Friday, December 30, 2022

Worthwhile English speaking films seen in 2022

 If you disagree with any of my views on any film please feel free to share your opinion.  Any suggestions?


      "CODA" (2021) excellent film, winner of Oscar for 2022.   An interesting dilemma for us outsiders, of a deaf family dependent on only hearing daughter who develops her singing talent.  Originated in French cinema, "La famille Belier" (2018).  Recognized some of the crew with French.  The use of subtitles might be good for English Speakers who generally avoid such movies. 







  " King Richard" (2021)  offers a racial message, but it is fairly subtle.  Richard, the father of Serena and Venus Williams said he looked at opportunities and thought his girls winning at tennis would have more impact on white consciousness.  Heavy emphasis on education and family being together.



  "Don't Look Up" (2021) stirred up a lot of controversy with its all star cast, but I think it accomplished the goal of satirizing the media and politician ignoring the advice of scientists for their own greedy reasons.  I am cheating a little bit as I actually watched this movie New Years Eve--after I had already posted my top movies of 2021.  After watching I had mixed actions having heard criticisms and some explanations.

   "Land" (2021)  Robin Wright directed and starred as a bereaved remaking her life in th ewilds of Wyoming.

 "Profile" (2021) was an online presentation that one reviewer labeled an "online seduction"  Illustrates that naive women could be seduced online--how ISIS recruited women--frightening.

 "Road to the Lemon Grove" (2021) Charlie Chiarelli, a fellow north ender.   His family had migrated from Racamulto to Hamilton.   As a young immigrant he mostly translated for his parents.   English speakers were called  mangia cake (caker eaters).  The story is toldmostly in English, but with heavy stereotypical Italian and Sicilian imprint.  A hokey story, but illustrating Italian love of families

"Harriet" (2019) about the historical figure Harriet Tubman.  Not sure how much dramatized, but feel captured the battle between slave owners and slaves wanting to be free.

The Tender Bar" (2022)  Uncle Ben Afleck owns a bar and givesd guidance to his nephew.

"Papa Hemingway in Cuba" (2016)   Journalist visits Hemingway as Cuban Revolution develops around them.

"The Courier" (2021) A business man (Benedict Cumberbatch) gets involved with the Cuban Missile Crisis.

"Fruitvale Station" (2013) was revisited.  A black man is killed unnecessarily.

 "The Salisbury Poisoning" (2020) A British mini series about the poisoning of a former Russian spy.  Didn't realize there was much more to the story.  Salisbury was very concerned about the poison spreading around town.  Policeman was on the verge of death and eventually another woman died.  Another English couple made friends with the Russian father and daughter.  Well done.

"Dune" (2021) epic science fiction and winner of 6 Oscars

"Against the Ice" (2022) is really a Danish movie, about a Danish subject with mostly Danish cast and crew.  Set in Greenland where Danish explorers were out to prove that Greenland was an island that was whole and thus no part could be claimed by the U.S.  Nicolaj Coster-Waldau wrote, produced and was the lead actor.  This was all in English, not dubbed.

"The Adam Project" (2022) science fiction with Ryan Reynolds.  Time travel puts astronaut encounters his own 12 year old self. 

"Respect" (2021) Aretha Franklin's. biography

"Being the Ricardos" (2021) brought back a lot of memories as my family used to watch "I Love Lucy" every week.  Didn't know the background or appreciate how unique it was.  A show filmed in front of an audience.  Lucille Ball is shown as an expert in adjusting scripts.  Javier Bardem has further enforced himself as one of my favorite actors. Lucy found that after marriage she didn't see her husband very often as he was usually touring.  She made a few career decisions to at least cut down her time away from home.  A critical one was to do a radio program and when some tv. executives noticed that she used a lot of body movement while speaking her role realized she was a visual.  They made a pitch to her for a tv program and she turned it into I Love Lucy with Desi as her acting husband.  When she got pregnant they both wanted to make it a television event, but studio executives tried to nix it, but they were so popular they won.  The code was used as an excuse as sex was not to be acknowledged. 

"The Little Things" (2021) was a Denzel Washington vehicle.  He seems to gravitate to anti authoritarian roles and is very good in them.  A suspense with twists.

"Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings" (2021) Impressive special effects.  First Asian super hero.

"Four Good Days" (2020) refers to a critical time as mother tries to ease her daughter though recovery from addiction.

"Belfast" (2021) At the same tme Iwas at university and had friends who either had Irish connections or pretended they did.

"Defending Jacob" (2020) a mini series.  First time impressed with Michelle Dockery.  A good court battle.

"The Eyes of Tammy Faye" (2021) Evangelical corruption.  Stirring performance by Jessica Chastain.

"Hustle" (2022) Adam Sandler paired with Queen Latifah. is surprisingly appropriate.  Basketball scout uncovers a talented player and supports him despite a criminal past--trains him.  Actual NBA players in background.    





