#AMovieADay – 2020

This year I challenged myself (for no apparent reason) to watch a film a day. Don’t ask me why… I just did it.

In the beginning I was a bit doubtful and just wanted to do one month… so I slapped together the hashtag #AMovieADay and started not really sure where and when I would stop. 

I ended up doing the whole 2020 (I only missed a few days when I was stranded in the mountains with no internet connection). 

As it turned out, this little exercise gave me not just a little window into a better world during possibly one of the most difficult year of my life (and I know I’m not alone), but also a sort of refuge, a safety blanket (even though most of the film have broken me down to tears) and a space where I could lose myself and forget about everything else that was happening around me.

I’ve been trying to diversify as much as possible: dramas, comedies, animation, sci-fi, blockbusters, old classics, foreign language films, hidden gems, a few shorts and even a video-game which as it happened was better than many of the films I’ve watched. 

I’ve also tried to reach all the possible streaming platforms: Netflix, Prime, Sky, Apple+, Disney+ and lately through the Bafta streaming site where I was able to access some of the latest offerings (but also things which have not been released yet).

As I near the end of 2020, I’m coming up with the impossible task of drawing list of my top 10 favourite.

Interestingly most of the ones I really liked were actually classic movies like “Il Sorpasso”, “One Flew of the Cockoo’s nest”, “ET , or film which I happened to see this year but were released in 2019 like “Corpus Christi”, “The Guilty”, “Marriage Story”  and even some TV seriesUnorthodox” “When they See Us”  “Unbelievable”.

With my son we did weekly #movienight and ended up watching a lot of animated  ones too (“Tangled” one of my favourite, “My Life as a courgette” the biggest surprise).

Finally many which were officially released in 2020, but I got to see it last year (1917, Jojo Rabbit, Parasite), so those didn’t make the list.

Anyway, here’s the list (though if you ask me tomorrow I might give you different ones).

My 10 favourite of 2020. (#AMovieADay)

1 – The Mole Agent

2 – Father soldier son

3 – Collective

4 – The father

5 – Dick Johnson is Dead

6 – Boys State

7 – Crip Camp 

8 – Soul

9 – The Farewell 

10 – Dear Ex.

Some honourable mentions too: Host  , Supernovathe Invisible Man, I Lost My Body the spectacular short  “If Anything happens I will Love You” … and the amazing video game The Last of US.

Here’s the list:

#1 – The Lion King (2019)  (1st January) 

#2 – It. Chapter 2 – (2nd January)

#3 – Farmageddon (3rd January)

#4 – Little Women 2019 (4th January) 

#5 – Parasite (5th January)

#6 – The Two Popes (6th January)

#7 – Marriage Story (7th January)

#8 – American Factory (8th January)

#9 – Rocketman (9th January) 

#10 – The Indian in the Cupboard (10th January) 

#11 – For Sama (11th January)

#12 – Uncut Gems (12th January)

#13 – Bombshell (13th January)

#14 – I Lost My Body (14th January) 

#15 – The Laundromat

#16 – Atlantics (16th January)

#17 – The Missing Link (17th January)

#18 – Joker (18th January)

#19 – Dolomite is my Name (19th January)

#20 – The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind (20th January)

#21 – The Report (21st January)

#22 – Just Mercy (22nd January)

#23  – Ingrid Goes west (23rd January)

#24 – Waves (24th January)

#25 – Eight Grade (25th January)

#26 – The Personal History of David Copperfield (26th January)

#27 – THE HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE (27th January)

#28 – THE WHITE HELMETS (28th January)

#29 – CITIES OF GHOSTS (29th January)

#30 – ETRE ET AVOIR (30th  January) 

#31 – Annie (31st January)

#32 – A Story of Children and Film (1st February)

#33 – Queen & Slim (2nd of February) 

#34 – Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (3rd February)

#35 –Green Room (4th February)

#36 – Booksmart (5th February)

#37 – Wild Rose (6th February)

