The filmmakers of 2022 have been consistent in their creation of films that wreck the human heart and fully pull back the curtain on the human experience. You can see your friend, your neighbor and yourself on screen.
Here are just a couple more of my recent favorites that continue to do just that.
“The Fallout” (2022)
I was nervous about this movie at first. Not knowing what it was about and simply seeing the ads on social media for this film gave me a bad perception of it.
HBO Max claiming that this would be the “first defining movie of Gen Z” made me cringe.
And yet, when I finally gave in, expecting a run-of-the-mill coming-of-age story, I agreed with how they were self-advertising it. This film is generationally defining.
Since the Columbine massacre in 1999, there have been over 300 school shootings, these tragedies becoming regularly heard events among young millennials and those born in Generation Z.
Some schools have issued metal detectors and locker checks, all in an attempt to stop these tragedies before they happen. No high school starts the year without sharing emergency exits and strategies for a lockdown drill.
School shootings have become so frequent in this country that it can be hard to still be shocked when another one occurs.
In this film, Vada, Mia and Quinton are all bound to one another when the three are huddled together in a bathroom stall while gunshots ring out in their school hallways.
People cope with catastrophe in different ways, and this film is a beautiful portrayal of that. Serving as Megan Park’s directorial debut, I would call “The Fallout” a must-watch.
“The Worst Person in the World” (2022)
Nominated for the Oscar for best original screenplay, as well as best international film, “The Worst Person in the World” could be seen as a romantic comedy or a serious narrative film dealing with the passing of time.
It’s a coming-of-age that progresses the span of years. Rather than operating under a slice-of-life outline, this film goes through core chapters of the main character’s life.
Julie begins as a med student. Then she becomes a psychology student, until she starts studying photography. Julie cuts her hair. Then, Julie grows out her hair. She has blonde hair, and she has brown hair.
Julie is ever-changing. She is dynamic and constantly evolving. What has defined one phase of her life does not define the next part of it. She is open to change, yet clings to what she loves. She is selfish but giving. She is the definition of duality. She is the perfect reflection of what it means to simply ebb and flow.
Without ever experiencing the same exact scenarios that Julie is in, director Joachim Trier portrays a perfectly human experience on the screen for any viewer to see themselves in.
With the Oscars coming up, I wanted to reflect on some films I wish had been nominated.
“The French Dispatch,” Wes Anderson’s latest movie, dives into an edition of a French outpost of an American newspaper.
With multiple narratives occurring side by side as the viewer is led throughout the newspaper, what should be a confusing mess of storylines is a gorgeous journey through what it’s like to be a journalist and the stories that can come from it.
There is not one scene that is not visually stunning, especially those that include Timothee Chalamet. I would have been so glad to see this as a nomination for best picture.
“The Green Knight” was another film I was disappointed not to see anywhere in the nominations. After one viewing, you’ll be surprised as well that this did not make it anywhere in any of the stylistic categories.
Telling the story of Sir Gawain, King Arthur’s nephew, this film might be one of the most visually stunning things I have seen in my life. Director David Lowery does a fantastic job of taking you right into the world of Camelot.
My sister Isabel Bostick said it best, “If more literature-to-film adaptations were like this, maintaining and adding beauty, the book wouldn’t always be better.”
Lastly, “C’mon C’mon” was another film I hoped to see in the lineup as a nomination for best screenplay. Joaquin Phoenix plays a radio journalist who must take care of his nephew Jesse.
While the story is fictional, director Mike Mills includes unscripted interviews done by Phoenix’s character with real children in Detroit, commenting on their lives, their dreams and their relationships with adults.
Sharing themes from childhood, adulthood and trauma, this film left me crying. It was such a beautiful portrayal of how we live and what we remember.
“The Batman” (March 4)
“After Yang” (March 4)
“Everything Everywhere All At Once” (March 11)