By José Alberto Hermosillo
In a forgettable year, and regardless of the challenges and logistics that filmmakers, festivals, and audiences faced due to the pandemic, many quality films achieved excellence in storytelling by reaching a high production value, originality, diversity, and inclusion.
Fifty-five percent of the 2021 selections are films focused on women’s stories, women actors, and women directors. This percentage is an enormous jump from previous years and a considerable effort to level up much-needed gender equality nowadays.
TWENTY-ONE BEST MOVIES OF 2021
- 1. DON’T LOOK UP
- 2. CODA
- 3. DUNE
- 4. LOST ILLUSIONS
- 5. NIGHTMARE ALLEY
- 6. ANNETTE
- 7. TITANE
- 8. DRIVE MY CAR
- 9. SUNDOWN
- 10. THE EYES OF TAMMY FAYE
- 11. GREAT FREEDOM
- 12. FLEE
- 13. SPENCER
- 14. THE MAD WOMEN’S BALL
- 15. LAMB
- 16. BERGMAN ISLAND
- 17. THE LOST DAUGHTER
- 18. FOUR GOOD DAYS
- 19. tick, tick...BOOM!
- 20. SUMMER OF SOUL
- 21. LUNANA: A YAK IN THE CLASSROOM
“Don’t Look Up” is a dark satire, a disaster film involving a female scientist who discovers an enormous comet approaching earth, threatening millions of lives.
“Titane” - the most shocking film of 2021 won Palme d’Or at Cannes. The obscure contentious drama narrates a story of a woman who, after a car accident, is sexually obsessed with metal.
In the Academy nominee charming film “CODA,” a young girl with a lovely voice is attached to her deaf family of fishermen. While trying to help them communicate, she desires to go to college and sing her songs to them and the rest of the world.
In “Nightmare Alley,” an ambitious female psychiatrist (Cate Blanchett) plays the double-take on the central character to gain economic and personal power over a famous mentalist.
The Sci-fi adventure drama “Dune” also features a mysterious female lead (Zendaya) who partners with her male counterpart and wants to save her people from powerful forces on her desert planet.
“Bergman Island,” tells the story of an American filmmaking couple (Vicky Krieps and Tim Roth) who want to get inspiration for each of their following projects. They visit an island where renowned Swedish director Ingmar Bergman was inspired to make his most iconic films. When the gender conflict arises, the woman finds more success in overcoming her writer’s block.
In the controversial Icelandic “Lamb,” wife and husband (Noomi Rapace and Hilmar Snaer Gudnason) are equally important in making decisions concerning their particular baby, and folk tales play a significant part in their fantasy.
“Spencer” tells the story of a lonely princess with an anxiety attack in a castle where no one talks to her.
We found the same tension in the independent film “The Lost Daughter,” where an English teacher takes a break from her family and embarks on a holiday weekend to Greece, where she becomes mentally obsessed with the neighbor’s daughter.
Furthermore, in “Four Good Days,” a mother reluctantly helps her daughter recuperate from drug addiction.
In the majestic musical “Annette,” the famous
baby avenges her mother from her abusive husband.
In “The Eyes of Tammy Faye,” a woman is obsessed with fame and religion. While trying to maintain her marriage, she also wants to hold onto the world’s largest religious broadcasting network they founded.
Finally, in the French production “The Mad Women’s Ball,” a young psychic woman is placed in a mental asylum by her father and her brother, where she has to convince everybody that she is gifted, not crazy.Many of these magnificent films feature women as essential to their stories. Women also directed some of these projects because everybody deserves a chance to make movies that are transcendental to the viewers.
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