2020 in Films: 365 Days, 386 Films, and a Year Full of Cinema!

Usually I post this year end recap on the last day of the year, but like I said in my December wrap-up post, my computer died the day after Christmas so everything has gotten a bit delayed. Obviously 2020 was a very unusual year and you can see that reflected in what I watched. You’ll notice, for example, that I didn’t watch very many movies in June. I also only watched three films in September due to the passing of my Grampa and all that that entailed. I do however feel like I managed to expand the kinds of films I watched and watch a lot of films outside my comfort zone. So, as always, after the cut you can see every film I watched as well as a breakdown by decade, and a highlight of my favorite new-to-me (but not new release) film I watched. If you want to see my monthly recaps you can find those here.

  1. The Cotton Club (encore cut)
  2. And You Act Like One Too
  3. Yours Truly, Andrea G. Stern
  4. The Juniper Tree
  5. Band Aid
  6. Love & Mercy
  7. Champagne
  8. Comme une image (Look at Me)
  9. Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage
  10. Paris est à nous (Paris Is Us)
  11. Cosmos Laundromat
  12. Zaklete rewiry (Hotel Pacific)
  13. A Love Song For Latasha
  14. Aziza
  15. Dragonfly
  16. Walk, Run, Cha-Cha
  17. Cinema Rules Everything Around Me
  18. Moonwalk With Me
  19. Kitbull
  20. A Fall From Grace
  21. Jezebel (2020)
  22. What Did Jack Do?
  23. Miss Americana
  24. (February) Eatnanvulos lottit (Birds in the Earth)
  25. Fainting Spells
  26. 37 Seconds
  27. Maggie (2018)
  28. Putney Swope
  29. My Dinner with Andre
  30. The Velvet Vampire
  31. Suzaki Paradaisu: Akashingô (Suzaki Paradise: Red Light District)
  32. Ginza 24 chou (Tales of Ginza)
  33. Horse Girl
  34. Ashita kuru hito (Till We Meet Again)
  35. To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You
  36. Fûsen (The Balloon)
  37. Baby It’s You
  38. Ai no onimotsu (Burden of Love)
  39. Familia sumergida (A Family Submerged)
  40. The Photograph
  41. The Last Thing He Wanted
  42. First Cow
  43. The Age of Adaline
  44. All the Bright Places
  45. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
  46. Waga machi (Our Town)
  47. (March) La historia oficial (The Official Story)
  48. El Norte
  49. Honey Boy
  50. The Cruz Brothers and Miss Malloy
  51. Spenser Confidential
  52. Nobody’s Fool (1986)
  53. Lost and Delirious
  54. Home Again
  55. Ueru tamashii (Hungry Soul)
  56. Zoku ueru tamashii (Hungry Soul, Part II)
  57. Lost Girls
  58. Takers
  59. Into The Inferno
  60. Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool
  61. Chasing Trane
  62. Man kann nicht alles auf einmal tun, aber man kann alles auf einmal lassen (You Can’t Do Everything at Once, But You Can Leave Everything at Once)
  63. Still
  64. Hinterland
  65. Aves
  66. Old Man (2012)
  67. Mobilize
  68. Good Intentions (2018)
  69. The Above
  70. Life and Freaky Times of Uncle Luke
  71. Skipped Parts
  72. The Daytrippers
  73. Bakumatsu taiyôden (Sun In The Last Days of the Shogunate)
  74. You Light Up My Life
  75. If Lucy Fell
  76. Tampopo
  77. Birders
  78. Sitara: Let Girls Dream
  79. Lorena, La de pies ligeros (Lorena, Light-footed Woman)
  80. Emma.
  81. Onna ga kaidan wo agaru toki (When a Woman Ascends the Stairs)
  82. Crip Camp
  83. Anjô-ke no butôkai (A Ball at the Anjo House)
  84. Uncorked
  85. Nippon konchûki (The Insect Woman)
  86. Bacurau
  87. Kokoro (The Heart)
  88. Onna wa nido umareru (Women Are Born Twice)
  89. Sweet Hearts Dance
  90. Mr. Jones
  91. (April) Coffee & Kareem
  92. Never Rarely Sometimes Always
  93. Blow The Man Down
  94. Tigertail
  95. Love Wedding Repeat
  96. LA Originals
  97. Hausu (House)
  98. Shitoyakana kedamono (The Graceful Brute)
  99. Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ
  100. Ochazuke no aji (The Flavor of Green Tea Over Rice)
  101. Konyaku yubiwa (Wedding Ring)
  102. Sergio (2020)
  103. Ukigumo (Floating Clouds)