#38 –Kung-Fu Panda (7th February)

#39 – One Cut of the Dead (8th February)

#40 – The Farewell (9th February)

#41 – Judy (10th February)

#42 – Dark Waters (11th February) 

#43 – Jungle  (12th February)

#44 – Le Mans ’66 (Ford Vs Ferrari) 13th February

#45 – Apollo 11 (14th February)

#46 – Sonic (15th February)

#47 – The Children Act (16th February)

#48 – Boy (17th February)

#49 – Snowpiercer (18th February)

#50 – Period. End of Sentence. (19th February)

#51 – Heroin(e). (20th February)

#52 – Zion. (21st February)

#53 – See You Yesterday. (22nd February)

#54 – Late Night (23rd February)

#55 – Velvet Buzzsaw (24th February)

#56 – Private Life (25th February)

#57 – The Perfect Host (26th February) 

#58 – The Sting  (27th February)

#59 – Stan & Ollie (28th February)

#59 – Onward (29th February)

60# – Prince of Egypt (1st March)

#61 – The Invisible Man (1933) (2nd March)

#62 – The Invisible Man (2020). (2nd March)

#63 Birds of Prey (3rd March)

#64 How it ends (4th March)

#65 All the Bright Places (5th March)

#66 Snoopy and Charlie Brown: the Peanuts movie (6th of March)

#67 Midsommar (7th of March)

#68 Escape from Pretoria (8th of March)

#69 Audrie & Daisy (9th of March)

#70 Spenser Confidential (10th of March)

#71 12 Angry Men (11th of March)

#72 One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (12th of March)

#73 Friday the 13th  (13th of March)

#74 King Fu Panda 2 (14th of March)

#75 The BFG (15th March)

#76 Modern Times (16th of March)

#77 City Lights (17th of March)

#78 The Kid (18th March)

#79 Lost Girl (19th of March)

#80 Monsters Vs Aliens (20th of March)

#81 Turbo (21st of March)

#82 6 Underground (22nd of March)

#83 The Platform (23rd of March)

#84 A Fall from Grace (24th of March)

#85 Il Sorpasso (25th of March)

#86 Blinded By the Light (26th of March)

#87 Honey I shrunk the Kids (27th of March)

#88 Goosbumps (28th of March)

#89 Doctor Sleep (29th of March)

#90 Horse Girl (30th of March)

#91 Honey Boy (31st of March)

#92 Pieces of April. (1st of April)

#93 Go  (2nd of April)

#94 101 Dalmatians (3rd of April)

#95 Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (4th of April)

#96 Come to Daddy (5th of April)

#97 Luce (6th of April)

#98 Germany Year Zero (7th of April)

#99 Rome Open City (8th of April)

#100 Ladri di Biciclette (9th of April)

#101 The Goonies (10th of April)

#102 Up (11th of April) 

#103 Life as a Courgette (12th of April) 

#104 Still Walking (13th April)

#105 Blue Valentine (14th of April)

#106 Scary Story to tell in the Dark (15th of April)

#107 The Hunt (18th April)

#108 The Little Prince (19th April)

#109 Ratatouille (20th April)

#110  Blue Ruin (21st April)

#111 Buried (22nd April)

#112 The professor and the Madman (23rd April)

#113  The Wandering Earth (24th April)

#114 Audition

#115 Open Season

#116 Extraction (25th April)

#117 Sing (26th  April)

#118  Miracle in Cell n.7 (27th April)

#119  A PIGEON SAT ON A BRANCH REFLECTING ON EXISTENCE 

(28th April)

#120  Attack the Block (29th April)

#121 Days of Heaven (30th April)

122 Spiderman (1st of May)

#123 The Secret Life of Pets (2rd May)

#124 The Assistant (3th May)

#125 Moffie (4th May)

#126 Frankenstein (the Play). (5th May)

#127 February (6th May)

#128 The Descendants (7th May)

#129 Upload (8th May)

