Horse Girl is a lively exploration of one girl’s madness and frustration. What starts off as a quirky indie comedy that we’ve seen a hundred times before soon turns into a wonderfully unique representation of mental health that’s both heartfelt and hypnotic. And Brie is fantastic.
Berlinale winner Synonyms is a wonderfully quirky if not unquestionably complicated film that will frustrate you at times, but ultimately leave you wanting more of its running spitfire dialogue on identity and nationalism.
Ang Lee’s Gemini Man spends too much time attempting to strike a note with sentimental family relationships rather than giving us a laugh or two. It’s a muddled attempt at a dated action movie that tries to be self-aware but never quite gets there.
Captain Marvel serves more as an Avengers prequel than a stand-alone origin story for Marvel’s overdue female superhero. Despite the fun and the ’90s goodness, we’re left wondering who Carol Danvers really is and if we even care.
Green Book is a wonderful rendition of the Hollywood buddy comedy. Although it knows exactly where this trip is heading, Mortensen and Ali provide enough food for thought… and literal food, to bring something refreshing and more nuanced look at the race war of the ’60s.
I’m well aware that this list is coming a little late, but better late than never. As usual, this one covers my top picks for titles released in the Czech Republic during 2018, which also includes festival screenings and those released on streaming services like Netflix. So unfortunately, The Favourite is not here (it was just released and you should definitely go and see it) and Suspiria is not here either (if it was, then it would probably be close to the top). Nevertheless, there were some impressive films that popped up in our little country last year, and some of them we even saw before the rest of the world.
Velvet Buzzsaw is the most peculiar film I have seen so far this year. It feels dated, predictable, tacky and occasionally trashy. In hindsight though, maybe it wasn’t trashy enough? It feels like a satire on the art community, albeit one that we’ve heard too many times before, but never actually plays up the horror enough to take into trash cinema territory.
Glass is an overstuffed and ridiculous entry in Shyamalan’s cinematic universe that tries to make grand statements about our obsessions with superheroes, but ultimately falls flat from a flawed and clunky script, redundant characters, and an all round lack of that gritty realism that the previous two films had.
The new Suspiria is more of a rebirth than a remake. A spellbinding ambitious art film that cleverly, albeit brutally, assaults the senses with its nightmarish imagery and explores unrelenting violence. The violence that occurs through abuses of power, both with politics and with women. It feels as timely today as it would have been confined within the wall of 1970s’ Berlin, which is where this very feminist horror epic takes place.
Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse is a playful, hilarious and revolutionary superhero film that let’s you try on that mask. It’s exhilarating and absolutely gorgeous to look at.