Best Feature Videos of 2020

This list features an even split between reissued classics and recent feature films that stand the test of time.

This list features an even split between reissued classics and recent feature films that stand the test of time. We hope these picks provide a means for readers’ advisory and (socially distanced) conversation.
See also LJ's picks of Best Audiobooks and Best Documentaries of 2020.
Amores Perros (“Love’s a Bitch”). 154+ min. In Spanish w/English subtitles. Alejandro González Iñárritu, Criterion Collection. 2000. DVD UPC 715515253512. $29.95; Blu-ray UPC 715515253413. $39.95. Rated: R.
The lives of three strangers—an adolescent (Gael García Bernal), a model (Goya Toledo), and a vagrant (Emilio Echevarría)—intersect at a street-corner car crash in this meditation on the cruel vagaries of fate, especially where love is concerned.
Beanpole. 137+ min. In Russian w/English subtitles. Kantemir Balagov, Kino Lorber. 2020. DVD UPC 738329247560. $19.95; Blu-ray UPC 738329247577. $29.95.
A hospital nurse (Viktoria Miroshnichenko) caring for soldiers after the prolonged siege of Leningrad (1941– 44)also looks after the infant son of a woman (Vasilisa Perelygina) she’s befriended thanks to their shared wartime experience—a bond tested by tragedy.
Clemency. 113+ min. Chinonye Chukwu, Universal. 2019. DVD UPC 191329125465. $22.98. Rated: R.
A prison warden (Alfre Woodard) grows increasingly troubled about administering the death penalty after a botched execution, making the next death-row inmate—whose guilt appears far less certain—the source of mounting professional angst.
The Elephant Man. b/w. 123+ min. David Lynch, Criterion Collection. 1980. DVD UPC 715515251617. $29.95; Blu-ray UPC 715515251518. $39.95. Rated: PG.
A sympathetic physician (Anthony Hopkins) rescues a hideously disfigured man (John Hurt) from a carnival freak show, enabling him to be toasted by Victorian-era cultured society for his intellect and sensitivity in this most atypical biopic.
Fail Safe. b/w. 112+ min. Sidney Lumet, Criterion Collection. 1964. DVD UPC 715515240512. $29.95; Blu-ray UPC 715515240413. $39.95.
After a malfunction dispatches American bombers to Russian targets, the President (Henry Fonda) tries to prevent retaliation by offering a sacrificial trade-off with the Soviet premier in a deadly serious take on the Dr. Strangelove scenario.
Parasite. color & b/w. 131+ min. In Korean w/English subtitles. Bong Joon Ho, Criterion Collection. 2019. DVD UPC 715515252713. $29.95; Blu-ray UPC 715515252614. $39.95. Rated: R.
Members of a poor Seoul family maneuver their way into working for an upscale couple in a black comedy about class relations and social inequity. This Academy Award-winning film benefits from a deluxe release with plenty of extras.
Portrait of a Lady on Fire. 121+ min. In French w/English subtitles. Céline Sciamma, Criterion Collection. 2019. DVD UPC 715515247610. $29.95; Blu-ray UPC 715515247511. $39.95. Rated: R.
As enticement for an arranged suitor, Marianne (Noémie Merlant) is hired to paint a wedding portrait of Héloïse (Adèle Haenel) at the 18th-century provincial French seaside, where the artist falls for her subject and the feelings become mutual.
Room at the Top. b/w. 117+ min. Jack Clayton, Kino Lorber. 1959. Blu-ray UPC 738329233808. $29.95.
A social-climbing working-class Englishman (Laurence Harvey) woos a local millionaire’s daughter (Heather Sears), but his heart really belongs to an older, married Frenchwoman (Simone Signoret) in this conflict between money and love.
Tender Mercies. 92+ min. Bruce Beresford, Kino Lorber. 1983. Blu-ray UPC 738329249014. $29.95. Rated: PG.
In a testament to redemption, a hard-drinking has-been country singer (Robert Duvall) finds love with a caring widow (Tess Harper) and her son. He also reconnects with his long-estranged daughter (Ellen Barkin), soothing the wounds of a rocky previous marriage.
Wildlife. 105+ min. Paul Dano, Criterion Collection. 2018. DVD UPC 715515246712. $29.95; Blu-ray UPC 715515246613. $39.95. Rated: PG-13.
Actor-cum-director Dano’s adaptation of Richard Ford’s coming-of-age novel features a confused but poised teen boy (Ed Oxenbould) in the 1960s dealing with a dad (Jake Gyllenhaal) who can’t hold a job and a mom (Carey Mulligan) looking for a new breadwinner.
See also LJ's picks of Best Audiobooks and Best Documentaries of 2020.
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