"Shepherds and Butchers" (2017) A gut wrenching story.  Steve Coogan who is mostly associated with comic roles proves he is an actor to be taken seriously.  Set in South Africa, a lawyer defends a man who killed seven people in cold blood.  We soon learn that to avoid military service he had been forced into prison duty which involved hands on involvement with executions.  The viewer needs to be able to stomach brutal hangings, some of which are especially brutal.   Beyond being against executions it points out that inhumane social (and legal) practices can do great harm that affects us all.   Check 


"Eyimofe  This is my Desire" (2021) is from Nigeria.  One of the more serious movies from Nigeria. More gritty about what it is like to live in Lagos.

 "Nightmare Alley" (2021) is a remake (see below under older films) with Bradley Cooper, Toni Collette, Cate Blanchard and Mara Rooney.  Some scenes shot in Hamilton, Ontario, my adopted home.

"House of Gucci" (2021) Lady Gaga marries into rich Italian family and gets into crime, including murder.

"Father Stu" (2022) Based on true story about a one time boxer who  became a priest.  Mark Wahlberg was not able to get financing and so put his own money into it.  Mel Gibson

"Tokyo Trial" (2016) the Nuremberg Trials set a standard for the Asian war crimes, but there were arguments.  Over what is a crime, should the death penalty be an option. Semi documentary including actual news reel.    Trial last 2 1.2 years compared to 11 months for the Nuremberg Trials.

"Licorice Pizza" (2021) Young lovers with their trials.

"Worth" (2021)What is a life worth.  This became an issue for the relatives of the dead from 9/11.







"The Outfit" (2022) seemed like a quiet movie (didn't see the trailer), but very hard to beat for twists with unexpected violence.  Mark Rylance is very good.

"Downton Abbey:  A New Era" (2022) Artistocratic life style.  The same characters you might be familiar with in a different luxurious location.

"The Good Nurse" (2022) Two Oscar winners in a crime drams directed by Danish director who wrote the script for best foreign film (Another Round)

"The Wonder" (2022) A young Irish girl is on a fast.  A nurse is brought in from England, but it turns out only as an observer.  Religious belief is set against the survival of the girl. 

"The Swimmers" (2022) Athletic refugees from Syria.  Based on a true story.  

"Phantom of the Open" (2022) was about a loser.  Maurice Flitcroft got into his head he wanted to golf in the British Open, although he had no experience with golfing.  He had commendable family values  and a dogged persistence.  Mark Rylance played Maurice and as usual was excellent this time in a comic role.

 "Where the Crawdads Sing" (2022) Read the book and would say the script followed the text pretty well.  The casting of the lead was right on.






Older Films (before 2011)

"The Joy Luck Club" (1993) is the interactions of a Chinese mother in America with her four adult daughters.

"The Incredible Shrinking Man" (1957)  The special features brought out that directors had to be prepared to deal with different situations.  Science fiction that blended with film technology to make the point that everything exists and can be understood with a different perspective.

"The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz" (1974) based on a Canadian novel and featuring an early movie of Richard Dreyfuss.  so used to seeing in his later movies, forgot what he was like in his youth.

"The Watermelon Man" (1970) A good satire of race relations.  A bigoted man is transposed to be being black and endures many indignities.  Surprised to see director, Melvin Van Peebles speaking French in special features.

"Bamboozled" (2000) a Spike Lee satire on black stereotypes spanning early films, television, entertainers like Al Jolson.

"The Great Escape(1963)  starring Steve McQueen and James Garner.   The two stars did not get along in private life, but get together for a spectacular escape from German prison camp.

"Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead" (1990)

"The Parallax View" (1974) An interesting film about a conspiracy assassination with very interesting special features.  Directed and produced by Alan J. Pakula:

"The Matrix" (1999) is an impressive technical film and has layers of meaning.  What is reality? 

"The Love Parade" (1930) This was the first musical film and although dated was charming.  Especially enjoyed a young Maurice Chevalier and Jeanette MacDonald's first film.  Directed and produced by Ernst Lubitsch.  




 "The Usual Suspects" (1995) classic twist

"The Bridges at Toko-ri" (1954) read the book--covers activities of aircraft carrier with helicopter support and bombing missions.  William Holden, Grace Kelly, Fredric March and Mickey Rooney.

"Buck and the Preacher" (1972) a different Western.  Black, former slaves leaving their home to try luck in the west.  Sidney Poitier is very good, but Harry Belafonte is surprisingly good.

"The Santa Fe Trail" (1940) contains a lot of historical inaccuracies which inspired me to seek the true facts.  In 19540 Hollywood the role of blacks was ambiguous at best, however there is some of the evils of slavery despite the hero played by Errol Flynn going to be a prominent Confederate General.  No movie with Olivia de Havvilland should be missed.   Events and atmosphere leading to Civil War.

"Geronimo:  An American Legend" (1993) One line stood out for me when one character said that it was the settlerd and land speculators who saw the army as their tool to rid the Apache, but in fact it was the army that allowed them to survive."  Some truth to that.

"Father of the Bride" (1950) with Spencer Tracy and Elizabeth Taylor was both funny and a little deeper than anticipated.

"Nightmare Alley" (1947) Tyrone Power is dynamic in this bleak film noir.   Con jobs

"When Harry Met Sally" (1989) an all time favorite romance.