#129 Secret Life of Pets 2 (8th May)

#130 Pete’s Dragon (9th May)

#131 Dial M for Murder (10th of May)

#132 Becoming (11th of May)

#133 The Peanut Butter Falcon (12th of May)

#134 The Whitlers (13th of May)

#135 Hollywood (14th of May)

#136 Abominable (15th of May)

#137 A Cat in Paris (16th of May)

#138 Men in Black (17th of May)

#139 Rebuilding Paradise (18th of May)

#140 The trader (19th of May)

#141 The Ghost of Sugarland (20h of May)

#142 Unbelievable (21st of May)

#143 Robots (22ndof May)

#144 Boxtrolls  (23rd of May)

#145 Corpus Christ (24th of May)

#146 Honeyland (25th of May)

#147 Adam (26th of May)

#148 Alita: Battle Angel (27th of May)

#149 The Belly of the Whale (28th of May)

#150 The Princess Bride (29th of May)

#151 The Guilty (30th of May)

#152 THE VAST OF NIGHT (31st May)

#153 FRUITVALE STATION. (1st June)

#154. Extremis. (2nd June)

#155 THE INSIDE JOB. (3rd June)

#156 UNORTHODOX (4th June)

#157  The Polar Express (5th June)

#158  Tarzan (6th June)

#159. WHEN THEY SEE US (7th June)

#160. DAYS OF THE BAGNOLD SUMMER. (8h June)

#161. Source Code  (9h June)

#162 Blindspotting.  (10th June)

#163 DATING AMBER. (11th June)

#164 CALL OF THE WILD. (12th June)

#165 SHIRKERS. (13th June)

#166 GNOMEO & JULIET (13th June)

#167. Da 5 Bloods  (14h June)

#168. The Invitation.  (15th June)

#169 You Were Never Really Here. (16th June)

#170 Life Overtakes Me (18th June)

#171  The Ground Beneath My Feet  (19th June)

#172 The Incredibles. (20th June)

#173  MY NEIGHBOUR TOTORO. (21st June)

#174  7500. (22nd June)

#175 The Kids Are All Right. (23rd June)

#176 Dads (24th June)

#177 Athlete A. (25th June)

#178 THE SPONGEBOB MOVIE: SPONGE OUT OF WATER. (26th June)

#179 Spiderman 2.1  (27th June)

#180 A White, White Day (28th June)

#181 Booksellers (29th June)

#182 JOSHUA: Teenager vs Superpower (30th June)

#183 Summer 1993 (1st July)

#184 5 short films – DAUGHTER, SISTER, MEMORABLE, HAIR LOVE, 

KITBU  (2nd July)

#185 Incredibles 2

#186 Hotel Transilvania (4TH July)

#187 Barney’s Version (5th July)

#188 Gemini Man (6th July)

#189 Captain Fantastic (7th July)

#190 Back Roads (8th July)

#191 Resurface (9th July)

#192 Innerspace (10th July)

#193 Ponyo

#194 Greyhound (12th July)

#195 The Last of Us (part 1 & 2) (13th July)

#196 The Old Guard. (14th July)

#197 Dear Ex (15th July)

#198 Alex Rider (16th July)

199 Scoob! (17th July)

200 The Greatest Showman (18th July)

201 The Good Fight Season 4 (19th  July)

202 Clemency (20th July)

203 Giant Little Ones (21st July)

#204 Game Night (22nd July)

205 Condor (23rd July)

#206 Ex Machina (25th July)

#207 Harry Potter & The Philosopher Stone (26th July)

#208 The Miseducation of Cameron Post. (27th July)

#209 The Mosquito Coast. (28th July)

#210 Crip Camp.  (29th July)

#211 In the Fade (30th July)

# 212 Raw (31th July)

#213 Animal Crackers (31st July)

#214 Ghostbusters (1st August)

#215 I may Destroy You. (2nd August)

#216 The Speed Cubers. (3rd August)

#217 Insidious (4th August)

