Does anyone else remember how 2020 began? Other than that moment when we were seriously concerned we might go to war with Iran, it was a relatively relaxing time. And even through some of the rough moments at the beginning of the year, I knew I had some really interesting movies to look forward to.
Then the coronavirus had to saunter into town and ruin everything.
Obviously it wasn’t the worst thing that happened as a result of the pandemic, but it definitely didn’t help that 2020 went from having the potential to be a really exciting year for film to being an incredible disappointment.
My feelings about 2020 in film can be summed up in a few words: unsatisfying, unpredictable and incomplete.
First, unsatisfying. The year has certainly not been the one we were promised, and a lot of that has to do with the countless films that were delayed. From the big budget blockbusters to the tiniest of indies, nothing was safe from getting pushed back.
It’s weird to think about, but precisely zero movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe were released this year. This absence is reflective of the whole environment. “No Time to Die,” “In the Heights” and “West Side Story” are only a few of the many films that had their release dates pushed back, some of them by almost a year. 2020 was not the year we were promised.
Next, unpredictable. Trying to guess the next turn of events has been a fruitless endeavor, and it hasn’t exactly produced the most fun of surprises. The delays would be bad no matter what, but it’s even worse when we don’t know when the films will be released.
The best encapsulation of 2020’s unpredictability is the whole debacle with Warner Bros. putting their movies on HBO Max. I wrote a piece about it a week ago, and in the short amount of time since it went up it has aged like a puddle of milk in the sun.
Multiple high-profile directors have decried the decision, most notably Christopher Nolan and Denis Villeneuve. There was the revelation that Warner Bros. didn’t notify talent about the decision beforehand, leaving many justifiably annoyed. AMC was put in a similar situation, and have expressed the tough financial situation they have been placed in. So yeah, I probably shouldn’t have been so optimistic.
Finally, incomplete. It just hasn’t felt like a full year. While there are some exciting movies coming up in the next two weeks like “Soul” and “Wonder Woman 1984,” it still doesn’t feel like enough.
Nearly all of the 2020 releases I was looking forward to have either been pushed back or are still without a release date. It’ll be almost a full year until I can see “Dune,” and I have no idea when I’ll get the chance to see “Judas and the Black Messiah.”
Looking back at the past few years, I’ve always had at least a couple films I really loved come out. But this year has just been so empty. I mean, my top ten of the year is so weak that “Sonic the Hedgehog” is currently an honorable mention. I’d love to share what my favorite movies of the year were, but I almost feel like I don’t have any. It’s just been a really crummy year.
That being said, I’m trying to stay optimistic for 2021. There’s a lot to look forward to, and odds are we’ll get to see some stuff in theaters. For now, all we can do is hope things get better.