EIGHTEEN FAVORITE FILMS OF 2018, AND OTHER STORIES

MUSIC I KEEP LISTENING TO

THE OLD MAN AND THE GUN

ANNIHILATION

FIRST MAN

SONG SOUNDTRACKS THAT WORK PERFECTLY

ROMA

BAD TIMES AT THE EL ROYALE

BRILLIANT PERFORMANCE, BROKEN MOVIE

Christian Bale (VICE)

Steve Carell (WELCOME TO MARWEN)

The Message Bird in EARLY MAN

BRILLIANT PERFORMANCE, NOT-QUITE-THERE MOVIE

Lucas Hedges in BOY ERASED

DRAMAS ABOUT REAL LIFE THAT ARE AS GOOD AS KRAMER VS KRAMER

COME SUNDAY

WHAT THEY HAD

COMIC DRAMA ABOUT A PERSON WHO PRETENDS TO BE SOMETHING SHE’S NOT IN ORDER TO KEEP A CAREER GOING, THAT’S ALMOST AS GOOD AS TOOTSIE

CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME?

MOVIE THAT PRETENDS TO BE ABOUT A HEIST BUT IS REALLY ABOUT RELATIONSHIPS THAT TURNS OUT TO BE BETTER THAN HEAT

WIDOWS

BEST SCENES OF THE YEAR

Driving from inner city to the suburbs, in WIDOWS

I don’t know how to love him, in Spanish, at the La Règle du Jeu Christmas Party, in ROMA

Hugh Grant’s dance number in PADDINGTON 2

CHRISTOPHER ROBIN and Winnie the Pooh walking through a Terrence Malick field

The bracelet and the crater, in FIRST MAN

Vincent and the Priest, in AT ETERNITY’S GATE

TWO COMIC BOOK MOVIES THAT SAY SOMETHING MEANINGFUL ABOUT THE WORLD, STEP AWAY FROM LETHAL VIOLENCE AS THE ONLY SOLUTION, AND WERE SO ENTERTAINING AND WELL PUT-TOGETHER THAT THEY REMINDED ME OF RICHARD DONNER’S SUPERMAN

BLACK PANTHER

AQUAMAN

MORE THAN REWARDING

GREEN BOOK

A STAR IS BORN

PADDINGTON 2

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE

CHRISTOPHER ROBIN

CRAZY RICH ASIANS

SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE

DIDN’T GET A LOT OF ATTENTION, BUT REALLY, PLEASE, CONSIDER THESE

KEEP THE CHANGE

THE BOY DOWNSTAIRS

FILMWORKER

SORRY TO BOTHER YOU

PUZZLE

PAPILLON

THE CHILDREN ACT

TALES FROM THE LIFE OF ARMISTEAD MAUPIN

TRIES REALLY HARD BUT HAS A MASSIVE FLAW THAT UNDERMINES EVERYTHING

THE THIRD MURDER - which wants to take crime and punishment seriously, and mercifully, yet depends on vengeance and doesn’t allow for the possibility of healing from/with trauma. Koreeda Hirokazu is probably my favorite director, and it’s a measure of his humanity that I imagine he’d not be offended by this characterization, but be open to the conversation.

BLACKkKLANSMAN - which makes the unfortunate mistake of portraying racism as a working class phenomenon, and suggests nothing has changed since the early ‘70s.

BEST EXPERIENCE IN A THEATRE

RYANS’ DAUGHTER at the Aero in Santa Monica - I was delighted to discover that on the big screen, what I had experienced on TV as a soap opera is actually an opera.

THE PIANO at the QFT in Belfast

HUGE REGRET

A WRINKLE IN TIME - made with heart, but a clear example of the absence of limitations being the death of creativity. Make it smaller next time.

EIGHT GREAT PERFORMANCES

9: Willem Dafoe in AT ETERNITY’S GATE

8: Bryan Cranston in ISLE OF DOGS

7: Hugh Jackman in THE FRONT RUNNER

6: Robert Forster in WHAT THEY HAD

5: Chloe Sevigny in LIZZIE

4: Kristen Stewart in LIZZIE

3: Cynthia Erivo in BAD TIMES AT THE EL ROYALE

2: Rupert Everett in THE HAPPY PRINCE

1: Yalitza Aparicio in ROMA

FULL DISCLOSURE: MOVIES I HAVEN’T SEEN YET WHICH I SUSPECT MAY END UP ON THE REVISED VERSION OF THIS POST

EIGHTH GRADE

BURNING

IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK

PRIVATE LIFE

THE RIDER

MADELINE’S MADELINE

FIRST REFORMED

AND FINALLY, MY SEVENTEEN FAVORITE FILMS OF 2018

18: SHOPLIFTERS

17: THE FAVOURITE

16: THE WIFE

15: FIRST MAN

14: THE GOSPEL OF EUREKA

13: BLAZE

12: ISLE OF DOGS

11: SUMMER IN THE FOREST

10: LEAVE NO TRACE

9: LIZZIE

8: WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR?

7: ANNIHILATION

6: BAD TIMES AT THE EL ROYALE

5: THE HAPPY PRINCE

4: BLINDSPOTTING

3: COLD WAR

2: AT ETERNITY’S GATE

1: ROMA