#218 The King of Staten Island. (5th August)

#219 How to Build A Girl. (6th August)

#220 Dream Big. (7h August)

#221 Upgrade.  (8th August)

#222 Clue   (9th August)

#223 Father Soldier Son.  (10th August)

#224 Monos.  (11th August)

#225 Evil. (12th August)

#226 E.T. The Extra Terrestrial  (13th August)

#227 Romeo & Juliet. (14th August)

#228 Boys State. (15th August)

#229 Project Power. (16th August)

#230 Catfish. (17th August)

#231 Ocean’s 8. (18th August)

#232 Nobody know I’m here. (19th August)

#233 50/50. (21st August)

#234 Stand By Me. (25th August)

#235 Rising Phoenix (31st August)

#236 Tenet. (1st September)

#237 Official Secrets. (2nd September)

#238 The Hater. (3rd September)

#239 Harry Potter & The Chamber of Secrets. (4th September)

#240 Searching. (5th September)

#241 I’m thinking of Ending things. (6th September)

#242 The Gift. (7th September)

#243 Asterix & Cleopatra. (8th September)

#244 The Twelve tasks of Asterix (9th September)

#245 Cobra Kai. (10th September)

#246 Monsters University. (11th September)

#247 Flushed Away (12th September)

#248 The Social Dilemma. (13th September)

#249 Alive. (14th September)

#250 The Mole Agent. (15th September)

#251 Rocks. (16th September)

#252 The Devil All the Time. (17th September)

#253 Pinocchio (18th September)

#254 The Willoughbys. (19th September)

#255 Cuties. (20th September)

#256 Safety Not Guaranteed. (21st September)

#257 The Gentlemen. (22nd September)

#258 Carmilla. (23rd September)

#259  Camp Cretaceus   (24th September)

#260 The Missing Link. (25th September)

#261 The Lorax.  (26th September)

#262 System Crasher.  (27th September)

#263 8 ½. (28th September)

#264 Umberto D (29th September)

#265 Sulla Mia Pelle (On My Skin). (30th September)

#266 Enola Holmes. (1st October)

#267 The Adventures of Tintin – The Secret of the Unicorn (2nd October)

#268 The Father (3rd Oct)

#269 The Wrong Trousers (4th Oct)

#270 The Boys in the Band (5th Oct)

#271 Stray (6th Oct)

#272 Relic (7th Oct) 

#273 Honeymood (8th Oct)

#274 Supernova (9th Oct)

#275 The Emperor’s New Groove (10th Oct)

#276 Wallace & Gromit & The Curse of the Wererabbit.  (11th October )

#277 Kajillionaire (12th October )

#278 Mogul Mogwli (13th October)

#279 Dick Johnson is dead. (14th October )

#280 – American Murder – the family next door.  (15th October )

#281 Kronk’s new groove. (16th October )

#282 Paddington.  (17th October )

#283 The Trial of the Chicago 7. (18th October )

#284 The half of it. (19th October )

#285 Time   (20th October)

#286 Rebecca (2020) ** (21st October )

#287  Brave Blue World (**) 22nd October

#288 Over the moon  (23rd October)

#289 Raiders of the Lost Ark (*****). 24th October 

#290 Paddington 2

291 Borat Sebsequent Moviefilm (**) 27th October

#293 Summerland (**) 28th October

#294 Summer of 85 (***) 29th October 

#295 Zootopia (***) 30th October

#296 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (31st October)

#297 Halloween 2018 (1st November)

#298 Dr. No (2nd November) 

#299 His House

#300 The West Wing Special 

#301 Tangled 

#302 A Shot in the Dark

#303 About Endlessness

304 From Russia with love

305 Goldfinger

#306 Saint Maud

#307 Terminator :Dark Fate

#308 Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom – Friday 13th November

