Nat’s Top 10 Movies for 2018

It’s been about performance and vision for me this year, with some good bloody thriller thrown in the mix (of course!).

I’ve had my heart broken, my eyes opened and my soul stirred leaving me haunted.

Films full of wonderful treats shown by an observer with a particularly knowing eye.  Films made like a legacy left as a gift.

What can I say?  It’s been a great year!  With more than ten films breaking the 4.5 star barrier (special mention: Backtrack Boys and Black Panther).

Below, I’ve listed the ones that really struck a cord and left me shaking my head with amusement, with wonder and awe.

Enjoy!

10.

A Quiet Place

Horror/ Thriller: ★★★★ 1/2

Superficially, a simple story. But the mechanics and thought put into the presentation of the film, the soundtrack, the drama of the family dynamic shown in the facial expressions and eyes of the cast pushed the suspense to maximum.

An impressive film from start to finish.

9.

Gurrumul

Documentary / Music: ★★★★ 1/2

In Yolngu lore the name, image and voice of the recently departed is retired from all public use.  A very rare exception has been made by Gumatj and Gälpu clan leaders for this film.

It’s such a gentle unfolding I didn’t realise how strong the rising of emotion in response to the purity of his voice, the calling in the telling of his story in song.  Even in a different language I could still feel the meaning.  I’m getting teary writing about it.  Not from sadness but the exposure to such honesty of feeling.

8.

Sicario: Day of the Soldado

Crime / Thriller: ★★★★ 1/2

I wouldn’t say as good as the first Sicario (which I gave 5 stars), yet, the shear gravitational pull of Benicio Del Toro as Alejandro and Josh Brolin as Matt Graver was enough to grab attention.  With such high expectations I was thankful to get a sequel that keeps the brilliance of the first film continuing with a new and interesting story.

7.

Mile 22

Crime / Thriller: ★★★★ 1/2

There’s no holding back in this action packed, political spy-thriller.   And seeing Wahlberg as an ‘arse hole’ was gold: he’s so nasty it’s funny.

6.

BlacKkKlansman

Satire / Drama / Crime: ★★★★ 1/2

I feel like my eyes have been opened with a new understanding – the way the behaviour of racism looks on screen is so ridiculous it’s funny.  And very, very scary.

5.

A Star Is Born

Drama / Music: ★★★★ 1/2

One of those real-deal country love stories with all the tragedy and struggle, life-behind-the-curtain stuff, with the added brilliance of the talented songwriter finding her voice in the musician who sees her as clearly as she sees him.

I was haunted by this one.

4.

In The Fade

Drama / Foreign: ★★★★☆ (4.7/5)

This is the reason I review films: to be exposed to movies I wouldn’t otherwise watch because I know it’s going to be confronting.  And, In The Fade is filled with rain and tears and loss but there’s also a powerfully gripping story here, beautifully told.

3.

You Were Never Really Here

Crime / Arthouse: ★★★★★

Astounding performance, gritty story and visually, brutally poetic.

2.

Phantom Thread

Gothic Romance: ★★★★★

It’s what love and obsession can do to a soul that’s fascinating to watch: the dance of jealousy and annoyance; the settled and open, to the demanding and cold.  I’m not usually one for romances, but Phantom Thread is a thoroughly absorbing enchantment.

1.

Roma

Drama / Foreign: ★★★★★

Roma is full of wonderful treats like the hills that look like they have skirts and the rubbing of vinegar on sunburnt shoulders so the children smell like salads.

We’re shown this deeply personal story of a family that manages to subtly open a door on the rarity of life captured that goes deeper than an emotional level.  There something incredibly pure here as Chloe is shown with the love of a young boy who sees her soul so clearly: this film is a gift.

 

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