The Golden Globes are a week away and the Oscar nominations have yet to be announced, but we already know who former President Barack Obama’s rooting for.
A day after posting his most-loved books of 2019, the former POTUS shared his personal picks for the year’s best films — and as it happens, he had a hand in the making of one of them. The acclaimed documentary American Factory, the first entry listed on his alphabetised list, was the first film distributed by Higher Ground Productions, his production company with wife Michelle Obama, as part of the couple’s deal with Netflix.
It wasn’t the only documentary on the varied list, which also highlighted the Aretha Franklin concert film Amazing Grace and Apollo 11.
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Obama’s picks covered many genres, with the Olivia Wilde-directed comedy Booksmart ranking alongside dramas like The Irishman and Just Mercy as well as foreign language films like Parasite, Ash is Purest White, Atlantics, Transit and Birds of Passage. And it’s a good day for Noah Baumbach and Greta Gerwig; the directors and real-life couple each made the list with his Marriage Story and her Little Women.
Obama also shouted out three favourites from the small screen that he “considered as powerful as movies”: Unbelievable, Watchmen and Fleabag. (The first season of that latter pick, incidentally, saw creator and star Phoebe Waller-Bridge taking, ahem, sensual inspiration from an Obama speech.)
While countless Obama admirers are no doubt buying movie tickets and updating their must-watch lists, honouree Wilde had just three words on the matter.