A little late, but here I’ll discuss my 5 favourite films of 2018. In a tumultuous year filled with an overhang of chaos in our uncertain global climate, the films that really spoke to me were often quieter, more personal and less touched by rowdy social movements. Without further ado, let’s go!
5. Private Life
A film that came out early in 2018, Private Life remained a favourite of mine for its deeply grounded characters, refreshing plot and most notably, its unique, gritty style of humour. I thought Kathryn Hahn and Paul Giamatti gave two of the best performances of the year with their portrayal as a married couple battling with repeated failures to conceive a child. It permeates and then overwhelms their entire life, and I find myself rooting for them throughout as it becomes clear how fragile and frustrating their position is.
4. Crazy Rich Asians
As a Singaporean, Crazy Rich Asians was an undeniably unique film. No film in Hollywood has ever revolved around Singaporean culture so heavily, and it was certainly a visual treat to see the best, and worst, of my culture being brought out on screen by a phenomenal cast. I thoroughly enjoyed the trilogy by Kevin Kwan, and thought this first film was a largely faithful adaptation of his explosive first novel, so that only further added more plus points for me. The film also had its fair share of truly heartfelt and meaningful moments, which is more than can be said of many rom coms in Hollywood these days. Scene-stealing side characters such as Awkwafina and Gemma Chan only further elevated the film. Here’s hoping for an equally amazing 2nd film!
3. A Star is Born
(credit: Warner Brothers Pictures)
One of the most powerful film scenes of 2018 came from A Star is Born, which builds to a gripping final scene that stayed in my mind long after I left the movie theatre. Lady Gaga was amazing as Ally, and the chemistry between her and co-star Bradley Cooper is electric and deeply felt, which served to elevate the romantic aspects and stakes of the film, to truly heartbreaking and powerful effect. And of course, the soundtrack. The songs were amazing.
2. Eighth Grade
I LOVED Eighth Grade. Raw, unpretentious, heartfelt and deeply personal, Eighth Grade brought out every aspect of the awkward adolescence period I went through. Enya’s ‘Sail Away’ playing over main character Kayla surfing the internet for hours was my favourite scene, maybe out of every film of the year, as I thought it perfectly, unpretentiously captured what it meant to surf the internet as a teenager in today’s world. Also, I love Enya’s music, so it was a treat hearing it in a film! I thought Elsie Fisher absolutely owned her portrayal of Kayla, bringing out her quirks and personality with searing efficacy. I felt every cringe, every bit of social unease that clouded her mind, every awkward stutter. She nailed the character. Elsie Fisher for a Best Actress nomination, please.
Roma is simply a beautiful film. This film reminded me a little of Boyhood, which I reviewed as my favourite film of 2014 all those years ago, for the way it channels the flow of life in a quiet, raw and sublime way. Roma is all that and an absolute visual splendour to boot; its true what they said that every frame is wallpaper-worthy! Further, newcomer Yalitza Aparicio anchors the film with a truly heartfelt performance, making this easily one of the greatest, and my favourite film of 2018.