By Carmen Saffioti
Published: December 12th, 2018
2018 was an iconic year for movies– a year when societal angst and emotional introspection came together to create an incredibly unique period for film.
Mid90s: This was a total surprise. The directorial debut of comedian and actor Jonah Hill was not expected to be my top pick for 2018, but I enjoyed every second of this movie. The emotional poignancy, character development, and dedication to the time period is unmatched by any other film this year. Although this film is set 20-plus years ago, the problems and emotions that affect the teenagers in this movie are still relevant today. There are moments, like every good film should have, that will make you uncomfortable. I applaud Jonah Hill for not holding back on the truth of this time period, even if it is not socially acceptable today.
Sorry to Bother You: This was probably too weird for some, but this proletariat version of Alice in Wonderland perfectly explores the evils and absurdities of our capitalist society with dark humor. Although elements in the movie seem like a huge exaggeration, if you take a closer look, those elements aren’t that different from our world. The balance between comedy and confrontation with our dark realities is something that Sorry to Bother You executes perfectly. It’s the perfect film to watch if you feel like screaming into the void.
Annihilation: This film deserves so much more recognition than what it received. As one of the best science fiction films that starred a mostly female cast, it deserved more than a straight to Netflix release. This is one of the few films that gave me the spine-tingling feelings of despair and emptiness after viewing. Although it is based of Jeff VanderMeer’s novel of the same name, the main plot and themes are of their own. The originality and the slow discovery of the truth makes every minute of the movie worth it.
Eighth Grade: Similar to Mid90s it is a poignant look at adolescence. The scenery and items may be different for everyone’s memory of their eighth-grade experience, but the awkward feelings and innocence remain the same. It incredible how Bo Burnham was able to encapsulate those feelings that seem to have no words in his film. Even if you are not a 14-year-old girl, you will still find yourself in the main protagonist’s shoes.
Isle of Dogs: Wes Anderson’s films, in my opinion, are much better in Claymation. The Isle of Dogs is no exception. With its quirky characters, complicated plot, and beautiful cinematography, it’s hard not to fall for this one.
BlacKkKlansman: A biting criticism of race relations in America today even though the film takes place in the 1970s. The film is a refreshing, truthful look at race relations in a police state. The humor is mostly dark, but it has its moments of seriousness and drama. The jokes will make some uncomfortable, but that’s what it’s supposed to do.
A Quiet Place: 2018 was the year when beloved actors went behind the camera and surprisingly made really good movies. John Krasinski’s film earned well-deserved praise as soon as it was released. A mostly silent film, unique for its time, will certainly be remembered for its simultaneously heartwarming and heartbreaking take on family.
Hereditary: Unfiltered grief or psychological horror is enough to make anyone squirm in their seats during a film, but combine them together and you’ll get the true insane horror that is Hereditary. This film took risks that no other film has dared to do, and then showed the consequences as the true horror. In this film, you’ll find that the screams of despair are more horrific than the gore or jump scares.