Review of 2018: The year in film by Jack Cline

2018 has seen many films of interest to Boyz readers released, many with a strong LGBTQ connection. Boyz film critic Jack Cline looks at these and more in his run down of the good the bad and the don’t bother of the year, plus he offers us a sneak peek at 2019. 

Simply the best: This has been a terrific year for LGBTQ cinema, with a range of queer-themed films that are featuring in awards season. Here are 10 of the best…

A Fantastic Woman – From Chile, this year’s foreign-language Oscar winner is quite simply one of the most staggering and, yes, fantastic movies in years. In the title role, Daniela Vega should be everyone’s role model.

120 Beats per Minute – From France, this detailed, powerfully moving story about a romance between two AIDS activists is unforgettable. A proper gay epic.

McQueen – Exploring the life of the late designer Alexander McQueen, this stunning documentary captures both his creative personality and global impact.

We the Animals – This artful look at a young gay boy in a turbulent family captures his perspective with unusual sensitivity. Primal, evocative and skilfully lyrical.

Ideal Home – Steve Coogan and Paul Rudd are terrific as a gay couple who take in a lively 10-year-old, tackling some big issues using bright comedy.

Postcards From London – The gifted and very beautiful Harris Dickinson (Beach Rats) stars in this surreal odyssey about art-loving rentboys in Soho.

The Miseducation of Cameron Post – Chloe Grace Moretz is superb in this moving, offbeat drama set in a gay conversion camp.

The Happy Prince – Rupert Everett spent a decade getting this film made, and his attention to detail shows in a sensitive, complex portrait of Oscar Wilde’s final years.

Won’t You Be My Neighbor? – Preacher Fred Rogers was one of the most beloved children’s TV personalities in America with his message of tolerance and peace, plus a gay best friend.

1985 – This introspective, black and white drama is beautifully observed, following a young gay man home to Texas, where he needs to be honest with his family.

Other queer films this year worth seeking out include: rare realistic queer teen comedy Alex Strangelove; involving and slightly cloying Love Simon; offbeat and jagged Freak Show; powerful vogueing drama Saturday Church; gorgeous British trans drama Just Charlie; complex and somewhat messy Anything; beautiful doc The Ice King about gay skating icon John Curry; and of course the whitewashed but lively Bohemian Rhapsody.

And the rest of the best movies this year include: Spike Lee’s blistering BlacKkKlansman, Pawel Pawlikowski’s gorgeous Cold War, Alfonso Cuaron’s beautiful Roma, inventive horror A Quiet Place, the Cannes-winner Shoplifters and gripping rodeo drama The Rider.

You’re the worst: There were genuinely terrible movies this year as well. Amid the disappointments (why wasn’t Skyscraper more fun? Or Mary Poppins Returns more light-hearted?) these were nearly unwatchable…

Fifty Shades Freed – Even less sexy than the previous two S&M romps.

Life Itself – A muddled all-star stew that tries far too hard to be meaningful.

The 15:17 to Paris – Real-life heroes in a dull re-creation of their summer holiday, plus a moment of terror.

Venom – Tom Hardy almost makes this dimly plotted Marvel spin-off watchable.

The Happytime Murders – Melissa McCarthy and a Muppet-like detective aren’t a compelling team.

Robin Hood – We love Taron Egerton, but this hipster revamp of the legend is too silly.

The Strangers: Prey at Night – This disconnected sequel might be the least scary thriller ever.

Book Club – Even Jane Fonda, Diane Keaton and Candice Bergen couldn’t save this slushy mess.

Mile 22 – Mark Wahlberg in a thriller about how amazing violence is. Ahem.

Truth or Dare – This cynical teen horror movie mash-up is utterly pointless.

It’s a gay new year: And in 2019 we’re looking forward to more movies, many with big gay themes…

January: Don’t miss The Favourite, a deranged 18th century love triangle between the awesome Olivia Colman, Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone. And it’s all true! And Keira Knightley is terrific in Colette, the wonderfully subversive story of the French author.

February: Melissa McCarthy plays a fraudulent author in Can You Ever Forgive Me, opposite Richard E Grant as her dodgy gay best pal. Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali are excellent in true drama Green Book, which takes an unexpected gay twist. Another true story, Boy Erased follows Lucas Hedges to gay conversion therapy, pushed by parents Nicole Kidman and Russell Crowe.

March: Hot French actor Felix Maritaud is terrific in the sexy dark drama Sauvage. From Sweden, the acclaimed Border is an indescribably queer fairy tale. From Belgium, the controversial, award-winning Girl is about a trans teen ballerina. Fighting With My Family stars the amazing Florence Pugh as a British wrestler, plus added Dwayne Johnson! And Brie Larson arrives just in time to save the day as Captain Marvel.

Spring: Pretty much everyone is looking forward to seeing what happens in Avengers: Endgame, but the Elton John biopic Rocketman (starring Taron Egerton) looks like it will be a lot more fun.

Summer: Pixar has reassembled the gang for Toy Story 4, which is again likely to make us laugh and cry. The unlikely duo Danny Boyle and Richard Curtis have made a musical comedy that’s bound to be unmissable. And Jason Statham and Dwayne Johnson take their Fast & Furious characters off for their own adventure in Hobbs & Shaw.

And finally: December sees the arrival of Star Wars Episode IX, the climactic finale to the nine-movie Skywalker family saga, 42 years in the making.

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