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10 Best Movies of 2021 So Far You Need to Watch – Vanity Fair

Movies are back! Okay, technically they never went anywhere—but theaters are reopened in most places in the U.S., meaning we have a summer of big blockbusters and hopefully some interesting smaller movies to look forward to. Some worthy films were also released prior to our great vaccine summer, or just in time for it. To that end, with half the year done, here’s my list of the 10 best movies released so far this year. (Note: Some of these films were eligible for, and included in, the 2020 Oscars, but we are counting them as 2021 films because, well, they had their U.S. release in 2021.)

About Endlessness

Magnolia

Swedish avant garde filmmaker and commercial director Roy Andersson’s latest collection of melancholy, wearily comedic vignettes considers the mundanity of life as it bumps up against the profound. Or rather as it echoes the profound, becomes it, outlives it. A woman waiting on a train platform for a late pickup is given as much consideration as a phalanx of Nazi POWs marching toward Siberia, or man tied to a post, about to be executed. Andersson is coy about the film’s deeper meanings, until he isn’t. One student, sitting in a dorm room with a classmate, expounds upon the endlessness of energy—about how our deaths do not create a vacuum, but rather a transference, and then another, and another, into eternity. The characters in About Endlessness tend to shuffle along, hobbled by age or ailment or a broken high heel. But time eventually hastens them into what’s next, same as it pushed them into Andersson’s frame for a brief, compassionate, pathetic glimpse of life in the world. (On demand)

Acasa, My Home

Kino Lorber

Another bracingly immersive documentary out of Romania (Collective was one of the most striking films of 2020), Radu Ciorniciuc’s Acasa, My Home chronicles three years in the life of a poor Roma family living in the margins in Bucharest. Gica Enache, his wife Niculina, their nine children, and assorted animals have made a makeshift, off-the-grid home in a huge wildlife preserve splayed out incongruously in the middle of the city. Once meant to be a reservoir, the expanse has since become a thriving, marshy ecosystem, with Gica—vain, impulsive, and certainly a little reckless—and his clan as its unofficial stewards. Civic demand eventually comes to bear on the family, and Ciorniciuc intimately tracks their rocky transition into urban living. Acasa, My Home is an essential document of a nation ever in flux, and of what individual lives are disrupted and cast aside in the churn of progress. (On demand)

Army of the Dead

CLAY ENOS/NETFLIX
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