Narrowing down my top 10 films to just 10 was really tough. Could have easily been a top 20! And there's still some films that have been appearing on other people's lists which I've not yet see, these include Roma, Shoplifters. But from the films I've seen these are currently my top 10....
Directed by Chloe Zhao
Watched this without knowing anything about the actors or how it was conceived etc and loved it, when I learnt about Brady Jandreau and his friends and family, was event more astonishing. First of two films with a father and son relationship at its heart.
Directed by Annemarie Jacir
Again, didn't know anything about this film when I booked to see it. Really lovely small scale drama about a father and son, getting to know one another whilst delivering invitations for their daughter/sister's wedding.
Directed by Deborah Haywood
The first of two films with dysfunctional mother and daughter relationships on my list. Loved Haywood's debut feature film. The performances were so moving, and Haywood's dreamlike aesthetic so beautiful. Although Gerwig's Lady Bird would have made my top 20, this mother and daughter film, is further enhanced by Haywood's visual style.
Directed by Craig Gillespie
And my second mother and daughter film is based on the true-ish life of ice skater Tonya Harding.
Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson
First of two gothic romances featuring a seemingly shy young woman being victimised and controlled by a domineering 'monster'. As beautifully crafted and exquisitely designed as a House of Woodcock gown.
The Shape of Water
Directed by Guillermo del Toro
And the second gothic romance features the growing bond between a seemingly shy young woman and a monster, neither of whom turn out to be as they first seem. Beautifully designed, showing del Torro's love for classic cinema.
A Fantastic Woman
Directed by Sebastián Lelio
Daniela Vega's performance grounds this drama in a strong sense of realism. Vega plays a transgender woman whose lover dies, and she finds herself adrift when his family, refuse to recognise their relationship.
The Eyes or Orson Welles
Directed by Mark Cousins
There's been some great documentaries this year, Three Identical Strangers and Ryuichi Sakamoto: CODA were also strong contenders, but this one pips the others as Mark Cousins' personal approach offers insights into the mind and creativity of both himself, and Orson Welles.
Directed by Paul King
This slot could quite easily have been filled by Mary Poppins Returns, as both steeped in nostalgia and offering a wonderful fantasy version of London. Plus both have Ben Wishaw! But Paddington 2 has such a fabulous central performance by High Grant. And I've so enjoyed seeing Grant on the chat show circuit, such fun revelling in his self-depricating humour.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Directed by Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, and Rodney Rothman
There were a lot of superhero films in 2018 (Black Panther, Ant-Man and the Wasp, Avengers: Infinity War, Aquaman) but this animation was the one I enjoyed the most. Now I want to see spin-offs of all the alternate spider-people/pig!