Movies Watched, January 2019

Still from “If Beale Street Could Talk”

Ugh, the Oscars ceremony was last night. Seeing the results this morning, there’s so much to complain about, but it’s probably better for me to skip all that and just get to my very delayed round-up of the sixteen movies I watched last month.

That included two that I got to see in theaters: “Roma,” which I watched in 70mm, and “If Beale Street Could Talk,” Barry Jenkins’s unflinchingly painful adaptation of the 1974 novel by James Baldwin. Both were gorgeous on the big screen (“Beale Street” perhaps even moreso than “Roma”), and are clearly the work of true masters of their form. But I’m honestly bewildered by the relative lack of attention paid to the latter; this was one of the very best films of last year.

Meanwhile, at home, I also undertook a long postponed project: watching the entire run of “Harry Potter” films. I’ve never read the books and had only seen the third film (the one directed by Alfonso Cuarón) before, but my daughter has been fanatically immersed in J.K. Rowling’s world for some time now, so I wanted to experience some of it for myself. I managed to watch “only” the first seven (the first seven!) before the end of the month and finished the eighth early in February. My reaction: Wow. That was a long way to go to arrive at some pretty obvious conclusions.

Here’s the full rundown:

You can also see everything I watched in 2018 (and more) in my year-end roundup. And, if you’re interested, you can follow along with my movie diary at letterboxd.com.

+