The year 2021 in 10 films |

The year has not been easy for the film industry. Despite everything, between postponements and distancing measures, several films will have succeeded in reminding us why the cinema is capable, even in the darkest, of making our hearts beat faster. Here is the list of the 10 best of 2021.

Licorice Pizza, by Paul Thomas Anderson Photo: MGM

Licorice Pizza, by Paul Thomas Anderson

1973, San Fernando Valley. Gary, 15, an actor with an entrepreneurial soul, instantly falls in love with Alana, 25, who is looking for herself. In an idealistic California, the two protagonists meet, and others too.

Paul Thomas Anderson (The Master, There Will Be Blood) is he a genius? The more films accumulate, the more the temptation to answer yes is immense. Revealing two young firsts far from the clichés – Alana Haim and the son of the late Philip Seymour Hoffman, Cooper Hoffman -, he signs

a loving Californian fresco, superbly set to music and images, as fresh as it is funny, as sweet as it is heady.

A young blonde woman (Kristen Stewart), looking sad, wearing a veil hat.
Spencer, by Pablo Larrain Photo: Entract Films

Spencer, by Pablo Larrain

After Jackie Kennedy, the extraordinary Chilean filmmaker Pablo Larrain tackles another mythical female figure, Lady Di. Filmed as an atmospheric and intense horror film, in the height of Christmas 1991 in the English countryside, Spencer is a plunge into the heart of the tortured mind of the princess, haunted by discomfort and even a figure of female oppression.

A great film served by a devoted and inhabited Kristen Stewart.

A man dressed in a motorcycle helmet kisses a woman.
Adam Driver and Marion Cotillard in a still from the movie “Annette”. Photo: CG Cinéma International

Annette, by Leos Carax

Worship, crazy, terrible child. Leos Carax will have had all the nicknames. But with this melody sung on the fate of a singer and a comedian giving birth to a silent little girl, on an idea and a scenario of the Sparks, he combines violence and passion with the grace and power of a master.

Marion Cotillard has never been so moving, Adam Driver so physical.

A young man (Timothée Chalamet) and a woman (Rebecca Ferguson) with breathing systems in their noses look towards the horizon to the right.
Dune, by Denis Villeneuve Photo: Warner Bros.

Dune, by Denis Villeneuve

Extraordinary, gigantic, monumental. All of this, Dune ballast. As an inspired grand manitou, Villeneuve orchestrates a ballet that is sometimes epic, sometimes melancholy, through a crazy staging, bringing the film closer to a pure work of art, doped with reflections on our relationship to others and the exploitation of resources. natural. What arouse impatience to see the sequel, scheduled for 2023.

A woman lying on a Cadillac.
The film “Titane” is directed by Julia Ducournau. Photo: Courtesy of TIFF

Titanium, by Julia Ducournau

What a Palme d’Or! Wild, sexy, close to hallucination. For her second film, Julia Ducournau is amazing with inventiveness and confidence. Quoting Cronenberg, Tarantino, De Palma, she creates a completely barred universe (a dancer becomes pregnant with a Cadillac!), Carried by an intense and inhabited actress (formidable Agathe Rousselle), but whose rebellious originality arouses our passions.

A woman with folded arms, seated in front of a table, stares at the camera.
Dehors, Serge, Dehors, by Martin Fournier and Pier-Luc Latulippe Photo: Cheval Films

Outside Serge Outside, by Martin Fournier and Pier-Luc Latulippe

After the extraordinary Manor, the two filmmakers sign a moving film on caregivers (the wife and neighbors of Serge Thériault, recluse at home for several years) and the prison of depression, doing work of benevolence and empathy, as tragic as it is. it is luminous. A film whose heart beats strong and which remains in memory for a long time.

A woman (Frances McDormand) in front of a trailer, in the desert.
Nomadland, by Chloé Zhao Photo: Searchlight

Nomadland, by Chloé Zhao

She won everything: Oscar, Golden Lion, Golden Globes… And how can we not understand it? In the wake of its wonderful Cowboy, Chloé Zao delicately and gracefully draws the destiny of a sixty-year-old (Frances McDormand, amazing) who discovers the life of a nomad, in the American West.

Between hope of a freer life and disillusioned observation of the human consequences of the economic crisis, Nomadland is one of those films that will be remembered.

A young man looking to the right, surrounded by men with raised fists.
The night of kings, by Philippe Lacôte Photo: Periphery

The night of kings, by Philippe Lacôte

Co-produced by Canada, this dive into an overcrowded Abidjan prison blends orality, magical realism and Greek tragedy. But even beyond its fascinating narrative and celebrating the strength of the stories, the film, as successful as it is surprising, certainly stands by the strength of its staging. Particularly through its velvety, warm photo direction, which transforms the interior of this prison into a timeless space, but never disconnected from reality. A tour de force.

In black and white, two African-American women in profile, wearing 1920s clothes.
Passing, by Rebecca Hall Photo: Netflix

Passing, by Rebecca Hall

In the 1920s, in New York, a young African-American woman runs into an old friend who lives her life pretending to be white. This first achievement by actress Rebecca Hall does not only have the intelligence to deploy a multidimensional and candid narrative, it also does it with

a rare sensitivity and calm, carried by a staging in black and white of crazy elegance and richness.

In black and white, a woman on her knees leaning against a window sill, her face between her hands.
Dear comrades !, by Andrey Konchalovsky Photo: EyeSteel Films

Dear friends!, by Andreï Kontchalovsky

In 1962, a workers’ revolt in Novocherkassk was brutally suppressed by the regime, leaving 26 dead and 87 wounded. Starting from the point of view of a party agent, a convinced Stalinist, a hard-line supporter whose daughter approves of the popular uprising, Kontchalovsky returns in this harsh and Renoirian film to a part of Soviet history that many would have liked to keep silent. , in

an implacable dramatic crescendo and a staging in black and white as tragic as it is humanist.

Good cinema to all.

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The year 2021 in 10 films |