Danielle White’s Top 10 Films of 2018
1) Thunder Road
Jim Cummings writes, directs, and gives a stunning performance that is both heartbreaking and cringingly awkward.
2) Madeline's Madeline
Experimental drama explores the space between imagination and reality, while asking who owns the stories we tell.
3) The Favourite
Quasi-historical satire delivers gorgeous backdrops and deliciously bitchy performances.
Panos Cosmatos' psychedelic horror is viewed through the red lens of revenge.
5) Did You Wonder Who Fired the Gun?
Travis Wilkerson's deep dive into his family's dark past is less a film than an interactive experience tailor-made for communal viewing.
6) First Reformed
Somber as a graveyard, Ethan Hawke is a priest losing his religion (and his shit) while grappling with cruel realities.
Ari Aster's homage to horror is a haunting portrait of family trauma, and Toni Collette awes as a mother wracked with pain and guilt.
8) Minding the Gap
Bing Liu transforms skateboarding videos into a documentary linking domestic violence, toxic masculinity, and poverty. It's a new kind of found-footage film.
Captivating and thought-provoking comedy/drama uses battle rap to explore hot-button issues like racism and free speech.
10) Cold War
Pawel Pawlikowski's monochrome melodrama inspired by his parents' tumultuous relationship aches with loneliness and regret.
Sorry to Bother You, Shoplifters, Custody
A Quiet Place, A Star Is Born, You Were Never Really Here
American Animals, Annihilation, An Evening With Beverly Luff Linn
There were a few films I really enjoyed because they played against gender norms, and, in a sense, subverted audience expectations: Thoroughbreds, Never Goin' Back, All About Nina, A Simple Favor, and even Ocean's 8.
Acting Kudos (Male)
Viggo Mortensen (Green Book), Rami Malek (Bohemian Rhapsody), Timothée Chalamet (Beautiful Boy)
Acting Kudos (Female)
Charlize Theron (Tully), Glenn Close (The Wife), Carey Mulligan (Wildlife)
Alfonso Cuarón (Roma), Spike Lee (BlacKkKlansman), Bo Burnham (Eighth Grade)
Best Original Screenplay
David Zellner, Nathan Zellner (Damsel); Rafael Casal, Daveed Diggs (Blindspotting); Samuel Maoz (Foxtrot)
Best Adapted Screenplay
Audrey Wells (The Hate U Give); Daniel Kitrosser (We the Animals); Oh Jung-mi, Lee Chang-dong (Burning)
The Haunting of Hill House
The 15:17 to Paris: Clint Eastwood's reconstruction of three bros on vacation who manage to thwart a terrorist attack on a train is awkward and boring. It's certainly not a profound observation, but a good story does not always make a good film. The biggest slip-up here was casting the actual real-life dudes. It's way too much pressure to perform a captivating impression of yourself.