  104. Eyes of Laura Mars
  105. Big Night
  106. Ugetsu monogatari
  107. Circus of Books
  108. Sanyangeui sigan (Time to Hunt)
  109. Extraction
  110. Ôsaka no yado (An Inn at Osaka)
  111. A Secret Love
  112. Maqbool
  113. Dangerous Lies
  114. (May) All Day and a Night
  115. The Half of It
  116. Ema
  117. Joyce at 34
  118. Becoming
  119. Selah and the Spades
  120. Clotheslines
  121. Un beau soleil intérieur (Let the Sunshine In)
  122. Carrie Pilby
  123. Loser
  124. Diabolo menthe (Peppermint Soda)
  125. Outside In
  126. Jean of the Joneses
  127. Qarib Qarib Singlle
  128. Galveston
  129. Rough Night
  130. Ophelia
  131. The Weekend
  132. Sword of Trust
  133. Paper Year
  134. Growing Up Female
  135. Janie’s Janie
  136. Betty Tells Her Story
  137. It Happens to Us
  138. Yudie
  139. Second Cousins Once Removed
  140. (June) Janine
  141. She Don’t Fade
  142. Vanilla Sex
  143. Untitled Portrait
  144. The Potluck and the Passion
  145. Greetings from Africa
  146. The Owls
  147. I Am Not A Witch
  148. A Well-Spent Life
  149. Atlantiques
  150. Snow Canon
  151. Big in Vietnam
  152. A Thousand Suns
  153. Liberian Boy
  154. Cane River
  155. And When I Die, I Won’t Stay Dead
  156. Get On The Bus
  157. Chris and Bernie
  158. Inside Women Inside
  159. She’s Gotta Have It
  160. Da 5 Bloods
  161. Several Friends
  162. The Horse
  163. The Final Insult
  164. Quiet as Kept
  165. My Brother’s Wedding
  166. Wasp Network
  167. Disclosure (2020)
  168. Miss Juneteenth
  169. Shirley
  170. Feel The Beat
  171. Songs My Brothers Taught Me
  172. Olivia
  173. Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga
  174. (July) Friends With Money
  175. Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn
  176. Valley Girl (2020)
  177. The Rhythm Section
  178. The Assistant
  179. Mucho Mucho Amor: The Legend of Walter Mercado
  180. The Old Guard
  181. Guerillère Talks
  182. Soft Fiction
  183. Land Makar
  184. Suzanne, Suzanne
  185. Audience
  186. Please Give
  187. The Ties That Bind
  188. The Salt Mines
  189. The Transformation
  190. Fatal Affair
  191. Father Soldier Son
  192. Palm Springs
  193. Privilege
  194. Conversations with Intellectuals About Selena
  195. Along Came Polly
  196. Secrets (1933)
  197. The Wind (1928)
  198. The Scarlet Letter (1926)
  199. Walk On The Wild Side
  200. Mimi (2003)
  201. (August) Gordon Lightfoot: If You Could Read My Mind
  202. Summerland
  203. Yes, God, Yes
  204. Radioactive
  205. Thirty Day Princess
  206. Mary Burns, Fugitive
  207. Les Miserables (1952)
  208. Sun Don’t Shine
  209. She Dies Tomorrow
  210. An American Pickle
  211. Shakedown
  212. Coup de foudre (Entre Nous)
  213. Festival
  214. Black and Tan
  215. St. Louis Blues (1929)
  216. I Surrender Dear
  217. A Rhapsody in Black and Blue
  218. A Bundle of Blues
  219. Sing, Bing, Sing
  220. Cab Calloway’s Hi-De-Ho
  221. Symphony in Black: A Rhapsody of Negro Life
  222. Artie Shaw’s Class in Swing
  223. Hoagy Carmichael
  224. The Sleepover
  225. Sex and the City 2
  226. Les enfants du siècle (The Children of the Century)
  227. Bill & Ted Face the Music
  228. Bee Season
  229. (Sept) i’m thinking of ending things
  230. Mignonnes (Cuties)
  231. The Devil All The Time
  232. The Boys in the Band (2020)
  233. (Oct) Dick Johnson Is Dead
  234. Un Voyage Abracadabrant
  235. New York 1911
  236. Planty Krakowskie
  237. Un Voyage Au Caire (Nos Vedettes À L’Étranger)
  238. Over Besseggen På Motocykkel
  239. Belgique Pittoresque: Ostende; Bruges
  240. Svatojánské Proudy
  241. [Trieste, Summer 1939)
  242. Travlor Från London (Londonerbilleder)
  243. Penrod and Sam (1923)
  244. The Brilliant Biograph: Earliest Moving Images of Europe (1897-1902)
  245. Guo Feng (National Customs)
  246. Toodles, Tom and Trouble
  247. Where Lights Are Low
  248. České hrady a zámky
  249. La tempesta in un cranio
  250. Oi apahides ton Athinon
  251. Hubie Halloween
  252. Abwege
  253. The Forty-Year-Old Version
