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spotlight by chris carpenter


due to Christopher Nolan’s ultimately ho-hum Tenet and the oft- delayed Wonder Woman 1984 that, while not great, isn’t as bad as many online wags have condemned it. And don’t get me started on our U.S. political situation! I was unemployed for two months last year. Though frightening in the short term, it turned to be lucrative in the long term, not only


A 1


(Fox Searchlight) It’s a movingly naturalistic portrayal of a


NOMADLAND


woman (the latest terrific performance by Frances McDormand) who decides to live on the road in her recreational vehicle, lovingly named Vanguard, after she loses her husband and her job. Inspired by true stories of similar “nomads” with some of the real-life subjects appearing in the film, Chinese-born director Chloe Zhao has crafted a memorable ode to the spirit of America as well as a meditation on our timeless connections with others. “See you down the road!”


20 ragemonthly.com | JANUARY 2021


A CINEMATIC BOUNTY IN THE MIDST OF DESPAIR


t the risk of sounding redundant, 2020 was a terrible year. Too many people got sick and died, theatres and other businesses closed, and many jobs were lost. Movie studio revenues plummeted during what was expected to be a hugely successful year primarily


because I eventually got a new and better job but because it gave me more time to watch 2020’s many movie releases. Many of these were made available for viewing at home much sooner than usual because of the nationwide closure of movie theatres. As a critic, this made my annual task of compiling the best and worst movies of the year somewhat easier because I could watch more contenders than usual during my unanticipated downtime. I’m happy to report there were a lot of very good to excel-


lent movies released one way or the other last year. Here is my rundown of the 10+ best films (in order of preference or recommendation) and the worst films of 2020:


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