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Obama’s Favorite Films of 2021 Include ‘Drive My Car,’ ‘The Card Counter,’ and ‘West Side Story’

Obama shared his annual idiosyncratic list of his favorite movies of the year, which also includes "Power of the Dog" and "Passing."

NOVEMBER 22nd 2021: Amazon founder Jeff Bezos donates $100 million to The Obama Foundation in honor of the late congressman and civil rights activist John Lewis. - File Photo by: zz/PBG/AAD/STAR MAX/IPx 2017 9/20/17 Former President of The United States of America Barack Obama at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation's Goalkeepers Conference 2017 held on September 20, 2017 at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City. (NYC)

Barack Obama


Every year, former President Barack Obama reminds us just how good we had it by flexing his impeccable taste in film and TV. As December gets halfway through, it’s that time of year again for Obama to name his favorite films of 2021.

“Over the next few days, I’ll share my annual list of favorite books, music, and movies. Art always sustains and nourishes the soul. But for me, music and storytelling felt especially urgent during this pandemic year,” Obama wrote on Twitter before beginning the rollout of the best art he consumed in the past year. His list of top films includes critics’ favorite “Drive My Car” (which is Japan’s entry for the International Feature Oscar), Questlove’s Oscar-hopeful documentary “Summer of Soul,” “West Side Story,” and “The Power of the Dog.”

Obama also made room for films including “Pig,” “Passing,” “The Card Counter,” Oscar winner “Judas and the Black Messiah,” “The Worst Person in the World” (Norway’s entry), “Old Henry” “The Last Duel,” “The Tragedy of Macbeth,” “C’mon C’mon,” and Oscar nominee “Quo Vadis, Aida?” How’s that for eclectic?

“Each of these films tells a powerful story, and I hope you enjoy them as much as I did,” he wrote. See below.

Last year, Obama singled out films such as “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” “Beanpole,” “Bacurau,” “Nomadland,” “Soul,” “Lovers Rock,” “Collective,” “Mank,” “Martin Eden,” “Let Him Go,” “Time,” “Boys State,” “Selah and the Spades,” and “Crip Camp.” Many of these films went on to win Oscars or receive nominations. Whither Obama’s list of the best TV series of 2021? Expect that list to roll out soon, as he already also shared his favorite books of the year in an earlier tweet (below).

Obama’s list arrives as critics’ 10-best lists start pouring in. Both IndieWire’s staff list and its annual critics survey crowned “The Power of the Dog” as the year’s best film by a wide margin.


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