The Top 10 films of the year have already been announced based on my Personal Ballot and Winners published earlier today but this post gives the order (which many people value more than the list themselves).
Generic feelings about the 10 films: I believe that there may be two all-timers among them. Films that 25-30-50 years from now, the film community and myself will come back to very often to take in and just gaze at its beauty.
Overall, the year was gratifying in the sense that the good stuff was REALLY good and the bad stuff wasn’t THAT bad.
Down below, take in MY top 10 films of 2018. Remember, the AwardsCircuit community will have their say with the ACCA awards, which opens on January 14, 2019. Make sure you vote. If you missed a part of the Best of 2018 series, click here.
Share your Top 10’s in the comments below.
10“A Star is Born” (Warner Bros.)
dir. Bradley Cooper
Bradley Cooper‘s work behind the camera is equally matched if not magnified but his work in front. In a profession that has shown us “Silver Linings Playbook” and “American Sniper,” Cooper has scored his finest acting performance of his career. A turn that has a semblance of Nicolas Cage in “Leaving Las Vegas” and Joaquin Phoenix in “Walk the Line,” Cooper constructs his own creation, echoing and respecting the role that has been crafted by Frederic March, James Mason, and Kris Kristofferson.
9“Private Life” (Netflix)
dir. Tamara Jenkins
While Jenkins’ script whips and moves, documenting the lives of these adults, which is rarely explored in film. At a crossroads, the couple is faced with the impending nature of their own age, and what the meaning of it has been. Jenkins tackles the gender dynamics of wanting children, and the way it affects men and women differently. There are chuckles, but not as many as you’d think There’s a heavy dramatic heft in the material, driving home that Tamara Jenkins needs to make more movies.
8“Boy Erased” (Focus Features)
dir. Joel Edgerton
Writer/director Joel Edgerton fearlessly tackles the film, adapted from the memoir by Garrard Conley, with respect and sensitivity that is needed in today’s cinema. Edgerton doesn’t just speak to people on either side of the equation, as many films of similar subject matter do. For the first time, Edgerton is offering a look into the conflict that can plague individuals on the fence between their own spiritual beliefs and want for people to be free. Edgerton isn’t just preaching to the choir; he develops one of the most compelling stories this year, adding layers upon layers of questions that the viewer will ask themselves. A true marvel.
7“The Rider” (Sony Pictures Classics)
dir. Chloé Zhao
“The Rider” rides so high. Echoing the magnitude of something like “Brokeback Mountain” with Brady Jandreau emulating the second coming of Heath Ledger, the film’s raw and intense nature is mirrored beautifully by its subtle and quiet moments.
6“Mary Queen of Scots” (Focus Features)
dir. Josie Rourke
In her directorial debut, Josie Rourke can go toe-to-toe with any filmmaker working today. With sensitivity and grace, Rourke paints a portrait that maintains its grip on its subjects. A woman whose background has found respect and adoration in theatre, her staging of scenes feels expectedly familiar of any Broadway production experienced in New York or London.
5“Capernaum” (Sony Pictures Classics)
dir. Nadine Labaki
For most of “Capernaum,” we are silent bystanders to the inhumane and disparaging routines of daily life in Lebanon. But as we work toward its crescendo, the vociferous conflict of the film reaches a reticent tenderness. “Capernaum” packs a jolting and turbulent wallop at its emotionally charged conclusion, the theater resonating with the sounds of sniffling and nose-blowing in response.
4“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” (Sony Pictures)
dir. Bob Persichetti, Rodney Rothman
“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” isn’t just about being the best-animated film of the year, which it clearly is without any reconsidering of any other that came before it. It propels the genre into new heights, easily trumpeting the likes of most superhero films, in particular, the other “Spidey” films that have preceded it. It very well might be the best of the entire series yet, and the viewer should sit with an uncontrollable urge for every outing of Miles Morales that will be given for years to come.
3“Disobedience” (Bleecker Street)
dir. Sebastián Lelio
The value of artistry can’t be underestimated as the torment that is captured is sculpted from love herself. You can swoon, longing for more glances and gestures that speak multiple volumes between these characters. As we saw in films like “Blue is the Warmest Color,” which may be a natural comparison, it reiterates the falsehood in which that foreign film presents lesbian and love mirrored with the exploration, passion, and complexity that is demonstrated in Lelio’s treasure. A beautiful, dizzyingly romantic love story that just about anyone can connect.
dir. Alfonso Cuarón
Cuarón’s choices behind the camera can’t be replicated nor learned in any film school in the world. He’s brave, audacious, and even intrusive into this world. Though grimly real, you are in full awe and pathos of these characters, learning their joys and heartbreaks, strengths and weaknesses, and dreams and fears, simultaneously, being injected with countless shots of adrenaline and excitement. Painful in the framing of the human condition, you still succeed in finding the irrevocable spirit in it all. Unfathomable skillful execution on all fronts, the beauty of life is discovered, on screen, in just 135 minutes time.
1“If Beale Street Could Talk” (Annapurna Pictures)
dir. Barry Jenkins
In cinema, the broken home is a standard depicted when dealing with African-Americans as its subject. Jenkins shows honor and respect in a way I’ve never seen. It becomes the premier example of why we need people of color consistently making films and stories from these underserved communities. Only someone who is embedded within this culture can understand the underlying themes and nuances that a couple of color face together. The currency of love is amplified in every interaction with not only each other but their family members.