The Final Countdown: My Tally & Top 5 From PFF21

Written by Alex Gibson on . Posted in Cloud Atlas, Gayby, I Declare War, PFF21, Silver Linings Playbook, Tags, The Woman in the Septic Tank

This year’s Philadelphia Film Festival has come and gone, and after a few days to rest/deal with a natural disaster, we’re all back at work here at the Film Society. And though festival season has passed, the great films that we all got to see won’t soon leave our minds.

Over the course of the eleven-day festival, I saw a total of 25 films. In an effort to relive the awesome movies that I got to see at this year’s festival, I’d like to share with you my top 5 favorite films of the festival. All these films received 4 stars or higher out of 5 on my five-star scale.

5. Gayby

There have been a lot of baby movies lately, but this one stands out from the rest. The movie was hilarious and the dynamic between stars Jenn Harris and Matthew Wilkas was comedic gold. Not only that, but they played up the drama as well. Writer and director Jonathan Lisecki stole the show every time he appeared onscreen though as Nelson because 90% of the best lines in the film went to him and his awesome delivery.

4. I Declare War

One of the best movies of the entire festival. Little kids playing an imaginary game of war, but with real weapons was enough to get me in, but the complex, interesting characters kept me there. The cast were some of the best child actors I’ve ever seen. Disney Channel can ‘t handle these kids.

3. Cloud Atlas

Every decade, there’s usually a film of epic proportions that stands out among the rest. ‘Star Wars’, ‘The Matrix’, and ‘Lord of the Rings’ comes to mind immediately, and though this decade has barely begun, I’d say that ‘Cloud Atlas’ is in the running for this decade’s epic. Though you really, really have to pay attention to the six interlocking storylines, and it is pretty long, once you see how everything is connected (as advertised on the posters), you get one really awesome story that brings it’s audience through a gauntlet of emotions complemented by amazing practical and cg effects.

2. Silver Linings Playbook

The complex characters in this great story just made for quite the entertaining emotional rollercoaster. I can’t sing the praises of Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, and writer/director David O. Russell enough. On top of an overall amazing film, I don’t ever recall a film so great showcase Philadelphia the way that ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ did. Being a hometown boy like BCoop, I really appreciate the portrayal of my city.

1. The Woman In The Septic Tank

I wasn’t really expecting much when I walked into this little indie comedy from the Philippines because I was so used to Filipino entertainment being really over the top because that’s what I’d see on a regular basis on TFC (The Filipino Channel, which my parents keep on non-stop in my house). However, I was pleasantly surprised by this genre-jumping commentary on the state of visual media. Though this film resonates especially well with filmmakers and those who are immersed in the business, I feel like there’s a wider appeal that a lot of audiences can enjoy. I have so many praises for this movie that I might just write up a full on review of it later on.

Keep in mind that there were a lot of movies that I liked a lot. They just didn’t score as high as these for me. Anyway, there’s my list, but what about yours? What were some of the best films that you saw at this year’s festival? And did you see more movies than I did? Let me know in the comment section!

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