The Best Movie of 2020: The Trial of the Chicago 7

The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Movie, Netflix)

There have been numerous documentaries about this trial over the years, but none of them have felt as immediately relatable as this one. Everything that transpires in this film feels like it could have been pulled out of headlines in our own lives. And the trial speaks to today’s justice system as much it does to the justice system of 1969.

There is also a classic feel to the whole endeavor that reminded me of why I love filmmaking in the first place. The score is commanding when it needs to be, but used sparingly when Aaron Sorkin’s brilliant dialogue takes over. The cinematography is grand or guerilla depending on the situation. And the editing is tight enough to make you feel it moving, but when I shot needs to hold on a character it gives the actors a chance to shine.

And boy do the actors shine in this film. Every single one them is good enough to get an Oscar nomination. In fact, they are all so good that they will likely get coupled together and cause none of them to win anything at this years Academy Awards. Still, we will hopefully see nominations for Sacha Baron Cohen, Mark Rylance, or Eddie Redmayne in some of the best performances of their careers.

It has been an exceptionally diverse year at the movies and I actually feel bad that my favorite film ended up being a story with a predominantly white cast (‘Minari’, ‘Mangrove’, ‘One Night In Miami’, and ‘Tenet’ finished out my top 5). Yet, every single time I came back to the movie that hit me in the most profound way it was this one. This is what great Hollywood filmmaking looks like!


Nathan Ligon

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