- The Favourite/Portrait de la Jeune Fille en Feu
These two-period piece masterpieces from 2018 and 2019, respectively, feature female-led casts exploring themes of lesbian relationships, patriarchy, and the delicate balance between women’s professional and private lives, all while evoking an unmistakable aura of 18th-century gloriousness.
- The Wolf of Wall Street
The most memorable of DiCaprio and Scorsese’s collaborations and a delicate blend of comedy, personal drama, and crime click staples, this modern classic is an exposé on 80s excess and greed, which is all too relevant now.
- La La Land
By far the most memorable musical of the past decade, this blend of Classic Hollywood and Jacques Demy-esque musical song-and-dance routines transposed to modern-day LA, Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling are anything but “A Waste of a Lovely Night.”
Known equally for Sam Mendes’ cinematic wizardry in making the film look like one long take and its brutal yet human depiction of life on the front lines in the First World War, 1917 represents a new standard for war films.
Christopher Nolan’s film has nearly as many plot twists as camera tricks, giving theory channels on YouTube and aspiring screenwriters plenty of inspiration, making it one of the most talked-about cinematic puzzles of recent years.
The first non-English film produced outside the United States to win the Academy Award for Best Picture, Bong Joon-Ho’s examination of class struggle through the lens of two families in South Korea is as universal as it is excoriating.
- Marriage Story
The perfect example of a character-driven piece, Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson take turns dropping verbal bombs in a twinned tour de force performance that shows how complexly many-sided relationships can be.
Spike Lee was right to be angry at his Oscar snub, as his dramedy about Black and Jewish cops teaming up to take on the KKK (based on a true story) offers a far more complex picture of American racism than the Best Picture that year, Green Book.