Films in 2018: January

We’re now a month into the new year, which is almost hard to believe, as January seemed to go by fast in retrospect. But the past month was an eventful one, especially when it comes to movies. I made several trips to the theater, catching up with most of the award contenders before the Oscar nomination announcement. I still have a couple more films I’d like to see before the 90th Academy Awards, but with the Winter Olympics coming this year and the ceremony being pushed to March, I’ll have plenty of time to catch up this month. And leading up to the big show, I have a few Oscar-related posts planned throughout February, so stay tuned for that. Anyway, a look back at what I watched in January…

New-to-Me: 28

Re-Watched: 3

New-to-Me Films by Decade:

  • 1920s – 1
  • 1930s – 5
  • 1940s – 5
  • 1950s – 3
  • 1960s – 4
  • 1970s – 1
  • 1980s – 2
  • 1990s – 1
  • 2000s – 0
  • 2010s – 6

List of New-to-Me Films:

  1. 7th Heaven (1927)
  2. The Passionate Friends (1949)
  3. Young and Innocent (1937)
  4. The Misfits (1961)
  5. Limelight (1952)
  6. Darkest Hour (2017)
  7. Conquest (1937)
  8. Algiers (1938)
  9. The Post (2017)
  10. A River Runs Through It (1992)
  11. The Gang’s All Here (1943)
  12. Prizzi’s Honor (1985)
  13. Anna Karenina (1935)
  14. Inferno (1953)
  15. Robinson Crusoe (1954)
  16. Cinderella (1947)
  17. Murder, Inc. (1960)
  18. Phantom Thread (2017)
  19. Rings on Her Fingers (1942)
  20. I, Tonya (2017)
  21. Midnight Express (1978)
  22. All the Money in the World (2017)
  23. Molly’s Game (2017)
  24. The Flight of the Phoenix (1965)
  25. Absence of Malice (1981)
  26. The Lives of a Bengal Lancer (1935)
  27. Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1969)
  28. Roughly Speaking (1945)

A Few Favorite Discoveries:

The Passionate Friends (1949)

The Passionate Friends (1949), directed by David Lean

Though I’m a big fan of David Lean (haven’t yet seen a movie of his I didn’t like), I hadn’t heard much about his melodramatic film The Passionate Friends until Paul Thomas Anderson cited it while promoting his latest film, Phantom Thread. This was made just a few years after Lean’s most famous melodrama, Brief Encounter, also co-starring Trevor Howard, and like that previous movie, this one looks at marriage and infidelity, though this time instead of focusing on the affair, it looks at both relationships and the consequences for all involved.

Limelight (1952)

Limelight (1952), directed by Charlie Chaplin

This was a movie I ended up enjoying more than I thought I would, though I should’ve known better as I’ve enjoyed much of Charlie Chaplin’s earlier films. Though Chaplin’s last film didn’t come until 15 years later, Limelight is possibly his last great effort, showing a vaudeville performer in the twilight of his years who takes a ballerina under his wings to help her reach her potential. Serving as a semi-biographical tale of the filmmaker, it’s one of Chaplin’s most touching movies and includes a special extended cameo by fellow silent film star Buster Keaton.

The Post (2017)

The Post (2017), directed by Steven Spielberg

I’m a sucker for movies involving journalism (as it is my chosen profession), so it was no real surprise to me that I enjoyed The Post as much as I did, though it really exceeded my expectations. It’s probably my favorite movie Steven Spielberg has made in recent years, with all the elements such as cinematography and score coming together in a well-crafted way with a truly wonderful cast of actors, headlined by Oscar favorite Meryl Streep. And while the Academy seems to love to throw her a nomination anytime she appears in a movie, I think it’s warranted this time, as she gives a great, more subdued performance as The Washington Post publisher Kay Graham.

Phantom Thread (2017)

Phantom Thread (2017), directed by Paul Thomas Anderson

Seeing as Paul Thomas Anderson is one of my favorite living filmmakers, I was very anxious to see Phantom Thread, and it was one of my most anticipated films of 2017. And I liked it a lot upon my initial viewing, but as the days have passed since I saw it, it’s the one film I watched this month that I really can’t stop thinking about, and I think it might be my favorite film of Anderson’s that he’s made so far this decade. It features great cinematography by the director himself, a hauntingly beautiful score by Jonny Greenwood (which I’ve practically been playing on repeat since), and some gorgeous costuming throughout, as well as fantastic performances by Vicky Krieps, Lesley Manville, and Daniel Day-Lewis, the latter of who claims this is his final film appearance. And if that’s the case, Phantom Thread makes for a really perfect swan song for the legendary actor.

2 thoughts on “Films in 2018: January

  1. The Passionate Friends is such a wonderful, underrated film! So glad to see that someone else has seen and appreciated it — I never see anyone talk about it!

  2. I thought for sure I’d see ‘Young and Innocent’ in your Favorite Discoveries list! It’s one of my favorite HItchcock films, and I still get a kick out of it every time I see it. And somehow I didn’t know that Spielberg directed ‘The Post’, so I’ll be checking that out at the theater soon.

Leave a Reply