The MacGuffin’s Top 10 Films of 2018
“This version of A Star Is Born is bound to illicit a few tears either because of the story, the actors’ performances, or a couple of the beautiful songs used in the film. I successfully left the theatre with dry cheeks, but the echoes from inside the women’s bathroom afterward tell of a different outcome. Bradley Cooper has succeeded in bringing something new to this story told many times before. He more than just modernized it, he took some care in how he wanted each character’s story depicted, making them multi-faceted, with backstories that make their road to the present more deserving. While I think most people would say Lady Gaga is the star of this film, Bradley Cooper worked hard on not only bringing the film he wanted to fruition but completely changing himself into Jackson Maine, and he is biggest surprise (and the star) of his own film.”
Musician Boots Riley steps into the directors chair to create one of the most thought provoking and entertaining films of the year. What could have been no more than a clever skit concept quickly spins out into a wild ride that takes one of the most unpredictable turns of any film this year. Loaded with a stellar cast, led by Lakeith Stanfield and Tessa Thompson, this is definitely one of the most overlooked gems of the year. Also of note is Armie Hammer, playing one of the most cringe worthy villains in recent memory.
“For those of us with shitty childhoods, the idea that a child doesn’t have to meet an ever-changing set of criteria in order to be loved is a pretty powerful message. I’ve long ago come to terms with my past, but I know I was lucky to have my own versions of Mr. Rogers in my life with my Grandpa Russ and Granny Pet. But it’s more than that making me cry. I’m kind of dispirited right now with things in the world. Social media makes it easier than ever to be mean to people, our government is closing its heart to folks in need (both citizens and immigrants), it’s not just possible to be a racist in public but in some circles encouraged, and it is becoming nigh near impossible for people with differing viewpoints to have a civil conversation about anything. If you take Mr. Rogers’ message to heart, we would all be working to ensure a better future for our children. At the very least, we would be able to converse about what that future should look like and debate the best way to get there instead of what we do now, which is yell at each other. Mr. Roger was really good at listening, and I don’t see a lot of that happening right now. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized love is an action, not a feeling. Maybe we have forgotten that as a society and need to be reminded that loving our neighbor is a thing that is done, not just talked about. You could do a lot worse than watch this film to see what that might look like.”