My Top Five Films of 2018 so far

Hello,

So we’re almost half-way through the year (can you believe it?) and I thought now would be a great time to give you a little round-up of the films I have enjoyed the most this year. I have seen quite a mixture – from Oscar bait to Indie films to superhero blockbuster – so it was quite hard to whittle it down to five. But I have.

Let me know which ones you have seen, and in what order you would rank the films!

Also, please note that not all of these films came out in 2018 – however, these are films that I have seen at the cinema in 2018 – which is why they are on this list.

  1. Ladybird

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Just a really sweetly done high-school film, complete with a beautiful setting and a perfect cast (hello Saoirse Ronan, Timothee Chalamet, I’m looking at you guys.) Not to mention that it was directed by a woman – the wonderful Greta Gerwig. For this film she was nominated for an Oscar, which, shockingly, makes her one of only five women ever to have been nominated for this prestigious award. (And only one woman has ever won, Kathyrn Bigelow in 2008.)

I am glad that this film came out when it did – the year I’m leaving school – as I feel like it spoke to me more than it would have had it came out any other year. Like Ladybird, I am having to think about university and starting a new chapter.

What I really like about the film is the relationship Ladybird has with her Mum. They have quite a tense relationship, one which results in a lot of fall outs. Though I do actually get on really well with my own Mum, our relationship is also scattered with arguments. And there was one scene, the scene where Ladybird and her Mum go shopping for dresses, which, literally, I think must have been stolen from my own life.

Finally, another thing I liked about the film was the relationship between Ladybird and her best friend – I really did ship their friendship.

If you liked this you might like…?

 

  • Brave (2012). This film also centres on a strong-willed red-head fighting with her mum.
  • The Edge of Seventeen (2017). Also directed by a woman, it stars Hailee Steinfield.
  • Freaky Friday (2003).

2. The Greatest Showman

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Let’s write this film review using only lyrics from the songs, shall we?

Oh, gosh, would love to – but that seems so time-consuming.

Anyway, as we all know, this film was absolutely hated by the film critics, but was adored by the public.

I absolutely loved this film – it was just so beautifully shot, it had a great soundtrack and it also had a message, which the film’s protagonist, Mr Barnum (Hugh Jackman), learnt through this song, From Now On:

For years and years
I chased their cheers
A crazy speed of always needing more
But when I stop
And see you here
I remember who all this was for

In other words: he learnt that it was important to follow his dreams, but to make sure that in the process his family – the one he did all this for in the first place – did not get hurt.

Yes, it might be historically inaccurate.

Yes, plot-wise it might be lacking.

Yes, some of the songs might seem a bit cliché and as if you’ve heard them before. (Rewrite the Stars, don’t you think?)

But, despite it’s flaws, I can say that:

Ladies and gents, this is the show you’ve been waiting for!

If you liked this you might like…?

  • The Secret Garden (1993.) If you liked the scene where the two children are wondering through the old house, singing “A Million Dreams”, then you will definitely like this film.
  • La La Land (2016). The songs came from the same songwriters, so this makes sense.
  • Howl’s Moving Castle (2004). An anime set in a similar time period, with similar themes of don’t judge a book by its cover.
  • A Little Princess (1995.) Also set in old-day New York. (Though the book is better.)

3. Paddington 2

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Did you know this film has 100% on Rotten Tomatoes?

I saw this film on January the 1st 2018 and it was definitely the best way to start the New Year. It’s incredibly funny and well-made and that cute little bear from Peru had me in fits of laughter. And, plus, the film had Hugh Grant – what more can be said?

If you liked this you might like…?

  • Paddington (2014). Obviously.
  • My Neighbour Totoro (1988).
  • Babe (1995). Haven’t seen this film in ages, but I did really like it when I was younger.

4. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

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While quite a depressing watch (why did I watch this on my birthday?), it was still really enjoyable and gripping. It had a great female lead with Frances McDormand playing the kick-ass mother.

I especially liked the development of Sam Rockwell’s character. Although initially he was the “bad guy”, as the film progressed and we learned more about him, we began to understand him more and realise why he was this way.

5. I Feel Pretty

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I Feel Embarassed at putting this one up but hey, in terms of enjoyment – I thought it was good. It kind of had a Bridget Jonesesque feel to it (albeit American) and it is something that I would, quite happily, watch again. Amy Schumer plays the title role perfectly and as for laughs – there are plenty to get you through this New York set comedy. And sure, message-wise, the film has gatherered a lot of backlash. But that still didn’t stop it from being an amy-zing film. (See what I did there.)

If you liked this you might like…?

  • Legally Blonde (2001.) A blonde gets into Harvard Law School, where she is immediately categorized as “dumb” by her peers, who judge her based on her looks.
  • Bridget Jones Baby (2016). A laugh a minute film which also has a quirky main lead
  • The Devil Wears Prada (2006). About fashion and mean bosses
  • Neon Demon (2016). A more horrific take on the cut-throat (literally) world of fashion

Here are some of the films that did not make the cut:

Avengers: Infinity War

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I think I needed to have been more invested in the Marvel universe to really appreciate it. Also, I was having a terrible day when I saw this, which might not have helped with the rating of this film. But hey, it did have a great cast. (Benedict Cumberbatch, Letitia Wright, Robert Downey Jr, Chadwick Boseman, Elizabeth Olsen, Tom Hiddleston, Karen Gillan, Tom Holland, Scarlett Johansson and far too many others to name.)

Just… It wasn’t for me, I’m really sorry.

Isle of Dogs

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Fun fact: I actually got to see this film early, at a press screening. Have no idea why I was chosen, when I had already made it clear that I was not a dog fan nor a fan of Wes Anderson. Anyway, while an incredibly inventive film, I am not a big enough dog-lover to put this on the sacred list. Apologies. Had it been Isle of Cats, however… It would at least be in the top three.

 

A Wrinkle in Time

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This was a real disappointment for me. I had been really looking forward to it because not only was it directed by Ava DuVearney, but it also had Reese Witherspoon and Oprah. (And if you know me, Reese is one of my all-time favourite actresses.) Sadly though, despite having a great, female-led cast (where this time it’s the guy getting saved), unfortunately the plot was a bit too basic. And as for the magical setting? It felt like it was suffocating in CGI.

The Post

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Aggh, it was alright (ok, well it is a bit more than alright – we’re talking the dream team of Meryl Streep, Stephen Spielberg and Tom Hanks here.) But still – I have definitely seen better Spielberg.

A Ciambra

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This was an Italian film about a young boy and was Italy’s official selection for the Oscars. Sadly, though, it was a little dull.

Thank you very much for reading this blog post! I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. Let me know what you think of the films, please! And if you have any film recommendations of this year, fire ’em away!

I’ll be posting some time this week.

MJ Amore 🙂

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