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50 best films of the 2010s – Part four

Welcome to another edition of FCFF’s best films of the decade. Today we get into half of the top 20 films that were released between 2010 and 2019. Lets get into it.

JOJO RABBIT may have a premise that sounds wildly uncouth, but the way this comedy about a little nazi boy is done makes it an extremely tender story that entertains all audiences while teaching kids about the dangers of hatred. Although the humour and a lot of story elements are best suited for pre-teens, it would take a heart of stone to not find things to love in JOJO RABBIT. I would have watched this film endlessly if I was 12 or 13 when it came out. Even now, I adore every silly moment of it.

No film has ever accomplished creating such a grand portrait of life as well as 20TH CENTURY WOMEN. The film follows a young boy growing up in the 1970s, raised by his single mother, and two other women that live in their home. What the film does so well, which makes it hit so hard, is that it tells stories outside of the main story. It shows a character, and details small moments, small stories that happen in the years following the film. It’s like footnotes in an encyclopedic story of the lives of these people.

12 YEARS A SLAVE is about finding light in history’s horrors. There is no entertainment to be found in slavery, and 12 YEARS A SLAVE is careful to never be exploitative of the violence or of the real people affected. Instead, it becomes a portrait of the strength of humans to overcome adversity. Ultimately, you leave 12 YEARS A SLAVE not feeling hopeless, but instead feeling a deep confidence in people. Despite the horrors within this film, there is good in the world.

Who would have thought that one of the most interesting and exciting science fiction movies of the decade would be one about a linguistics professor trying to teach aliens to speak English? But ARRIVAL makes linguistics into a high wire act of tension, and transforms one of the smallest sci-fi concepts that I can think of into something epic.

No film deserves to be named the best film of 2019 more than PARASITE. A dark-satire-thriller-with elements of horror. It defies description and every time I hear someone recommend the film I hear them say “I can’t say too much, you just have to see it”. This is true. I can’t say too much, you just have to see the film. It’s as entertaining as any major Hollywood film you could think of, and also has some biting social commentary that rises to the surface as things get crazier. PARASITE also boasts a script that rewards multiple watches.

WHIPLASH makes jazz music into edge-of-your-seat action. A drum kit becomes like a machine gun in this tense thriller, and a conductor becomes a Bond villain. It’s a brilliant film about obsession and the lengths some will go to in pursuit of greatness. And no one ever would have thought that watching an orchestra play a concert would be more thrilling than most superhero movies.

MOONRISE KINGDOM is a nostalgic trip into a childlike curiosity, a love of nature, and a doll’s house aesthetic. It’s Wes Anderson at his most tender, with every deadpan joke coming from people who simply long for connection, and long for love.

PHANTOM THREAD is a Gothic romance set in the 1950s fashion scene in England. It follows a romance between a high-class dress designer and his muse. But PHANTOM THREAD isn’t a stuffy costume drama in the way it sounds. It’s a dark and twisted tale about compromises in a relationship, and about the things that people sometimes have to do to keep their relationships alive. Packed with subtle twists and turns, and with some genuine “what the hell?” moments, PHANTOM THREAD is something that is entirely unique.

THE FLORIDA PROJECT looks at the hidden homeless in America through the eyes of children. Innocent kids living in a motel, all while their parents abuse drugs, dip their toes into prostitution, and generally struggle to survive. Still, their situation can’t bring these children down, as they enjoy every moment of adventure in their every day lives. But, heartbreakingly, these kids are struggling to survive just mere minutes away from “the most magical place on Earth”, a place that they will never get to.

Terrence Malick’s THE TREE OF LIFE is less of a movie in the traditional sense, and much more of a spiritual experience. If a normal film is like a novel, THE TREE OF LIFE is a book of poetry. It might not make sense to many, but if it clicks with you, this is a rewarding and deeply affecting film.

Thanks for reading. Join us tomorrow for our final list of the decade!