Lots of hyped hype has been done for A24, the nearly decade-old film production company that also makes beautiful Blu-rays and the occasional beach towel. I have no problem with A24 – on the contrary, they have made quite a few films which I enjoy. But the relentless fandom and genrefication have all gotten a little too much, culminating today in a list at Vulture that ranks all of the company’s film ventures since their first swing and miss by Roman Coppola in 2013, A Glimpse into the Mind of Charles Swan III. I had a question, and not just about Joanna Hogg’s placement Memory movies below Midsommar. I was mainly curious about the ranking of other indie arthouse studios being left behind due to their lack of flashy merchandising.
Enter: Sony Pictures Classics. Doesn’t your whole body get chills when you see that bright blue screen? Last spring I participated in a raffle organized by the company, giving away bucket hats to celebrate the release of their film The Phantom of the Openand I won.
When I emailed the company to send my address, I included a sentence telling them they had to get in the merchandise game, or at least sell a blue t-shirt with their logo on it. above. The email went unanswered, but my hat arrived in the mail, and I’m looking surprising inside.
I wanted to return the favor to Sony Pictures Classics, which has been killing it since the early 1990s (millennial slay!), making me just a bit older than the studio. But they’ve released so many movies since then, as well as I’ve written countless blogs, so I in turn limited my criteria to the following: best.
28. Austenland (2013)
I fell asleep watching this on a plane so can’t really speak to its quality.
27. French release (2021)
French release, which premiered at the 2020 New York Film Festival Online Festival, is a bewilderingly gritty film, starring an ever-great Michelle Pfieffer traveling overseas to settle her husband’s affairs. now deceased alongside his mopey son played by who else but mopey son connoisseur Lucas Haies. The film, based on a somewhat beloved novel by Patrick deWitt, never finds its footing, otherwise stumbling along its lush settings with little to say and less to do.
26. The Traitor (2020)
25. Blue Jasmine (2013)
“The world is round, people!” Cate Blanchett screamed in the middle of her speech. In the end, I agree.
24. Always Alice (2015)
Yet another Sony Pictures Classics that led to an undeniably brilliant actress (Julianne Moore) winning an Oscar for a movie no one cares about or remembers.
23. A Fantastic Woman (2018)
Sebastián Lelio’s highly acclaimed film starring the fantastic Daniela Vega won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Feature that year. It’s a beautiful film, no more, no less, that backs up Vega’s incredible performance, but otherwise feels didactic about its trans politics and plot, merely manhandling its main character’s suffering in order to teach a lesson. to his audience.
22. Toni Erdman (2016)
21. The Woman (2018)
Wife is better than Toni Erdman.
20. The Human Voice (2021)
Pedro Almodóvar’s eclectic short features the admittedly relatable Tilda Swinton having a bad time talking on AirPods while an apartment burns down around her.
19. Son of Saul (2015)
I saw Son of Saul with my parents the year it was released – a “watch with your parents” type film that imagines the Holocaust filmed on a GoPro. Just kidding: but its tremulous, rapid assault on the senses is admirable on first viewing and sour on the spirit later.
18. Julieta (2016)
Pedro Almodóvar is kind of the only one who can make films about women, TBH.
17. The Phantom of the Open (2022)
Alright am I literally crazy putting the movie I won a promotional bucket hat for on top Toni Erdman? Most likely. But The Phantom of the Open is a Sunday matinee classic: Mark Rylance in a weird wig and weirder teeth playing a Brit who cheated the golfing world by letting him play multiple tournaments even though he was so bad at golf that he became a kind of proto-meme. The film is about pursuing something that you really suck at, like me with blogging (just kidding – I’m good at it).
16. The Rider (2018)
Chloe Zhao The horseman had the deep misfortune to come out at the same time of year as A24’s Andrew Haigh Lean on Pete, both of which are devastating movies where something bad happens to a horse and/or the person riding them. The Sony Pictures Classics sad horse movie, however, is a much more confident and low-key film, which is why Zhao got the promotion to direct a Marvel movie after. 🙂
15. Parallel Mothers (2021)
See no. 18.
