Our Year at the Movies

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As we do every year, Rick and I saved up our ticket stubs and looked through them on New Year’s Day to reminisce about the fun movies, plays, exhibitions, and other tickety things we did over the past year.

And in that same tradition, here is a brief rundown of the best movies we saw in 2018.

It was an unusually good year for women in our moviegoing. Among the films many readers will have already heard of, we particularly enjoyed director Greta Gerwig’s  Lady Bird, Marielle Heller’s Can You Ever Forgive Me? and the girl realism of Eighth Grade.

A great girl-centered movie that you might not have heard of was Supa Modo, the first feature-length film by Kenyan director Likarion Wainaina, about a sick little girl who dreams of being a superhero. The low-budget magic of this movie reminded me of the excellent international films I watched on the CBS Children’s Film Festival when I was a kid.

A movie that got less attention then I think it deserved was Puzzle, with a riveting performance by Kelly Macdonald, and Irrfan Khan wielding the tossed-off charisma of an old-fashioned movie star. Take a script for a rather formulaic, vaguely pop-feminist romantic comedy, then film it as a quiet drama with thoughtful direction and really interesting performances, and you get Puzzle.

The Icelandic film Under the Tree was one of our favorites from SIFF this year. A dark, dark comedy that I watched nearly to the end before realizing that it was basically an Icelandic revenge story in the tradition of the sagas, only funnier.

I am a fan of Spike Lee. Rick, not so much. But we both loved BlacKkKlansman. Great, based-on-a-true story, fantastic music, powerful message. And a bonus for Finnophiles in the creditable and creepy performance of Jasper Pääkkönen.

The Florida Project is all about innocent childhood fun and resilience. Until it’s suddenly about America. A great mix of professional and non-professional child and adult actors, and one of the saddest, most beautiful film endings I’ve ever seen.

We lucked out this year with two films by our favorite director, Hirozaku Kore-eda. Both combine dire deeds with the deep family emotion he captures like no one else can, and both were brilliant. If you haven’t seen all his films, then get on it.

The Third Murder

Shoplifters

Do you have any movies to recommend?

Our Years at the Movies past

 

~ by lolarusa on January 5, 2019.

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