The photo above captures my personal picks for the Best Of/ Top 10 of 2018 (in order by preference) Not included at the time of the original selection is "Cold War" from Poland by director Pawel Pawlikowski. This was viewed only very recently and not only do I think it is one of the best of last year, I believe it will prove to be one of the best films of the last decade. If I had to take one of the films above out to replace with "Cold War," it would be "Green Book."
1) ROMA by Alfonso Curan - A loving homage to the director's childhood in Mexico, this is a beautiful and evocative as filmmaking gets. What does not get said in dialogue, is conveyed in facial expressions, images and deeply felt moods. Cuarón has successfully captured a sense of time and place resulting in a film that is as gorgeous as it is poignant, making it a cinematic experience not to be missed. Read my full review in an earlier post in this section.
2) VICE by Adam McKay - Wielding his distinct style, McKay delivers his best movie to date. Whether you are pro Dick Cheney or anti Cheney, there is so much to be learned from this film of the post 9-11/Bush era. Few, if any others, could entertain, while educating on such dense subject matters of politics, war, and a power hungry, unlikable character in the form of Cheney. McKay does so, and then some. Go to my earlier post for a full review of this film.
3) BLACKkKLANSMAN by Spike Lee- It's been awhile, but I knew Spike had another great one in him, and this is it. This is as fun as it is intense as Lee brings the wild true story of Ron Stalworth, the first Black police officer for the Colorado Springs police department to the big screen. Stalworth actually infiltrated the local chapter of the KKK, with the help of a Jewish colleague.
4) THE FAVOURITE - Full review here: http://www.paulafarmer.com/film-blog/the-favourite-review
5) WIDOWS - Full review here: http://www.paulafarmer.com/film-blog/widows-film-review
6) BLACK PANTHER - It's a superhero movie that's super fun and full of heart. With its first ever all-Black cast in such a type of movie, it set standards and broke records. It's also probably the only time you'll see a Marvel film on my list, so you know it's got to be special. Wakanda Forever!
7) A QUIET PLACE - This was more of a suspense thriller than horror, but either way, it was doing something very unique. Set in a world that is reeling from an invasion of unseen monsters that attack sounds, so quiet is imperative for survival for the featured family of five. Nepotism aside, Emily Blunt proves superbly cast as the onscreen wife and mom to this quietly tortured clan. Her facial expressions and body language spoke volumes.
8) IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK by Barry Jenkins - A passionate adaptation of a beloved James Baldwin novel portrays the story of an optimistic young woman from Harlem in the 70s who is determined to prove her fiancee's innocence before giving birth to their unborn child. The couple's world is shaken to its core when Alfonzo is falsely accused and convicted of a crime. Their love story prior to his arrest is genuine and consuming. While in prison, their love is tested, but remains strong and determined. The pacing is slow and languid, and the cinematography takes centerstage, with lush colors and picturesque shots in every scene. While the story and characters of BEALE STREET did not grab and haunt me as Mr. Jenkins' first film, MOONLIGHT did, it is beautiful and poetic, with an undeniable appeal.
9) ISLE OF DOGS by Wes Anderson - From the exceedingly passionate, clever and quirky mind of the director who brought us THE FANTASTIC MR. FOX, comes the even better and quirkier ISLE OF DOGS. A canine epidemic has hit a city in Japan, emboldening the cat-loving mayor to banish all the dogs to an island of trash. When a boy, Atari, is determined to find his dog Spot, a heart-warming and fun adventure ensues. Not only is this Mr. Anderson's best animated films, it's one of his best movies ever! It has fantastic, unforgettable characters, a wonderful story, with massive entertainment value, and all wrapped up in his trademark look, pacing and style.
10) GREEN BOOK by Peter Farrelly - Yep, this is another story of unlikely friendships, with the inter-racial twist, but it is based on true events, and is charming, with exceptional performances from the two leads. Tony, the Italian bouncer from Queens is hired to escort Black pianist Dr. Don Shirley on his musical tour to the racist South in the 60s. The two couldn't be more opposite and uncomfortable as their road trip commences, but along the way, they learn to appreciate their differences and love each other's company. Oscar bait for sure (which is why I hope it doesn't win), but charming and entertaining as well.
Honorable Mention -
1) BLINDSPOTTING - A unique character-driven film, with a social commentary from a fresh perspective
2) GAME NIGHT - Best comedy of the year! I laughed my ass off and so will you.
3) RBG documentary