And just like that, a new year is upon us. The last month of 2021 flew by for me, mostly because I was dealing with my big move to Los Angeles in the first couple of weeks and then getting adjusted to my new job. So my movie-watching went down a little because of all that, but I got back into it after settling in more. That included several trips to some of the different theaters around L.A., mostly checking out new movies, but also seeing some old favorites on the big screen. That trend is sure to continue in 2022 as I get more familiar with my new city. Anyway, I’ll be posting my film year in review within the next few days with a look back at my 2021 in movie-watching. But until then, here’s a quick wrap on the past 31 days.
New-to-Me Films by Decade:
- 1910s – 1
- 1920s – 1
- 1930s – 0
- 1940s – 3
- 1950s – 2
- 1960s – 2
- 1970s – 10
- 1980s – 0
- 1990s – 1
- 2000s – 0
- 2010s – 1
- 2020s – 7
List of New-to-Me Films:
- Licorice Pizza (2021)
- Cruel Gun Story (1964)
- It’s Such a Beautiful Day (2012)
- A Warm December (1973)
- West Side Story (2021)
- The Naughty Nineties (1945)
- The Time of Their Lives (1946)
- The Inn of the Sixth Happiness (1958)
- Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)
- Red Rocket (2021)
- Drive My Car (2021)
- Nightmare Alley (2021)
- The Long Day Closes (1992)
- Christmas Eve (1947)
- Scrooge (1970)
- Breezy (1973)
- Chilly Scenes of Winter (1979)
- Flee (2021)
- I Don’t Want to Be a Man (1918)
- The Pleasure Garden (1925)
- The Anderson Tapes (1971)
- Cul-de-sac (1966)
- The Day of the Jackal (1973)
- Man on a Swing (1974)
- Diary of a Mad Housewife (1970)
- From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler (1973)
- A Matter of Time (1976)
- Shadows (1959)
A Few Favorite Discoveries:
Paul Thomas Anderson is one of my favorite filmmakers, so Licorice Pizza was one of my most-anticipated of the year, and as I expected I enjoyed it a lot (I ended up seeing it again just a few days ago). Alana Haim and Cooper Hoffman are wonderful in their film debuts, anchoring the movie whether they’re together or apart amidst an eccentric collection of supporting characters. I’m definitely curious to see where Haim and Hoffman take their film careers.
I’m always hesitant about remakes, especially of movies from the old Hollywood era, and especially ones that are such bonafide classics as 1961’s West Side Story, which is one of my all-time favorite films. But with a director like Steven Spielberg at the helm, I had more faith in this new adaptation, and it didn’t disappoint. I liked most of the changes in Tony Kushner’s screenplay that made this West Side Story stand on its own while still paying tribute to its predecessors on stage and screen. Much of the cast is great too; I was particularly captivated by Mike Faist’s portrayal as Jets leader Riff and was just completely enraptured by Rachel Zegler’s Maria every time she sang.
I enjoyed Diary of a Mad Housewife more than I thought I would, as you’re placed right into the protagonist’s home life, filled with constant nagging from her family on a daily basis. Carrie Snodgress is excellent in an Oscar-nominated performance as Tina, a woman enduring the constant demands of being a housewife. The two men that circulate her are also great in their respective roles: Richard Benjamin as Tina’s obnoxious, social-climbing husband (perhaps one of the worst characters ever put to screen) and Frank Langella making his film debut as a callous writer with whom Tina has an affair.
3 thoughts on “Films in 2021: December”
Happy New Year, Keisha! Only ONE from your list that I’ve ever seen, and that was Breezy, which I saw on TV a long time ago, and remember nothing about, except it was directed by Clint Eastwood.
And good luck in LA! When I lived in San Diego as a kid, KTLA was the go-to station for Angels games and back-to-back Twilight Zone episodes at noon every day. I used to hit a lot of movie theaters up there as well…sadly, most of which are now gone. But I think the Fox and Bruin are still open in Westwood, so I’d recommend those two if you haven’t been already.
Thanks Todd! I grew up in Anaheim, and KTLA was one of the local news stations we’d put on, so it’s kind of like coming back home. I did go to the Fox (now Village) theater in Westwood just a few days after moving in to see Licorice Pizza! I definitely wanna catch some more movies there, and at the Bruin.
That’s cool you lived in Anaheim…I used to go up there all the time when I lived in San Diego…Angels games, Ducks games, Disneyland, movies…lots of things to do up there.
A lot of cool theaters in Westwood are now gone, sadly, but I’m glad I was able to check out a few while I could. The National was a great one…saw the director’s cut of ‘Blade Runner’ there. But never was able to visit the Village, so congrats on getting to that one!