Korean film Parasite in Barack Obama's list of 2019 favourite movies

(From left) Choi Woo-sik, Song Kang-ho, Jang Hye-jin and Park So-dam in a scene from Parasite.
(From left) Choi Woo-sik, Song Kang-ho, Jang Hye-jin and Park So-dam in a scene from Parasite.PHOTO: AP

NEW YORK (WP) - While much of the world eagerly awaits the upcoming Oscar nominations, former American president Barack Obama decided to give "breaking the Internet" a go by releasing a list of his favourite movies (and a few TV shows) from 2019.

He tweeted his list on Sunday (Dec 29), quickly drawing online praise.

His picks include Apollo 11, a documentary about the moon landing with archival footage; The Irishman, Martin Scorsese's mafia epic; and Little Women, Greta Gerwig's decidedly more feminist take on the classic tale.

American Factory, a documentary about the workers in a former General Motors plant in Ohio during its transformation into a factory for Chinese company Fuyao, also made the list.

It was the first release by Mr Barack and his wife's Higher Ground Productions, as he noted in his tweet.

South Korean movie Parasite also caught his eye.

Notably absent was Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, a rumination on 1960s Hollywood set against the backdrop of the real-life Manson family murders.

While that was the most celebrated movie to not appear on his list, Todd Phillips' deeply divisive Joker and Sam Mendes' 1917, a World War I movie edited to have the appearance of being filmed in one take, were the two other notable Oscar contenders that did not make the cut.

His list included a few surprises, as well.

For example, German-language film Transit, which transposes a 1940s novel about a refugee hoping to flee Nazi-occupied France into the present day without changing the story, received glowing reviews but did not end up on many critics' end-of-the-year lists.

 
 

The same goes for Diane, a quiet character study that starred Mary Kay Place as the titular character who spends her days helping others while fighting an internal battle.

His list of television shows was far more brief and more in line with popular critical thinking. It included just three shows: BBC's Fleabag (season two), Netflix's Unbelievable and HBO's Watchmen.

Mr Obama, who has always shown an interest in pop culture, began his now-annual tradition of sharing his favourite film, television, literature and music from the past year when he was in the White House.

Here is his 2019 list.

Movies:

American Factory

Amazing Grace

Apollo 11

Ash Is Purest White

Atlantics

Birds Of Passage

Booksmart

Diane

The Farewell

Ford v Ferrari

The Irishman

Just Mercy

The Last Black Man In San Francisco

Little Women

Marriage Story

Parasite

The Souvenir

Transit

Television:

Fleabag: Season Two

Unbelievable

Watchmen

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