Concluding the countdown of my favorite 2021 movies…
Best Films of 2021
#1 – CODA
My top ten list features films that push boundaries visually and narratively. It includes documentaries, animation, films in black and white, and movies by directors I’ve loved for most of my life.
But the title in the #1 spot doesn’t fall into any of those categories. It’s simply the movie that moved me more than anything else I saw last year. And it wasn’t even close.
Continuing my personal 2021 Oscar rundown, today I’m focusing on the women I would recognize for Best Actress.
This was another crowded field to winnow down, and I’ll start by acknowledging some great performances that didn’t make the cut: Jessica Chastain (The Eyes of Tammy Faye), Olivia Colman (The Lost Daughter), Alana Haim (Licorice Pizza), Rachel Sennot (Shiva Baby), and Tessa Thompson (Passing).
My final selection for best musical moments in a 2021 film comes from another movie I’ll be writing about in more detail later this month — CODA, the second feature from writer/director Sian Heder.
CODA is the story of Ruby, a hearing daughter of deaf parents who develops a passion for singing that doesn’t fit her parents’ expectations. It’s an oft-told tale of a young person fighting to forge an identity outside of a constrictive environment, but given a fresh and emotionally resonant twist.