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Je n'aime pas dans les vieux films américains quand les conducteurs ne regardent pas la route. Et de ratage en ratage, on s'habitue à ne jamais dépasser le stade du brouillon. La vie n'est que l'interminable répétition d'une représentation qui n'aura jamais lieu.

Best 2018 Films I Saw in 2018: Best Films

Honorable Mentions

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Avengers: Infinity War

Jam-packed payoff to years of set-up delivers thrills only blockbusters can give.

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BlacKkKlansman

Weird story serves as a launching pad for Lee’s best film in years, a comedic, disturbing, infuriating look into the heart of racism. 

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The Little Stranger

Too slow moving and ambiguous for mainstream audiences, this supernatural drama is rich in themes and character development.  

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Mission: Impossible – Fallout

Sixth film in the franchise once again delivers the transcendently perfect action we’ve come to expect. 

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Pandas

A touching story of the quest to release pandas raised in captivity into the wild becomes a heartfelt exploration of the struggles we all face in DisneyNature’s latest home-run documentary. 

Top 10

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Annihilation

Trippy sci-fi horror is compelling, thought provoking and ambiguous in all the right ways.

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Black Panther

A deft touch is able to effectively balance exploration of real social issues and action blockbuster thrills. 

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Blindspotting

A gripping look at criminals trying to escape the roles society has made for them, bolstered by great performances.

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Eighth Grade

Astonishingly witty and heartfelt script and a phenomenal lead performance make this riff on social anxiety a classic.

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Hereditary

As disturbing a horror film as you’re likely to see, Hereditary is raw, gut-wrenching and terrifying. 

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Isle of Dogs

A stop motion triumph finds Anderson in top-form, witty, sweet, funny and heart-tugging. 

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Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

The platonic ideal of the comic-book movie is character based and heartfelt, but also boasts mind-blowing visuals. 

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Suspiria

Strange, unsettling horror film subverts expectations and features bravura filmmaking packed with ideas.

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Widows

An astounding ensemble and a near-perfect script bring this serious, character-based thriller home with a bang. 

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Wildlife

A painful, raw exploration of a marriage in crisis from the perspective of the young son breathes new life into clichés with its sincerity and power.

Writings to an Unfinished Accompaniment (1973) - W.S. Merwin

When the pain of the world finds words

they sound like joy

There’s nearly a hundred poems in this book; many of them are quite short, of course, but very evocative.  I think the book does reflect the title in the way it treats loss.  The poems here are really filled with a kind of melancholy sense of incompleteness and loneliness.  The poems aren’t bleak exactly and there are moments of real redemption to be found here.  But Merwin is certainly missing the accompaniment of the title in a very palpable way and perhaps even the shortness of the poems plays into this.  I found this collection to be very emotionally evocative in a direct and powerful way.  Sometimes you marvel at Merwin’s artistry; other times, you feel his emotions in a profound way.  This is definitely one of the second kind of books, though there’s obviously a great deal of artistry.  This is a very heartfelt book, I think, about the absence of things.  This isn’t a book about emptiness, but about a nagging, melancholy sense of lack and perhaps that’s the more complex emotion and the one more relatable.  It’s a quiet masterpiece this one is, not filled with flights of fancy or provocative poetry, but the emotional resonance is undeniable.  4 stars. 

tl;dr – a quiet, more subdued Merwin explores feelings of loss and melancholy in this heartfelt collection of short poems; not bleak, even occasionally hopeful in spite of loss.  4 stars.

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