"A Cry in the Dark" (1988) an early Meryl Streep (actually her 8th Oscar nomination) film, this one set in Australia.  She is accused on murder of her baby and actually goes to prison before finally proven innocent.

"The Great Dictator" (1941) Charlie Chaplin's first speaking role in a movie and it was a blockbuster.  Released in the early part of WWII before America had entered.  He plays the dictator and a poor Jewish barber.  At the end of the film he makes one of the most stirring speeches ever on film.   By coincidence on the day I randomly picked up the DVD at the library a senior phone in group I belong to had two members claim it was their favorite speech.  One of the year's best for me.  Chaplin announced in 1938 that he would do a satirical film of Hitler and the British Government announced they would ban it.  Franklin Roosevelt was a fan and encouraged him.

"The Gold Rush" (1925) the first Chaplin starring feature under United Artists--one of the top grossing silent films.  By 1940 Chaplin decided to revise--added narration, music and edited it down.  Chaplin tried to destroy all copies of original, but eventually even supported efforts to revive but a lot of effort required to find good . copies.  Ironically the original ended with a kiss, but was cut for a later version.

"Limelight" (1952) Chaplin's last film done in America.  With Claire Bloom, Buster Keaton and Sydney Chaplin,  A star in decline.  The American Legion wanted to boycott Chaplin, claiming he was a Communist.

"Call Northside 777" (1948) was based on a true story of wrongful conviction uncovered by a news reporter.  This also represented a change in roles for James Stewart who had had two preceding box office flops,including "It's a Wonderful Life." (1946).  Slow methodical search for the truth.

"The Kite Runner" (2007) based on the novel set in Afghanistan which I had read prior to the movie.  Very brutal in parts.  

"The Bridges of Madison County" (1995)  One of the best tear jerkers of all time.  Believable with great acting from Meryl Streep and Clint Eastwood who directed and produced. 

"Lilies of the Field" (1963) won an Oscar for Sidney Poitier in more of a comic role than his usual dramatic roles.

"The Barefoot Contessa" (1954) with Humphrey Bogart and Ava Gardner with Edmond O'Brien winning an Oscar.  

"The Body Snatcher" (1945). A black and white film with horror greats, Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi.    From a short story by Robert Louis Stevenson with a creepiness that has credence.  There were people who dug bodies out of graves.

 "Gorillas in the Mist"(1988) Dian Fossey went to Africa to study the gorilla and became an activist..

"Legends of the Fall" (1995) a masterpiece starring Brad Pitt and an all star cast including Canadian Tantoo Cardinal and Gordon Tootoosis, Anthony Hopkins, Aidan Quinn and Julia Ormond.


 "Milk" (2009) about gay politician who was assassinated.  A good insight into politics for minorities (when they came out more people aware of knowing gays).  Sean Penn seems out of character, but he did win an Oscar deservedly.   

 Mini Series

"Only Murders in the Building" (2021)

"Your Honor" (2020) Bryan Cranston benefiting from Breaking Bad takes on a starring role.  Secrets and conflicting motivations drive this. 

"Vienna Blood" (2019) Set in Vienna in the time of Freud whose ideas pervade the series.

"For All Mankind" (2019) History is composed a series of interlocking events--change a few of the events and you would get different results.  This series pictured the Russians reaching the moon and a more envigorated  space program.  Ted Kennedy is waylaid from Chap----       There are parallels


 "Into the West" (2005)  A view of American conquest of the west.

"Mo" (2022) Paralleling a bit of Mohammed.  Born in Kuwait of Palestinian parents.  Married a Mexican and divorced--in series Mexican girl friend, Nigerian friend--Stand up comic

"The Crown" (2022 Fifth Season)  Getting closer to home.  The royal Family is famous for being famous and we can all remember some of their high lights (or low lights)


"The Mitchells vs. the Machines" (2021) 

"Ron's Gone Wrong" (2021) Reminded me of "Inside Out"(2015) dealing with emotions.  The key theme was friendship.  Also big corporations that create artifical friendships to make money  It was interesting to see another side of Olivia Colman in one of the special features.

"Encanto" (2021) 

"Vivo" (2021)     Lin Manuel          Gloria Estefan 

"How to Train Your Dragon" (2010)


"Forgive us Our Trespasses" (2022), Netflix offering some shorts.  This one of 14 minutes is based on Nazi targeting disabled as early as 1939.  Over 300,000 were killed with an additional 400,000 being sterilized.  A quote from Dieter Bonhoeffer, "The tet of the morality of a society is what it does for its children."


"The Social Dilemma" (2020) was one of the most frightening of documentaries.  It boils down that social media that are a big part of most our lives is manipulative.







"Knock Down the House" (2019)  It takes a lot of money to get elected and too much of them get from corporate donors who expect something in reurn.  Some progressive groups were looking to challenge established Democrat congressman.  Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez?

""How to Eat Your Watermelon in White Company (and Enjoy it)" (2005)

Three series produced by Ken Burns.

