2019 in Review

I wonder if you’re the same. Whether all the years since the start of real ‘adulthood’ just blur together into a mess of colour and sound. I sometimes picture the year in my head like a circle, with each day, week, and month with its own section. For some reason, December is darker than most months in my mind. Anyway, 2019 has been no different. Just another circle, full of good days and bad. Yet thinking back now it’s only moments and scenes which really jump out at me. It’s a bit like a TV show; you don’t see the mundane scenes, only the ones that matter.

A few years ago, recognising that I am hopelessly forgetful when it comes to this stuff, I started noting down in my notes app a little ‘Review of the year’. Mostly so that I could sound well-informed when people asked for recommendations, but also so that I could impress you all with just how cultured I am. No wait. That’s not it… Just so I can remember. Ahem.

So here are some memorable scenes from 2019.

Books

Catch and Kill by Ronan Farrow

A fascinating and detailed account of Farrow’s investigation into the Weinstein scandal. Shocking and saddening, but also hopeful.

Unfollow by Megan Phelps-Roper

A moving and thoughtful autobiography from a member of the infamous Westboro Baptist Church. Phelps-Roper does an amazing job of showing both how she loves and cares for her family, while also comes to see through the hateful beliefs of the church.

I recommended some more books from 2019 in an earlier post which you can check out here.

Films

Beautiful Boy

Even for those not slightly obsessed with Timothee Chalamet, this is an excellent and heartfelt exploration of a father-son relationship and battle with addiction.

Aladdin

Worth it for the wacky humour alone (jam anyone?), this seemingly inevitable remake of the Disney classic is worth your time. For my money, better than the new Lion King (sorry Beyonce!)

Long Shot

I had pretty much zero expectations for this seemingly wacky comedy with Seth Rogen and Charlize Theron, but it won me over instantly.

Marriage Story

So emotional. So good. I already loved the director (Noah Baumbach) of this wonderful Netflix movie about a torturous divorce, now I am fully behind this film getting all the Oscars (especially Adam Driver for his amazing performance.)

Knives Out

I’ve always been a fan of a murder mystery and this is a wonderful reinterpretation of Agatha Christie for the 21st Century. Both a love letter and a refreshing change of pace. Even Daniel Craig’s accent can’t ruin it.

Little Women

I challenge anyone to not be obsessed with Timothee Chalamet after this film. He and Soirse Ronan are simply wonderful. A rare film that is both joyous and finely crafted. Go and see it!

Music

Maggie Rogers

Elton John

Sufjan Stevens

Harry Styles

This list of some favourites from this year covers some old favourites and new discoveries. Maggie Rogers’ debut album was one of the most fresh and catchy pop records I’ve heard in years. After watching Rocketman, I have enjoyed going back to listen to some classic Elton. Also, after a recommendation from a friend have discovered some new deep cuts from Elton’s old stuff. Harry Styles’ beguiling pop/rock persona has won me over despite myself. I love his new album. Sufjan will always be close to my heart…

Other

Dear Evan Hansen

I went to see this wonderful and thoughtful musical before Christmas and can’t recommend it highly enough. So much empathy and love, especially powerful for those who have anything to do with teenagers.

Dolly Parton’s America

This podcast series has also been a highlight of my year. Who knew that everyone loved Dolly so much? It’s an exploration of just why which touches on some powerful and unexpected themes.

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