OK, “reel” talk. 2020 was…interesting. It was definitely the most unique year of film in the last century of moviegoing. But throughout all the weirdness, we here at Cinemaholics found ourselves captivated by no small number of great projects from veteran filmmakers, first-time directors, and plenty of independent voices. In our annual “best of the year” show, we each discuss our general thoughts on 2020, our honorable mentions, and of course, our respective Top 10 choices. Plus, we share voicemails from some of you listeners discussing your favorite films of 2020.
We had an out-of-body experience over the holidays checking out some major blockbuster films that hit streaming instead of theaters. There’s Pixar’s Soul, the latest from Pete Docter, which stars Jamie Foxx and Tina Fey. And we also cover the controversial Wonder Woman 1984 from Patty Jenkins, which stars Gal Gadot, Christ Pine, Kristen Wiig, and Pedro Pascal. Finally, we end the show with review of Emerald Fennell’s Promising Young Woman, another controversial film that was a hit on the festival circuit, and it stars Carey Mulligan and Bo Burnham.
We’re sounding off this week for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, the new Netflix film that has Oscars in its sights for Viola Davis and the late Chadwick Boseman. We also cover Nomadland, a Best Picture frontrunner from writer/director Chloé Zhao and starring Frances McDormand. And there’s also Greenland, the newest Gerard Butler disaster flick that is surprisingly decent! Last, we do a retrospective of Small Axe, a collection of five films from director Steve McQueen, which you can now stream on Amazon Prime Video.
If you search the name “Ellis Haizlip” in your preferred search engine of choice today, you won’t get a lot of results. There is no Wikipedia page, and his IMDB spotlight is slim, to say the least. Most of what you’ll get are stories and reviews about Mr. Soul, the documentary detailing the life and career of Haizlip and his time as the producer and host of “Soul!” from 1968 to 1973. A documentary, I might add, that most people wouldn’t even know to search the name of because much like the person it’s analyzing, it wasn’t massively advertised. Still, Mr. Soul is just as important to American life and TV as the man himself was.