Usually writing about local theater for DMM, this time I turn to the movies and share my year end review:
10. The Hate U Give
Incredibly timely and relevant. Perhaps the most urgent, necessary film of the year in its ability to capture the frustration and anger of how many Americans feel today.
It’s special when a movie can be so full of shocking twists and turns you immediately strike up conversations with those around you to play detective. Brutal yet empowering and sharing a few similarities with The Hate U Give, Widows was pure edge-of-your-seat entertainment.
8. Boy Erased
Genuinely heartbreaking and particularly powerful in flashback. Lucas Hedges (kind enough to snap a photo with me when he appeared off-Broadway in Yen in 2017) continues to amaze and evolve as one of my favorite actors. And I hope Nicole Kidman’s parking lot epiphany will be a part of every lifetime achievement award montage she’ll have in the future.
7. A Star is Born
There was a time when everyone said Gaga was finished when her underrated Artpop tanked. Now, thanks to Bradley Cooper, she’s on the verge of an unstoppable, she-really-pulled-it-off-like-Jennifer Hudson-in-Dreamgirls march to the Oscars. And if that happens, in my heart, it’ll be because of her Liza Minnelli-in-Cabaret-esque rendition of “La Vie en Rose” and selling every single bit of her Whitney Houston-esque rendition of “I’ll Never Love Again” (and what a final close-up!)
Simply one of Spike Lee’s finest. The Charlottesville footage alone was an inspired touch and will likely help secure his first (and overdue) best director Oscar nomination.
Incredibly disturbing but walking the delicate balance between serious drama and full-throttle mockumentary with fluid finesse thanks to the terrifyingly believable Christian Bale and Amy Adams. And nothing beats the film’s bedtime Shakespeare salute and “fair and balanced” focus group!
Gorgeous storytelling featuring a department store reunion that managed to be one of the most frightening scenes of the year, conveying enormous history between two people in a matter of mere seconds.
3. The Favourite
What a darkly comedic romp! There’s always been talk of certain actors or actresses winning Oscars for the wrong films. An argument can be made for adding Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone to that list.
2. Won’t You Be My Neighbor?
Wasn’t it a good feeling, a very good feeling, to be reminded of how great kindness can be? As someone who grew up watching Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, this tear-jerking documentary was an undeniable treat, especially the moment everyone paused to think about one person who made a difference in their life.
1. Black Panther
All the stars aligned for this pop culture milestone that truly transcended cinema and surpassed Hollywood’s expectations. It also has the potential to receive at least 13 Oscar nominations thanks to its strengths in the technical categories. We shall see!
A Quiet Place
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Crazy Rich Asians
Every Act of Life
Leave No Trace
Mary Poppins Returns
The Miseducation of Cameron Post
Mission Impossible: Fallout
White Boy Rick
You Were Never Really Here
2018 titles I look forward to seeing in early 2019:
If Beale Street Could Talk
Ben is Back
Mary Queen of Scots
On the Basis of Sex
What were your favorites?