In a year marred by pandemic, creativity emerges unblemished in Hollywood
- Despite the pandemic-marred year, Hollywood movies have been a source of delight
- Tenet by Christopher Nolan is a must watch
- The Trial of the Chicago 7 is a recantation of the tyrannical power of the state
As the ongoing coronavirus pandemic wreaked havoc in 2020, more and more people pivoted towards movies, literature and art for refuge in these dark and devastating times. Ahead of the insurgence of the pandemic, a few movies were released on the big screen, but as the virus caused havoc, government directives ensured a mandatory closing of theatres. While the closure of movie theatres due to the coronavirus pandemic was a major jolt to the Hollywood industry, OTT platforms stepped up to provide directors and artists with an avenue to showcase their talents.
Audiences likewise shifted from the plush indoors of grandiose big screen multiplexes and moved into the comfort of their homes in a year marred by the pandemic. Despite the woeful year, the Hollywood industry hasn’t had a dearth of classics, and creativity has emerged unblemished from the pandemic.
Here are some of the riveting and absorbing flicks Hollywood produced this year:
Tenet: The Christopher Nolan directed sci-fi action thriller stars John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki, Dimple Kapadia, Michael Caine, and Kenneth Branagh. Scripted by Nolan, the plot of the movie follows secret agent Washington, as he manipulates the flow of time to prevent World War III. Delayed three times due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the movie was released for the big screen on August in United Kingdom and in September for the residents of United States.
The Trial of the Chicago 7: A recantation of a historical event from 1968, the movie depicts the journey of a group of anti-Vietnam anti–Vietnam War protesters who were charged with conspiracy. The movie has been written and directed by Aaron Sorkin stars Sacha Baron Cohen, Daniel Flaherty, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Keaton, Eddie Redmayne, Alex Sharp, and others. Released on September 25, the movie is available only on Netflix.
GreyHound: Starring Tom Hanks, the movie fetches its plot from the 1955 novel, The Good Shepherd. Closely delineating the journey of a commander of the US Navy on his first war-time assignment only months after the U.S. officially entered World War II, the Aaron Schneider directed war film is a must-watch. Initially planned for release on the big screen, the distribution rights of the movie were sold to AppleTV+ due to the COVID-19 pandemic
The King of Staten Island: A comic-drama directed by Judd Apatow, stars Davidson, Marisa Tomei, Bill Burr, Bel Powley, Maude Apatow, and Steve Buscemi, and follows the journey of a young man on the quest to get his life together. Slated for a theatrical release in June, the movie had to be released through Premium VOD as the pandemic played spoilsport.
The Banker: The movie follows the journey of the first African-American banker duo Joe Morris and Bernard S. Garrett. Directed and produced by George Nolfi, the movie stars Anthony Mackie, Nicholas Hoult, Nia Long, Jessie T. Usher and Samuel L. Jackson. One of those rare releases from the pre-pandemic times, The Banker hit the big screens on March 6.
Palm Springs: The American romantic comedy stars Andy Samberg, Cristin Milioti, Peter Gallagher, and J. K. Simmons, and recounts a tale of two strangers who meet at a Palm Springs wedding only to get stuck in a time loop. The movie premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on January 26 and was originally slated for a theatrical release. The coronavirus pandemic, however, forced the makers of the movie to release digitally on Hulu in June.
The 40-Year-Old Version: The American comedy directed and produced by Radha Blank, narrated the life story of Blank, a down-on-her-luck New York playwright, in a desperate search for a breakthrough before 40. Blank oscillates between HipHop and theatre in channelling her true voice. Premiering at the Sundance Film Festival on January 25, 2020, the distribution rights to the movie were acquired by Netflix and released on October 9, 2020.
The Trip to Greece: In the movie, actors Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan retrace the footsteps of the legendary Greek hero Odysseus, travelling from Troy to Ithaca. Directed by Michael Winterbottom, the American comedy-drama is replete with stories and landmarks of Greece. Released on the big screen in May, the movie is now available on Amazon.
Da 5 Bloods: Yet another American war drama, the movie follows the journey of four ageing Vietnam veterans who return to the communist nation in search of a treasure and tries to locate the remains of their squad commander. Directed and produced by Spike Lee, the movie stars Chadwick Boseman, Delroy Lindo, Jonathan Majors, Jean Reno and others. The movie was released by Netflix on June 12, 2020.
Never Rarely Sometimes Always: Directed and written by Eliza Hittman, the Sidney Flanigan, Talia Ryder, Théodore Pellerin starrer, narrates the tale of two teenage girls of Pennsylvania, who travel to New York seeking medical help following an unintended pregnancy. Premiering at the Sundance Film Festival, the movie was released on the big screen in March, and is now available as video on demand.
Honourable mentions: I’m Thinking of Ending Things, based on a 2016 novel, the movie narrates the tale of a young woman, full of misgivings. Released in select theatres in August, the distribution rights of the movie were acquired by Netflix in September.
Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets: Just a tale of a Las Vegas bar that’s shutting shop and its final night before going bust. The movie was initially released on the big screen in Russia.