Sunday, December 9, 2018

2018: Ten Movies From The Year That Felt Like Ten Years

Has it REALLY only been one year since I last did this? Why do I feel ten years older? It has been a year of escapism. I saw a lot of movies in 2018. Here are my picks for best, worst, most this, most that. 

Most Unlikely Heartbreak: 
Killmonger's Death, Black Panther

Black Panther was amazing. Most amazing to me was how gutted I was by Killmonger's death. Michael B. Jordan brought the anti-hero I'd been waiting for, made only more great by the grace with which he faced death. 

Most Stunning Career Turn-Around: 
Keira Knightley as Colette

To say I haven't been a fan of Keira Knightly would be putting it mildly. Prior to this film, she never ceased to bore me to pieces. This film was a pleasant surprise. A Keira Knightley performance I enjoyed, from the very opening scene. It's rare for an actor who has established herself in a safe, bankable niche to stretch her wings and try something completely different. Knightly did just that. Brava. 

Movie That Came Closest To Being Ruined By A Creepy Sex Scene: Disobedience

I loved this movie, but I did NOT love that weird thing in the sex scene. Yeah, you know what I'm talking about. That weird thing that made every straight person in the theater ask, " lesbians DO that?" No. No, we don't. That was just weird and creepy, and it's a good thing the movie was so damned good, otherwise, because that scene would have killed it for me. If you haven't seen the movie, and want to know what I'm referring to - Google it. The clip is available online. I can't even bring myself to post it, here. This is quite a sweet movie about love, friendship, acceptance, and the complexities of cultural ties and familial duty. The scene I've linked captures all of that. 

You Really Can Go Home, Again: Halloween 

Forget every sequel. Go back to the first movie. Watch it, and then watch this. Those other ones don't count. Not only as good as the original, but better. Better because the thing to be afraid of isn't so much a murderous monster, but something way more dangerous. This is a horror movie where the monster isn't a man, but the past, itself. If you sat in a theater and watched the original as a kid, as I did, this is a must. 

Most Likely To Be Cheated Out of An Oscar Nomination: Toni Collette, Hereditary

No one has done scary as well as this since Rosemary's Baby, case closed. Toni Collette probably won't get nominated for an Oscar, because horror films rarely get taken seriously. It's a shame. She deserves mad props for her performance. Disturbing in ways one could never anticipate. This movie delivers, big time. 

Take The Money And Run: 
Helen Mirren, Winchester

I'm worried about Helen Mirren. She must be in serious debt, if she's accepting roles like this one. Ties with Gotti as the worst movie I saw all year, and might even be worse. I mean, I don't expect anything from John Travolta, except crap. But Helen Mirren? This was more than boring. Watching one of the most charismatic actors alive not even able to fake enthusiasm for a film script this terrible was depressing. 

Most Thought-Provoking Documentary: 
Seeing Allred

I thought I knew about this woman. I was wrong. So wrong. See this documentary, which too few people saw. It may well make you see this woman in a much different light than that which the media has shed on her, over the years. I went in thinking, "Money-grubbing opportunist." I finished thinking, "Feminist freedom fighter and friend of the LGBT community."

Best Old School Scare: The Little Stranger

A slow burn, this movie had me from the word GO. Ruth Wilson is a wonder, and should be a major film star. A good, chilling, old-fashioned ghost story where the ghost isn't who or what you probably think. Loved this movie.

Scarier Than Any Horror Movie of 2018: 
The Kindergarten Teacher

Gives Hereditary a run for its money, in terms of being among the most disturbing films I've ever seen, mostly because it's not at all implausible. This movie upset me, but I could not tear myself away from it. While Hereditary is about the supernatural, and Halloween is essentially about PTSD, The Kindergarten Teacher is about failure, hopelessness, the overwhelming desire to be more than mediocre, and how that desire can become a dark force. 

All-Around Best Film: The Favourite

Funny, wicked, bitchy, suspenseful and, oddly enough, tender, as well as a little sad. This is about as perfect as filmmaking gets. A razor-sharp script, which never takes itself too seriously, sumptuous sets and costumes, and brilliant performances by all three actors. If you have not seen this, yet, see it soon, on a big screen. It's a visual feast, and deserves to be seen in all its glory. Rachel Weisz is quickly becoming one of my top 5 favorite actors. This film only reinforced that. This now ranks a close second to Carol, in terms of my favorite lesbian-themed film. 

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