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  WINDY CITY TIMES

Best and worst movies of 2018
by Jerry Nunn, Windy City Times
2018-12-19

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This year, the LGBT community made strides in strong cinematic features featuring LGBT subject matter and characters, but still has a way to go.

There were two movies this year about conversion therapy with The Miseducation of Carmeron Post, taken from a lesbian perspective, and Boy Erased, from a gay perspective. The AIDS epidemic was depicted several times in 2018 with feature films Can You Ever Forgive Me? and Bohemian Rhapsody. New musicals debuted that were successful, such as The Greatest Showman and Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again!

There was a vast spectrum of powerful women characters celebrated this year, from the young actress in The Hate U Give to the experienced actresses in Book Club. The Wife showed there are two sides to every marriage, while new motherhood and postpartum depression were treated seriously in Tully. Movies have come a long way from Three Men and a Baby, folks! Women-driven pictures continue to rise in popularity, with Ocean's 8 and Halloween in the top 20 sales in 2018.

Throughout the year there were heartfelt adoption movies, like the funny Instant Family and the mystery documentary Three Identical Strangers. There were two vastly different stories that had Black men making fools of white men via telephone, with BlacKKKlansman and Sorry to Bother You.

Superheroes kicked butt, with Black Panther ruling the number-one spot and Avengers: Infinity War right after it. Audiences then had Incredibles 2, Deadpool 2, and Ant-Man and the Wasp all busting out with successful sequels in the top 10.

The comic-book world continues to expand, minorities are becoming the majority, and the LGBT community is evolving in new and unexpected ways, cinematically.

—Outstanding movies with queer content:

10. Widows: Chicagoans will enjoy the scenery as Viola Davis chews it up in scene after scene. The characters were rich and there's a lesbian in the midst who's understated and real.

9. Love, Simon: This is a touching coming-of-age story set in the real world where a 17-year-old closeted gay fella simply looked for love.

8. Instant Family: Director Sean Anders used muse Mark Wahlberg to tell a personal story of adoption with several gay characters and out comedian Tag Notaro.

7. Crazy Rich Asians: Nico Santos played gay family member Oliver T'sien in the first major Hollywood studio movie with an all-Asian cast in 25 years.

6. Boy Erased: Several out cast members battle their demons in a religious conversion-therapy camp.

5. Can You Ever Forgive Me?: Cat lady, lesbian and celebrity forger Lee Israel was realistically portrayed by Melissa McCarthy in an unforgettable performance. Richard E. Grant deserves accolades as her gay bestie in a movie that doesn't shy away from the ugly side of life.

4. Green Book: The true story of closeted pianist Don Shirley, played by Moonlight's Mahershala Ali, being transported by Viggo Mortensen as Tony Lip in racist parts of the country rang true.

3. Won't You Be My Neighbor?: From a gay mailman to war in a far-off land, the Mister Rogers documentary showed us why he is sorely still needed in times like these.

2. The Favourite: Throw The Lobster back in the ocean. Director Yorgos Lanthimos gets it right this time in a story of a lesbian love triangle with players Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz vying for Olivia Colman's attention as Queen Anne. Were they really that catty in 18th-century England?

1. A Star Is Born: Lady Gaga surprised and Bradley Cooper harmonized with his directorial debut bringing the masses to a gay bar in the process.

—Movies that should have stayed in the closet:

10. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald: This fantasy film should be arrested for wasting Johnny Depp and squeezing more dollars out of the Harry Potter fan base.

9. The Happytime Murders: A movie that made ticket holders unhappy and pissed off the puppets of Sesame Street. Melissa McCarthy makes both good and bad lists in the same year.

8. Pacific Rim: Uprising: The robots crashed down at the box office in a franchise that continues to overwhelm the eyeballs. Bumblebee is currently trying to fly and redeem the genre before the year is out.

7. Slender Man: A skinny story tried to make more of an urban legend but ran out of material.

6. The Spy Who Dumped Me: Two wacky friends couldn't save this stinker in the laugh department.

5. Breaking In: Gabrielle Union didn't break any box-office records in a home invasion story with weak characters.

4. Proud Mary: No one is proud of how this movie fared, but Taraji P. Henson made up for it by voicing Ralph Breaks the Internet the same year.

3. The Nun: Taissa Farmiga did her best to keep alive a storyline that was full of bad habits.

2. Death Wish: Bruce Willis couldn't make this stinker live long at the cinema, even with Chicago as a backdrop. Some movies shouldn't be remade.

1. Fifty Shades Freed: Christian Grey finally tied up the badly written film franchise—but the third time was not a charm.


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