Of the 39 films I saw in 2018 these are my ten favourites.
|No 1. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle||This is the second time I have included a list of my favourite films, and surprisingly top is Jumanji. This was a genuine pleasure having gone to see it without any real expectation of enjoying it, and there it was, a small but perfect presentation full of real fun as the actors take on roles the opposite of their on screen personae.|
|No 2. Bad Times at the El Royale||I was attracted from the start by the name of this film, a sort of trailer in the title, much favoured, by the way, by the Spanish, and had the good fortune to catch it in my local multiplex, in a screen where I was the only client. It was full of surprises working up to a fantastic climax. Now on video, catch it if you can.|
|No 3. The Shape of Water||The Shape of Water was hailed as a masterpiece early on during its release and it won Best Picture at the 2018 Oscars, mainly I would have said because of the period presentation, and actually a pretty straighforward story. The director is well known for his fascination with “creatures” and this is probably the best of his work.|
|No 4. A Quiet Place||This was a very well presented oeuvre, based on what some have said was a pretty shaky premise. Basically, the monsters only have one special skill, but it happens to be one that the family of the narrative can deal with because they know sign language. There is no relief from the tension which goes on from the beginning to the end.|
|No 5. Game Night||One of the most difficult tasks faced by scriptwriters is to develop genuinely funny films, but they have succeeded in this case. There were many laugh out loud moments in the screen I saw it in, people were actually laughing. So congratulations to John Francis Daley, who had not quite succeeded with Horrible Bosses.|
|No 6. The Death of Stalin||The Death of Stalin put me in mind of I, Claudius. As the dictator is dying the men who would take control after his death vie for the leadership, while having to bear in mind that he might recover. Under the guiding hand of Armando Ianucci it manages to be a comedy despite the deaths of many, and the existence of at least one paedophile in the Politbureau.|
|No 7. I, Tonya||This apparently slim, but true story, did not seem like the basis for a film, but it worked really well. Allison Janney won Best Supporting Actress at the Oscars and you could not fault Margot Robbie as the eponymous heroine. The bizarre story and the fantastic soundtrack made this well worth a watch.|
|No 8. The Man Who Killed Don Quixote||It is difficult to say how good this film is, but for those who have followed trials and tribulations of Terry Gilliam as he tried to make a Don Quixote film this is essential viewing. My wife, a Spaniard, did not like it as much as I did. I think she missed the fact that the director has made it a tribute to Spain.|
|No 9. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri||When we saw this in the cinema the film had already become an award winner. The writer/director is a skilled scriptwriter and he makes the most of his ability to manipulate us, the audience. But is was still very well done, the actors do not put a foot wrong, and won Oscars, Francis McDormand for Best Actress.|
|No 10. Ocean’s Eight||I have always been a bit of a Sandra Bullock fan, and she does wonderfully well in this outing, together with a number of other important Hollywood stars, who are unbelievably charming, probably intending to out glam the Clooney crowd. It is a fun couple of hours, more than can be said for many releases in 2018.|
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