Films I loved in November 2020

Gary Oldman as Herman J Mankiewicz in Mank

Mank tells the contested story of how classical Hollywood screenwriter Herman J Mankiewicz wrote the script for Citizen Kane, largely as a critique of the misuse of power by media mogul William Randolph Hearst. A compelling character study about art, truth and the murky ground in between.
Released in Australian cinemas 19 November 2020

Morgana Muses in Morgana

The excellent Australian documentary Morgana profiles erotica/porn performer and filmmaker Morgana Muses who overcame immense personal struggles to achieve a stardom that transcends conventions. This is a joyous and defiant film about body image, mental health and self-expression.
Released in Australian cinemas 19 November 2020

Cristin Milioti as Sarah and Andy Samberg as Nyles in Palm Springs

The romantic comedy Palm Springs uses science fiction concepts to explore modern anxieties about relationships in a way that is funny, cynical when it needs to be and sincere when necessary. It delivers a fresh take on the concept to hold its own against similarly themed films.
Released on Amazon Prime 20 November 2020

Andrea Riseborough as Tasya Vos in Possessor

The visceral science-fiction film Possessor depicts a lot of graphic bodily violence, but what gives the film its edge are its themes about how the human body has been commodified and dehumanised by technology, corporate interests and ideas about ownership in the family unit.
Released in Australian cinemas 26 November 2020

David Byrne’s American Utopia

Concert film David Byrne’s American Utopia sees the Talking Heads frontman perform songs from throughout his career with meticulous staging. And yet while Byrne and his musician collaborators display a remarkable precision, their enthusiasm and joy is unfiltered and infectious.
Released in Australian cinemas 26 November 2020

Riz Ahmed as Ruben Stone in Sound of Metal

Sound of Metal captures the struggles of a musician learning to live with hearing loss. The film never resorts to sentiment or condescension, through strategically switching between objective and subjective views points to deliver a refreshing perspective and a powerful ending.
Released in Australian cinemas 27 November 2020

Thomas Caldwell, 2020