Matinee Chat’s TOP 15 of 2018

happy-new-year-2018-golden-text-design_1057-4793

With a year in film that took us from an early Oscar-worthy performance by Charlize Theron in TULLY, to the much anticipated animated film INCREDIBLES 2, to the smashing ending for the year, which included Sean Anders showing us the importance of taking on an INSTANT FAMILY, or the turmoil and tragedy of addiction conveyed in both BEAUTIFUL BOY and BEN IS BACK, to the most outstanding musical compilations in decades with the 4th (and Best) version of A STAR IS BORN and the incredibly rocking BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY!  Suffice to say that 2018 will be remembered for many things…but I am hoping for you, just as it was for me, that some of the most memorable moments you enjoyed this year, came in the form of the blockbusters and crowd-pleasers that managed to hit at a theater near you.

As hard as it was for me to narrow this list down to just 15 – I hope that you will take the time to view the following films, if you haven’t had the opportunity to see them already, and not because some will be taking home Golden Globes, Critics Choice Awards or the almighty Oscar, before its all said and done…but because many of these films were chosen not for their star power, or accolades, but because they had an innate way to touch my soul, and enlighten my life…

MATINEE CHAT’S TOP 15 OF 2018

A Star is born

1. A STAR IS BORN – after seeing this film 5 times, there isn’t a scene I haven’t studied, or a song I can’t sing out loud.  My hope is that the Hollywood Foreign Press, my fellow BFCA members, and the Academy feel that Bradley Cooper is not only worthy of accolades for his incredible Directorial debut, but for his incredible performance in this film, and the performances he managed to draw from Stefanie Germanotta (a.k.a. Lady Gaga) and Sam Elliott too…

 

2.  TULLY – In my estimation, Jason Reitman’s BEST FILM this year, this film not only touched me heart and soul, but providing an ending that I never saw coming…and believe me when I tell you, those films are few and far between.  And talk about amazing performances, Charlize Theron gives an award winning performance throughout every inch of this incredibly moving film, as TULLY brings to light the exuberance, and pitfalls of marriage and raising children, within the frames of this profoundly REAL film…

 

3.   MARY POPPINS RETURNS – Emily Blunt manages to bring Mary Poppins to life yet again, and with all the charm, wit and spunk that made Julie Andrews so irresistible so many years ago.  Add in the fact that Rob Marshall worked very hard to give this film a nostalgic feel and vibe from the original, and added in fabulous cameo’s including Bert himself  – Dick Van Dyke – and a fellow Disney movie alum, Angela Lansbury (Beauty and the Beast, Bedknobs and Broomsticks).  This is one of a couple super family-friendly films this year, that your entire family is sure to love…

 

4.  BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY – I hope that in the great beyond, Freddie Mercury is smiling immensely, as Rami Malek managed to channel him perfectly throughout every inch of  Biopic about the Rock Band QUEEN!  Add in the additional superb casting throughout, and of course a storyline that includes many of Queens most iconic tunes, and you have a film that will not only move you, but ROCK YOU the whole way through too!!!

 

5.  A QUIET PLACE – John Krasinski’s masterpiece literally stopped me in my tracks…as the premise and storyline of this film – which doesn’t contain too many lines – was the perfect vehicle for his wife, Emily Blunt to shine, as she she manages to give an absolute award worthy performance, without hardly saying a word…

 

6. WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR – The most outstanding Biography by far this year, WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR takes you deep in to the heart and soul of our favorite Neighbor, Fred Rogers, and immerses you into his life, and his incredible view of what our children needed to hear, and experience, all within the confines of  his incredible imaginary land of make believe…

 

7.  INSTANT FAMILY – If you have been waiting for a FEEL GOOD FILM to make your heart be light, then stop right here!  Director Sean Anders shares his life, and the lives of other families who are foster and adoptive families, and gives you and inside look  – via Super Dad Mark Wahlberg and Exceptional Mommy too, Rose Byrne, as they both comedically and touchingly take you through the pains, and the joys that being a foster or adoptive parent can hold for you too…

 

8. VICE – Christian Bale leads the all-star cast, and gives an incredible award worthy performance, as he takes us deep into the world serving as former Vice-President Dick Cheney.   Adam McKay gives us a supposed inside view into the private, and public life, of one of Capital Hills most powerful Politicians – as we watch him expend his power and prowess while serving, or was it steering.. President George W. Bush…

 

9.  THE INCREDIBLES 2 – After waiting 14 years for this sequel to arrive, Brad Bird and his creative team at PIXAR made sure that this next installment was definitely worth the wait!  From the return of the entire family – including Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, and the rest of their brood, to the new “Mommy can kick tooshie too” storyline…to my favorite character Edna Mode making her way to the big screen, and all the fabulous new superheroes that found their way into this film too, if you ask me, INCREDIBLES 2 is  by far, the best animated film of 2018!

