For Brian’s favorite articles from our writers in 2020, click here.
MATT ZOLLER SEITZ
Favorite review written by Matt: “Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets”
The movie keeps doing this: finding a moment—small, big, happy, horrible—and staying in it until feels like it’s time to move on. The filmmaking and performances are operating on the same wavelength. Performers and crew agreed to try something, then went to a bar and did it and filmed it. This commitment to a vision—not just a filmmaking vision, but a vision of life—gives the project a philosophical spine. The range of thoughts and emotions released by that vision is the reason the movie exists. That scene in the doorway is a metaphor for the film you’re watching, and for everything.
Matt’s favorite review written by Odie Henderson: “One Night in Miami“
So what exactly do these men talk about? I’ve purposely left most of those details out. The biggest joy of “One Night In Miami” is sitting back and listening to them. Stripped to their barest essences, they are simply Black men, and if you are a Black man, this film will have the familiarity of the many times you have congregated with your uncles, cousins, barbershop folk, brothers, and the like. King’s direction is unobtrusive, yet nurturing. You can feel the safe space she’s created for her actors to portray the love and conflict of Powers’ script. And I loved how she framed the moment when Cassius Clay sells one too many tickets in the ring and gets clobbered for his sloppiness.
Favorite review written by Nick: “Disclosure: Trans Lives On Screen”
When a particular show is brought up for a discussion of its portrayal, the discussion is more about the experience of watching—which can be heartwarming like when actress Laverne Cox talks about discovering “Yentl,” or heartbreaking when actress Rain Valdez talks of watching “Soap Dish” with her family. It’s a powerful casting decision too, as if you’ve seen nearly any of the films talked about here, transgender characters almost only play supporting roles. In “Disclosure,” you’ll see more transgender faces here (I wish I could list them all; just see the doc) than you might ever get to see in a single Hollywood movie.