  254. A Romance of the Redwoods (1917)
  255. The Wolf of Snow Hollow
  256. Ballettens Datter
  257. The Serenade (1916)
  258. The Rent Collector
  259. Detained
  260. Moonlight and Noses
  261. When Knights Were Cold
  262. A Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting
  263. The Trial of the Chicago 7
  264. Summer (2006)
  265. Michigan Avenue
  266. I-94
  267. The United States of America
  268. Empty Suitcases
  269. Anybody’s Woman (1981)
  270. Luminous Motion
  271. Rebecca (2020)
  272. Gregory Go Boom
  273. Pauline Alone
  274. Woman in Deep
  275. Man Rots from the Head
  276. Bruce Springsteen’s Letter to You
  277. Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan
  278. On the Rocks
  279. David Byrne’s American Utopia
  280. Little Fugitive
  281. Daughters of Darkness
  282. Vampires vs. the Bronx
  283. His House
  284. (Noirvember) Blind Alley
  285. Beware, My Lovely
  286. Croupier
  287. The Sleeping City
  288. New York Confidential
  289. The Desperate Hours
  290. Slightly Scarlet
  291. The Killer That Stalked New York
  292. The Hot Spot
  293. City of Fear
  294. Night Editor
  295. The Dark Past
  296. La vita davanti a sé (The Life Ahead)
  297. Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead
  298. Monsoon (2020)
  299. Motherless Brooklyn
  300. The Big Steal
  301. The Night Holds Terror
  302. Fourteen Hours
  303. Døden er et kjærtegn (Death is a Caress)
  304. Street of Chance
  305. Loophole
  306. Night Moves (1975)
  307. Strange Impersonation
  308. Abandoned
  309. Quicksand
  310. The Big Night
  311. Hillbilly Elegy
  312. Ladies In Retirement
  313. Take One False Step
  314. Commuters
  315. A Kiss Before Dying (1956)
  316. Manhandled
  317. M (1951)
  318. (December) You Are Not I
  319. Sleepwalk
  320. Middle of the Night
  321. When Pigs Fly
  322. The Bowery (1994)
  323. Happiest Season
  324. Shall We Dance? (2004)
  325. Mank
  326. Comment je me suis disputé… (ma vie sexuelle) (My Sex Life… or How I Got Into an Argument)
  327. Trois souvenirs de ma jeunesse (My Golden Days)
  328. It Happened on 5th Avenue
  329. Terra Sonâmbula (Sleepwalking Land)
  330. Smash Your Baggage
  331. Nomadland
  332. Sound of Metal
  333. Lost in Yonkers
  334. Relic
  335. Misbehaviour
  336. Kranes konditori (Krane’s Confectionary)
  337. Lingua Franca
  338. Funny Boy
  339. Banshun (Late Spring)
  340. Let Them All Talk
  341. The Bee Gees: How Can You Mend a Broken Heart
  342. Druk (Another Round)
  343. Tesla
  344. Martin Eden
  345. Kajillionaire
  346. I’m Your Woman
  347. Une fille facile (An Easy Girl)
  348. Yang guang pu zhao (A Sun)
  349. Ya no estoy aqui (I’m No Longer Here)
  350. Time
  351. The Vast of Night
  352. Az én XX. századom (My 20th Century)
  353. Passion Flower
  354. The Personal History of David Copperfield
  355. Driveways
  356. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
  357. Four Women
  358. The Diary of an African Nun
  359. Illusions
  360. Praise House
  361. Standing At The Scratch Line
  362. Babyteeth
  363. Small Axe: Mangrove
  364. Small Axe: Lovers Rock
  365. Small Axe: Red, White and Blue
  366. Small Axe: Alex Wheatle
  367. Small Axe: Education
  368. Beyond Tomorrow
  369. Mr. Soft Touch
  370. Holland in ijs (Holland In Ice)
  371. Expeditie naar de Noordpool (Expedition to the North Pole)
  372. Il Natale di Cretinetti (Foolhead’s Christmas)
  373. De kerstman (Ida’s Christmas)
  374. Snowstorm in New York (1926?)
  375. The Snowman
  376. Santa Claus (1898)
  377. Luciferverkoopstertje: Een Kerstverhaal in 1 bedrijf (The Little Match Girl: A Christmas Tale In One Act)
  378. The Mistletoe Bough
  379. Broncho Billy’s Christmas Dinner (Christmas At The Sheriff’s)
  380. Kerstman En Fee (Father Christmas and the Fairy)
  381. Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets
  382. Sylvie’s Love
  383. Fanny och Alexander (Fanny and Alexander)
  384. We Can Be Heroes
  385. Wonder Woman 1984
  386. Where Are The Children? (1986)