#309 The Pink Panther strikes back – Saturday 14th November

#310 – Everybody Flies  Sunday 15th November

311 Duel Monday 16th November

312 The life ahead (17th November)

313 The Sugarland Express (18th November)

314 Sorry To Bother You (19th November)

315 The rescuers –  20th November

316 The Borrowers – 21 November 

317 If anything happens I love you

318 Fireball

319 Host – 24th November

320 Collective – 25th November

321 One Night in Miami – 26th November

322 The Book of Life – 27th November

323 Anima- 28th November

324 Yes, God, Yes – 29th November

325 The Undoing – 30th November

326 The man without Gravity (L’uomo senza gravità)

327 Angela’s Christmas

328 The Queen’s Gambit (3rd December)

329 Mickey’s Christmas Carol (3rd December)

330  The Rescuers Down Under (4th December)

331 Citizen Kane (5th December)

332 Young Sherlock Holmes.   5th December 

333 And then we Danced.  6th December

334  Mank. –  7th December 

335 Climb blind. – 8th December

336 I am Greta.  –  9th December

337 Long Shot  –  10th December

338  Angela’s Christmas Wish.  11th December

339  The Return of the Pink Panther.  12th December 

340 Canvas. 13th December

341 Falling. 13th December

342 Minari.  14th December

343  76 Days. (15th December)

344 The Dissident.  (16th December) 

345 Miss Juneteenth.  (17th December)

346 Arthur Christmas. (18th December )

347 Peter Pan (19th December)

348 A Christmas Carol (20th December) 

349 Nowhere Special (21 December)

350 Nomadland (22nd December)

351 News of the World (23rd December)

352 The Midnight Sky (24th December)

353 Soul (25th December)

354 Santa Claus: the Movie 

355 Wonder Woman 1984 (26th December) 

356 Death to 2020 (27th December)

357 Cops and Robbers (28th December)

358 Rose Island (L’Isola delle Rose) (29th December)

359 Babyteeth (30th December)

360 Home Alone (31 December)

Father Soldier Son

Father Soldier Son ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Director: Leslye DavisCatrin Einhorn. Cast: Brian EischIsaac EischJoey Eisch 

I must confess that the title didn’t inspire me particularly but I am so happy I went beyond those simple three words.

As I started watching this documentary I had no idea what an emotional journey this was going to be. It brought tears in my eyes a few times (A very unexpected turn of events about half way through actually reduced me to a real wreck) but by the end of it I was able to find a little bit of redemption and comfort too, something I never thought would be possible while watching it.

This is a miracle of film, one of those documentaries that only happen once in a decade, and that’s exactly how long it took to make.

It is beautifully filmed and masterly edited (really!!), subtly observed and constructed with great empathy but at the same time without ever forcing any point of view. You might look at the patriarch of this family and think “this is a true American hero”, but you also might look at it and think “what an selfish asshole”.

It is an intimate portrait of a family, a stunning study of American masculinity, the need for purpose and place in life and a lot more.

It will frustrate you, annoy you, made you think, (inspire you?), move you like feel thing will.

I was astounded by it and deeply touched. Together with the Mole Agent (which is a lot more uplifting) this is my favourite film of the 2020.

The Mole Agent

The Mole Agent ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Director: Maite Alberdi. Cast: Sergio Chamy.

Ever since this troubled 2020 began, I’ve already watched more than 360 films and as it happens when the number is so high, most of them pass me through and they’re pretty much forgotten within a week. Some films are obviously indisputable masterpieces: the way they are told, filmed, put together, their music, their performances… Others are just terrible… And then there few (very few) which work on you in more subtle ways. There may not be “The Godfather” or “Casablanca”, but they leave you with something that almost changes the way you are and think about things.

That was the case for “The Mole Agent”, which unexpectedly came along and not only it touched me the way very few things have, but it somehow left something inside me that I will most likely carry for the rest of my life. This is a beautiful, heart-warming documentary sensitively talks about issues like old age, loneliness, family and companionship as it takes you inside a nursing home in Santiago (Chile), where an old man infiltrates so that it can spy on the staff and see if the patients are being treated properly. All this is only just the pretext for something a lot deeper.

