It’s the end of the year, kids, and you know what that means: end of the year best-of lists! We’ve got rundowns coming your way in the next couple of days, plucking out our picks for the best documentaries and fiction films of the year, but in a year this good (despite all grumblings to the contrary) there are bound to be some really honorable mentions that just barely didn’t make the final cut. So as a little public service to you, the end-of-the-year catch-up viewer, we plucked out ten of those runners-up – ones that, hey, look at that, you can watch this very moment on your subscription-based streaming platforms.
Muted yet bold, tiny yet audacious, Anna Rose Holmer’s intimate drama concerns Toni, an 11-year-old tomboy who quietly joins the dance team at the community center where she’s previously spent her afternoons working out and boxing. There’s not an abundance of dialogue, and what there is mostly extemporaneous and overheard; Holmer tells her story in the brute strength of her imagery, the way the camera regards Toni as a solitary figure, even when among other people, and then subtly shifts that perspective as she finds herself in a period of discovery and reinvention. Oh, and then her dance teammates start having peculiar, unexplained seizures, a narrative shift that somehow doesn’t dismantle the delicate tonal foundation. It’s the kind of film that’s almost inexplicable – I’m not sure how it was devised, or how it was executed. But I’m glad it exists. (Streaming on Amazon Prime.)