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of Skywalker and the controversial adaptation of the stage musicalCats (two words have people concerned: digital fur). I feel confident, though, with my choices of 2019’s best movies below. As I have done in the past, I’ve included some additional films beyond a strict Top 10 that I consider equally accomplished and that share similar genres, themes or attributes.


one The Last Black Man in San Francisco (A24).


Young writer-director Joe Talbot makes a very impressive debut with this heartfelt exploration of friendship between two African-American men trying to claim a Victorian home for themselves. Inspired by a true story, it’s an unforgettable, queer-friendly tale.


Unicorn Store(Netflix)andCaptain Marvel (Disney). Brie Larson may have swept Best Actress awards for 2015’sRoom, but her films this year made her a star. She played the most powerful hero in the comic book universe in the exciting, well-crafted and unpredictableCaptain Marvel (with a very cool cat as co-star). Then she starred in and made a smashing directorial debut with the delightfully whimsicalUnicorn Store.


Jojo Rabbit(Fox Searchlight). Speaking of


surviving the Nazis, no one has had so much fun sending them up since Mel Brooks did in his heyday. Taika Waititi’s awards season favorite (see above) is deeply moving in addition to being very funny.


three two


Ask Dr. Ruth(Hulu) andKathy Griffin: A Hell of a Story(self-produced). Inspiring documentaries about two strong, LGBTQ-supportive women who have been to hell and back, and lived to tell about it. One is a long-lived master of sexual education who survived


a Nazi concentration camp. The other is a tell-all comedienne who drew the ire of President Trump and was subsequently blackballed. Love the subjects or hate them, these movies are must-sees.


four


The Farewell (A24). Awkwafina shines in writer-director


Lulu Wang’s autobiographical film about a Chinese woman living in the U.S. who returns home when she learns her beloved grandmother is dying. Don’t be turned off by the sad story if you haven’t seen it, as there is a great payoff.


Picks for the Best & Worst of 2019 five


A few end-of-year releases hadn’t yet been screened for critics as of press time, notablyStar Wars: The Rise


December 2019 | RAGE monthly 35


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