1880s: 0
1890s: 01
1900s: 06
1910s: 12
1920s: 19
1930s: 18
1940s: 15
1950s: 34
1960s: 9
1970s: 27
1980s: 27
1990s: 26
2000s: 15
2010s: 56
2020s: 111

This year my percentage of films watched by women was almost 50/50 (roughly 41% I think) and I have to give a shout out to the programmers at Criterion Channel where most of these films were watched. They have done such an excellent job of making the filmographies certain women filmmakers that used to be hard to find extremely accessible to their subscribers. I was able to watch a few films in 2020 that I had been trying to track down for years. They also put several filmmakers on my radar that I had never heard of. You absolutely love to see it.

  1. And You Act Like One Too
  2. Yours Truly, Andrea G. Stern
  3. The Juniper Tree
  4. Band Aid
  5. Comme une image (Look at Me)
  6. Paris est à nous (Paris Is Us)
  7. A Love Song For Latasha
  8. Aziza
  9. Dragonfly
  10. Walk, Run, Cha-Cha
  11. Cinema Rules Everything Around Me
  12. Moonwalk With Me
  13. Kitbull
  14. Jezebel (2020)
  15. Miss Americana
  16. Eatnanvulos lottit (Birds in the Earth)
  17. 37 Seconds
  18. Maggie (2018)
  19. The Velvet Vampire
  20. Familia sumergida (A Family Submerged)
  21. The Photograph
  22. The Last Thing He Wanted
  23. First Cow
  24. Honey Boy
  25. The Cruz Brothers and Miss Malloy
  26. Nobody’s Fool (1986)
  27. Lost and Delirious
  28. Home Again
  29. Lost Girls
  30. Man kann nicht alles auf einmal tun, aber man kann alles auf einmal lassen (You Can’t Do Everything at Once, But You Can Leave Everything at Once)
  31. Still
  32. Hinterland
  33. Aves
  34. Old Man (2012)
  35. Mobilize
  36. Good Intentions (2018)
  37. The Above
  38. Life and Freaky Times of Uncle Luke
  39. Skipped Parts
  40. Birders
  41. Sitara: Let Girls Dream
  42. Emma.
  43. Crip Camp
  44. Never Rarely Sometimes Always
  45. Blow The Man Down
  46. Circus of Books
  47. The Half of It
  48. Joyce at 34
  49. Becoming
  50. Selah and the Spades
  51. Clotheslines
  52. Un beau soleil intérieur (Let the Sunshine In)
  53. Carrie Pilby
  54. Loser
  55. Diabolo menthe (Peppermint Soda)
  56. Outside In
  57. Jean of the Joneses
  58. Qarib Qarib Singlle
  59. Galveston
  60. Rough Night
  61. Ophelia
  62. The Weekend
  63. Sword of Trust
  64. Paper Year
  65. Growing Up Female
  66. Janie’s Janie
  67. Betty Tells Her Story
  68. It Happens to Us
  69. Yudie
  70. Second Cousins Once Removed
  71. Janine
  72. She Don’t Fade
  73. Vanilla Sex
  74. Untitled Portrait
  75. The Potluck and the Passion
  76. Greetings from Africa
  77. The Owls
  78. I Am Not A Witch
  79. Atlantiques
  80. Snow Canon
  81. Big in Vietnam
  82. A Thousand Suns
  83. Liberian Boy
  84. Chris and Bernie
  85. Inside Women Inside
  86. Miss Juneteenth
  87. Shirley
  88. Feel The Beat
  89. Songs My Brothers Taught Me
  90. Olivia
  91. Friends With Money
  92. Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn
  93. Valley Girl (2020)
  94. The Rhythm Section
  95. The Assistant
  96. Mucho Mucho Amor: The Legend of Walter Mercado
  97. The Old Guard
  98. Guerillère Talks
  99. Soft Fiction
  100. Land Makar
  101. Suzanne, Suzanne
  102. Audience
  103. Please Give
  104. The Ties That Bind
  105. The Salt Mines
  106. The Transformation
  107. Father Soldier Son
  108. Privilege
  109. Conversations with Intellectuals About Selena
  110. Mimi (2003)
  111. (August) Gordon Lightfoot: If You Could Read My Mind
  112. Summerland
  113. Yes, God, Yes
  114. Radioactive
  115. Sun Don’t Shine
  116. She Dies Tomorrow
  117. Shakedown
  118. Coup de foudre (Entre Nous)
  119. The Sleepover
  120. Les enfants du siècle (The Children of the Century)
  121. Mignonnes (Cuties)
  122. Dick Johnson Is Dead
  123. The Forty-Year-Old Version
  124. A Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting
  125. Michigan Avenue
  126. I-94
  127. The United States of America
  128. Empty Suitcases
  129. Anybody’s Woman (1981)
  130. Luminous Motion
  131. Gregory Go Boom
  132. Pauline Alone
  133. Woman in Deep
  134. Man Rots from the Head
  135. On the Rocks
  136. Little Fugitive
  137. Døden er et kjærtegn (Death is a Caress)
  138. Commuters
  139. You Are Not I
  140. Sleepwalk
  141. When Pigs Fly
  142. The Bowery (1994)
  143. Happiest Season
  144. Terra Sonâmbula (Sleepwalking Land)
  145. Nomadland
  146. Lost in Yonkers
  147. Relic
  148. Misbehaviour
  149. Kranes konditori (Krane’s Confectionary)
  150. Lingua Franca
  151. Funny Boy
  152. Kajillionaire
  153. I’m Your Woman
  154. Time
  155. Az én XX. századom (My 20th Century)
  156. Four Women
  157. The Diary of an African Nun
  158. Illusions
  159. Praise House
  160. Standing At The Scratch Line
  161. Babyteeth
  162. Wonder Woman 1984