"Muhammad Ali" (2021) hero for much of the globe, but standing up for his rights gave him legal problems.     Check: 

"Hemingway" (2021)) Ken Burns and Lynn Novick A very good study

"Mysteries of Mental Illness" (2021) An historical perspective including asylums, 


 "The Rape of Recy Taylor" (2017) Covers investigation and court procedures surrounding rape in Alabama.  Reference to Rosa Parks who at one time worked on black women rapes.  

"The Elephant and the Termite: (2021) might seem incongruous, but it proves we are all connected.  Nature is balanced.  Water is the key to life.  Lung fish is like our ancestors leaving water with primitive limbs.  Beautiful cinematography.    photo

"What Lies Inside" (2020) is a personal story with Luke Renner telling his story about trauma that he was late in llife uncovering.  He talks of other traumas many well known.  His trauma was "forgotten" and had occurred early in life and in fact traced traumas back through generations.  One point was that early life and parenting were critical and that previous parenting history was important.  Various experts in mental health as well as survivors we are left with the thought that we are part of nature and that can help heal us.

"Icarus" (2017) about Russian cheating on drug tests.  Seen as Putin invades Ukraine and of course he denies it.

"Navalny" (2022) another film that indicates Putin is evil. 

"MLK/FBI" (2020) increased my admiration about Martin Luther King Jr and reinforced doubts about the FBI.  He was a threat in the eyes of J. Edgar Hoover who first justified an investigation on a connection to a white man who once had Communist ties.  Then it shifted to a fear of blacks and an opportunity to use sexual activity as a lever.

"Roger & Me" (1989) looks dated, but revolutionary in some ways.  Michael Moore has gone on to do slicker documentaries, but this was about his home town, Flint, Michigan where thousands of General Motors had been laid off and devastated the town.  As it happens both my children participated in th CANUSA games that were athletic contests between Hamilton, Ontario and Flint, Michigan.  My daughter especially made friends over there that we hosted at our home. 

"When the Drum is Beating" (2011) while focusing on a band that represents a positive part of Haitian culture surrounded by history.  Haiti at one time was a very rich island due to sugar, but the first successful slave revolution set in motion colonial powers retailiation. 

"The Need to Grow" (2019) deals with the importance of soil to our eating.  Corporate interests are fighting against efforts to improve sustainable soil development.

"The Great Postal Heist" (2022) points out how for profit motives threaten a public service.  It is true technology can offer a more efficient service, but at a cost.  Part of the cost might be lower wages and employment, loss of service to unprofitable areas,   In a Question and Answer section mention was made of a Trump appointment as Post master General  Joly who in effect is sabotaging the post office while Trump rants about voting by mail (although that is how he voted).

"The Great Hack" (2019) depicts the role of Cambridge Analytica in Brexit and Trump's  2016 campaign.  IMDB has given a fairly high rating 7.0, but deserves higher.  Reading the reviewer it seems there was a campaign to discredit the film     "data rights are human rights"

"Saving Capitalism" (2017) Robert Reich explains how money flows upward and it is all related to politics.  The rich make the laws, people's wishes are too often ignored or even blocked.

"My Garden of a Thousand Bees" (2021).  A wildlife photographer is stopped by the Covid 19 pandemic and turns to his backyard garden in Bristol, England and decides to focus on bees.  Needs different lens and equipment and learns as he goes.  Beautiful and educational. 

"The U.S. and the Holocaust" (2022) where to a big degree demonstrates America's racism and hypocrisy. Check:






"Built Beautiful" (2020) Explores relationship between neuroscience and architecture.   One quote,  Architecture "is building a piece of art that needs to be used by humans."  It can enhance our lives. 

"A Trip to Infinity" (2022).  The most profound point of existence along with eternity.  Frightening, after we are nothing more than specs.   I concede that like all lilving beings die, all energy sources dry up, but I believe mass/energy can only transform to something else.  Life and energy regenerate.

"Searching for Sugar Man" (2012) Praised by Aamir Khan as film he most would have liked to have done.

"Plague at the Golden Gate" (2022) about a bubonic plague in San Francisco.  It is here that the transmission came from rats or more exactly fleas on the rats.  There was also prejudice against the Chinese community.  

"The Great Muslim American Road Trip" (2022), hokey, but interesting information. 

"Hiding in Plain Sight" (2022) another production with guidance from Ken Burns.  There seem to be many external forces pushing mental illness.  Society, technology    Complicating coping efforts with it is the associated stigma.    Failing to cope is another drag on society, but there are alternatives to solve the problem.   "Defund the police" is distorted in that the problem is more than containing violence and involves mental illness.

"All These Flowers" (2017) deals with bi-polar disorder.  Bi-polar is more complicated with one expert saying it is on a spectrum and another expert pointing out that there is now Bi-Polar 1 and Bi-Polar 2 that need different approaches.  Mis diagnoses are too common.  Police are being advised (and in Kansas legislated) that a person committing a crime with something designating them suffering from mental illness to next be taken to mental hospital for further evaluation.  

"Phosfate" (2021) unrated by IMDB was aimed as phosphate mining in Florida and pointing out its connection to cancer.   




"Ancient Apocalypse" (2022)   Speculation about history around the Ice Age.

