The MacGuffin’s Top 10 Films of 2018

4. The Favourite

“But what really makes this film exceptional is how it treats the three main characters. Queen Anne appears both stupid and capricious, but it is clear she is also heartbroken and desperate for emotional connection. She is probably not particularly bright to begin with, but lives a rarified existence where most every whim is indulged, and she is in no way forced to learn to make better decisions. Lady Sarah is willing to put duty before almost anything else, and even though her desire to prolong the war angers many, she believes it is the right course of action. While she does control her queen, she never lies to her and does attempt to bring out the better angels in Anne’s nature. Even Abigail, whose presence throws a wrench in Sarah’s existence, is acting mostly out of self-preservation. Unless she secures a powerful position for herself, she will be completely at the mercy of the kindness of others. And since her father bet (and lost) her in a game of chance many years ago, she hasn’t seen much of that. Who can truly fault her for trying to control her own future?”

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5. The Rider

“The ride of The Rider is extraordinary. The ending will hit you like a ton of bricks as it is both a resolution and an acceptance for Brady. It is hard for anyone to imagine having to give up your passion and what makes you love to live, let alone having to or end up in worse health. Pair the phenomenal story with the incredible cinematography of the Dakotas by Joshua James Richards, and this is a film that should not be missed. It is an indie gem that resulted from all the cast and crew’s worlds colliding to bring The Rider to fruition.”

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6. Roma

Alfonso Cuarón bookends Roma with a shot of an airplane flying across the sky. This points toward the world beyond what these characters see and hear. Maybe that is Cuarón trying to bring us into a more intimate level with him, to share his world through this story. I’m not Mexican, I’ve never been in these people’s shoes before, and yet I felt touched by them and the spaces they inhabit. For a brief moment, I was standing next them, living out their experiences by their side. When you get a feeling like that, that is when you know you’ve watched great cinema.”

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7. Widows

Widows is a whirlwind of character revelations and transformations, and there is a gradual build-up to the climax through unexpected twists and turns. The majority of the robbery’s details are kept hidden from the audience, and that makes it more dramatic and surprising. Yes, this is a story about women finding their strength, but it does not come off as pandering to the audience in the wake of the #MeToo movement. The story and the actors in Widows are not to be underestimated, and the final act is worth the price of admission alone.”

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Sarah resides in Dallas where she writes about films and trailers in her spare time when she is not taking care of her animals at the zoo.

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