life for a family led by dominating father, Ronald (Sterling K. Brown – Black Panther), as a chain of events occur that will change their lives forever.
Despite warnings from the family’s step-mother Catherine (Renee Elise Goldsberry – Hamilton) Ronald keeps pushing his teenage son Tyler (Kelvin Harrison Jnr – Monsters And Men) to succeed, especially when it comes to his High School wrestling career. But as Tyler struggles to keep going while obviously injured things start crashing down his life and flow on effect keeps on affecting everyone especially his girlfriend, Alexis (Alexa Demie – mid90s), and sister, Emily (Taylor Russell – Lost In Space).
There is a power to Waves that very few films in modern day cinema can match. With notable exceptions like Mud and The Perks Of Being a Wallflower a lot of coming-of-age films released over recent years have shied away from many of the hard-hitting topics that films like Kids or Bully did nearly two decades ago. To me that has always seemed like a weird notion seeing that the modern day teenager not only faces topics like sexuality and bullying plus a range of new vices and issues that the past generation could only dream about.
Unlike its contemporaries Waves doesn’t hold back and instead pushes the audience head-first into the world of a crumbling teenager that has moments that will leave them shocked to the core. Waves is like a spectacular yet beautiful car-crash. It hits hard and will affect all that watches it but at the same time you can’t look away from it.
One of the keys to Waves working for me was its unpredictability. Just as you think Shults’ plot-line is going one way he sharply, but realistically, takes it another way. As a story-teller Shults doesn’t sign-post key events during the film and the result is moments of true shock that the audience will never see coming.
Also adding to the experiences of watching Waves is Shults experimental style of changing the ratio of how the film appears on the screen depending on where we are in the family’s story. It seems a small gesture but you do notice it and it works to enhance the cinematic experience of the story rather than hindering it.
Rounding out what makes Waves one of the best films of 2020 are the performances from its cast. We haven’t had a clean sweep at the Oscars for awhile but if Sterling K.Brown, Taylor Russell, Kelvin Harrison Jnr and Lucas Hedges (Boy Erased) don’t get Oscar nominations for their performances here than a huge cinematic injustice has occurred. Their scenes together are delivered with pure emotion and the result is nothing short of phenomenal.
Waves is not just one of my favourite films of 2020 it was one of the best I have seen in the last decade. A sensational script, a creative director, a Trent Reznor soundtrack and a highly skilled cast lead to an explosion of brilliance that is not to be missed.
As cinemas plan to re-open their doors for business, Universal Pictures is excited to announce it will celebrate its return to cinema by offering consumers a wide selection of films releasing from July 9, including the two highly anticipated films The High Note and The King of Staten Island.
Also among the newly announced slate of films is Australian film Babyteeth releasing in cinemas on July 23rd. The film premiered at the Venice Film Festival in 2019 to stunning reviews and Universal is thrilled to unveil the film to Australian audiences in cinemas.
According to a consumer survey conducted by Event Cinemas of over 20,000 cinema goers, 98% are eager to return to the cinema, and Universal has scheduled a diverse slate of films so audiences can once again be completely immersed in high quality content on the big screen. The selection of films will be available in the immediate corridor once cinemas re-open, ensuring there will be something for everyone. From a highly polished flick for the girls, quality arthouse cinema, clever comedies and family films, all tastes will be catered for.
Universal Pictures slate of films from July to September:
WAVES – July 9th – Told from the viewpoint of its teenage protagonists, Waves is an emotional and grounded look at how one tragic accident can change a family. With stunning visuals and a powerful score, this film should be seen on the big screen. Starring Kelvin Harrison Jr., Sterling K. Brown, Taylor Russell, Lucas Hedges, Alexa Demie and Renée Elise Goldsberry. Directed by Trey Edward Shults.
BABYTEETH – July 23rd – Starring some of Australia’s finest talent, including rising star Eliza Scanlan, Toby Wallace, Ben Mendelsohn and Essie Davis. Directed by Shannon Murphy. Premiere Screening details forthcoming. (Trailer)
THE HIGH NOTE – July 30th – A glamourous comedy that offers the perfect opportunity to get the girls together and enjoy a stylish film set against the dazzling world of the LA music scene. It’s the fun feel good movie female audiences have been waiting for. Starring Dakota Johnson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Ice Cube & Kelvin Harrison Jr. (Trailer)
THE KING OF STATEN ISLAND – August 6th –From acclaimed writer-director Judd Apatow comes a smart comedy with a lot of heart. Starring Pete Davidson, Marissa Tomei, Steve Buscemi and a very funny supporting cast including Bill Burr, Bel Powley and Maude Apatow. (Trailer)
NEVER RARELY SOMETIMES ALWAYS – August 6th – currently sitting at a stunning 99% on Rotten Tomatoes, this is for the discerning film-goer and delivers an intimate portrayal of two teenage girls in rural Pennsylvania. Faced with an unintended pregnancy and a lack of local support, Autumn and her cousin Skylar embark on a brave, fraught journey across state lines to New York City. Starring Sidney Flanigan, Talia Ryder. Directed by Eliza Hittman.
SLIM & I – August 20th – An elegant and intimate portrait of Slim Dusty and his wife, Joy McKean and their musical legacy that to this day continues to entertain and inspire. Directed by Kriv Stenders.
WHERE’D YOU GO BERNADETTE – August 27th – Acclaimed Director Richard Linklater brings Maria Semple’s best-selling novel to the screen starring Australia’s Cate Blanchett in her Golden Globe award nominated performance. An inspiring comedy about a loving Mom who becomes compelled to reconnect with her creative passion after years of sacrificing herself for her family.
IRRESISTIBLE – September 3rd – Starring the ever-popular Steve Carrell and Australia’s own Rose Byrne. From writer/director Jon Stewart comes the comedy of a Democrat political consultant (Carell) who helps a retired Marine colonel run for mayor in a small Wisconsin town. This political satire also stars Topher Grace, Debra Messing, Natasha Lyonne, Mackenzie Davis, CJ Wilson, and Will Sasso.
LET HIM GO – September 10th – Led by the critically acclaimed Kevin Costner and Diane Lane, Let Him Go follows a retired sheriff and his wife who set out to rescue their grandson from an abusive family. Based on the enthralling novel by Larry Watson, this tense drama asks how far must good people go?
TROLLS WORLD TOUR – September 17th –Justin Timberlake and Anna Kendrick are back! The Happiest Movie ever made will land in cinemas right in time for the September school holidays. Crowd favourites Poppy and Branch are back to discover their world is about to get a lot bigger and a whole lot louder with six different musical Trolls tribes! (Trailer)
DIRT MUSIC – Release date TBC – Based on the critically acclaimed novel by iconic Australian writer Tim Winton, Dirt Music is directed by Gregor Jordan and set against the awe-inspiring backdrop of the Australian West. Coming soon. (Trailer)