2018 has been a breakthrough year in film. From Black Panther to Crazy, Rich Asians to Lady Gaga taking on a serious acting role (and owning it), Hollywood has gone some way to restoring our faith in the Land of Make Believe after what has been a turbulent time in the film industry’s regrettable recent past. So let’s focus on the positives, and the films and performances that have wowed us at the cinema so far this year.
The reason this movie is in here (and there was initial pre-watching resistance to it, believe me) is because it’s not the patriotic, propagandist material you might expect a story about a Great American being the first to do something awesome (in the true sense of the word.) With Damien Chazelle and Ryan Gosling (the dream team behind La La Land) running the show this biopic about arguably America’s most famous icon of the 20th century is less about an interstellar feat pulled off by a fearless maverick, than it is about a man struggling to find his place in this increasingly fractured and evolving world. It’s a tender examination of man’s desire to belong. And for that we salute.