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Hannah Tran’s Top 10 Films of 2020

Written by: Hannah Tran | December 29th, 2020

Below is my list, in order of preference:

  1. Boys State (Amanda McBaine/Jesse Moss): Endlessly sharp and equally moving, Boys State is a perfect encapsulation of the current political divide of the moment and the innate faults within the electoral process as told through a demographic that is both feared and resented as the likely future of our nation. Pushing the boundaries of documentary filmmaking, Boys State presents a remarkably thorough perspective that is hilarious, grim and surprisingly hopeful.
  2. Promising Young Woman (Emerald Fennell)
  3. Dick Johnson Is Dead (Kirsten Johnson)
  4. Family Romance, LLC (Werner Herzog): Strange and sweet, Herzog’s Family Romance, LLC is a fascinating look at a Japanese people-renting business. As we watch a man fill in as different roles in others’ lives, Herzog masterfully comments on the constructs of human connection through an array of exciting experimental narrative techniques.
  5. Let Them All Talk (Steven Soderbergh): Soderbergh’s latest is simple, subtle and shocking. Bolstered by outstanding performances from the entire cast, particularly Lucas Hedges and Dianne Wiest, Let Them All Talk is an incredibly fun, well-written and touching examination of the gaps that exist between generations and those we create for ourselves.
  6. The Trip to Greece (Michael Winterbottom): What is believed to be the last in Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon’s international food travels is also one of their best. As clever as ever, the final installment takes its characters into a deeper realm, creating an unexpected level of realism that feels at once tragic and also necessary in order to allow these characters the level of personal growth their grand finale deserves.
  7. On the Rocks (Sofia Coppola): Focusing on a woman who reconnects with her womanizing father after they begin to suspect her husband is cheating on her, Coppola’s newest movie is a genuinely funny, visually appealing and perfectly cast look at ageing and marriage that manages to feel delightfully light despite its difficult themes.
  8. First Cow (Kelly Reichardt): Reichardt’s film about travelers in the American northwest who take milk from a prized cow to create popular pastries is a quiet, meditative and sweet examination of the virtues of brotherhood and communal bonds, as well as a striking condemnation of the economic greed that threatens them.
  9. The Wolf of Snow Hollow (Jim Cummings): Unpredictable and refreshingly unique, The Wolf of Snow Hollow is a humorous, violent and offbeat exploration of small-town life and the state of masculinity that is just as charming as its director/writer/lead actor Cummings.
  10. Driveways (Andrew Ahn)

Where I have previously reviewed the film, the title is hyperlinked to that review. Where I have not, I have written a short description of the movie to help explain why I chose it.

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Hannah Tran is a film critic and filmmaker from Las Vegas, Nevada. Hannah works as a film screener for the Las Vegas Film Festival and publishes an independent zine focused on highlighing Asian American filmmaking.

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