January 01, 2022 | Category: Films

Film Fight 2021: Finale

Wow, another year of mostly at home viewing, but with a bit more cinema thrown in, particularly towards the end. It’s been a decent enough year for film, with maybe a few too many big-budget action films dominating screens in the back end of the year (looking at you Marvel!).

As per the caveat every year, Film Fight is done in a (non particularly serious) knock-out style: it can pick my favourite film of the year, but nothing else. (Also the very idea of a single favourite film is a bit silly.)

First up is the honorable mentions: films that weren’t good enough to win their own month, but still worth seeing.

  • Saint Frances
  • Pieces Of A Woman
  • Soul
  • Ham On Rye
  • One Night In Miami
  • Malcolm & Marie
  • I Care A Lot
  • Moxie
  • Barb & Star Go To Vista Del Mar
  • Dead Pigs
  • Bacurau
  • Concrete Cowboy
  • Proxima
  • The Mauritanian
  • Cherry
  • Sound Of Metal
  • The Woman In The Window
  • Shirley
  • Oxygen
  • Shiva Baby
  • Mogul Mowgli
  • Minari
  • Body Brokers
  • First Cow
  • The Best Of Enemies
  • Black Bear
  • New Order
  • Another Round
  • The Nest
  • Worth
  • Kate
  • Sweat
  • The Guilty
  • The Last Duel
  • Cop Shop
  • The French Dispatch
  • The Trouble With Being Born
  • Surge
  • In The Earth
  • Spider-Man: No Way Home
  • Don’t Look Up
  • Azor
  • Being The Ricardos
  • Encounter

And now the monthly winners:

  • January: Babyteeth
  • February: Possessor
  • March: Judas & The Black Messiah
  • April: Promising Young Woman
  • May: Nomadland
  • June: The Father
  • July: Clemency
  • August: The Green Knight
  • September: Apples
  • October: Last Night In Soho
  • November: The Harder They Fall
  • December: The Power Of The Dog

That’s as solid a list of winners as any other year, and genuinely difficult to narrow it down to just one.

The body-horror of Possessor has stayed with me through the year; the sign of an excellent, creepy movie. Meanwhile, The Green Knight has this beautiful, mythic feel that makes me want to watch it again.

Difficult movies abounded: Clemency, The Father, and Babyteeth are not films I’ll be revisiting soon, but only because they were hard enough to watch the first time.

Nomadland and The Harder They Fall were both beautifully styled, with very different aesthetics: naturalism vs hyper-stylised.

The real challenge, though, is picking between Promising Young Woman and The Power Of The Dog. Each are excellent in their own ways, playing with our expectations expertly. I don’t want to say much about the content of either, because you should watch them without knowing what’s coming.

I think I’m going to go with Promising Young Woman: darkly funny, tragic, brutal, tense, well-paced, with several great performances. A must see.