It is a documentary but filmed with warmth and love like a feature film, to the point that at times I wondered: “is this really true?” (It is as a matter of fact, as I have been reading several articles about it). It is also hilarious: I found myself laughing more often than I did during most of comedies this year. It’s inspired, moving, uplifting, heart-breaking and one of the sweetest thing

I’ve seen in a time where we all really need not just beautiful stories but also things which make us think about our older friends.

I loved it and it is now on top of my favourite films of the year. I urge you to seek it out as soon as you can.

Babyteeth

Babyteeth ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Director: Shannon Murphy Cast: Eliza ScanlenMichelle LottersToby Wallace, Essie Davis, Ben Mendelsohn

I watched this small independent Australian film with no expectations and I was actually blown away. Despite a seemingly known plot line and all the dangerous pitfalls that a story about a terminally ill young girl carries with it, “Babyteeth” feels like a breath of fresh air: for a start it’s unexpectedly funny, mischievous, delightful, full of light and life. It’s surprising to read that it’s been adapted from a stage play, because it feels anything but stagey and stuffy. But beyond the cancer plot itself (refreshingly not a single doctor or hospital is to be seen in the film), the film is actually a coming of age story and it’s just about the girl herself, Milla, Moses, the older boy from the wrong side of the track and a drug addicted. It is also about her family too (the extraordinary Ben Mendelsohn who’ll soon be owed an Oscar, plays the father). They agree to let her see Moses, because after all how can you deny a dying person to see the man she loves? This is the worst possible parenting I can imagine.” They say knowingly.

Needless to say, given the subject matter, the film is also devastatingly heart-breaking and yet some of the best scenes in the film have nothing to do with Milla’s illness, though it’s obviously always lingering in the background as all the characters are trying to grieve, though not very succesfully. Babyteeth is possibly one of the best debut film of the year.

Director Shannon Murphy treats the material with both sensitivity and a lightness of touch, with humour and realism. Her visual flair, choice of music and attention to detail gives her a unique voice and makes this a film full of love, more than illness.

The final coda had me crying like fountain but it encapsulates the whole film which manages to be both poetic and realistic, funny and poignant all at the same time.

The film is available on streaming to buy or rent right now.

Rose Island

Rose Island (L’isola delle Rose) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Director: Sydney Sibilia. Cast: Matilda De AngelisTom WlaschihaElio Germano , Fabrizio Bentivoglio, François Cluzet, Luca Zingaretti.

I watched this on my sister’s suggestion (Though we don’t always see things under the same light… ) but I knew absolutely nothing about it. What a delightful surprise this was!A caption right at the front of the film said “based on a true story”, but I’m so used to seeing those kind of warnings that it didn’t even register on me. It was only once the film was over, during the end credits featuring black & white photos of the real event, that it dawned on me that this amazing story actually happened!

Essentially it’s the story of a man who in 1968 built his own “island” (well a large platform in the middle of the sea) 5 miles off the cost of Italy (opposite to Rimini) and fought to make it into an independent “country” with its own language!The incredible story itself is possibly better than the film itself, which however very watchable it is, struggles in places to find its own voice (or understand which genre it should be).

At times it’s way too comical and farcical (especially in the very simplistic and over-the-top way the Italian Government is depicted), preferring the easy laugh to a much deeper understanding of the real issue at stake and seemingly missing the point and the power of the actual story. It also somehow misses most of the emotional bits and by the time the final sequences comes along I felt it could have been a lot more powerful (I’m thinking of the same sort of scene in Cinema Paradiso for example… but then again, I don’t want to spoil it). Having said all that, I’ve had a ball with it: it’s light enough, it’s entertaining all the way through and it’s nicely filmed and acted (though however much I liked the main character, I never quite believed it could be just out of university) and as I said the story itself was enough for me to give it an extra star.

One for those who think Italian movies are only about Mafia and neorealism.

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