Hello, cinephiles!

The final Dispatch of 2023 is here! What an amazing year it’s been at the movies.

We screened two movies about people doing top-secret science in the desert (Oppenheimer, Asteroid City) and two movies about an unusual woman discovering the world with her himbo beau (Barbie, Poor Things). We got VIP access to music icons like Beyoncé (Renaissance), Taylor Swift (The Eras Tour), and Leonard Bernstein (Maestro). We got nostalgic for the ’70s (The HoldoversAre You There God? It’s Me, Margaret), the ’80s (Air), and…2021 (Dumb Money). We met a lot of not-so-great men (NapoleonAfireSaltburnFair PlayPassagesThe Royal Hotel) and women that aren’t to be messed with (BottomsPolite SocietySanctuary). We saw directors make bold debuts (A Thousand and One) and beautiful swan songs (The Boy and the Heron), and two legendary auteurs take their first stab at a Western (Killers of the Flower MoonStrange Way of Life). We watched new releases of favorite films (Crouching Tiger, Hidden DragonRaging BullMidnight CowboyVideodrome) and new films from favorite directors (The KillerBrokerNo Bears).

Movies this year explored Blackness (American FictionThe BlackeningChevalier), queerness (Blue JeanMuttJoylandCassandro), and Black queerness (RustinJames Baldwin AbroadLittle Richard: I Am Everything). Movies helped us think about issues like climate change (How to Blow Up a PipelineWild Life), education (The Busing BattlegroundThe Highest Standard), immigration (FremontTori and Lokita), and the legal system (Anatomy of a FallSaint-Omer). And when we needed it most, movies made us laugh (Theater Camp).

(Oh, and by my count, we played at least four movies that were in both black & white and color: OppenheimerPoor ThingsMaestro, and Asteroid City.)

We’re already planning the movies we’ll be showing in 2024 (check out the upcoming season of Big Screen Classics!), but before 2023 is over, we wanted to take one last minute to reflect on our favorites of the year. We hope you’ll enjoy our collection of staff picks throughout this newsletter and perhaps get inspired to seek out some films that you missed or are excited about upcoming releases! Want to share your own favorite? Vote in the poll below!

As always, thank you for your support. Coolidge members make everything we do possible.

Warmest regards,

This week, Coolidge staff voted on their favorite films of 2023. Here’s what came out victorious:

1. Barbie

2. Oppenheimer

3. TIE: The Holdovers / Poor Things

5. Bottoms

But here’s what audiences had to say! Our most popular* features this year were:

1. Barbie

2. Oppenheimer

3. Asteroid City

4. Bottoms

5. Killers of the Flower Moon

*based on number of tickets sold—Oppenheimer comes out on top based on box office gross