Films in 2019: November

November was another big movie-watching month, wherein I watched nearly 50(!) new-to-me movies and re-watched more than a dozen others. Of course, it was Noirvember, so I watched a ton of film noir! I also caught up with several new releases in theaters, and was lucky enough to see The Irishman playing at a theater near me; I was glad to find I enjoyed it just as much as I did when I saw it at NYFF a couple of months ago, it’s definitely among my favorite movies of the year. And as everyone knows, Disney+ launched at the beginning of last month, though I’ve only watched two feature-length movies on there so far (both of which I watched on the streaming service’s launch day). But I’ve been keeping up with the new Star Wars show The Mandalorian and the documentary series The Imagineering Story, and I’ve been watching some classic animated Disney shorts. Anyway, before moving forward in the last month of the year, let’s take a look back at what I watched in November.

New-to-Me: 48

Re-Watched: 17

New-to-Me Films by Decade:

  • 1920s – 0
  • 1930s – 3
  • 1940s – 15
  • 1950s – 12
  • 1960s – 2
  • 1970s – 1
  • 1980s – 1
  • 1990s – 1
  • 2000s – 4
  • 2010s – 9

List of New-to-Me Films:

  1. Bad Girl (1931)
  2. City That Never Sleeps (1953)
  3. The File on Thelma Jordon (1950)
  4. Cry of the City (1948)
  5. Black Angel (1946)
  6. Parasite (2019)
  7. The Lighthouse (2019)
  8. The Red House (1947)
  9. Women’s Prison (1955)
  10. A Kiss Before Dying (1956)
  11. Desert Fury (1947)
  12. Cry Danger (1951)
  13. Sleep, My Love (1948)
  14. Jojo Rabbit (2019)
  15. The Reluctant Dragon (1941)
  16. Journey to the Center of the Earth (1959)
  17. The Strip (1951)
  18. The Hunted (1948)
  19. Ford v Ferrari (2019)
  20. Flags of Our Fathers (2006)
  21. Letters from Iwo Jima (2006)
  22. The Brasher Doubloon (1947)
  23. Decoy (1946)
  24. Image Makers: The Adventures of America’s Pioneer Cinematographers (2019)
  25. Drums Along the Mohawk (1939)
  26. The Pied Piper (1942)
  27. The Man in the White Suit (1951)
  28. Frozen II (2019)
  29. The Man I Love (1947)
  30. Moontide (1942)
  31. Touchez pas au grisbi (1954)
  32. The Corn Is Green (1945)
  33. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (2019)
  34. Marriage Story (2019)
  35. Le doulos (1962)
  36. Le deuxième souffle (1966)
  37. Collateral (2004)
  38. The Game (1997)
  39. No Way Out (1987)
  40. The Late Show (1977)
  41. Brick (2005)
  42. Knives Out (2019)
  43. The Old Maid (1939)
  44. Old Acquaintance (1943)
  45. Hunt the Man Down (1950)
  46. The Capture (1950)
  47. The Sleeping City (1950)
  48. The Mask of Dimitrios (1944)

A Few Favorite Discoveries:  

City That Never Sleeps (1953)

City That Never Sleeps (1953), directed by John H. Auer

I watched more than two dozen new-to-me noir films, but it turned out my favorite from the classic period was the very first one I saw. City That Never Sleeps was the remaining noir I hadn’t seen yet on Eddie Muller’s Top 25 Noir Films list, and I was not disappointed. As someone on Letterboxd pointed out, it’s a bit It’s a Wonderful Life meets film noir set in the Chicago nightlife, with a city cop played by Gig Young facing a crisis of sorts in his job and marriage. It’s odder than your usual noir, with a climatic and touching scene involving a mechanical mime, but it’s made all the more interesting because of that.

Parasite (2019)

Parasite (2019), directed by Bong Joon Ho

Parasite is a movie that doesn’t just live up to the hype — it surpasses it. I was afraid that all the amazing word-of-mouth it was getting since the Cannes Film Festival would diminish my enjoyment in some way, but fortunately, that wasn’t the case at all. It helped that I didn’t look too much into it aside from trailers and the basic premise. I won’t say much more for anyone who hasn’t seen it yet except to go watch it as soon as possible! This is also somehow my first time seeing a Bong Joon Ho movie, and I can’t wait to watch more of his work.

Marriage Story (2019)

Marriage Story (2019), directed by Noah Baumbach

Though Marriage Story is hitting Netflix in a few days, I couldn’t wait to see the film and found it playing at a couple of theaters near me, so I went ahead and watched it on the big screen last weekend. It’s a pretty intimate, emotional look at the breakdown of a marriage as a couple with a young son tries to work through their impending divorce, with some scenes almost being hard to watch because of how intense it could get between the two main characters. It’s a great showcase of writing and acting, with Adam Driver being a real stand-out for me.

Collateral (2004)

Collateral (2004), directed by Michael Mann

I mostly focused on film noir from the classic era for Noirvember, but I squeezed in a few neo-noir films in between, including the Los Angeles-set Collateral, a movie I’d been meaning to check out for some time. I’ve always enjoyed Tom Cruise’s screen presence, so it was really interesting to see him play against type as the film’s antagonist against Jamie Foxx as the protagonist. Both actors really compliment each other as their characters, and it’s fascinating to see how their dynamic plays out over the long night.

Knives Out (2019)

Knives Out (2019), directed by Rian Johnson

I saw Knives Out on Thanksgiving Day, and it was such a well-timed release as it perfectly suits the holiday because it revolves around a dysfunctional family. It features quite an all-star cast as the family members, headed by Christopher Plummer, whose mysterious death sets the action in motion. But in a movie full of great stars, it’s Ana de Armas as the kind and devoted caretaker of the family patriarch that really shines through as the movie’s MVP. Daniel Craig is also very amusing to watch as the detective solving the case, and I would not be opposed to this launching a new film series with his character investigating crimes once he’s done with James Bond. And speaking of which, after seeing Craig and de Armas work together so well here, I’m excited to see what their dynamic will be like in No Time to Die next year.

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