Eric Ortiz's Favorite Movies Of 2019
Another year of movie-watching is over. 2019 was pretty special for me for several reasons. First of all, I was selected to be part of Fantastic Fest 2019 Screening Team, so I had to review over 60 film submissions. That was a pretty cool experience and I look forward to be more involved in film programming in the near future.
Then, in May, I attended for the first time ever the Cannes Film Festival, where I was lucky enough to get a ticket for the world premiere of Bong Joon-ho's Parasite (the eventual Palme D’or winner) at the Palais. I didn’t carry a damn tuxedo to Cannes in vain because that screening was amazing: picture, for example, the entire Palais cheering when Song Kang-ho's character shows a tissue with blood (we know it’s actually ketchup) to finish his family’s master plan!
I will remember 2019 precisely as the year in which three of my all-time favorite filmmakers released true masterpieces. Aside of Parasite –now a total commercial success, even in Mexico as the film opened here on Christmas Day and I just witnessed last weekend a sold-out screening at a Cinépolis complex (the antithesis of an arthouse cinema)–, I loved The Irishman, master Martin Scorsese’s epic goodbye to the gangster movie. The legendary Robert De Niro himself visited Mexico, so that whole evening at the Los Cabos International Film Festival (which has become my favorite national festival) was very memorable.
Then, Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood, my top film of the year. Like Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino is a hero of mine and I think he has never made a film that’s not great; however, Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood is easily his best in 10 years, already up there with the likes of Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs and Inglourious Basterds. The number of times I watched it on the big screen (including the stunning 35mm and 70mm versions) is embarrassing, but hey, like any Tarantino film, it just gets better and better with each viewing.
Ultimately, I was able to break my personal record and watch 172 new releases in 2019. As usual, my full list of favorites, which you can find in the below gallery, features some 2018 films that were released in Mexico until 2019, but also some titles from the festival circuit that will hit theaters and/or streaming platforms in 2020.