 

10.  THE FAVOURITE – Immensely provocative for 18th Century England, but oh so yummy to experience too, it seems that Queen Anne’s (Olivia Colman) personal life is about to be divulged, as is the lives of Lady Sarah (Rachel Weisz) and her cousin/competitor for the Queen’s affections, Abigail (Emma Stone).  And what would a Kingdom be without gallant men strewn about who want to control England on their terms too…but who are they kidding…making one notable film with award worthy performances by Colman, Weisz and Stone as well,  throughout every inch of the screen…

 

11.  A SIMPLE FAVOR – Blake Lively and Anna Kendrick’s characters this time around give a feminine mystique to intrigue and mystery, as they play a little game of cat and mouse with one another’s lives, and the lives of those they love…including the “Most Gorgeous Asian Ever” and CRAZY RICH ASIANS Alum, Henry Golding…This is one of those CHICK FLICKS that you don’t want to miss!

 

12.  MISSION IMPOSSIBLE:  FALLOUT – I couldn’t let this Action Packed Thriller not make the list...as Tom Cruise managed to make his 6th Installment in this franchise, the BEST ONE YET, as he leads his team this time to saving our world from absolute obliteration, all while he performs his own stunts again too…

 

13.  GREEN BOOK – Both Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali give award worthy performances to the big screen in this true-life story…as they take us on a road trip of epic proportions, when the Italian Bouncer (Mortensen) and the Professional Black Pianist (Ali) travel from New York to the Deep South, forcing them both to face not only each others idiosyncrasies, but the stark racism of the time, head on…thus, forging a friendship that will last a lifetime...

 

14. AQUAMAN – I can’t believe that this year a DC Superhero outshined MARVEL’s in my book, but it happened, as between Jason Momoa being perfectly cast, and the multidimensional storyline keeping my attention the whole way through…along with the exceptional CGI illuminating one of my favorite places on this earth…I couldn’t help but put Aquaman as my 15th Film of 2018!

 

15.  I FEEL PRETTY:  I smiled so much throughout this film, my face hurt, and I was happy too to see Schumer leave the raunch for another movie, as she gives a genuine, and heart-felt performance, that my daughters and I totally loved…

 

HONORABLE MENTIONS:  It was so hard to narrow down 2018’s fabulous films, so I think that the following films at least deserve an HONORABLE MENTION, as I was torn on which ones would make the cut, and which one’s would have to be mentioned here…

First UP:  BLACK PANTHER:  Talk about GIRL POWER…this film gives new meaning to the term, and so much more, leaving the phrase RWANDA FOREVER deeply embedded in the hearts and minds of MARVEL fans worldwide…including me!

 

WIDOWS:  Viola Davis gives another Oscar-worthy and kick-ass performance in this action-packed thriller…

 

MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS:  Soairse Ronan and Margot Robbie both give excellent and award worthy performance, as they via for who will be sitting upon the thrown – the one who is worthy by birth, or the one that wields the most power…

 

BOOK CLUB:  Once again, another comedy this year that had me smiling the entire time, but with that said, in order to fully enjoy this ALL STAR CAST and the perfect pairings throughout, you might have to be “of a certain age” to enjoy this hilarious film as much as I did!

 

ROMA:  This international film will leave your heart aching, as its incredibly powerful storyline, added with its breathtaking black and white cinematography are surely award worthy, I just couldn’t put this film in my top 15, as it made me feel nothing but sad, and depressed, the entire time I was viewing it…but you have to mention it in any listing, as it will be one of the top films of 2015!

 

ON THE BASIS OF SEX – Felicity Jones gives and Oscar Worthy performance as Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.  With an ALL STAR CAST including Armie Hammer, Justin Theroux, Sam Waterson, Kathy Bates and Stephen Root, this is one of those films that won’t be popping till early 2019, but believe me, when it does, you are no going to want to miss this!!!