"The True Story of Alexander the Great" (2002) One man who could truly be called "Great" 

"Harry & Meghan" (2022).  A highly promoted series and hated by some.  Checking IMDB it had a very low rating with many hateful comments.  Some may have been anti-monarchists, but most seemed personal and ignorant.  Don't know what the underlying motives were, but the facts indicate Meghan suffered a great deal of racism and jealousy and Harry was insulted.  Meghan because of her personality and experience  she overshadowed that rest of the Royal Family similar to her mother in law Diana.  She resented restrictions which did become onerous. 

"The Green Planet" (2022) A four hour documentary, unbelievable cinematography highlighting our critical symbiotic relationship with plants.  We visualize them as stationary, but there is a lot of movement.  Also points out the dangers of a monocultures. 

A lot of good movies listed, but six (the ones listed in the tag lines) that really moved me are on the subtitled list

Another sterling crop of English speaking movies seen the previous year:

2022 Films from the Non English world.

 The non English world is pretty big, in fact they put out more films than does the English speaking world.  It should not be surprising that many of them are as good  and some might be considered better.  My contention is that they offer something with enough differences that are interesting and enough similarities that we can reflect on our own lives.

If you have a different opinion of any listed film, please feel free to share.  Any suggestions?

 It is impossible to fairly rate these films.  To make it to my blog they had some personal merit and I have tried to post photos of my favorites

One of my six most satisfying films viewed this year is in a language that was totally unknown until the last few years, Malayalam.  Read more about it under Malayalam section which is included under Regional Indian film

Please feel free to express your opinion on any film you have seen.


"The Billion Dollar Code" (2021) is based on the experience of some Germans who developed a precursor to a Google program and then got tied up in legal matters.







"The Damned" (1969)--dealing with German and Italian fascists.

"Bicycle Thieves (1949) classic just after Italy recovering from the war.


"The Bombardment" (2022).  During WWII, the RAF was planning a bombing to hit the Gestapo headquarters in Copenhagen, but miscalculated and sent some bombers dropped their bombs over a school.

"Borgen" (4th season 2022) Little Denmark supervises huge Greenland.  They have a different political system than we in English North America are saddled with.

One of four top series




"You Disappear" (2017)   Low ratings, possibly due to a heavy dose of free will and psychology.  Provoke thoughts.  A brain tumor is implicated in a case of embezzlement and stresses marriage.

"Toscana" (2022) A joint Danish Italian effort.  A chef inherits his father's (who he resented) restaurant in Italy.  Food  and scenery are hi-lites.


"Anxious People"(2021) based on a book by Fredrik Backman


"The Worst Person in the World" (2021) nominated for two Oscars.  Trying to understand yourself, while going through life.  Cinematographic tricks to illustrate feelings.






"The Cut" (2014)  covers some post Armenian genocide consequences.  With Tahir Rahim.


"Quo Vadis, Aida?" (2020) Heartbreaking about Bosnia? slaughter.  Senseless and brutal.


La Chica que Limpla"  (2017) from Argentinaseries remade in U.S> The Cleaning lady??

"Boss, the Anatomy of a Crime" (2015) comes from Argentina and was remade in Mexico and the U.S.

"The Endless Trench" (2020) recounts the story of a fugitive from Franco's fascists.  At first there is a scary escape when soldiers corner him in a well with water to the waist and shooting, killing three other escapees.  He decided to hide at home with the co-operation of his wife.  It ended up being 30 years of living in a narrow hole.  It might seem boring, but there was a lot of tension.   Spanish entry for the 2021 Oscar, international feature.   



 "Leona" (2020 )   A Jewish woman loves a non Jew in Mexico City.

"Green Frontier" (2019) a mini series from Colombia delving into their indigenous culture, but with super natural elements.

"Plaza Catedral" (2022) from Panama, borrowing a Mexican actress, Ilse Salas.  Concerned with violence against children.

"Parallel Mothers"  (2021) Directed by Pedro Almodovar and starring Penelope Cruz.  Nominated for 2 Oscars and winner of international festival awards.  Check




"Belscoaran, PI" (2022) a Mexican mini series.  A crime show, but with lots of humor.

"God's Crooked Line" (2022) a super psychological film directed and written by Oriol Paulo and starring Barbara Lennie.  Loads of twists.







'Argentina, 1985" (2022) with one of my favorite actors, Ricard Darin, this time acting as a prosecutor against a military junta.


From Brazil "Beyond the Universe" (2022).  Kind of a sappy love story, but with a surprising end that will leave you thnking.  Sao Paulo is the biggest city in Brazil and you will get a better appreciation of it.

from Portugal "The Metamorphosis of Birds" (2020) A documentary starting from family memories of director/writer Caterina     Thoughts of mortality, meaning of life.  Narration, but no dialogue for character.  Beautiful cinematography.






"Adoption" (1975). A lonely middle aged woman aiming to give natural birth decides it might be better to adopt a particular teenage girl.


"The Chorus" (2004) considered a French comic classic about a school choir.

