Film: The Top 5 Performances of 2019

In Avengers: Endgame the year 2019 produced the top-grossing film of all-time. It’s not fluke that the final chapter in Marvel’s Avengers is also this reviewer’s top film of 2019. And in no particular order this article includes four additional standouts films and performances for 2019.

 Avengers: Endgame

The final chapter of the Avengers saga unquestionably exceeded every possible expectation. Directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, Endgame is the movie-going experience that reaffirms why we love film.

As the top grossing film of all time Endgame not only transcended but also obliterated the so-called boundaries of the Superhero genre. At the core of the three-hour epic is the skillfully crafted consideration of fundamental mortality and time.

 Renee Zellweger in Judy

Focused on the final few months of Judy Garland’s life the film is a heart-rending story of an outwardly gifted performer and icon. But really it conveys the story of a tragic figure terribly mistreated and summarily abandoned by the industry. Though sadness permeates throughout this film the immaculate performance by Renee Zellweger ensures that Garland is perhaps finally seen as a real person instead of the Hollywood construct.

It isn’t a perfect film but Zellweger’s brilliant performance elevates it to something truly moving. That alone makes it worth watching and perhaps even hedging a bet on another Oscar for Zellweger.

A certain segment, perhaps even the majority, of today’s movie audiences, may not know Judy Garland. Therefore this film is an essential reminder of what a phenomenon she truly was.

Serenity

The high-concept noir film that is Serenity may not appeal to all but you’d do well to ignore the haters on this one. Besides the terrific cast, which includes Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway, the twist is refreshingly original. More so, the ingenious use of said twist is simply something that most films can’t produce or don’t even bother to entertain.

It is a genuinely authentic and quirky and it’s what makes the film intriguing and worth watching. Serenity is ambitious and highly entertaining.

Glass

Glass is the final part of M. Night Shyamalan’s “superhero” trilogy and was preceded by 2016’s Split and 2000 Unbreakable. The central plot revolves around three “ordinary” men who each believe they have special abilities thus making them superheroes.

There are those who didn’t rate the film particularly highly but it’s very likely a consequence of lumping Shyamalan’s last few movies in with Glass. While they might suffer for a bit of Shyamalan-disillusion Glass is visually gorgeous and the storytelling engaging and insightful.

Rocketman

This biopic is a well-told story of some of the most important and poignant moments in the life of the legendary Sir Elton John. The narrative is structured in such a way that yields a dynamic if slightly unwieldy film.

Taron Egerton too, as Elton John, rises to the challenge of inhabiting the whimsical hit-maker beyond just mere imitation. The most positive aspect of this film is that it’s not two hours worth of self-indulgent grandstanding. Instead it is a sincere telling of a charismatic superstar.

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