2018 has brought some great movies including many chick flicks. Some of them were directed by women, many films featured a strong female lead or showcased an ensemble cast of women. I believe that we are heading in the right direction, but we need more movies focusing on female issues and giving a voice to women of various backgrounds. So here I gathered the sixteen Best Films of 2018. All of them are chick flick proofed.
16) Ocean’s Eight (Gary Ross, 2018)
Ocean’s Eight is a spin-off from Steven Soderbergh’s Ocean’s trilogy with an all-female ensemble cast featuring Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Mindy Kaling (I raved about her in this other post), Sarah Paulson, Rihanna, Helena Bonham Carter and Awkwafina. So there is a heroine for all tastes and ages. What could possibly go wrong? Well, the idea looks good and glamorous on paper. Debbie Ocean (Sandra Bullock) gathers an all-chick crew to pull a heist at New York’s yearly Met Gala. However, the story falls flat without offering much of its own. It only feels like a remake of Ocean’s Eleven with ladies this time. This cast deserved more than that, but it’s still fun to watch, because of the great performances.
15) Destination Wedding (Victor Levin, 2018)
Lindsay (Winona Rider) and Frank (Keanu Reeves) are the kind of guests you don’t want to invite to your wedding. They are miserable in their own ways, cynical and unpleasant who gladly share all the reasons why your commitment is destined to fail. No matter what. The two outsiders are left to keep each other company and finally develop a mutual affection despite their clashing personalities. Destination Wedding is the kind of movie that should be made every single year with the actual or evergreen darlings of Hollywood.
14) A Quiet Place (John Krasinski, 2018)
Actor/director/husband of co-star Emily Blunt John Krasinsky is the kind of guy you wish to hang out with on a rainy Sunday afternoon playing charades. Because he is just so damn cool and approachable. In his debut movie as a director, he presents a post-apocalyptic world where a family is forced to live in silence to survive the constant threat of monsters with ultra-sensitive hearing. A Quiet Place offers an interesting starting point making the rules very clear mainly by showing, not telling. Despite some logical pitfalls in the storyline, the struggles of the characters feel real and relatable. Good job,
13) The Miseducation of Cameron Post (Desiree Akhavan, 2018)
Set in a past not so long ago, a teenage girl is forced into a gay conversion therapy centre by her conservative guardians. In her second film, director Desiree Akhavan dives back into her go-to topics like questions of sexual orientation, human relationships and the clueless state of being a young woman with a different background. Her first feature Appropriate Behaviour talked about the struggles one has to fight in her twenties. While The Miseducation of Cameron Post shows the battles of a teenager with a twist in a conservative era. It’s a good one for sure.
12) Annihilation (Alex Garland, 2018)
After the failed mission of a team of male experts, an all-female team set out to investigate a strange electromagnetic field dubbed “The Shimmer.” The team includes the biologist Lena (Natalie Portman) whose husband (Oscar Isaac) is the lone survivor of the previous assignment. Annihilation is about venturing into the unknown while trying to keep one’s personal issues and insecurities out of the equation. As it turns out every member of the expedition team has her own issues to work through. But secrets tend to get revealed, especially in a place where nothing is what it seems to be.
11) Hereditary (Ari Aster, 2018)
Hereditary is scary for real. It made me shiver, be afraid and jump in my seat — all the best qualities of a horror movie. The story is about a dysfunctional family haunted after the death of their secretive grandmother. Tragedies and disturbing occurrences mark the beginning of dark secrets unravelling. It’s a definite yes if you’re into supernatural horrors and scary movies. But it’s a big no-no if you tend to get nightmares. This movie creeps under your skin and doesn’t let you go. Watch it with a friend just to be on the safe side.
10) Skate Kitchen (Crystal Moselle, 2018)
Skate Kitchen is the coming-of-age story of Camille (Rachelle Vinberg), a misfit suburban teenager. Her life dramatically changes when she befriends a girl group of skateboarders in New York City. Having my own girl squad I know how important it is to find “your people” with whom you can just be yourself. Journeying through this subculture, she begins to understand the meaning of friendship, integrity and her inner self. Skate Kitchen is a must-see.
9) McQueen (Ian Bonhote, Peter Ettedgui, 2018)
McQueen sets out to be a documentary on the life of Lee Alexander McQueen, but it achieves so much more. It captures the essence of the designer, showcasing not only his undeniable talent but his inner demons as well. We follow McQueen from his start as a tailor and fashion student, through the launch of his own line and the overseeing of Givenchy to his untimely death. Even if you don’t know a bit about fashion, McQueen’s mesmerising vision of beauty and torture gets across. Lee, we are still missing you, but McQueen treats your legacy well.
