Here we are again folks, we made it! Another year passed and another year of films to assess. I managed to see a record high 74 films at the cinema this year, and if I say so myself, 2018 was a bit of a banger in terms of great releases. It’s been harder to whittle down to a top ten this year than in most of my previous attempts, but I think I’m satisfied with a nice mixture of head and heart picks! With no further ado, here is Oh! That Film Blog’s top ten movies of the year, as always, dictated by UK release dates!
It always seems to be that my favourite film of the year is one that I see the earliest, and Coco’s January release has done it again. There is stiff competition in this area, but I genuinely think that this love letter to Latin culture is the best picture Pixar has ever produced. Whether it was the stunning visual aesthetic, the emotional family message, or simply my own personal connection to the Spanish speaking world, Coco burrowed its way in to my heart and I don’t think it will ever leave.
There is a reason that The Shape Of Water won Best Picture at this year’s Academy Awards, it is sensational. Just as Coco was a love letter to Latin culture, this was a love letter to the magic and romance of classic Hollywood, all in the package of a science fiction love story. It completely captivated and swept me along for a bizarre but beautiful ride.
I, Tonya was a wild ride, a telling of the infamous Tonya Harding story that cleverly manages to weave the truth with the much more scandalous rumours that we all want to believe are gospel! Fantastic performances all round, and a moment of career crowning glory for the amazing Allison Janney who picked an Oscar for her trouble. It was wickedly funny and poignant at the same time, the perfect cinematic combination.
I wasn’t expecting First Man to have such a massive impact on me, but it really did. The story of Neil Armstrong and the Apollo 11 mission was something I only new about in headline terms, and I wasn’t prepared for the emotional and inspiring narrative that unfolded. Not to mention the director genius of Damien Chazelle who, if I had my way, would be picking up his second Oscar for this. Intense and gritty and triumphant.
I’m not kidding when I say that the contrast between the dark comedy of the first 97% of BlacKkKlansman and the final 3% is one of the most testing, shocking, visceral, blooding boiling experiences I have ever had in the cinema. Only a filmmaker like Spike Lee can achieve such a level of enjoyment followed by mirror turning, slap in the face discomfort. I was simultaneously, thrilled, stunned, ashamed and horrified, and it was perfect.
Disobedience succeeded in being one of those rare book adaptations that is just as good as the source material, if not better. Rachel Weisz and Rachel McAdams give a pair of brilliant performances in this tale of forbidden love within the London Orthodox Jewish community. The chemistry was electric, the drama was intense, the emotion felt real, it was a quiet but urgent film that definitely did not waste its gripping premise.
At this point in time you wouldn’t think that yet another coming of age, mother/daughter relationship themed film would be able to bring something new to the table, but there was something about Lady Bird that felt utterly fresh and original. Saoirse Ronan quietly continues on her journey to becoming the best actress of her (and a few either side of her) generation. I haven’t always been able to get one with the filmmaking sensibilities of Greta Gerwig, but Lady Bird was a unarguable home run.
Hereditary had me SHOOK, it’s as simple as that! There are sequences in this film that will stay with me for the rest of time. If you have already seen it, then you will know exactly what I’m talking about. It’s not a perfect movie by any means, but sometimes you just have to forgive small plot holes and surrender yourself to an insane, jaw dropping, eye popping narrative ride. I honestly don’t think I have even unpacked everything there is to unpack all these months later.
I had a vague idea of what to expect from Suspiria, but the film took me to places, both visually and metaphorically, that I never imagined! I’m always down for anything witchy, and this amazing female ensemble cast certainly cast a spell on the film. A completely captivating cinematic experience, you can’t take your eyes off it, even in the horrifying moments when you wish you could!
I’m well aware that there have been more than a handful of films better than Mary Poppins Returns in 2018, but it’s my bloody list and I don’t bloody care. The only picture on the list that I ventured to see on the big screen more than once, it has its slight issues but it filled me with pure nostalgic joy, and Emily Blunt is a revelation in the iconic lead role. I haven’t been able to stop listening to the soundtracks since mid December, and sometimes you just can’t deny the heart what it wants!