2018 has come and gone, and we’re 84 years older for it. But enough of my opining about what a terrible year it was (you’ll probably get plenty of that in everyone else’s pieces). I’m here to talk about the things I loved in 2018, and that was movies. I don’t ascribe to the belief that there are “good” or “bad” years for movies, there are just the movies that personally speak to you every year. And while that number can swell or dwindle each year, there will at least be a couple that unquestionably leave an impact. And for me, there are plenty, including my honorable mentions Leave No Trace, Mirai, Happy as Lazzaro, First Reformed, and Black Panther.
Now let’s get to what you really want to know: Here are my top 10 movies of 2018.
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Hirokazu Kore-eda’s 2018 legal drama The Third Murder is shot mostly through panes of prison glass. In tackling the weighty subject of Japan’s death penalty, the director imbues his meditative mystery with a distinctly icy chill, which makes for a fascinating contrast with his follow-up (and Cannes Palme d’Or winner) Shoplifters, a personal NYFF favourite. The latter is a warm, tender film about family, taking place mostly inside a lively and crowded home. It could not look or feel more different from its predecessor, and yet, it plays like the perfect B-side.
In crafting two wildly divergent social criticisms, one tackling the Japanese legal system while the other explores the very concept of family, Kore-eda completes what feels like a masterful dual-experiment, approaching tales of abuse and found family from wildly opposing vantage points. The Third Murder is now streaming on Amazon while Shoplifters is on the shortlist for Best Foreign Language Film at the Oscars. And they’re two of the best films you’ll see this year.
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We usually devote entire stories to trailers for bigger, more popular films. But we like to give every movie a fair shake. So when trailers for smaller films, and other oddities, pop up, it’s time for a good old fashioned trailer round-up. Below, check out some trailers for movies that might have slipped through the cracks, or might not be on your radar at all.
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Winning the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival is, in artier circles, more prestigious than the Academy Award. It represents the winning film out of an official selection that’s notoriously difficult to get into in the first place. Some Palme d’Or winners are grand, sweeping works of high cinema; some are politically searing; and others still are tiny, well-observed character dramas. Hirokazu Kore-eda’s Shoplifters is one of the humbler winners in recent memory – and that begins with its protagonists.
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Japanese auteur Hirokazu Kore-eda is a favorite at the film festival circuit — his tender, delicate odes to humanities have won twice at the Cannes Film Festival and earned accolades across the world. Now Shoplifters, his latest Palme d’Or winner is heading for a Stateside release, and possibly, the best Foreign Language category at the Oscars. See the first Shoplifters trailer below.
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Most of the big movies of the fall have now premiered (although a few obvious exceptions remain to be unveiled) after their bows at Venice, Telluride and Toronto. Now it’s time for smaller, regional festivals to help further sort the wheat from the chaff. The New York Film Festival (NYFF), which kicks off this week, provides a perfect bridge to this next stage of the season. The festival features no world premieres, just a tightly curated slate of what the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s programmers determine are among the year’s best.
/Film will be in attendance at the New York Film Festival catching up with some of 2018’s best festival bows. But for those who can’t make it up to the Big Apple, you can craft a miniature festival in your own living room based around the NYFF lineup. Here are 10 films you can stream to get you hyped up for some of the eventual release of the festival’s selections. (All streaming availability is accurate as of publication and subject to change.) Read More »
Trailers are an under-appreciated art form insofar that many times they’re seen as vehicles for showing footage, explaining films away, or showing their hand about what moviegoers can expect. Foreign, domestic, independent, big budget: What better way to hone your skills as a thoughtful moviegoer than by deconstructing these little pieces of advertising?
This week we get old school, see the crazies who post on Nextdoor come to life, get a five finger discount on some empathy, get an outsider’s perspective on the American dream, and deal with a different kind of mother/daughter relationship. Read More »