In January last year Dave and I committed to watch one movie a month on the big screen. We had great fun chatting about and discussing a movie a month and in December we came up with our favourite movies of 2018.
Even though we enjoy watching movies at home with our feet up, cup of tea or glass of wine in hand, we both say that there’s nothing quite like watching a good movie on a big screen with surround-sound because we feel more immersed in the overall experience, and the story.
In 2018, armed with a Grand Card purchased from Grand Cinemas, we were on a quest to watch a movie a month. In all we ended up watching 13, and 4 of these made it to our favourite movies of 2018 list.
I think our 2018 favourite movies list contains films that should be watched on a big screen if possible. We enjoyed all of them, and recommend them all for viewing.
Our list is an eclectic mix of movies with some underlying themes and they were selected without a great deal of forethought, but just what we fancied at the time.
On reflection these movies provided us with great entertainment and a mini-quest for the year.
Main Movie Themes
Looking back, musicals seem to have played a theme in many movies from the acclaimed A Star is Born and Bohemian Rhapsody to the Greatest Showman and even Three Summers which is a humorous tale by Ben Elton around the Fairbridge Festival in Western Australia.
Three Summers was not the only movie with a local flavour because we also watched the film adaptation of Tim Winton’s book Breath – as we’d both really enjoyed the book we were keen to see the movie and it didn’t disappoint.
There were movies involving my passion, books …
The Bookshop was a quirky story of small town politics and acceptance, with a hint of xenophobia and a depressingly realistic ending. It was a strange movie, and although a little slow, I found it compelling.
We also saw The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, a captivating movie set in the Channel Islands that took us back to a time of the German Occupation, and the resolute group of inhabitants who showed their resistance through the formation of a society. Some scenes were also set in my old home town of Bideford in North Devon, which made the movie particularly evocative.
We saw movies that were full of humour and our favourite in this genre was Finding Your Feet, a movie that resonated strongly with us as we age. A story of loss and discovery told with warmth, humility and pathos – and a great deal of ironic humour.
My Favourite Movies for 2018
- Ladies in Black
- Bohemian Rhapsody
- Finding Your Feet
- The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society
Ones that got away
We really enjoyed The Greatest Showman and Hugh Jackman was just so accomplished in his role as P T Barnum. The music was stirring and emotive, and the cast of circus freaks provided a spectacular song and dance extravaganza.
The much acclaimed remake of a Star is Born was well acted and we thought the music was great. Lady Gaga in particular was awesome in her acting and singing role, but the movie missed out on a top spot as we found the script just too Hollywood. Too much hype, too much obvious emotional manipulation. Such a stark contrast to a movie like Finding Your Feet which relies on the small events of everyday life to make you think and feel.
Our thirteenth movie was a one off. A Headful of Dreams, the story of the band Cold Play. I loved it. If you enjoy Cold Play’s music you’ll find this one foot stomping and moving as well as inspirational.
How we rated our 12 Movies of 2018
The Darkest Hour – 2.5/5 – A bit too dark for me. A true story about Winston Churchill facing one of his most turbulent and defining trials.
The Greatest Showman – 3/5 – Great music, stunning visuals, tissues required.
Three Summers – 2.5/5 – Entertaining, bubble gum, fun. Stereotypical characters, but that was half the fun of it.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society – 4/5 Historically interesting, good storyline, bring tissues.
Findng your Feet – 4/5 – Warm, funny, believable Best of British Comedy
Mary Magdalene – 2/5 – Found this movie a little long winded but the story of Mary Magdalene was enlightening. Joaquin Phoenix is just so versatile as an actor.
Breath – 3/5 A reasonably tense coming of age story based around surfing, with some great south west Australian scenery.
The Bookshop – 3/5 – English conservatism does battle with progressive liberalism. Thought provoking.
Crazy Rich Asians 2/5 – Lots of razzle dazzle, American romantic comedy-drama.
Ladies in Black 4.5/5 – Appealing and tender-hearted comedy drama about the lives of a group of department store employees in 1959 Sydney. Tissues required.
A Star is Born 3.5/5 – Too much hype. American musical romantic drama produced and directed by the very handsome and talented Bradley Cooper.
Bohemian Rhapsody 4.5/5 – Foot stomping, engrossing biographical film about the British rock band Queen. It follows singer Freddie Mercury’s life and traces the meteoric rise of the band.
What was your favourite movie of the year?