Every year I watch some movie for the first time that is the exact right movie for who I am now and what I need in my life. This year that movie was The Age of Adaline. I did not see it when it first came out because that was A Year With Women and this film is indeed written and directed by men. I’m really glad I finally gave this film a watch. It’s the kind of fantasy that I really enjoy: sort of magical realism in that the bulk of the action could actually happen, but then one fantastical element kicks the action into gear. In this case it’s that Adaline (played by Blake Lively, in a very confident yet breezy performance) gets into a freak accident involving freezing water and lightning and stops aging. What I loved so much about the film is how complex Adaline is in the film. Although she’s essentially in hiding, due to her disorder and a run in with the government at the height of the Red Scare, she has lived a relatively full life. She’s traveled. She’s learned languages. She indulges her passion for learning and history. She seems like the kind of woman I would want to be friends with. The film also has two wonderful performances from Harrison Ford and Michiel Huisman as her would-be suitors. Ford really seems to sink his teeth into this role, something we haven’t seen from him in quite awhile, while Huisman is just incredibly charming. What I love so much about their story is that they feel like equals intellectually and while there is a physical attraction, it’s their intellectual connection that pushes their relationship forward.

I watched this movie about a dozen times in 2020 (I bought the Blu-ray almost immediately after the first watch). I’m not sure the marketing did the depth of the film – nor Lively’s performance – justice, but I hope more people will discover it like I did and give it a chance. If you are in the US, you can find it streaming on Hulu.

So that was my 2020 in films. I hope to keep up gender parity in my viewing again this year and already have so many on Criterion Channel (and some that I DVR’d from when TCM showed nothing but films directed by women over three month’s last Fall), so I think it’ll be much easier this year. I also have tickets for five films by women directors that are premiering at Sundance this year all set for the end of this month. While I truly miss seeing all my friends at festivals, I do enjoy being able to watch festival premieres from the ease of my home. I wish there were a happy medium somewhere.

In terms of what I plan to do next with my career – I really don’t know! I’m taking some time to just breathe a bit. Catch up on my sleep. Try to recharge my creativity. Hopefully something great will come my way. Until then, there’s always the movies!


About Marya E. Gates

Cinephile to the max.

Posted on January 9, 2021, in 2020 in Films. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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