"Wolf's Call" (2019)

"The Story of a Three Day Pass" (1968)  fourth paragraph

"Mr. Klein" (1976).  Considered a classic by some.  Alain Delon directed and starred with Joseph Loney (who doesn't speak fluent French) directing.  Set in WWII during German occupation of Paris.  Two men share the same name and look very similar, but one is Jewish and the other is art agent who is taking advantage of Jews needing to sell paintings at low prices.  As the director says it is not about anti-Semitism, but more about the stupidity of racism. 

"'Round Midnight" (1986) is a French movie, but with mostly English about an aging, addictive jazz musician.  At one time black musicians found France to be a hospitable to America. 


"Luzzu""  (2022) deals with financial pressures that force one man to get involved with illegal fishing.


"Tehran" (2020) An Israeli series focusing on Israelis trying to sabotage Iranian efforts to develop an atomic bomb using technology and seduction.  Well done.  Had been led to believe Iranians treated fairly, but would say both sides seemed pretty despicable.   


Many of us are unsure of Georgia, but it exists and had largely freed itself from Soviet dominance.    "The Trader" (2018) is a 23 minute short that gives an insight  into a lifestyle and won attention at the Sundance Festival.  A middle aged man drives a truck with a variety of merchandise.  The rural economy uses potatoes as currency or barter.   Women bargain for beauty aids. 

"March for Dignity" (2020) A documentary about an effort by LGBTQ activists to organize a Pride March and run up against opposition from homophobic elements.


"Bordertown" (2017) series with a unique detective protagonist.  The Border refers between Finland and Russia.


"Hold Tight" (2022) series from American novel. Criminal elements in Warsaw and a missing young man.

"In Darkness" (2011) Polish rescuers of Jews in Lvov during the war.  First interested in money, but kept on after money ran out. 

"Of Animals and Men" (2019) Documentary about Warsaw Zoo from WW II protecting Jews and a little before and after.




"Servant of the People" (2015) series  We are all familiar with Volomyr Zelensky and this satiric series helped propel him into politics.  We know he is more than a comic genius.



"The Italian" (2005).  Despite the title it is about a Russian orphan who some Italians want to adopt, but he wants to seek out his real mother.

 "Compartment no. 6" (2021)" A joint, Finnish, Russian, Estonian film.  Won Cannes Grand Prix.  A train trip to Murmansk.






"In Good Hands" (2022).  A single mother is told she has a terminal illness and juggles her life between her child and a possible lover.

"Godspeed" (2022) Friendship between soldiers of different ranks.    Very subtle ending.


"Extraordinary Attorney Woo" (2022) one of my four top series of the year.  The heroine is an autistic lawyer.  Despite being a top student no firm would hire her, until a family connection with hidden motives got her a job.  Autistics are easy to make fun of, but this series helps us to understand better how they see the world.





Twenty Five Twenty One" (2022) An unusual romance between a young woman fencer and a man whose family had been bankrupt.

"Misaeng" (2014) series. A young man dropped out of competition for several years before re engaging in a tough business atmosphere.  

  "Escape fro Mogadishu" (2021)A rare story of co-operation between North and South Korea.




"Steel Rain" (2018) A spy flees North Korea and mixes up with South Korean diplomat to prevent a nuclear war.  Lots of action, but interesting politics tying in China, the U.S. and Japan

"Thirty-Nine" (2022)   Korean series about three women of that age and their romantic efforts.    Son Ye-jin, a favored actress stars.

"Juvenile Justice" (2022).  We are used to adult police and court room dramas, but juvenile issues require special attention.   Lead actress Kim Hye-su, who once provided one of my all time laugh fits shows she can be deadly serious.





"My Holo Love" (2020) shows a romance mixed up with intelligent hologram beings and their human orginators.

"The Strongest Deliveryman" (2017)  In this series competition heats up between a male and female deliveryman.

"My Liberation Notes" (2022) by same writer as "My Mister" (2018)   photo  The slow moving story focuses on three siblings who are introverted and they all work a long commute away.  The dialogue is very heavy as they each question their purpose in life.  They all make unusual choices.  The viewer is dragged along wondering how they will deal with their lives.  




"Flower of Evil" (2020) Top four of year  series.  Complicated mystery plot, good background music, draining emotionally romance(s).  Check






 "Jersey" (2022)  Shahid Kapoor stars in this Bollywood remake of a Telegu hit.  About a cricket player who quite while young and decides to get back in at a high level many years later.

"83" (2022)  About a triumphant Indian cricket team becoming world champions in 1983

"Gangubai Kathiawadi" (2022) Alia Bhatt proves she is not a meek actress as she moves from a brothel to be the top mobster.

"Dasvi" (2022) A crooked politician decides to use his time in jail to educate himself under the guidance of a tough cop.

"Sharmaji Namkeen" (2022) Rishi Kapoor's last film is a retiree becoming enlightened. 

"Badhaai Do" (2022) A gay cop meets a lesbian teacher and they decide to marry to stop their pestering parents, but of course the pestering resumes on a different path--Funny, but thought provoking.

 "Human " (2022) a mini series exploring issues for human drug testing.

"A Thursday" (2022) A strange set of circumstances with a big surprise.  Yami Gautam is fantastic. 

 One of top movies.







