Song of the Day #4,966: ‘Why’ – Andrew Garfield

I’ve been itching to write about the 2021 movie year, including posts on favorite performances, best musical moments, and my top ten list. But several must-see titles have stubbornly remained elusive, and I’m hoping to fit most of them in before locking things down.

As of this writing, I have seen 82 movies from last year, 10 more than I saw in 2020. Certainly a respectable showing. But here are some of the unseen films I believe might have a shot at one of those lists: C’mon C’mon, Cyrano, Drive My Car, Flee, Petite Maman, Red Rocket, and The Worst Person in the World.

I’ll give myself a few weeks to catch up with those before finalizing anything. If the Oscars aren’t until March 27, I figure I can give myself at least through the end of February.

But even if I haven’t etched my top ten in stone, I can still write a few words about some of the other worthy films I’ve seen this year.

This week, I’ll do quick recaps of movies that currently fall between #11-50 on my list, and I’ll call out some of the stinkers as well. A top ten is a very personal and arbitrary thing, and it leaves off plenty of movies worth recommending. So here are some I recommend.

Today I’ll focus on “critic’s” movies, the titles whose audience scores on Rotten Tomatoes are invariably much lower than the Tomatometer (with a couple of exceptions).

In alphabetical order:

Bergman Island
A provocative and brilliantly structured exploration of the conflict between artistic ambition and the responsibilities of a mother and wife.

The Green Knight
Stunning visuals and a magnetic Dev Patel performance highlight this moody deconstruction of the hero’s tale. One of the year’s best endings.

The Killing of Two Lovers
An empathetic look at a flawed man struggling to keep his family together. Wonderful use of one-take shots to immerse you in the story.

King Richard
This is one of the films with a very high audience score, and it sure earns it. A rousing and inspirational look at sports’ most incredible origin story.

Licorice Pizza
A movie I enjoyed a lot even as it became my biggest disappointment of the year. That’s because I expect any Paul Thomas Anderson movie to easily land in my top ten, if not my top 2-3. This one has plenty of charm, but a botched ending keeps it from soaring.

The Lost Daughter
Typically excellent performances by Olivia Colman and Jessie Buckley anchor this prickly look at a woman never meant to be a mother.

Maybe the best acting ensemble of the year. Four parents spend an hour discussing a school shooting that claimed the lives of their sons (one of whom was the shooter), trying to find their way toward grace and forgiveness.

Nicolas Cage’s best work in years. A reclusive former chef tries to track down the stolen truffle pig that has become his lifeline through overwhelming grief.

The Power of the Dog
The likely Best Picture winner (for now), and a comeback for director Jane Campion. I enjoyed this movie right up to the end, when it revealed itself as something much different (and less interesting) than what I thought I was watching.

Shiva Baby
Hilarious, sexy, and squirm-inducing look at a young woman navigating the world’s most awkward shiva.

Tick, Tick… Boom!
The other film with a higher audience than critic’s score on Rotten Tomatoes. Lin-Manuel Miranda’s directorial debut is a loving tribute to the theater world and the late Jonathan Larsen, with a winning performance by Andrew Garfield.

When I was nine
Michael and I
Entered a talent show down at the Y

9 A.M. went to rehearse by some stairs
Mike couldn’t sing
But I said, “No one cares”

We sang “Yellow Bird” and “Let’s Go Fly A Kite”
Over and over and over
‘Til we got it right

When we emerged from the Y.M.C.A
Three o’clock sun had made the grass hay

I thought
Hey, what a way to spend a day
Hey, what a way to spend a day
I make a vow
Right here and now
I’m gonna spend my time this way

When I was sixteen
Michael and I
Got parts in ‘West Side’ at White Plains High
Three o’clock went to rehearse in the gym
Mike played “Doc”, who didn’t sing
Fine with him

We sang, “got a rocket in your pocket”
And “the Jets are gonna have their day, tonight”
Over and over and over
‘Til we got it right

When we emerged, wiped out by that play
Nine o’clock, stars and moon lit the way

I thought
Hey, what a way to spend a day
Hey, what a way to spend a day
I made a vow
I wonder now
Am I cut out to spend my time this way?

I’m twenty-nine
Michael and I
Live on the west side of SoHo, N.Y
9 A.M
I write a lyric or two
Mike sings a song now on Mad Avenue

I sing, “Come to your senses
Defenses are not the way to go”
Over and over and over
‘Til I got it right

When I emerge from B Minor or A
Five o’clock, diner calls, “I’m on my way”

I think
Hey, what a way to spend a day
Hey, what a way to spend a day
I make a vow
Right here and now
I’m gonna spend my time this way

I’m gonna spend my time this way

4 thoughts on “Song of the Day #4,966: ‘Why’ – Andrew Garfield

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    82 movies? Shesh! I’ve only seen a few of the films you’ve listed. In compiling my Oscar nomination predictions, I did see Tik Tik Boom! on a number of best film predictions, which I would be fine with as I liked it quite a lot.

  2. Maddie says:

    Definitely a good handful of these that make my personal top 10 list! Pig supremacy. Looking forward to seeing what made the cut 🙂

  3. Peg says:

    I could not get into Tick and I love Lin and also like the actor. Maybe I need to give it another try. My favorite on your list today is King Richard. Loved that movie. Oh and you can skip Red Rocket 😜

  4. Amy says:

    Based on its appeal with both critics and audiences, King Richard should be the front runner at the Oscars. Alas, the power of the dog appears to be too strong.

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