14. Fox Catcher (2014)
We all laughed at Steve Carell’s big fake nose and weird voice, but it’s time for someone who’s brave (me) to go on record and say that foxcatcher rocks. It’s a petty and deeply unpleasant film, one that we need a lot more of.
13. The Truffle Hunters (2021)
This sweet and thoughtful Italian documentary about the changing and increasingly ferocious economy of truffle hunting is beautiful and strange, and interesting. Pig (2021), bitch retirement!
12. Call Me By Your Name (2017)
Say what you will about me, but number twelve is the perfect place for this movie on this list.
11. Diary of a Teenage Girl (2015)
Before a charming round of support Queen’s Gambit or his excellent non-biopic Mr. Rogers A beautiful day in the neighborhoodthere was the daring and funny adaptation of Marielle Heller The diary of a teenager, based on a graphic novel about a high school girl’s affair with her mother’s boyfriend. The film features what should have been a star performance from Bel Powley (where are you, girl??) and a career best from hot guy, Alexander Skarsgård.
10. Whiplash (2014)
It’s really fun to say “not my tempo”.
9. The Red Turtle (2017)
This underseen Studio Ghibli co-production is a quiet, lush film about a castaway who falls in love with a turtle (in a normal way, much like Aesop’s fable, not Alissa Nutting’s way).
8. She (2016)
Paul Verhoeven’s very dark comedy about a woman (who other than Isabelle Huppert) who starts courting her rapist isn’t for everyone, hardly for me, but certainly the most daring film of the last decade, and the only film to ever suggest that someone like Isabelle Huppert could be the head of a video game company.
7. The Father (2021)
Now, The father’Sir Anthony Hopkins’ reputation may be tainted by the weirdness of Sir Anthony Hopkins’ 2021 Oscar win, a ceremony he was unable to attend and whose win was seen as possibly a clash with the late Chadwick Boseman. Without a doubt, The father is the scariest movie of all time, scarier than Hereditary, the stuff of nightmares for people watching movies at 11 a.m. on Tuesdays. It’s a wonderfully played game and, perhaps more importantly, staging film.
6. Love is Strange (2014)
Ira Sachs’ quiet romance starring John Lithgow and Alfred Molina as longtime lovers who marry is a bittersweet film, a calling card for Sachs’ melancholy and melancholy, his love and his frustration with New York. It’s a gay movie that looks at the lives of older gay men, who have survived the most to be where they are, facing one last challenge together.
5. The Intervener (2016)
4. Only Lovers Stay Alive (2014)
Jim Jarmusch’s take on vampires – they would just go see a lot of live music – remains the definitive take on 21st century vampires.
3. Pain and Glory (2019)
Obviously Almodóvar is also the only guy who can really make films about men, but I consider this his true Sony Pictures Classics, a meditation on his own life and career, featuring an Antonio Banderas never better ( grey-haired!) version of Almodóvar looking back on a life full of art and drugs and love and heartbreak.
2. Leviathan (2014)
Leviathanreleased in the United States on December 25, 2014, the same day as American sniper and In the woods, is a dark and sprawling film by Andrey Zvyagintsev about a family on the rural coast of Russia for whom things are going badly but are about to get worse. Bureaucratic corruption, alcoholism, religious scandals, a missing woman – if it’s something that can be terrible, it’s in the movie. Known perhaps best for having an amazing poster of a whale skeleton, Leviathan is a scathing and daring cinematic work.
1. Mr. Turner (2014)
At the Mike Leigh retrospective in June last year, I turned to my friend at the Sony Pictures Classics logo and said, ‘omg, they should make shirts’, and he said, ‘ you are so right”. Mr. Turner, a sort of non-biographical biopic by British painter JMW Turner starring Timothy Spall, is perhaps Leigh’s funniest and most lavish film, a blunt comedy about an idiot who is also a genius, for whom color is what that makes the world go round. Or consider: Everyone on the midday show, most of them a good 30 years older than me, was having more fun watching. A Sony Pictures Classics promise.