8) Juliet, Naked (Jesse Peretz, 2018)
Have you ever had a loved one obsessing over some obscure musical talent who disappeared after his first album leaving his fans in despair? Well, I haven’t. But I do know what loving someone from the 27 Club felt like in my teenage years. At first, it was Jim Morrisson, then Heath Ledger. Juliet, Naked plays with the unlikely scenario of meeting someone else’s hero who was supposed to be dead or gone or MIA. I know that the whole concept sounds weird because it is. But you hardly ever get a second chance in real life, so it’s great to see it happen at least on the big screen.
7) Widows (Steve McQueen, 2018)
Widows is the story of four women meeting under the most unusual circumstances. Left behind with debt and despair after the death of their criminal husbands, they decide to take matters into their own hands. Veronica (Viola Davis), Linda (Michelle Rodriguez), Alice (Elizabeth Debicki) and Belle (Cynthia Erivo) conspire to pull off a heist worth 5 million dollars, but events take an unexpected turn. Steve McQueen is not royalty yet, but he freaking should be. Because he manages to deliver one masterpiece after another starting with Hunger, following it up with Shame, then winning an Oscar for 12 Years a Slave and now directing Widows. Not bad at all.
6) Tully (Jason Reitman, 2018)
Tully is the latest opus of the superteam consisting of Jason Reitman (director) and Diablo Cody (screenwriter) following up Juno and Young Adult. Charlize Theron is also back playing Marlo, a mother of three including a newborn and a child with special needs. Marlo’s brother gives her a night nanny as a gift. Despite her initial doubts, she gets to form a unique bond with the young nanny named Tully. Tully is thoughtful, surprising and eventually challenging, and life gets lighter for Marlo. But unfortunately, every gift comes with a price tag attached.
5) The Tale (Jennifer Fox, 2018)
Based on real-life director Jennifer Fox The Tale focuses on a documentary filmmaker Jennifer “Jenny” Fox played by the amazing Laura Dern. While working on a film about childhood rape victims, Jennifer starts to question her childhood relationship with her riding instructor (Elizabeth Debicki) and running coach (Jason Ritter). Memories turn out to be unreliable and narrative interpretations get tangled as Jenny tries to find out what really happened to her on that certain summer. Originally it’s a made for TV movie, but The Tale works on all screens no matter how big or small.
4) Eighth Grade (Bo Burnham, 2018)
Eighth Grade is yet another coming-of-age story on my Best Films of 2018 list. It shows us the various struggles an eighth-grader goes through without the cliches. Kayla (Elsie Fisher) is an ordinary teenage girl trying to survive the last week of middle school before moving on to high school. Many ordinary tasks are inexhaustible sources of anxiety for introverts such as Kayla like attending a pool party, hanging out in a mall or keeping up a cool enough social media presence. I wish I had seen this when I was an eighth grader.
3) Bad Poems (Gábor Reisz, 2018)
Based on the emotional impact it had me on Bad Poems should have been number one on my list. I spent the last third of the movie crying. I mean the good type of crying when a piece of art really touches you and resonates with your soul. It’s called catharsis. Maybe it happened because it’s a Hungarian movie, made by a guy of my generation experiencing pretty much the same events I did including heartbreak, crazy family dinners, meaningless jobs, mundane tasks and general hopelessness. If you have a chance grab it and watch Bad Poems, it’s not going to disappoint, I promise.
2) Private Life (Tamara Jenkins, 2018)
Private Life takes us right into the intimate relationship of Richard (Paul Giamatti) and Rachel (Kathryn Hahn), a couple desperately trying to get pregnant. They undergo multiple fertility therapies and costly procedures that put their marriage to a test. They would draw the line at third-party reproduction, but a struggling college girl shows up and makes them reconsider. Private Life is the kind of movie that shows reality at its highs and very lows without feeling forced or constructed. I recommend it a hundred percent. Catch it on Netflix!
1) A Star Is Born (Bradley Cooper, 2018)
It’s a new take on the old story. A Star Is Born has been remade many times, but this version is the very best. I have reviewed it here giving it five stars. I still stand next to that initial feeling. A Star Is Born is number one on my Best Movies of 2018 list. It has got it all: an amazing cast (Bradley Cooper, Lady Gaga, Sam Elliott, Dave Chappelle) giving captivating performances,
So here is my list of the Best Films of 2018. What were your favourite movies this year? Do you miss any great pieces from my list? Please share your choices in the comments. I would love to know what you enjoyed in 2018. I wish you a happy new year filled with great chick flicks!
Source of Featured Image: © Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures