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In 2019, we said goodbye to sixties icons Albert Finney and Sue Lyon, and remembered Sharon Tate

Barry Jenkins brought James Baldwin’s novel, If Beale Street Could Talk, vividly to life; and Joaquin Phoenix led an impressive cast in The Sisters Brothers.

Irish filmmakers explored past and present: firstly Black 47, an anti-imperial ‘revenge Western’ set during the potato famine; and Rosie, a scathing indictment of the current housing crisis, as penned by novelist Roddy Doyle.

Europeans revisited historic conflicts with a touch of magic realism. Sunset adds supernatural elements to the simmering tensions of pre-World War I Budapest, while Transit has been described as ‘Casablanca meets Kafka’.

Another colonial ‘revenge Western’, Australian director Jennifer Kent’s The Nightingale adds a woman’s rage into the mix; while 3 Days in Quiberon, a portrait of actress Romy Schneider, offers a feminist take on the celebrity biopic.

Blindspotting pairs Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal in a wildly funny, yet thoughtful tale of San Francisco gentrification; while Ken Loach’s latest, Sorry We Missed You, deconstructs the gig economy in a fast-paced thriller.

2019 also saw the return of two modern auteurs, telling male stories with women on the fringes: Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood, and Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman.

Moving on from This Is England, Shane Meadows brought us this year’s TV highlight with The Virtues, exploring his Irish roots and the persistence of trauma. And Channel 4 also gave us another season of Lisa McGee’s sparkling comedy, Derry Girls.

Over at Netflix, Ava DuVernay’s When They See Us and Susannah Grant’s Unbelievable dramatised real-life injustices and challenged lingering prejudices.

A new mystery revitalised True Detective, and we caught up with Jesse Pinkman in El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie.

Film historian James L. Neibaur published two great books about funny women in thirties Hollywood this year. Firstly, his in-depth look at Thelma Todd’s comedy shorts, paired with ZaSu Pitts and Patsy Kelly, is a great companion to Kino-Lorber’s box-set; and secondly, a welcome tribute to the films of legendary Jean Harlow.

Among this year’s best biographies are Starring Red Wing, Linda M. Waggoner’s fascinating history of film pioneer Lilian M. St. Cyr; and with The Contender, William J. Mann explores the ambivalence of Marlon Brando.

And finally, Hollywood Book Club and Letters From Hollywood will make ideal stocking fillers for classic film fans of a literary bent.