As a California resident I have been in quarantine for about nine months. In that time I have had to find ways to entertain myself that doesn’t include going outside, so streaming services have been my best friends. Despite watching more movies in these nine months than I probably have the last three years, my top three favorite movies haven’t changed.
Which must mean that they’re the best movies to exist. Luckily, all three are currently available on Netflix. So you should watch them too.
(Light spoilers ahead)
- “Pan’s Labyrinth” dir. Guillermo Del Toro
Through the trials of Ofelia, the film’s protagonist, director Guillermo Del Toro intertwines fantasy and reality. Audiences see the greed that drives war, the abuse powerful men are capable of and nightmare worthy monsters brought to life. But to its core “Pan’s Labyrinth” is about unwavering love, and the risks people take once they feel this love.
2. “Moonlight” dir. Barry Jenkins
“Moonlight” is a film so well thought out it’s heartbreaking. Every part of the film builds main character Chiron’s world. Whether it is the focus on his crush’s breathing as they play, letting audiences know that at that moment this is all that mattered to Chiron or the pink light that comes from Chiron’s mother’s room as she yells at him, either feminizing the “devil’s den” or a crack den. Chiron’s world is built up to be devastating and tender. Director Barry Jenkins never holds back when showing the hardships of a young queer Black boy growing up in a low income community. Whether you are the Chiron, Chiron’s support system, or Chiron’s tormentor in your own story, Jenkins ensures that audiences will be forced to deal with the emotions that they have most likely tried to bury away.
3. “A Silent Voice” dir. Naoko Yamada
I don’t believe a single adult person would proudly reveal their past as a bully. Unfortunately, some of us are another person’s tormentor. “A Silent Voice” not only shines a light on the emotional trauma bullying causes, but also the pain of becoming self aware and what happens when you don’t like that “self”. Topped with beautiful animation, the film gives a new meaning to “growing pains” while showing the importance of correcting your wrongs, no matter how much you rather forget them.