Here's a countdown of my favorite 15 movies from 2018, one of my favorite this decade.
15. COLD WAR
- 2018s very best film about Hot People who shout and kiss and shout again. Mutually Assured Devotion / Destruction by shifting politics of Eastern Europe as metaphor for a love-stricken couple who can be neither together or apart.
Every frame a painting indeed.
14. A STAR IS BORN
- Romance hasn't felt this raw, real and proudly blemished since BLUE VALENTINE. A story about fast love and crushing dependency, Cooper's surprisingly precise direction elates the crescendos to haaaaa-ah-ah-ah movie magic.
Gaga's great, but Cooper's amazing.
13. THE RIDER
- Sadly underseen, Chloe Zhao gently diffuses the the bomb of toxic frontier masculinity over two suspenseful but sedated hours; her anti-western immerses you in her docu-fiction drama with overwhelming sensitivity and grace. By the end, I welled with tears.
Instead of a CREED/TFA-style transmutation of the original, Guadagnino's SUSPIRIA
paves its own path as equal part sensual succubal seance and Brechitian dialectic. Feminism, fascism and fucking (or not enough), this is indulgent, messy and over-stretched and 100% my shit.
11. IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK
is a prayer for love in a time of simultaneous struggle & hardship. As someone who didn't connect to MOONLIGHT, this stole my soul. Jenkins rivals Wong Kar-wai in directing movement through space, color & sound. Possibly the best film music of 2018.
- An art-pulp heist movie that’s like HEAT meets THE WIRE, unifying themes of race, class and gender as guns are drawn and tires screech. McQueen & Flynn find rare nuance through opposition, freeing people of different color and creed to never hide who they really are.
has the hypnotic style of MAD MAX: FURY ROAD and the pulsing music of DRIVE, Coralie Fargeat's feminist exploitation thriller exhilaratingly reclaims agency one rape-revenge trope at a time. Overlooked but viscous.
is so suffocating with dread that crawling through its haze of familial dread & infernal terror can feel borderline Sisyphusic. The perfectly shot edges of the frame are as frightening as the dinner table conversation & it fucked me up so bad I haven't seen it twice
7. THE FAVOURITE
is devilish, delicious and no shit the funniest movie of 2018. Stone/Coleman/Wesiz contest for tongues of affection in a tale of rotating rivalries as Yorgos paints politics & possibly love as the farce they probably are.
Formally daring (of course)
6. FIRST REFORMED
- A night in the garden & hearing only silence. No movie of 2018 has frightened me more than the agony & ecstasy of Reverend Toller. In the face of our species' annihilation, can there still be hope?
If Hawke's Oscar chances are what we go by the answer is no.
is one of the best science fiction movies of the decade (ever?). An intoxicating Lovecraftian smear of microbial body horror that implanted itself like an Alien egg and hatched cosmic dread. I've never been more eager, or afraid, to become a tree.
4. MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE - FALLOUT
is an apex action movie that has more in common with THE CONFORMIST than JOHN WICK. Insane set pieces dazzle, but it's the art-film framing of architecture & movement that scintillate the soul. One of the greatest action movies ever. Exhilarating.
3. YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE
is shock therapy to the revenge genre. Lynne Ramsay, a *genius*, deconstructs decades of male pain and power in this formalist triumph, an anti-action movie of staggering impressionistic beauty and soul. By the end its nearly transcendent.
- An under-water explosion of rage & desire that intoxicates with its neo-noir flow. The greatest adaptation of Murakami's netherworlds lulls you into a state of ethereal hypnosis, drifting you into its bodiless, melancholic currents.
It's haunted me ever since.
plunges into the memories of Alfonso Cuarón via Cinematic Penseive as he celebrates the concurrences of calamity & joy, banality & surrealism, in an ordinary, extraordinary, life. As somatic as GRAVITY, as epic & intimate as LAWRENCE OF ARABIA, a masterpiece in empathy.