The 10 best movies of 2021 | Cinema in the SER | Present


After a 2020 marked by the closure of movie theaters, the suspension of some festivals and virtual galas, 2021 has been the year of the reunion with the cinema. Although the box office data is not encouraging, the contests have shown the great auteur films of the season, the studios have dusted off the productions they had saved and the platforms continue to convince prestigious authors to shoot their projects. This is the selection of the best titles of the year from the El Cine en la SER team:

1.- Titanium

The brand new winner of the Palme d’Or at Cannes is the film experience of the year. The French Julia Ducournau directs a provocative, revolutionary and wild play that dynamites all genres. A film that is a treatise on the body, violence and also love with two superb interpretations, that of Agathe Rousselle and Vincent Lindon. It will be a cult film even if the Oscars have passed it.

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2.- The power of the dog

The return in style of one of the best directors in the history of cinema. Jane Campion adapts Thomas Savage’s novel into a fantastic western about repression and masculinity. It is the first of three female-directed ‘Westerns’ featured on this list that offer a new look and sensitivity to the classic American genre. Benedict Cumberbatch composes one of the best performances of his career in this subtle, elegant and sickly film.

3.- Little mom

Another French director with a knack for generating intimacy. After ‘Portrait of a Woman on Fire’, Céline Sciamma elaborates a beautiful fable about the ties between three generations of women. A story about time travel, about motherhood, loss and love through the eyes of two girls. Few movies have embraced us with such simplicity and candor as this one

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4.- It was the hand of God

Paolo Sorrentino’s most personal film is captivating and emotional. The Italian director, author of renowned titles such as ‘The Great Beauty’ and ‘Youth’, dives into his memory to create this adolescent tale in Naples in the 80s, a story of initiation marked by tragedy and messianic figures, like Maradona, who are a constant in his cinema. Stripped of his baroque style, the most refined Sorrentino thrills, entertains and celebrates cinema.

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5.- Another round

Thomas Vinterberg’s film premiered last spring in Spain, just before winning the Oscar for Best International Film. The Danish once again portrays the society of his country through a group of men, four professors, who try an experiment with alcohol. An X-ray of masculinity, fragility, loneliness and disenchantment of contemporary man in the crisis of the 40s. Only because of Mads Mikkelsen’s final dance should it be on this list and in every celebration.

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6.- Nomadland

The great winner of the last edition of the Oscars is a naturalistic and poetic chronicle of the disinherited in the America of the crisis. The union of Chloé Zhao and Frances McDormand gave us this inspiring, honest and beautiful journey about nomads in a neowestern that surrenders to nature, the landscape and the silences. Some ‘Grapes of Wrath’ of the 21st century.

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7.- The last duel

Ridley Scott’s best film in years and the first of two to come out this season. A medieval Rashomon for the Me Too era. The story of a rape and a disgrace through the point of view of its three protagonists between dirty and bloody battles. Luxury cast with Jodie Comer, Matt Damon, Adam Driver and Ben Afflect. A classic tape that resonates today

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8.- First Cow

Kelly Reichardt is the third director to give the western a spin this year. And it also does so in its origins, in the very foundation of America as a multicultural and prosperous land later devastated by capitalism. A precious, delicate and intimate story based on the friendship of a cook and a Chinese immigrant. And the prettiest cow we’ve seen in a long time at the movies

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9.- A promising young woman

It seems that we have forgotten but this dark thriller-comedy about the culture of rape shook us this year. Emerald Fennel’s directorial debut is a punch, a manifesto about consent and accomplices to abuse, a pop revenge starring Carey Mulligan to the beat of Britney Spears and Paris Hilton.

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10.- Annette

Spielberg almost slipped in, but the musical of the year for this list is signed by Leos Carax. A genius and a martian, an operatic monument commanded by the best actor of his generation, Adam Driver. With music by the Sparks, ‘Annette’ is also an X-ray of macho violence, fame, ego, ambition, exploitation … So we may start?


* Voting system: The first movie in each list receives 10 points and the last one one point. At the bottom the itemized list

* Only movies released commercially in Spain (cinemas and platforms) are included. Films that have been seen throughout the year at national or international festivals or press shows, but which have not been released yet, are excluded.

voting

PEPA BLANES

1.- The power of the dog

2.- Titanium

3.- First Cow

4.- Little mother

5.- A promising young woman

6.- Nomadland

7.- Judas and the black messiah

8.- Matrix Resurrections

9.- Annette

10.- Parallel mothers

ELIO CASTRO

1.- It was the hand of God

2.- The last duel

3.- The power of the dog

4.- Where are you going, Aida?

5.- Titanium

6.- Dear comrades

7.- Nomadland

8.- West Side Story

9.- First Cow

10.- Question of blood

JOSÉ M. ROMERO

1.- Titanium

2.- Another round

3.- The power of the dog

4.- Little mother

5.- The Mitchells against the machines

6.- It was the hand of God

7.- Nomadland

8.- Maixabel

9.- Where are you going, Aida?

10.- The good boss

LAURA MARTÍNEZ

1.- Titanium

2.- Little mother

3.- Annette

4.- It was the hand of God

5.- Another round

6.- A promising young woman

7.- The last duel

8.- Maixabel

9.- Nomadland

10.- First cow




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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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