NYFF 2018 Wrap-Up

Attending the New York Film Festival this year has been exhausting, but an absolute joy. Here are my thoughts on some of the big ticket films that screened as part of the Main Slate–most of which I liked, some of which I loved, and a few of which I was underwhelmed and/or unimpressed by.

The Favourite

5/5 stars

Inject everything about this into my veins.

Roma

3.5/5 stars

Features undeniably some of the strongest film-making of the year, but did not do for me emotionally what it seems to have done for so many others.

At Eternity’s Gate

2/5 stars

Hard pass.

Ash Is Purest White

4.5/5 stars

A knock-out.

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

3/5 stars

A very mixed bag, but beautifully shot. The last two vignettes do a lot to make up for what precedes.

Burning

4.5/5 stars

Still reeling.

Cold War

4/5 stars

Terrific.

Happy as Lazzaro

3/5 stars

Artful and interesting, but too abstract for my taste.

Her Smell

4/5 stars

Suffocating, bombastic and often very difficult to watch, but I liked it far more than I was expecting to, and as with “Buster Scruggs”, the last two sections (the penultimate in particular) redeem a lot of what comes before.

High Life

4/5 stars

A little to out there for me to be able to fully embrace, but not as out there as it could have been, and what’s there really worked for me.

If Beale Street Could Talk

3/5 stars

Beautiful, but the epitome of style over substance. Disappointing.

Non-Fiction

3.5/5 stars

Quirky and enjoyable, but doesn’t get much of anywhere and goes out on a weak note.

Private Life

4/5 stars

A delight.

Shoplifters

5/5 stars

The best film of the year. A complete sucker punch.

Sorry Angel

5/5 stars

Exactly the kind of film I hope to be making someday. I loved this.

Wildlife

4/5 stars

Doesn’t entirely work. The whole is far less than the sum of its parts, but some of those parts are absolutely incredible.

xx

JB