Favorite Films 2018
With another year coming to an end, comes the beginning or everyone’s best of list. Everything from news stories to music and of course movies get rated by what was the best, as well as what was the worst. Well have no fear I have a list to share as well, this though is not exactly a best of list, but instead a list of my favorite films I saw in 2018. So as you read this they are in no particular order, but just a list of movies that I hope it will lead you to discover and love them too.
Alfonso Cuarón is a master of his craft, and “Roma” put those skills on full display. This film is something to behold both in its beauty and its simplicity that will leave you at times breathless. The story follows a middle-class family’s struggles in 1970’s Mexico, but it is not just one family’s story, it’s the story of so many all over the world. “Roma” is one of those films that doesn’t end with the credits as it will stay with you long after it’s over.
From director Chang-dong-Lee comes a story about a boy who bumps into a girl, he used to know and how agreeing to care for her cat while she was gone would change his life. “Burning”, if you will excuse the pun is a slow burn, but every minute leaves you hanging on the next. With great performances, lead by Steven Yeun (The Walking Dead), “Burning” is something you don’t want to miss.
“Minding the Gap”
In what seemed like the year of the documentary none affected me more than a story about three young men and their bond they have as they escape their families by way of their skateboards. This is a story simply about life and the unexpected things that happen to us all along the way. This one is sure to bring out some emotions, but whatever they are you will be glad you saw these stories.
“ The Favourite”
If you ever had a brother or sister you would often argue who was your mother’s favorite. Well that’s pretty much “The Favourite” in a nutshell, but it happens to be about the Queen of England and it takes place in the 18th century. Emma Stone and Rachel Wise play the two who are vying to be number one in the eyes of Olivia Colman where no deed is too low. Directed by the always genius Yorgos Lanthimos, this is a film that will soon be a favorite of yours as well.
This is a film simply about family and how sometimes the family you choose is better than the one you are born into. When a family of small-time criminals find a small girl and take her in we discover the truth about them all and the bond that holds them together. Director Hirokazu Koreeda brings a touching story that will have you smiling and shedding tears during its run time.
“Leave no Trace”
I have a list of actors that in my eyes instantly make a film better just by appearing in them. On that list is Ben Foster who seems to deliver every time no matter what the role. In “Leave no Trace” he plays a father, suffering from PTSD of a thirteen year old girl who live in an ideal existence that is taken away after a small mistake. This is a great father/daughter movie and director Debra Granik delivers a story that leaves a trace on you long after its over.
In 2018 there were quite a few films where the killing of an unarmed man by the police was the central part of the story. In “Blindspotting” writers Daveed Digs and Rafael Casel used it as a backstory around the tale of two friends whose lives seem to be going in different directions. Diggs and Casel also star in this film that will open your eyes to a world you don’t get to see very often, but will leave you glad that you did.
“You Were Never Really Here”
What If I told you there is a movie where Joaquin Phoenix played a veteran who can’t get over his past, and uses his lack of fear of violence to track down missing girls for a living? Also that it’s written and directed by Lynne Ramsay, I bet you would want to see it. This movie apologizes for nothing and delivers on so many levels, from the disturbing subject matter to the intense ending.
They say the art often imitates life, but what if the art was a story about someone’s life? “The Rider” is a story about a young cowboy who after suffering a near fatal head injury has to rediscover who he is. It’s all true and only the last names are changed as the star of the film, Brady Jandreau turns in a stellar performance. This film is beautiful in every aspect and will make you feel things no matter who you are.
This one stayed with me most of the year, not because it was the best, but because it was the most unsettling one by far. This is another story about family, but of one that is far from normal. After a grandmother passes away, her family is left haunted by disturbing events that will leave them and the audience forever scared.
I would tell you what the story is about, but I think the title gave it away already. Few films hit me like Coralie Fargeat’s stylistic revenge tale about a weekend getaway and choosing the wrong woman to mess with. Both stunning in looks and how the story unfolds, “Revenge” feels like the perfect movie for 2018.
Sometimes a film feels so much like you are a fly on the wall in someone’s life, and “Private Life” is one of those films. The story of a couple trying to get pregnant by any means necessary it seems and the strain it puts on their relationship in the process. Director and writer Tamara Jenkins tells such a human story that you will be left feeling like you know the characters on a personal level as you feel everything as they do.