Big Moments 2018: The #MeToo movement, although it started in 2017, defined the music and television industry in 2018. What started as a twitter hashtag grew to become the rallying cry for thousands, if not millions of people who had suffered sexual abuse or harassment at the hands of a person in a position of power. The movement helped end the domination of Harvey Weinstein over the film industry as well as giving a voice to many who had previously been held silent by fear. Although there were cases where #MeToo was itself abused and accusations became witch-hunts, overall the movement was a force for good and became the defining feature of the entertainment world throughout the year.
Best Films of 2018: The 2018 Academy Awards featured, in my opinion, a lack of any truly great movies. 2018 was undoubtedly the year of the blockbuster and the massive success of Marvel’s Infinity War and Black Panther proved that superheroes have never been so in vogue. Similarly, The Incredibles proved to be heaps of nostalgic fun and really hammered home to me for the first time that I’m old enough to get excited as an adult about sequels to my childhood favourites. On the Indie side of filmmaking, although both were incredibly popular, Hereditary and BlKKKlansman made waves with critics and audiences alike: the first a truly unnerving psychological horror; the second an intelligent and humorous but also brutally insightful take on racism both in the 70s and today. One of the year’s best, a movie that got 93% on Rotten Tomatoes but flew under the radar for many audiences, was First Reformed. Starring Ethan Hawke as a disillusioned priest and Amanda Seyfried as a parishioner who seeks his help dealing with her climate-change obsessed husband, it is a dark look into both the human mind and the effects humanity is having on the world.
Worst Film of 2018: I only added this category so I could talk about The Kissing Booth. I watched the movie with my roommates for the sole purpose of making fun of it and from that point of view the film was a resounding success. It is so easy to mock that it’s like the filmmakers intentionally set out to create a caricature of the stereotypical American teenager and her friends. Take a vapid, self-obsessed girl on the cusp of womanhood, a wimpy male best friend (cos a girl couldn’t possibly be friends with a boy who wasn’t wimpy), his hunky older brother who possesses the personality of a walnut and naturally owns a bike and a leather jacket, and that’s already about fifty clichés in the first five minutes.
Best Original Series of 2018: The year’s best original series all belonged to Netflix, but The Haunting of Hill House proved to be the best of the lot. A horror series of above average intelligence, as well as being genuinely creepy in parts, Hill House proved to be so terrifying that it apparently led to some people wetting themselves, as per well-known bastion of truth LadBible. While I didn’t find it quite that scary, it was well produced, well acted and most of all authentically unnerving in parts. There were plenty of other series better than it this year, Stranger Things, Preacher, Billions etc, but very few that weren’t in their second or third season and this is why I have chosen Hill House as the standout of the newcomers.