Films in 2018: December

Happy New Year! Before we begin a new year of film discoveries, I need to recap the last month of 2018, which was mostly spent catching up with new releases. My viewing numbers went down to my more normal amount compared to November, when I was watching as many movies as I could on FilmStruck (still mourning that loss). The first couple of months of 2019 will probably have a similar viewing pattern as I still have some 2018 releases to catch up on as we get into awards season. But aside from that, it’s another year of film behind us, so I’ll make a wrap-up post later this week of my movie-watching over the past 365 days. In the meantime, here’s what I watched in the last 31 days.

New-to-Me: 23

Re-Watched: 8

New-to-Me Films by Decade:

  • 1920s – 0
  • 1930s – 0
  • 1940s – 1
  • 1950s – 1
  • 1960s – 3
  • 1970s – 1
  • 1980s – 1
  • 1990s – 1
  • 2000s – 1
  • 2010s – 14

List of New-to-Me Films:

  1. Fiddler on the Roof (1971)
  2. Green Book (2018)
  3. First Reformed (2017)
  4. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018)
  5. They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead (2018)
  6. The Other Side of the Wind (2018)
  7. They All Laughed (1981)
  8. You Were Never Really Here (2017)
  9. At Eternity’s Gate (2018)
  10. The Favourite (2018)
  11. Blockers (2018)
  12. Mary Poppins Returns (2018)
  13. Roma (2018)
  14. Accident (1967)
  15. King & Country (1964)
  16. If Beale Street Could Talk (2018)
  17. The Chase (1966)
  18. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)
  19. Dick Tracy (1990)
  20. It Happened Tomorrow (1944)
  21. Eighth Grade (2018)
  22. Three Secrets (1950)
  23. Y tu mamá también (2001)

A Few Favorite Discoveries:

Roma (2018)

Roma (2018), directed by Alfonso Cuarón

I was fortunate enough to find Roma playing at a movie theater about 30 minutes away from me, so I’m very glad I was able to see this on the big screen. It’s a bit of a slow burn, chronicling the year in the life of a maid as she helps a mother of four while her husband is away. The seemingly simple story is told in such great scope against the backdrop of Mexico City in the early 1970s and some stunning cinematography by Alfonso Cuarón. Being readily available on Netflix, I do hope more people give this movie the attention it deserves when watching at home.

If Beale Street Could Talk (2018)

If Beale Street Could Talk (2018), directed by Barry Jenkins

Moonlight was my favorite movie of 2016, so If Beale Street Could Talk was one of my most anticipated movies of 2018. While I didn’t love this quite as much as Barry Jenkins’ previous film (which is honestly a hard movie to beat for me), it’s another great effort by the filmmaker in this James Baldwin adaptation. It’s a heartbreaking love story about a young woman trying to prove her fiancé’s innocence after he’s put in jail for a crime he didn’t commit. The whole cast is wonderful from the leads to the supporting players, as well as to a handful of “cameos” throughout the movie. Jenkins has quickly become one of my favorite filmmakers of the decade, and I’m really looking forward to following what’s sure to be a great career.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018), directed by Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, Rodney Rothman

2018 proved to be quite a banner year for superhero movies, starting with the phenomenon of Black Panther and then Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse coming in toward the end of the year. Though I don’t see every new superhero movie that comes out (there’s just too many to keep up with now), I do enjoy most of the ones I do venture out to see, and this animated take on the web-slinger and all the different incarnations of the famous character really stands out from the pack. The animation here is fantastic, it’s like a comic book come to life and is simply just a lot of fun to watch. The visuals make it one of my favorite movies I saw on the big screen this past year.

Eighth Grade (2018)

Eighth Grade (2018), directed by Bo Burnham

Eighth Grade was one 2018 movie that I missed in theaters, so I finally got around to watching it at home this past weekend. I really enjoyed this, even with its accurate depiction of just how awkward middle school is. The film is very earnest in its approach, not shying away from the more uncomfortable moments of adolescence. What really makes this movie work as well as it does is Elsie Fisher, who really carries the film as an eighth grader trying to navigate her teenage life as she gets ready to head to high school.

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