"Doctor G"  (2022)  Ayushmann Khuranna plays a young medical student who is coerced into flipping his field to gynecology.  Lots of laughs while he gradually learns not only skills, but also a feeling of purpose.




 Gehraiyaan" (2022) a dramatic vehicle for Deepika Padukone.

"Do Paise Ki Dhoop Chaar Aane Ki Baarish" (2009) An unusual family movie.  A gay songwriter, a prostitute and her handicapped son.  He is mostly unemployed, she is an aging and over priced.  The three bond and she tries to seduce him, but he cannot be seduced by a woman. A happy ending.  Quote "if we have no regrets about our mistakes or impulsive behavior then life has not touched us at all."



"Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar" (2021) A drama with Parineeti Chopra and Arjun Kapoor.

"Chandigarh Kare Aashqui" (2020)   If you aren't aware of any promotional bits on this you would be very surprised, but I will hint:  The woman is a transexual who doesn't reveal it until after a night with the protagonist.

"Anek" (2022) Ayushmann Khuranna is an agent working in a separatist part of India. 

"Toolsidas Junior" (2022) A fun film about snooker players and family redemption. 

"Laal Singh Chaddha" (2022).  Is a Hindi remake of "Forrest Gump" (1993) with adaptations for Indian history.








 "Monica, O My Darling" (2022) as a remake of a Japanese film, but ironically has a higher rating.  A murder mystery with loads of twists. 

"Dhoka" (2022) was an exciting psychological drama.




 "Goodbye" (2022) was a vehicle for Abhishek Bachchan doing the story of an older man reacting to the death of his wife.  Tradition competes with modern ideas, but still retains much of its strength.

"Monsoon Wedding" (2002) An Indian wedding with lots of family turmoil.  Shefali Shah and Naseeruddin Shah



"Bulbul Can Sing" (2018) set in small village with a group of teenagers growing up with problems.


"#Home" (2021  A simple story involving two families that like each other.

My favorite movie of the year and difficult to explain.  It is a family drama where the head seems to be taken for granted.  Writing about writing, one character goes back to his family, but maintains wife and in-laws.  Everyone gets along and even likes one another, but a surprisingly connection comes near the end.   Humorous in parts, touching in parts. 





Night Drive" (2022)  Encountering a car accident on a night drive can have scary repercussions.

"Hridayam" (2022) Follows the maturing process of a young man.  Described as a "feel good" movie.

"Ohm Shanthi Oshaana" (2014) is a well done romantic comedy.

"Padavettu" (2022) a movie with a political slant.  One quote, "If we don't have a scheme of our own others will make us part of their schemes"


"Firebrand" (2019) is a woman centric film involving rape.

"The Disciple" (2020) About Indian classical music and one man's effort to master it.  Surprised to learn an executive producer and financial supporter was famous Mexican director, Alfonso Cuaron. 

"Habaddi" (2022) About a young boy who stutters and later gets involved with kabaddi


"Pahuna:  The Little visitors" (2017).  Produced by Priyanka Chopra Jonas and is about two very young children who run away and adapt.  Touching.


"Guna" (1991) is considered one of the best of Kamal Haasan.

"Raatchasi" (2019) A clever teacher with military training saves a school.

"Taanakkaran" (2022) Conflict at a police training camp very well done.

"Love Today" (2022)  Troubles that can be fueled by modern technology.  Written, directed and starring Pradeep Ranganathan it makes a social point about modern lifestyles.





"Comali" (2019) was watched shortly after "Love Today" as after admiring writer/director Pradeep Ranganathan.  It had a social message.  Society has too much emphasis on technology and not enough on face to face.  For India pointed out the caste system hurts unified action.


" Uma Maheswara Ugra Roopaysa"  (2020) A revenge movie where the hero/victim has vowed to go barefoot until gets even.

"Shyam Singha Roy" (2021) A highly regarded movie using reincarnation as a dramatic device.

"Mallesham" (2019)  The story of an inventor overcoming obstacles.

"Pushpa:  The Rise Part One" (2021) a Blockbuster type of movie.  Lots of action.

"RRR" (2022)  even more ridiculous gimmicky action.  Still a dynamic story with some top name actors, Alia Bhatt, Ajay Dvegn, Shriya Saran,   Won an Oscar for a song.

"EE Nagariniki Emandhi" (2018) follows four long term male friends involved in a short film contest.  The one who fancies himself director writer is somehow entered into a short film contest in a category he detests--"romance"    Check    

"Varuta Parvam" (2022) was promoted as a love story which it was, but at the very end the writer told what motivated him to write the script. 

'Major" (2022) Life of soldier who died during Mumbai in November 2008  terrorist attack. Lots of action.  Great acting.  Discovered Adivi Sesh with his debut in Bollywood as actor and writer.

"Ante Sundaraniki" (2022) is a romance comedy with a common theme, lovers with opposing religion (at least in their parent's view) and they decide the best strategy is to lie and boy do they tell some whoppers.  There are a lot of twists including that one of their lies points to a serious life threatening situation.  Well done.

"Anukokunda Oka Roju" (2005) is a very confusing story about a young woman having a memory lapse and apparently did strange things out of character.  At the end are some practical philosophy dealing with the strange events.


