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James Y. Lee
Korean-American student scriptwriter/film critic. AAJA member. | Letterboxd: | Twitter:


How the comedian captured a radicalising, overwhelming, and demoralizing year in isolation with his new special.

Credit: The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. Extra text edited with Adobe Photoshop.

I partake in the time-honored ritual of recommending my favorite movies from last year that the Oscars ignored.


Like most ideas for pieces like this, it all started with a single tweet:

It’s been about less than a month since Oscar nominations were announced, and to be fully transparent about the whole deal — I actually like this year’s lineup. The nominations were filled with some really pleasant surprises; of course, awards darlings such as Nomadland and Minari were bound to be nominated for truckloads (vanloads? trailerloads?) of Oscars, but certain choices exceeded my expectations. I could never have foreseen, for instance, meticulously crafted yet much more intimate films like The Father or Sound of Metal rivaling…

Film Review

A group of criminals are brought together under mysterious circumstances and must work together to uncover what’s going on when their simple job goes sideways.

Film Review

A man refuses all assistance from his daughter as he ages, struggling to make sense of his changing circumstances and his own mind.

Film Review

Self-doubt, sacrifice and struggle converge into an existential crisis for a devoted classical vocalist as the mastery he strives for remains elusive.

Film Review

A Korean family moves to Arkansas to start a farm in the 1980s.

Film Review

The story of Fred Hampton, Chairman of the Illinois Black Panther Party, and his fateful betrayal by FBI informant William O’Neal.

Film Review

A hunter and her father journey to Ireland, where she befriends a girl from a tribe rumoured to transform into wolves.

Retrospective Film Review

The life of boxer Jake LaMotta, whose violence and temper that led him to the top in the ring destroyed his life outside of it.

James Y. Lee

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