Best of 2019


joker joaquin phoenix actor movie stairs

The scene of the year




Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Rolling Thunder Review


Last year: Vice, Cold War


Foreign-Language Film:


Last year: The Square 



Rolling Thunder Review

Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love; Knock Down the House; Apollo 11


Male Lead:

Joaquin Phoenix (Joker)

Sunny Suljic (Mid 90s)

Paul Walter Hauser (Richard Jewell)

Taron Egerton as Reggie Dwight/Elton John in Rocketman; Leonardo DiCaprio as Rick Dalton in Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood; Michael B. Jordan (Just Mercy)

Last year: Rami Malek – Bohemian Rhapsody


Female Lead:

Elizabeth Debicki (Virginia, Vita & Virginia)

Beanie Feldstein (Molly, Booksmart)

Gemma Arterton (Vita, Vita & Virginia)

Last year: Joanna Kulig – Cold War


Male Support:

Robert De Niro as Murray Franklin in Joker

Al Pacino – The Irishman

Olan Prenatt as Fuckshit in Mid90s; Lucas Hedges as Ian in Mid90s; Stephen Merchant as Deertz in Jojo Rabbit; Brad Pitt as Cliff Booth in Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood; Na-Kel Smith as Ray in Mid90s

Last year: Terry Notary (The Square)


Female Support:

Kaitlyn Dever as Amy in Booksmart

Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Laura Rose in Motherless Brooklyn; Scarlett Johansson as Rosie in Jojo Rabbit

Last year: Amy Adams(Vice)



Todd Phillips (Joker)

Jonah Hill (Mid 90s)

Last year: Adam McKay (Vice)



Todd Phillips & Scott Silver – Joker

Jonah Hill (Mid 90s)

Taika Waititi – Jo Jo Rabbit

Last year: Adam McKay (Vice)




Last year: Vice



Roger Deakins – 1917

Last year: Lukasz Zal (Cold War)


Film Music:

Rolling Thunder Review

Last year: Bohemian Rhapsody / Cold War



Lately – Celeste

Last year: I Want You (Sam Reid & Claudia Jolly – The Girl from the North Country)



Ghosteen – Nick Cave

Kiwanuka – Michael Kiwanuka; Western Stars – Bruce Springsteen

Last year: The Girl from the North Country (London cast)



Nick Mason’s Saucerful of Secrets (Roundhouse)

Kamasi Washington (Brixton Academy)

Patti Smith (Westminster Central Hall)

The Midnight Special – Abbey Road anniversary (Jazz Cafe)

Abdullah Ibrahim (Cadogan Hall)

Proms: Jonny Greenwood (Albert Hall)

Last year: David Byrne – Hammersmith Odeon



A Taste of Honey (Trafalgar Studios)

Last year: Girl from the North Country [2nd viewing]


Art Exhibition:

Van Gogh in Britain (Tate B)

Preraphaelite Sisters (NPG)

Tate St Ives

Last year: Picasso: 1932 (Tate Modern)



A Woman of No Importance – Sonia Purnell

The Order of the Day – Eric Vuillard

The Cut-out Girl – Bart Van Es

The Quiet American, To Have & Have Not, The Catcher in the Rye, The Drowning Pool

Last year: The Leithen Stories – John Buchan



After Life (Netflix)

The Boys (Amazon), The Crown – S3 (Amazon)

Last year: Mrs Wilson



13 Minutes to the Moon

The Tip-Off


England beating the All-Blacks at the Rugby World Cup, Japan



The Red Shoes (Sadlers Wells)



150th anniversary of Girton College (including event at Trinity, Dublin)

50th anniversary of Moon Landing/Apollo 11

Mythos: The Gods – Stephen Fry


Dearly departed:

  • Emily Hartridge (who I made Oh Shit I’m 30! with)
  • Judith Kerr (with whom I was on Woman’s Hour)
  • Leon Kossoff
  • D.A. Pennebaker
  • Clive James
  • Jonathan Miller (who I walk with in Aldeburgh while he was having a cheeky fag)
  • Albert Finney
  • Gordon Banks (his Esso medal hangs on my wall along with his 1970 World Cup team mates)
  • Peter Fonda
  • Ginger Baker
  • Doris Day
  • Dr John
  • Mark Hollis (who I have a vague memory of meeting briefly at Solus, my first job)
  • Agnès Varda
  • Mary Warnock (Mistress of Girton in my era)
  • Jeremy Hardy (he contributed to my Omagh project at Channel 4)
  • Terry O’Neill
dylan-doc-rolling thunder review scorsese

Performance of the year


Best of 2018 and links to earlier Bests Of

13 comments so far

  1. theluckhabit on

    I will chime in with mine early in the New Year. Kiwanuka for sure the album of the year.

    • ArkAngel on

      Look forward to seeing your choices

    • ArkAngel on

      I enjoyed Kiwanuka, especially Solid Ground – it’s all pretty retro

  2. theluckhabit on

    Surprised you didn’t have The Irishman in there?

    • ArkAngel on

      It is – for Supporting Male

  3. Thom Hickey on

    I agree with so much here!

    Happy New Year

    Regards Thom

    • ArkAngel on

      Wishing you all the best for 2020, Thom. Have you got any contenders for Single of the year? I may have to delete that category as I’m not sure what a Single even is these days.

  4. […] Michael Kiwanuka
 – You Ain’t The Problem [contender for LP of the year] […]

  5. theluckhabit on


    Swindle: ‘No More Normal’
    Michael Kiwanuka: ‘Kiwanuka’
    Angel Bat Dawid: ‘The Oracle’
    Damon Locks Black Monument Ensemble: ‘Where Future Unfolds’
    Sir Was: ‘Holding on to a Dream’
    Joe Armon-Jones: ‘Turn To Clear View’

    Re-release: ‘Mogadisco: Dancing Mogadishu’ (Analog Africa)


    Celeste: ‘Father’s Son’
    Michael Kiwanuka: ‘You Ain’t the Problem’
    Marvin Gaye: :My Last Chance (Salaam Remi Remix)

    Concert: Nubya Garcia in House of Fraser Basement, Cheltenham Jazz Festival. Everything I want from live jazz.

    Film: ‘Bait’, ‘Amazing Grace’

    Exhibition: Piranesi at The Madrid Central Library

    Country Visited: The Lebanon

    Sport: Simultaneously watching an epic Federer / Djokovic Wimbledon final on Russian TV without commentary and following the Cricket World Cup Final as they both came to a finale at the same moment (while in a Kyrgyz hotel room). England beating the All Blacks in the RWC semi.

    Happy Day: (1) Rome in early June, visiting various landmarks to design a Treasure Hunt. (2) A tough walk in the Cotswolds with my daughters.

  6. ArkAngel on

    A formidable list! Working my way through the music

  7. theluckhabit on

    I forgot the books and probably a couple of other albums. Can I edit my comment?

  8. ArkAngel on

    Probably simplest to add a bit below or repost the whole thing below revised

  9. […] Best of 2019 and links to earlier Bests Of […]

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