Melissa Myers’ Top 5 films of 2020

Matt Kennedy / Focus Features

1. Kajillionaire
Arriving at a time when many people are starved for human connection, closeness and physical touch, Miranda July’s quirky examination of neglected children and self-centered parents conveys a yearning that most of us can relate to. In 2020, we are all Old Dolio (to some extent).

2. Never Rarely Sometimes Always
Simply maintaining the right to abortions in the U.S. is an exhausting battle, but this fictional odyssey about a 17-year-old navigating the slew of hurdles and hassles to obtain a safe, legal procedure makes it clear that the rest of the process needs advocates, too.

3. Da 5 Bloods
Spike Lee outdid himself with two new films this year (the concert film David Byrne’s American Utopia is the other), but his narrative effort takes the cake by delivering a history lesson on the Vietnam War through the marriage of iconic archival footage and a tale of four vets who reunite in Vietnam for a personal quest. Bonus points for the film’s overt connections to our current situation and its combination of humor and drama.

4. First Cow
Who wouldn’t enjoy a nice period piece about a couple of pals just chumming around and scheming in the colonial Pacific Northwest? O Brother Where Out Thou? vibes abound, but Kelly Reichardt’s film is kinder, gentler and more subdued.

5. Mossville: When Great Trees Fall
A harrowing reminder that in America, a corporation can give you cancer and drive you out of your home — a scourge that disproportionately affects fenceline communities of color.

Honorable mention: Palm Springs
Groundhog Day
, but spicier. Harold Ramis really should have let Bill Murray cut loose in R-rated fashion in ’93, but Andy Samberg does a fine job testing out the things we speculate we might do if we were stuck in a time loop.

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About Melissa Myers
Melissa is a movie lover, writer, teacher, and music booking agent based in Asheville, NC.

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