We are at the penultimate! Which is great because I’ve pretty much closed in on my top 10 of 2019 (or at least as close as I will get until I manage to see certain hard-to-find things).
I did do a top 10 of 2018 this time last year, I don’t think I blogged it but it was definitely up on my Instagram and maybe Facebook.
But that doesn’t matter because this list is different!
Why? I’ve seen more of the 2018 films in the intervening year and, as I’ve had time and space to think on the films I saw earlier, surprising things have stuck with me while others have faded out a bit.
- A Quiet Place: A novel idea for a horror film, expertly executed. I’m looking forward to the sequel this year. Apart from the killer monsters with excellent hearing, it’s also about the importance of family, forgiveness, and sacrifice. And does anyone else have the hots for ingenuity in films? I love watching characters come up with resourceful solutions. It reminds me of when I obsessively read and reread Robinson Crusoe as a child.
- Hereditary: One of the best horror films of the modern era, more artful and deep than A Quiet Place. It has a lot of shock value on the first watch but is so multi-layered that it really rewards rewatches and interpretation. One of my favorite things about it is that even though the characters try to make the smart decisions, the non-stupid-horror-movie-character decisions, it’s not enough to save them.
- The Favourite: We talked about Yorgos Lanthimos yesterday, and, oh look, he made a psychologically twisted, erotically loaded costume drama. In other words, he made a film specifically for me.
- Spiderman: Into the SpiderVerse: It’s exciting, it’s fun, and it’s astoundingly beautifully animated.
- Bad Times at the El Royale: Weirdly prescient of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, down to similar soundtracks (Hush by Deep Purple is one of my favorite songs ever no lie), locations (Nevada/California), time periods (60s/70s), and plots (I see a murderous hippy cult leader). But if what you associate with Tarantino is non-stop violent action, this one is more Tarantino-y, despite not being the Tarantino film. Quite weird, quite overlooked. Look for Cynthia Erivo, Jeff Bridges, Chris Hemsworth, Jon Hamm, and Dakota Johnson.
- BlackKklansman: A suspenseful day comedy about a black man infiltrating the KKK. I’m going to marry both John David Washington and Adam Driver. And also Spike Lee. How was this only Spike Lee’s first Oscar win?
- Annihilation: A sci fi where the alien invader isn’t a ‘who’ so much as a ‘what’. Centered on women. With beautifully disturbing visuals and jarring perils.
- To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before: A very warm and fuzzy-feeling teen drama that put Noah Centineo on the map. I believe this is another one that is getting a sequel this year.
- Game Night: Smart modern comedies are few and far between, but Game Night proves that when you get a good one it can be really really good.
- Upgrade: Wikipedia is describing this film as ‘cyberpunk action body horror’, which I’m not going to try to parse. Long story short, a paralyzed man goes on a revenge mission with a little help from a piece of implanted tech that allows him to move again- except of course that can’t be all that it does. Long story short, it’s excellent.
- Shoplifters: A Japanese drama film about the ties that bind a makeshift petty criminal family, it’s members assembled by need and necessity rather than by blood. It pulls your heart in all the best ways.
Honorable Mentions: Bohemian Rhapsody, Black Panther, Crazy Rich Asians, The Hate U Give, If Beale Street Could Talk, First Man, Incredibles 2, Eighth Grade, Ca You Ever Forgive Me?, Tully, Searching, Wild Rose, American Animals, Blindspotting, The Tale, Girl.
Haven’t Yet Seen:
Happy Friday! I have the day off, which is many kinds of wonderful (not least because I get to go out and buy a pastry and check some travel guide out from the library and maybe find a waterproof pair of boots.)
(You know, the real problem is that I just want these ten year old riding boots to be new again, or to find a pair of Chelsea boots that are pretty similar. But the Vogue right now seems to be for combat boots or boots that are combat-adjacent so I’m having some trouble).
- Collider (one of my favorite youtube channels on the film industry, frequently mentioned on the blog) doesn’t usually discuss anime, but Emma’s here to decode some common visual tropes and gags.
- More things I’ve learned from my amazing and diverse ISIPCA classmates? Dan from Australia taught me about ‘Firehawk’ raptors, which spread bushfires to flush out their prey.
- There’s a Star Wars-themed Creperie in Paris. The dishes are named after the planets by which they were inspired. Not at all vegan-friendly, but I’m so amused.
