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11 December 2019updated 14 Sep 2021 2:17pm

The best films of 2019

By Ryan Gilbey

Madeline’s Madeline (15)
dir: Josephine Decker

Highly original oddity in which a teenager (Helena Howard) finds joy and jeopardy at an experimental theatre company.

Happy as Lazzaro (12A)
dir: Alice Rohrwacher

Folklore meets social commentary in a witty, unpredictable fable about the peasants that time forgot.

Bait (15)
dir: Mark Jenkin

Visually stunning black comedy about a Cornish fisherman battling the threat of extinction.

The Souvenir (15)
dir: Joanna Hogg

Student falls for saturnine mystery man in this barbed love story.

Midsommar (18)
dir: Ari Aster

Florence Pugh gives the performance of the year as a grieving woman drawn into a pagan festival.

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Monos (15)
dir: Alejandro Landes

Teenage guerrillas fall apart in the mountains. Mica Levi supplies the score of the year.

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Hale County This Morning, This Evening (no cert)
dir: RaMell Ross

An elliptical doc on Alabama’s “black belt” of former slave plantations.

Under the Silver Lake (15)
dir: David Robert Mitchell

Comic noir with Andrew Garfield as a seedy gumshoe. Imaginative and widely misunderstood.

Atlantics (15)
dir: Mati Diop

Take one Dakar woman whose lover is lost at sea then add ghosts and watch open-mouthed.

By the Grace of God (15)
dir: François Ozon

Anger, compassion and dynamic storytelling characterise this real-life drama about child abuse in the Catholic church.