In 2018, film quite literally changed my life. Every good thing that happened to me can be linked back to film and how it has brought me to the greatest people, and to a career that I love. Female-centred stories have particularly made their mark this year, with the heart-wrenching feature return from Lynne Ramsay in You Were Never Really Here, and the various murderous lesbians that can be found in Lizzie, Suspiria, The Favourite and more.
I cannot wait for what 2019 brings, and I look forward to seeing it all with the amazing friends I have made this year through the movies. But, for now, here are my top ten films of 2018. Don’t @ me.
10. Revenge (dir. Coralie Fargeat)
I saw the vivaciously violent feature debut from French director Coralie Fargeat at the very first Birds Eye View #ReclaimTheFrame screening in Manchester. It was simply exhilarating, and the level of detail in every shot to convey meaning was that of a seasoned pro. Myself and two other queens at SQ discussed it in depth here.
9. Searching (dir. Aneesh Chaganty)
Not knowing a thing about this film, I went along to a Cineworld Unlimited preview and left in absolute awe. Another feature debut, this time from Aneesh Chaganty, the film sees a career best performance from one of my favourite working actors, John Cho. It is a completely innovative, constantly surprising thriller that I would recommend everyone watch immediately. I reviewed it here, and you can also read my interview with its co-writer and producers right here.
8. Assassination Nation (dir. Sam Levinson)
It was only after I’d seen Assassination Nation that I was made aware of just how many people hated it. It was the last film I saw at the 2018 BFI London Film Festival and I came out shaking. During the film the audience applauded a total of four times and when it ending I was whooping. I wrote more in-depth about how well Levinson captured the teen experience over at Berlin Film Journal.
7. Suspiria (dir. Luca Guadagnino)
Another stunner from LFF, I saw Guadagnino’s Suspiria at 8am with my closest gal pals and I don’t think we’d ever felt so empowered. My review for SQ.
6. Avengers: Infinity War (dir. Joe and Anthony Russo)
A cinematic event unlike any other. Infinity War had me shaking and crying for hours when it was over, watching characters I knew and loved come together with such high stakes put my emotions on a rollercoaster I never wanted to get off. Myself and three other queens gave our thoughts here.
5. The Miseducation of Cameron Post (dir. Desiree Akhavan)
Desiree Akhavan’s quietly brilliant second feature follows the story of young Cameron Post, who is sent to a religious conversion centre after being caught with a girl. The film is calm and sensitive, it feels like an assurance to Cameron and teens like her that there is nothing wrong with them, rather than a big Oscar-bait drama which takes every opportunity for a dramatic monologue. The Miseducation of Cameron Post isn’t nearly getting the recognition it deserves. Watch it, and then listen to the Screen Queens Podcast talk about it here.
4. Black Panther (dir. Ryan Coogler)
I am a firm believer that Black Panther deserves a Best Picture nomination (and I would not be unhappy if it won). Films with a social and cultural impact as great as this do not come along often. Not only is it a brilliantly crafted story – with a great villain, production design, and moral – it also meant so much to so many young people of colour. It sparked a change, and finally gave young Black kids a hero they could see themselves in.
3. Columbus (dir. Kogonada)
I’d waited over a year to finally get to see this movie, and the only way I could describe the long-awaited experience is ‘cathartic’. The meditative and melancholy landscapes of Columbus, along with its colour palette and sublime score, are so calming. The film itself feels like a gentle hand on your shoulder. It’s a feeling I’d never gotten from a film before.
2. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse (dir. Rodney Rothman, Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsay)
Into the Spider-verse captures the very heart of Stan Lee’s most beloved creation. When the young Spider-man Miles Morales implores, “Anyone can wear the mask. You can wear the mask”, we are reminded what it means to be a hero. I can’t wait to watch this film and its thrilling animation again and again and again. (My review.)
1. Tomb Raider (dir. Roar Uthaug)
This is the female-led adventure film I’d been waiting my whole life for. As an avid fan of the games (2013 reboot of course), I felt Alicia Vikander portrayed the essence of Lara perfectly. The film itself expertly borrows from both Tomb Raider (2013) and Rise of the Tomb Raider (2015) in equal measure, to provide a plausible story for the screen. It is my most re-watched film of the year – six watches as of December 27th – and every time I enjoy it just the same. I know that objectively it’s not a cinematic masterpiece or anything, but it makes me incredibly happy. I find it empowering, exhilarating, and just a whole lot of fun. You can read my review here, and if like me you’re desperate for a sequel, you can read what I think would make for a good one right here.
by Millicent Thomas
Millicent Thomas is a proud Mancunian who will be studying film at Bath School of Art & Design from September 2018. Hobbies include theatre, museums and waiting for Charles Xavier to show up and tell her she’s the world’s most powerful mutant. Her favourite films include Whiplash, Her, Logan and Short Term 12. You can follow her on Instagram at @millicentathomas and twitter at @millicentonfilm
Categories: Anything and Everything