- I know I hate on GP’s goop, but this is actually a pretty good article about how our negativity is in many ways an adaptive strategy, a self-defense mechanism to protect us from past threats- and so a lot of negativity may no longer really be necessary (and may actually be counterproductive) to leading happy lives. I know I sound super woo woo so I’ll stop, but it does resonate with a lot of what I’ve observed and thought re: my own negativity and cynicism.
But yeah, no, I only skimmed the article.
- What do I really want? Continuing to love Mari Andrew’s illustrations.
- Also Poorly Drawn Lines’s send up of this classic Lion King scene.
- Screen Junkies (another favorite youtube channel on the film industry) presents their annual Screens awards for the best and worst in movies and television.
- Unforgettable movie style moments. Some (Keira Knightley’s green Atonement dress) would definitely be on my own list (which, hey, will maybe happen someday).
- I hope you made it through Blue Monday (the most depressing day of the year, apparently) okay. If you’re still feeling a bit of residual down-ness, here are some lovely feel-good movie dance scenes. I still always listen to Dancing Queen when I need a boost. I have to say I think Moses Supposes from Singin’ in the Rain is actually more feel good than the title song, but whatever. Again, maybe this is a moment when a personal list is needed.
- You’ve heard of the KonMari Method. Maybe you’ve even partaken in some Swedish death cleaning (I’m only 22 and I know I have. One needs to be prepared)- now t’s time for the hot decluttering trend of 2018: American Apocalypse Purging.
- Another anticipated 2018 film (see earlier post): Love, Simon.
- I watched I, Tonya and thought it was pretty good (Blades of Glory is still the best figure skating film), but you know what I’d love to see? A film about figure skating legend Surya Bonaly. Because a backflip is almost as difficult as the Iron Lotus.
- The mindset of men and women re: sex and during sex itself, and how this influences the way women write about sex. A really interesting read.
- A very cogently written account of the issues with Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water. It’s always brilliant when you find an article that explains your gut feelings. Beautiful film, serious problems.
- There’s a Colette film coming! Keira Knightley’s going to star! I’m not sure those two go together! But I love both separately!
- On Aziz Ansari and sexual assault vs sexual coercion: I don’t believe sexual coercion is sexual assault. But it’s not exactly enthusiastic consent either. I don’t think it’s too much to ask men to interpret mixed signals, particularly when sexual violence against women is so common and fear of the consequences of refusal is so real.
- If becoming a perfumer doesn’t work out, maybe I can go into gourmet ice cream.
I’m back in France (landed yesterday morning) but still thinking about films. Some things never change.
- The Post: They’ve asked tons screen this at the White House which I find very interesting given 1) the content and 2) the presence of the very-overrated Meryl Streep.
- A Fantastic Woman
- Winchester: This doesn’t actually look good but I love creepy house films and I could be wrong.
- Red Sparrow: Ballerina Jennifer Lawrence becomes Russian Intelligence agent. Could be good. Could be Atomic Blonde 2, Atomic Redhead.
- Isle of Dogs: Wes Anderson!
- Lean on Pete: Horses!
- You Were Never Really Here: Joaquin Phoenix and guns!
- Solo: A Star Wars Story: There’s been a lot of behind the scenes drama with this project. I hope it turns out well because I will never not love a good Star Wars. And I’ll be sad if they besmirch the Harrison Ford/Han Solo legacy.
- Deadpool 2: Of course.
- Ocean’s 8: I was questioning this on a kind of Ghostbusters remake basis but the trailer looks excellent and has assuaged most of my fears. Love that the heist is set at the Met Gala.
- The Incredibles 2: Edna’s coming back!
- Mulan: Live action Mulan. I’m torn. I don’t believe there’s a need but if one is coming I might be here for it.
- Bohemian Rhapsody: Another film with a lot of behind the scenes drama, but I’m excited. Queen is cool.
- Creed 2: It didn’t need a sequel but I did like the first Creed quite a bit.
You’ll notice that the list os largely big Hollywood films, as these are the ones that tend to schedule their release dates far into the future (as opposed to the smaller independent films I tend to prefer).
I’m too lazy to do a straight up transcription, so here’s a photo.
I don’t usually make resolutions because the bleak midwinter seems like a terrible time to stress out over lifestyle changes, but I was feeling a bit inspired to take a more holistic view of the process and this is what I came up with.
Do you have any resolutions?
If you could pick a month for the year to start,which would you choose?
I would go for April or May, when it starts warming up in this hemisphere. Or July, because my birthday really is what the year should revolve around.