Well we have looked at Emotion, and then swung wildly across the spectrum to Fun, and now we are completing that trifecta with looking at Tension. Tension is one of the most challenging facets of filmmaking to pull off because it requires the script, direction, acting, and editing to all work in tandem to evoke the perfect pace. If just one part of that group misses then an essential part of the film falls apart.
In 2021 we continued to see some excellent use of tension used to build mystery, or to be the harbinger of the coming dread, or even the ticking clock of inevitability.
So without further ado, these are the moments of tension that kept us on the edge of our seats in 2021. Be warned that there may be some slight spoilers ahead for the films in question. Also, you can click on the titles for the full review.
We looked at the films that hit us in the feels with emotions in our last awards. Now it is time to hard pivot to the other side of the spectrum with a look at the films that were a riot of fun. So today, I take a moment to champion those films that brought the joy, whether through upbeat action, one laugh after another, or that silliness that brings a smile to your face.
I planned to keep all my lists to five entries. However, I just could not keep that number down with this category.
So without further ado, these films brought the fun in 2021. Be warned that there may be slight spoilers ahead for the films in question. Also, you can click on the banners for the full review.
As I have gotten older, I am not afraid of having a good old fashioned ugly cry in the cinemas when the time calls for it, and hell, I probably got emotional just writing this list (Spoiler: I did). Sometimes they are tears of grief, sometimes they are tears of joy, and even still, sometimes they are tears of anger.
Emotion is a core part of the cinema experience. If you can’t get us to respond to your characters and/or the situation emotionally, I am sorry you have failed to make a good film.
So without further ado, these are the films of 2021 that emotionally wrecked us. Be warned that there will be significant spoilers ahead for the films in question. Also, you can click on the titles to go to the full review.
You can use many techniques to help build your world, ground your setting, or give dimensions to your characters. You can use music, you can create elaborate sets, but one of the best ways is the costumes you make.
People instantly judge a character within moments on the screen, and the outfits are an essential part of that first impression. More than this, you can also use costumes as a way of storytelling. What do they say about this world, what do they say about how a character is progressing.
Costumes can build worlds, tell us details we can only see, but also they can make us say ‘hot damn’ look at that beading on that dress, that must have taken hours to do. So without further ado, these are the costumes that made us say ‘hot damn’ in 2021. Be warned that there may be slight spoilers ahead for the films in question. Also, please click on the titles to be taken to the full review.
Cinematography is an art form that can be as bold as a gong crashing after a moment of silence, or as subtle as the tide coming in. It elevates a film to the heights of accolade or turns a movie into a frustrating mess when it misfires.
While at the heart of cinematography is the Director of Photography or Cinematographer, to get something from the script to the final shot takes a whole team of professionals, and it is their talent that we champion today.
So without further ado, these are the moments of cinematography that took our breaths away in 2021. Be warned that there may be some slight spoilers ahead for the films in question. Also, click on the banners/titles to be taken to the full reviews.
It was a fantastic year for Australian Cinema, with each film I saw knocking it out of the park. There were intimate documentaries, films that held up a mirror to society, and those that brought the action to a new level.
This list will be looking more at the locally made Australian productions/co-productions and not just films filmed in Australia.
So without further ado, these are the best Australian Cinema in 2021. Be warned that there will be significant spoilers ahead for the films in question. Also, click on the banner/titles to go to the full reviews.
Animation is a form of filmmaking that is often related to second-tier status, something just for kids. This is by both the organisations giving out the awards and the guilds that are meant to promote their member’s work. However, they are not second-tier films, and in many ways, it is the animated films that push the frontiers of filmmaking and what is possible, and they should be championed for the work they do.
Animated films can be hand-drawn, stop/clay motion, computer-generated, it does not matter, but all of them show unique techniques of hundreds of artists that bring the work to life.
So without further ado, these are the animated films that showed us the glory of animation in 2021. Be warned that there may be slight spoilers ahead for the films in question. Also, click on the banners/titles to go to the full reviews of each of the films
A good Action sequence is something truly amazing to watch, as it can be as expansive as explosions crashing across the screen or more intimate, like a duel between two people. This gives the best action scenes such a range, and in 2021 we were given some genuinely unique spectacles.
For me, the best action scenes excel in every element, whether that be live actions, special effects, digital effects, or animation and bring every facet to shine. It is also the category that looks at some of the department’s people don’t often fully understand, like stunt coordination or the 2nd unit.
So without further ado, these are the moments of action that awed us in 2021. Be warned that there may be slight spoilers ahead for the films in question. Also, click on the banners/titles to see the reviews of each film.
However, in this last entry into our Best of 2020 awards, we crown our winner of the best film of 2020.
Now all films are subjective, so our list might look completely different than yours. Also, we didn’t get to see every movie this year which means we will be only drawing our Top 15 from the 101 films we did get to see, which you can see a list of HERE. You can also click on the banners to go to the full review.
It was also a very odd year for cinema with many films getting postponed, or released in non-traditional means.
Okay with that out of the way let dive into the first entry in our list of Best Films of 2020.
One of the benefits of film is that it is a visual media, and that means that it can do in a frame what it might take a book several pages of description to pull off. Where we see this the most is in its ability to build worlds in front of our eyes.
These worlds could be great space operas that explore galaxies, or a small period piece that looks back in time, or anything. But when every part of the film is being used to tell a story, you know it is good.
So without further ado, these are films that showed excellence in Worldbuilding 2020. Be warned that there may be some slight spoilers ahead for the films in question. Also, you can click on the banners to go to the full reviews.