Last Year’s Must Watch Film


Stella Veazey, Staff Reporter

As 2021 came to a close and the first few months of 2022 have come and gone, I find I am not alone in a bittersweet reflection of the past year. The pandemic has stripped us of many passions, hobbies, and interactions that we, as humans, rely on. Among these are: live music, parties, vacations, involvement in the community, work, spending the holidays with family and, most importantly, good cinema. Like just about every other industry, the pandemic has put a stopper on many new releases. However, difficult access to new releases has made it easy to overlook what is currently ready for viewing. Here are my top three movies you may have missed from 2021: 

#1: “Don’t Look Up”

Renowned for its extensive A-List cast and blockbuster director, Adam Mckay (“Stepbrothers,” “Vice,” “The Big Short”), “Don’t Look Up” has been highly anticipated since its first paparazzi set pictures were leaked two years ago. The story follows Ph.D. candidate Kate Dibiasky (Jennifer Lawrence) and Dr. Mindy (Leonardo Dicaprio), astronomers from Michigan State University. as they embark on a cutthroat campaign to warn the public that a comet will destroy all life on earth in six months. Adam Mckay’s playful tragedy paints a painfully relatable picture of political polarization in America as he uses the comet as a symbol for our current, real-life crisis: the climate. His use of witty, satirical dialogue and fast-paced action-packed shots create a thrilling film that I consider a must-watch.“Don’t Look Up” is available on Netflix. 

#2: “The French Dispatch” 

Written and directed by Wes Anderson (my favorite director of all time), “The French Dispatch” is perfect for anyone seeking a funny, quick, abstract story. It is set in the fictional town of Ennui-sur-Blase, a small, gritty town in France.The film consists of five short stories from the fictional French Dispatch, a weekly travel log reporting on French culture to the people of Liberty, Kansas. While watching, I appreciated the contrast of color and black and white scenes, the still shots that emulate paintings, the fantastical plots, and Wes Anderson’s subtle jabs at the naive attitude of youth, homophobia, and social ethics. This is a movie you’ll have to watch several times in order to fully comprehend the complexity of the characters and enjoy the comical dialogue. This movie is available for rent or purchase on all streaming platforms. 

#3: “Cmon Cmon” 

Oscar award- winner Joaquin Phoenix (“Joker”) plays a middle-aged man trying his best through the challenges of parenting, self love, and love for the world around him with his new heart-twisting movie, “Cmon, Cmon”. Directed by Mike Mills (“20th Century Women”), this movie will catch the eye of anyone looking for a laugh and then possibly a cry. The story follows Johnny (Joaquin Phoenix) as he travels across the country with his young nephew, Jesse, (Woody Norman) who he is taking care of while his sister is occupied with her estranged husband. The film is shot entirely in black and white, a stunning choice for a movie with main themes of the beauty and ugliness of life. This movie is also available for rent on all streaming platforms. 

My personal favorite of the three is the French Dispatch; however, each one of these films blew me away.