Our committee's hand-selected favourites from the last year.
Maya Marie, Rowan Hand, Amy Mallows, George Lloyd, Ali Rowe, Ella Plevin, Azeb Tuji, Maryam Tanwir
Need a list of films to watch this January? Here's our committee's hand-selected favourites from the last year.
Maya, Co-President: A beautifully simplistic allegory of the Irish Civil War imbued with deeply funny black humour and set against stunning cliff top landscapes. Who doesn’t simultaneously enjoy and squirm at a tale in which the stakes are continually raised to absurd levels?
George, Bookings Officer: Brendan Gleeson and Colin Farrell are such a joyous comic couple. I also appreciated the unbridled abuse of the word ‘feck’ throughout the film.
Amy, Co-President: In the profound words of everyone’s favourite film critic, Harry Styles, it’s a movie that feels like a movie, with cinematography and stunts that give any Marvel blockbuster a run for its money, whilst managing to ground itself in tenderness and down-to-earth charm. Impressive, moving, zany and completely ridiculous!
Rowan, Staff Writer: “A European melodrama about four years in a 20-something woman’s life” isn’t a great pitch, but that’s what it says on the tin. This neglects the fact that the film, anchored by Renate Reinsve’s epic performance, warmly, humorously, and intelligently subverts many if not all the frustrating tropes of painfully-long European kitchen-sink dramas. Plus it’s just undeniably watchable.
Maryam, Speakers Officer: A nuanced display of the conundrum of depression and the passion to celebrate everyday life.
Ali, Competitions Officer: 2022 was a fantastic year for horror! Ti West’s ‘X’ paid homage to history’s greatest slashers, yet in contrast to many influential horrors, West populated his movie with intelligent, sympathetic victims, and antagonists who are equally complex.
George, Bookings Officer: Brian and Charles can be enjoyed on many levels. A heartwarming and silly tale of a friendship between a lonely man and his homemade robot, and also a touching allegory for living with someone suffering from Alzheimer’s.
Ella, Treasurer: “A donkey wanders around Europe, meeting people and experiencing turns of fortune”. From Triangle of Sadness to Banshees of Inisherin, donkeys had a rough year on film, but none moved me quite like EO, the titular protagonist of Jerzy Skolimowski’s bewitching paean to non-human experience. Beautifully lit with a haunting score and performances that blew me away. Funny, sweet, surreal and devastating.
Ali, Competitions Officer: As with his phenomenal ‘The VVitch’, Robert Eggers based ‘The Northman’ upon folktales, contemporary to the era in which the film is set. As a writer who loves to compose historical scripts inspired by contemporary documents, and who has studied many of the texts upon which ‘The Northman’ is based, Eggers’ film absolutely fascinated me. ‘The Northman’ feels epic, yet contains moments of striking intimacy, supported by an excellent cast.
Azeb, Diversity Officer: Barbarian is hilarious, refreshing and grounded in social commentary. It has you emotionally connected and rooting for the “traditional monster” as the complexity of her desires are slowly revealed. The film plays with the idea of empathy vs hysterical strength as a survival tool and forces the audience to reexamine their notion of victimhood.
George, Bookings Officer: Hilarious dark comedy murder mystery with fantastic performances. Has been billed as ‘gen z comedy’ which makes it sound rather vomitous but it is much more than that.