"Lunana:  A Yak in the Classroom" (2019) About a young man who longs to escape his life in Bhutan to go to Australia, but ends up at a very remote site in Bhutan where he comes to appreciate a different way of life.




"In Her Hands" (2022) is a documentary that answers the question why would the people support such a backward group as the Taliban.  It is corruption--the governement campaigns for donations, but most of the moneu never reaches the ordinary people who live in relative poverty and ignorance.  The focus is on a female mayor whose life is endangered. 



"The Eight Hundred" (2020) Eight hundred Chinese soldiers surrounded by Japanese in 1937.

"Man in Love"(2021)  from Taiwan.  A lowly gangster takes in his head to court girl and possibly give up his gangster habits.

"American Girl" (2021) During the 2003 SARS pandemic a young girl returns to her Taiwan home.

"The Falls" (2021) Another Taiwanese film.  A mother daughter relationship, this one during a quarantine.


"Rouge" (1987) is considered a classic and it certainly has an intriguing story.  A courtesan (high class prostitute) and client love each other and decide on a mutual suicide pact.  Fifty years later the courtesan in hell is still waiting for her lover.  She decides to go back to earth in her old Hong Kong neighborhood to find out what happened.  She recruits a journalist and his girl friend to help her.  The two stars were very well regarded in Hong Kong cinema.

"Boat People"(1982) Set in Vietnam with the lead character a Japanese photographer.  Very gruesome at times.  This is post victory for the North Vietnamese who are very tough on the Southerners and the title refers to the hardships that lead to the boat people rather than the boat people themselves.


"Heneral Luna" (2015) is set during the Philippine-American War.

"Smaller and smaller Circles" (2017) interesting detective work done by two priests who are very knowledgeable about science.


 "Surga Yang Tak Drindukan" (2015) and #2

"Cemara's Family" (2019)

"The Photocopier" (2022)     A drama of a sexual assault 

"Ali & Ratu Ratu Queens" (2021). Enjoyable family drama.  Mostly filmed in New York City.  Young man's father dies in Indonesia and decides to seek out the mother who abandoned him who lives in the States.  Chasing her down gets him sidetracked.  

"Ngeri Ngeri Sedap (Missing Home)" (2022) A big surprise.  A family drama that started as a comedy (parents pretending to divorce to lure their reluctant sons to come home.  Turned deadly serious as we delve into underlying family dynamics.  Although everyone is well meaning the father is stuck in some of his ways, but realistically he does change. 




"Drive My Car" (2021) won the top foreign film Oscar and previously Cannes.  A many layered film.   Multi lingual.  One of my top favorites.








 "The Journalist " (2022) 

Good ethical ones are precious and under assault.



First Love  (2022)   One of four top series.    A romance over two decades with many time shifts and very likable leads.  Set in Sapporo.









"The Funeral" (1984) was an observation of funeral customs--sometimes mocking  


 "Khabsa" (2018) What did I mess"  from Lebanon   at dinner table conflicts exposed

 "You will Die at Twenty" (2020) from Sudan.  Concerns a prediction of a "holy" man that a new born would die at age 20.  The movie focuses on him at 19.  <personal note--as I write this I am tutoring a 19 year old from Sudan>

 "3000 Nights" (2018).  A Palestinian school teacher runs afoul of Israeli authorities and endures a long imprisonment and gives birth while there.

Newton's Cradle (2021) A series from Egypt and partly filmed in America.  This apparently has been my top movie blog.





"Excuse my French" (2014)  Surprised to see a director/writer depict Christians in Egypt.  Although there was some discrimination they tried to show how many felt it was their home.  Check:





"Soil: (2022)  Set in Belgium with a Moroccan family setting up for Muslim burials with soil.

"The  Present" (2021) a short film about a man taking his daughter to buy a present for his wife.  He  lives in Gaza and has to cross border stations to buy a refrigerator in Israel.  He is humiilated in front of his daughter.  Nominated for Oscar, did win several awards.

 "Costa Brava, Lebanon" (2022)  was a family oriented film set outside Beirut.  Preiously the family had moved from the big city to breathe fresh air, but a large trash dump was set up almost in their back yard and was a major factor in the downfall of the family.


"Binti" (2021) Four women in Dar-es-Salaam endure hardships

"Samara;s Dream" (2022) set in Zanzibar and over 7 years follow a young woman who dreams of being educated to be independent.  Tradition is a big obstacle. 

"Something Necessary" (2013) set in Kenya after riots following the 2007 election. 


"Hole in the Wall" (2020)  A man is dying from colon cancer, shames his estranged son to going on a trip including a female companion.  Graphic with his physical suffering. 


"Munyurangabo" (2008) Written, directed, edited and filmed by Lee Isaac Chung who spent time teaching film making in Rwanda.  His students and he decided to make a film themed on reconciliation efforts after that Rwanda genocide.


"Faya Dayi" (2021) set in Ethiopia where the number one crop Khat, a drug with religious associations.  The subjects live in Harar and have a very harsh life which has led to Khat becoming a single crop economy

Last year there was another good batch of subtitled movies: 

For my list of English language films check: