Films of my life – the best films of 2018

Films of my life – The best films of 2018 

The last 12 months produced some truly outstanding and original movies as well as a chance to catch up with one of my all time favourites, back in cinemas to celebrate 50 years since it’s release (2001: A Space Odyssey).

It was certainly a bumper year for top movies, with my last of 5* (5/5) titles going well into double figures. In fact, it has been hard to produce a short list.

Here are my favourite movies from the last 12 months;

The Shape of Water

Shape of Water

My film of the year, but it was a difficult to choose between this movie and Three Billboards.

Think “Splash” meets “The Creature from the Black Lagoon”.  A glorious mashup of styles and a real love letter to Hollywood, with scares, thrills, repressed sexuality and even a musical number.

Three Billboards outside Ebbings, Missouri

Frances McDormand rightly won an Oscar for her performance as a woman you don’t want to mess with, but Woody Harrelson is also memorable in this wry, funny movie about the impact of a rape and murder on a small community. I know the some people were offended by making a comedy about this topic, but the humour actually reinforces the shocking storyline, rather than detracting from it

Cold War

Amazingly, this counts as a British film, though it is actually a Polish-French-UK joint production and is in Polish! I love the sheer scope of the story using the relationship between a young singer and a musician in communist Poland and Paris. The stark black and white photography, the jazz score and the chemistry between the leading actors, makes this a heady brew.MV5BNTJmNzExOGItZTQyMi00YzBlLTk0ZTQtNzAxYmUwZDQwZjU4XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyODE1MjMyNzI@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,675,1000_AL_


Another outstanding film not in the english language and another Netflix premiere (like 22 July).  This autobiographical tribute to the women who nurtured him in childhood (his mother and his nanny) in the Mexico of the early 70s is Alfonso Cuarón’s best movie. The vibrant cinematography (again in black and white) is fantastic and the episodic nature of the storytelling gives the film a slight dream-like quality.

Leave No Trace

A truly amazing film about a father and daughter living off the grid (as opposed to sleeping rough) in the woods in Oregon and how they react to being “caught” or “rescued” by the authorities. All of the characters are real and even the authority figures are treated sympathetically. There are no villains

Loving Vincent

This film was released in 2017, but I couldn’t get to see it until early 2018. The story of an investigation into the final days of Vincent Van Gogh’s life, animated using paint and in the styles of the painter is a joy to behold. The best and most original animation of the year.

Here are some movies that deserve  a special mention, but didn’t get into the short list;

  • The Incredibles 2 (best sequel)
  • Wajid (a moving Palestinian movie that is not about the war. Or is it…)
  • 22 July (A Netflix presentation covering the aftermath of the Norwegian mass killing)
  • Suspiria ( A SUPERIOR re-imagining of the over rated Argento original)
  • Beast (A great British movie)
  • You were never really here (Truly unsettling movie form the talented Lynn Ramsey)
  • Sorry to bother you  (a very offbeat, original movie from write/director Boots Riley which has a lot to say about capitalism and the quest for happiness)

So, overall, I think 2018 was an excellent year for movies, especially if you were looking for alternatives to the ubiquitous super-hero genre. These are my favourites, but what to you think?